Russians Rush In. Europe, You're Up.

After upheaval upends Ukrainian government,
Putin's put in a new position, Russians rush in
and if you think we are jumping to conclusions
you can Crimea river...

Kerry carries on talks, Merkel's murky about actions,
McCain's manic, Graham's self-aggrandized
while Obama's having long talks with Putin
about as constructive as conversations with Congress.

And as we wonder what Putin wants,
what Obama will do, where the EU will stand,
let's hope we remember to ask the Ukrainians
how they'd like to see their own country governed.

The Olympics showcased the world coming together
in peace, friendship and healthy competition.
Now, Russia has taken its ball and gone home…
maybe we should have let them win at ice hockey after all.

It's cold out there, but our company is warm,
our conversation cozy and our ideas on fire
as you share a drink and what you think
at your local progressive social club.

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When Definite Meets Defiant

One day, the Ukrainian leader definitely stood firm.
The next, he was ousted by a defiant nation
and is on the run as the world races to react.

Not long ago, same-sex marriage was a certain loser.
Now courts in Utah, Oklahoma and Texas challenge bans
and the AG says states don't have to defend those laws
while AZ's right-wing gov vetoes anti-gay legislation.

Recently, Chris Christie was the GOP's great hope.
Polls now remind us how quickly fortunes can change.

When yesterday's assumptions run into today's reality,
definite meets defiant…and there's no sure thing.

A lesson worth all of us remembering,
whether you're Comcast devouring the media,
the GOP licking its lips at the mid-terms
or Hillary Clinton reading the latest polls,

Share predictions and predilections over a pint
as you share your night with political pals
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Civil Unrest and the Uncivil Rest

In Russia, Pussy Riot's post-prison protests
lead to arrest under Putin's police power
and assault by Cossack militia members.

In Ukraine, anti-government unrest
has exploded into clash and confrontation
with a death toll dangerously rising.

Syria's Civil War is anything but civil,
yet attempts at talks are just as tumultuous
while the world fails as good neighbors or negotiators.

Country after country faces upheaval,
some democratic, some downright destructive,
but government actions and global reactions
have inflamed, infuriated and fed the fires.

It's a time of civil unrest and the uncivil rest.
If only everyone could take a breath and a rest.

For now take a break to share a beer
while sharing ideas with old friends and new
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

They Raised the Ceiling, Now Raise the Floor

Boehner's buddies bucked the Tea Party
to lower the insanity and raise the debt ceiling.
Could they show the same courage to lift up our nation
by raising the minimum wage for millions of workers?

McConnell's crew crammed down their crazies
to avoid a destructive, dubious debate over debt.
Now can they repel their radical right-wing
to renew relief for unemployed Americans?

The Democrats avoided a manufactured meltdown
to preserve the country's full faith and credit.
In addition to the debt ceiling, it is time to raise
our standards for what counts as progress.

Kudos to Congress for not creating a crisis.
They raised the ceiling - now raise the floor:
our basic quality of life, our safety net minimum
our low expectations and baseline belief in democracy.

That would be a success worth toasting.

Meanwhile, toast small victories & share small talk
as you enjoy a big night with big ideas
at your local progressive social club.

Not snow, nor sleet, nor icy rain
shall keep us from our appointed rounds!

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In Some Events the US Should Not Go for the Gold

As the Olympics begin in a country that is a leader
in silencing dissent and imprisoning citizens,
it would be a good time for the United States
to close Guantanamo and reform policing tactics.

In the world spotlight stands Russia,
a champion in spying on its own people,
while the US confronts its own NSA excesses
and could change course on domestic surveillance.

Putin’s nation is a winner’s circle for oligarchs,
but America competes with its growing inequality
-- though it would do better to not be a victor
in wealth stratification and economic injustice.

Americans may win our share of Olympic medals
but in authoritarianism and corporatocracy
let’s allow Russia to come in first —
there’s no need for America to go for the gold.

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The Polar Vortex of US Politics

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.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Washington Has Joined The Jersey Bridge-and-Tunnel Crowd

Chris Christie's not the only one with a bridge to sell you:
in Washington, some argue the NSA never went to far,
that Food Stamps promote a culture of dependency
and that we'll get better internet without net neutrality.

Christie's tactics may seem straight out of the Sopranos,
but it is Obama strong-arming an abusive trade treaty,
the House GOP gunning down unemployment relief
and a Florida man shooting a movie theater texter.

There is something rotten in the Garden State,
but also something poisonous in our nation's capital,
where a push for Iran sanctions outweigh calls for talks
and where a mediocre spending bill is called a victory.

Christie may be making national headlines,
turning bridges into jams and tunneling himself deeper,
but it seems that DC is now playing by Jersey rules
and all Washington has jointed the Bridge-and-Tunnel crowd.

Laugh at the absurdity or cry at the insanity --
with a drink in hand and good company at your side
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Did Hell Just Freeze Over?

As America shivered through a historic freeze,
Obama warmed up the discussion of poverty,
the Senate passed unemployment benefits
and debate shifted from austerity to inequality.

While record lows chilled much of the country,
there was a spark of hope on intelligence reform,
Affordable Care sign-ups heated up
and new allies called to let Snowden thaw out.

And in NJ, the GOP's most popular candidate
may have to put his 2016 plans on ice
as his national ambitions seem a bridge too far.

Politics has never been believably pretty,
but in the Garden State, Did Hell Just Freeze Over?
it's unbelievably petty.

Maybe the polar vortex caused hell to freeze over:
we're witnessing events we had never expected,
and a few conservatives stuck out in the cold.

Warm company, hot topics and cool beers
will turn a winter night into a winner night
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

From Endured To Insured, Though Not Yet Assured

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.

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

2013: Slow Down, Showdown, Snowden and Snowed In

A year that began with a bold Inauguration
following a clear re-election and talk of mandate
was mired in revelations of government spying,
a stalled Washington agenda and a faulty website.

A year that started with the GOP
vowing to reform and rebrand after defeat
saw them kill gun control & immigration laws,
shut down the government and lose popularity.

A year unfolding in the wake of Sandy & Newtown
brought further disasters and more massacres,
Syria distractions, serial distortions & silly diversions
where stalemates were success & progress a pipe dream.

Congress moved as slow as,
instead of fiscal cliffs, we crashed into fiscal walls,
the NSA revelations made Big Government a reality
and legislators acted like obstructionism was a good thing.

Overall, it was a year of slowdowns and showdowns,
of Snowden, and feeling snowed in
by a blizzard of hypocrisy and self-interest.

That said, we also avoided an unnecessary war,
expanded affordable healthcare
and saw the spread of marriage equality.
So there's something to toast in the year gone by.

Come share your hopes for the year to come
with like-minded lefties and liberal libations
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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