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.

Congress Brakes for Break, But Is Already Broken

A year after the Newtown massacre,
Congress still hasn't passed sensible gun laws.

A year after the GOP announced a change of heart,
Congress has done nothing on immigration reform.

A year after Hurricane Sandy's devastation
Congress has avoided any climate change debate.

Every day brings new NSA revelations,
but Congress grumbles and lets the spying continue.
The stagnant economy stresses American families
but Congress never considers the American Jobs Act.

Yet Congress is now proudly patting itself on the back
for an unimpressive budget deal that is only noteworthy
because it doesn't push us into a manufactured crisis
and gets our representatives home for their vacation,.

When Congress's marker of success is measured
by not causing a government shut-down
and getting to enjoy their winter break,
it's time to reconsider our expectations.

After a year of putting the brakes on progress,
these folks are looking forward to winter break
-- sadly, this Congress is already broken.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The World Misses Mandela, While Some Miss The Point

As the world marks the passing of a historic figure,
a man who united through words and action,
some critics decided that the real story
is who the American President shook hands with.

As the world reflects on how apartheid ended,
how a nation sought to heal, the global community's role
and the lessons we could learn for today's challenges,
a few lash out at Newt Gingrich for words of sympathy.

As the world remembers an aging, beloved leader
who emerged from prison with a message of peace,
too many of us forget the real struggle that came before:
fierce, hard, at times violent and unapologetically radical.

Now - and onward - the world misses Nelson Mandela.
Let's not also miss the point of his life and his impact.

Gather together to give your friendship and get in return
as you share a night with liberals and libations
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The Party of Nope vs Hope and the Pope

The Party of Nope vs Hope and the Pope

While Fox News trumps up a War on Christmas,
the Corporatocracy wages a war on Thanksgiving,
expanding Black Friday into Bleak Thursday
as workers leave family tables for retail spectacles.

While conservatives lament the loss of family values,
The Tea Party says no to any proposal
that would lift hard-working Americans out of poverty,
and fights against the expansion of health coverage.

The Christian Right claims to be under attack,
while it is the right-wing leading the attacks
undermining family planning, assaulting equal rights,
and attacking the Pope for his critique of capitalism.

If you're of the belief that poverty wages are enough,
the healthcare worked just fine as it was,
and this Pope is being too compassionate,
you might not be in the holiday spirit just yet.

During this giving season, I'd rather choose
hope and the Pope over the dopes in the Party of Nope.

Say yes to a night of conversation and camaraderie
as be thankful for liberal libations & seasonal spirits
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Thankful for Nuclear Options and New, Clear Options

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.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Listening to Lincoln, Keeping up Kennedy

150 years ago, Lincoln extolled the importance
of a government of, by and for the people.
Today, the Gettysburg Address would be criticized
by cable news for being too short to take seriously.

50 years ago, we lost Kennedy, who had exhorted us
to ask what we could do for our country.
Today, such a call would be met with derision,
obstruction, filibuster and called "socialism."

We honor the President who preserved our union
while Congress tries a new form of nullification.
We remember a man who championed voting rights
while we experience new forms of voter suppression.

As a country, we mark these moments of our history,
with news stories, ceremonies and TV specials.

Maybe we should mark them by learning from them:
remembering that America has been at its most inspirational
when leaders call for united action in the face of crisis
and when we face grave moments with renewed national purpose.

If we can revitalize the meaning, not just recall the words,
then a government of the people, by the people
for the people, shall not perish from this Earth.

Remember, renew, rejuvenate and revel
as you debate and drink, sip and share
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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