Justin Krebs's blog

Seven Million - Check. Untold Millions - Unchecked.

The healthcare push led to 7 million sign-ups,
surpassing the Administration's targets,
and giving a boost to this new program,
while getting more Americans covered.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court struck down
limits on individual overall campaign donations,
giving a boost to wealthy contributors,
letting millions more dollars flood our elections.

Obamacare gets our government working for the many.
McCutcheon gets our government working for the few.
This week may see Americans get healthier,
but also witnesses our democracy get more diseased.

Seven million Americans - check.
Untold millions in contributions - unchecked.
A few million steps forward,
an unlimited number of steps back.

Share healthcare tales, swap Court gripes
as you trade drinks and thoughts through the night
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Cold War, Cool War, Old War, New War?

In Russia's recent power plays and provocation,
some commentators compare to 1930s Europe,
others see the specter of the Soviet spread,
but it's really a new challenge to the new world order.

As the US redirects its War on Terror
and continues to extricate from Afghanistan,
with domestic pressure to reduce the NSA,
Putin's push has NATO contemplating the inconceivable.

Aggressive annexation and military moves
are met with new tools of sanctions and trade threats.
The global gang tries to tame the Russian bear
and now the G8 is now, gee, seven.

Is this a Cold War being thawed out,
or a non-war nobody's sure how to fight?
Whether Cold War, Cool War, Old War or New War,
it's a new year, new fear, or new terror in an unknown era.

Share a night with what you know --
cool beers for a cold war, warm friends & hot topics
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The Weight of the World, The Wait of the World

Russia has annexed Crimea.
Ukraine is pulling out its troops.
The world knows it has the burden to respond
yet everyone waits to see who will go first.

Obamacare open enrollment ends soon
and public perception rests heavily on these numbers.
Congress, Courts, consumers have fought their battles
-- now it comes down to a game of wait-and-see.

Meanwhile, our news cycles are consumed
by the mysterious fate of the Malaysia flight,
where the weight of speculation and suspicion
takes a back seat to a world that watches and waits.

Usually the news is about the weight of the world.
Right now, it seems to be the Wait of the World.

A little less waiting and a little more working
might make all the difference in each of these.

No need to watch your wait or wait for your watch --
now is the time for healthy company & hale conversation
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Obama Time, Overtime or Out Of Time?

The Prez pushes overtime pay for more Americans
as he realizes he may be running out of time
to address growing inequality in our country.

He and Putin stake out a stand-off in Ukraine,
but as Crimea rushes a Russian vote,
will there be a solution in time
before this stalemate goes into overtime?

As the countdown winds down on enrollment,
Obama plugs Obamacare here, there, everywhere,
hoping the roll-out can eek out a victory at the buzzer.

The President is working overtime,
hoping this month can be Obama Time
before he finds himself, and all of us, out of time.

Toast his highs or roast his lows
as you share a pint and an opinion or two
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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!

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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.

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