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.

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A Disaster Worse Than Metaphor

We talk of the roll-out "disaster" of Obamacare,
but now see a real disaster of staggering scale:
the typhoon and aftermath in the Philippines.

We survived the "tragedy" of our shut-down,
a game of pointless political parlor tricks,
when the truly tragic events around the world
remind us that governing shouldn't be a game.

We watch the wrangling on Capitol Hill --
who "devastates," "demolishes," "slams" whom.
These "life or death" debates pale beside
life-or-death struggles of refugees & recovery.

And as we wait for the climate to change
in the debate over climate change,
the climate has just changed the lives
of those in the Philippines forever.

We may use ferocious rhetoric in our politics,
but the typhoon should remind us that reality
is far fiercer than all our metaphors…
and deserves action stronger that rhetoric.

May governments and people of the world
pull together for the people of the Philippines,
and may we get serious about strengthening
a solid, sustainable, safe society for us all.

Join a night of like-spirited souls
as you share reactions to this week's actions
at your local progressive social club.

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Running For Everything, Standing For Nothing

Two campaigns for governor come to an end
yet we don't ask how these winners stand to govern --
rather how Christie's victory boosts his Presidential run
and how McAuliffe's win may bolster Hillary's race.

As we deal with the healthcare website's problems,
instead of standing firm for getting Americans covered,
the GOP is ready to run midterm races against Obamacare
and Dems wimpily wonder whether to run away from it.

And as America climbs back from the shut-down,
instead of standing tall to run the country,
The Tea Party fixates on running primary right-wingers,
and Ted Cruz limbers up for a run for the White House.

With so much running, you'd think they are marathoners,
but they are just politicians running wild.
We could use a few who run less, stand a little more --
and are upstanding, understanding and outstanding as well.

What good is running for everything
if, in the end, you stand for nothing?

Share reflections on elections, share politics and a pint
as you gather with good company for a great night
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A Halloween of Hollow Weenies

The shutdown ended, but the showdown continues
as the mad hatters of The Tea Party extreme
play dress up as grown-ups interested in governing
while aiming to gut Social Security and Food Stamps.

As the Obamacare website works through its issues,
the empty suits of the right-wing can't get over their own,
costumed as a concerned, compassionate Congress
while really seeking to undo all healthcare reforms.

And as world leaders react to more NSA revelations,
the spooks and kooks of our intelligence complex
deny their actions, disavow their intentions
and disguise criminal behavior as patriotism.

We'd love to believe all these frightening truths
are simply Halloween costumes gone awry.
But the truth is much, much scarier.

It's not Halloween. It's Hollow Weenies.
And they are playing tricks & stealing treats
that should really terrify all Americans.

It takes no special trick to join us for a treat
as we outfit ourselves in liberal living & libations
at your local progressive social club.

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Government, Heal Thyself

The website launched by our tech-savvy Prez
to help Americans access affordable healthcare
has had so many glitches and crashes
that it now requires its own emergency care.

The right-wing that sought to undo Obamacare,
rein in spending, revive the GOP, reform the US,
cost us tens of billions, left health reform in tact
and has now put the Tea Party on life support.

The NSA's illegal eavesdropping activities
have so angered European leaders
that it might derail our international relationships.
Our reputation may need surgery -- stat!

We need to look after Americans' health,
but after the weeks we've seen,
we need to look after America's health as well.

Let's get these government exchanges
working to help heal the American people.
At the same time: Government, heal thyself.

Because if we can't get our government working,
the right-wing will have won after all.

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as you share the night and share a pint
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Full Faith and Credit vs Fool's Faith Discredited

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.

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The GOP: Contortionists and Extortionists

Ted Cruz's exhortation against Obamacare
and the House GOP's explosion of democratic process
turn out to be part of a long-term right-wing plan
for the exploitation of a government shut-down.

Bohner's lost control of the House
while regular Americans are losing overall,
yet conservatives bend and twist and contort
to explain what it is that "winning" would like like.

The Tea Party accuses Obama of obstructionism
while they refuse to govern responsibly,
refuse to end the crisis to start negotiations,
and keep changing what it is they demand.

They've gone from exhorting and distorting
to contorting and outright extorting.
When America needs serious people in charge,
we're stuck with a GOP of contortionists and extortionists.

If only we could deport those who extort out of DC entirely.

In the meantime, don't shutdown, but show up
for a night of lively conversation & liberal libations
at your local progressive social club.

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Shut Down A Little Less, Shut Up A Little More

The right-wing shuts down the government
slamming our social services as superfluous
at the same time that millions of Americans
are seeking new government healthcare service.

Conservatives complain about public employees
but their shut down has shut out these workers
preventing them from doing jobs for the public good.

The GOP shut-down has turned into a shut-storm
as they struggle to remember why they did it,
yet the more they they bluster and fluster,
the less sense -- and less progress- they make.

Meanwhile, the ACA is driving costs down,
we're talking to Iran & inspecting Syria.
Maybe the Tea Party should shut down a little less
and simply shut up a little bit more.

And as long as our government is powered down,
couldn't the NSA stop spying for a few days?

Whether you want to toast the health of our people
or offer a prayer for the health of our nation,
raise a glass with like-minded lefties
at your local progressive social club.

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Green Eggs and Sham

Green Eggs and Sham

Ted Cruz did cram all the words he could ram
as he tried to slam and sought to damn
a health program to help your fam,
invoking Sam from Green Eggs and Ham.

His ideas have dust and opinions rust,
but with gusto, lust and bluster robust
he fretted and fussed and cringed and cussed
as he may and must to filibust.

He took the floor for many and more
with a right-wing roar at his conservative core.
But what lore in store was he fighting for?
To slam the door on the working poor?

Like a babbling brook he shimmied and shook,
taking hammer and hook to the plan he forsook.
Yet for this scheme he did cook, did he actually look
at the Dr Seuss book from which quotations he took?

Because, sir and m'am, our friend Sam-I-Am
works out of his jam, burst through the dam
and with a bam and a blam LIKES Green Eggs and Ham.
Sadly, that won't quiet or calm the Senator's scam.

He filibustered with Green Eggs and Ham.
But really it was all Greed, Ego and Sham.

If Cruz Control isn't your speed, shift gears
to talk Obamacare, the UN and DC stalemates
with some fresh mates, fresh ideas and fresh pints
at your local progressive social club.

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When History Is Repeated, We Are Defeated

Another gunman, another senseless massacre.
A reprise of calls not to politicize the tragedy.
Will we find the fortitude for sensible solutions
or fall to the familiar fate of silent stagnation?

Another budget "crisis" created by Congress,
more showdowns and potential shutdowns,
ever more efforts to oppose and undercut Obamacare.
When will we find the force to fight this foolishness?

Nearly another war with fuzzy goals and foggy strategy,
but diplomacy has stalled that misadventure for now.
Nearly a recycled revival for Larry Summers,
but advocacy has led the Fed away from that folly.

Seems we've heard many of these stories before,
but when we learn from history, we can make a better choice.
When we let history be repeated that we all are defeated.

From the tragedy at the DC Navy Yards
to forging an international response to the crisis in Syria
to the drunken drama unfolding on Capitol Hill,
let's all hope our leaders studied these history lessons.

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