Justin Krebs's blog

When Mideast Meets Midwest

Vindictive leaders ignore popular protest,
seek to curtail the rights of the people
& make regular citizens into scapegoats.

The elite oligarchs act above the law,
buy politicians, stain public discourse
& amass more & more of the national wealth.

The media chooses a side in the struggle,
alternatively ignoring protesters & slandering them
while promoting the propaganda of the elite.

In the Middle East, we'd call it reason for Revolution.

In the Midwest, we call it Walker, the Kochs & Fox
...and Glenn Beck calls it the American way.

But there's gotta be another way.

Share stories of rallies, sound off on current events
& scheme our next moves as you share a drink
with your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The Cheese vs. The Sleaze

The peaceful, passionate, persistent protesters
rally for workers' rights in Wisconsin
& even the Packers join the packed plazas of Madison.

Across the US, inspired Americans show solidarity:
in Ohio, organized opposition shut the Statehouse,
in Indiana, Dems deny the anti-union crusade quorum;
in all 50 capitals as the Cheddar Revolution rolls on.

And on the other side: The Tea Party, the Kochs,
Gov Scott Walker who was pranked by a call
pretending to be his billionaire backer --
& the pundits of Fox News, of course.

Whose side would you rather be in?

Don your cheesehead & hit the streets,
because if it's the cheese vs. the sleaze,
we know which side of history we'd rather be on.

Dump your tea party & join a beer party
as we trade tactics & toast the protests
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Do Your Share So The Rich Keep Theirs

As the House Republicans talks of shared sacrifice,
they cut education, infrastructure & our work force,
without corporate cronies contributing their fair share.

Slashing student aid, heating subsidies & community grants
are part of Obama's budget's agenda of shared sacrifice:
shared by the middle class, working poor & unemployed.

As Wisconsin's governor faces statewide protests
over his threat to call the National Guard on workers,
other governors join the crusade against teachers & cops
while defending wealthiest residents from tax surcharges.

For all that politicians talk of "shared sacrifice,"
it's regular Americans doing the sacrifice
while the rich are keeping their shares.

There's a place where you can share your views
& more than likely you'll share a few pitchers
if you come out for a night of lefty libations
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The Steelers Lost, But The Stealers Keep Winning

As state governments use budget crises to justify
painful concessions from public sector employees,
few states ask shared sacrifice of the wealthiest
who keep getting richer as everyone else is hurting.

Despite findings of the Financial Crisis commission
about the reckless gambles that created this chaos,
the gamblers have gotten only a light reprimand,
as well as bonuses & carte blanche to do it again.

Working Americans battle foreclosures across the US,
yet corrupt mortgage services elude criminal charges
while Big Banksters walk away with big profits.

We cheered the municipally-owned Packers over the Steelers,
but now the municipalities are getting stolen from
...and these Stealers are having a championship season.

Raise your voice & raise your concerns
as you lift a glass & lift your spirits
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Walk Like An Egyptian

For years, the US talked of more democracy in Egypt,
but it took an unprecedented uprising of Egyptians
to do what diplomatic pressure could never accomplish
and get Mubarak to agree not to seek reelection.

After decades of rhetoric about democracy in the Mideast,
and endless calls from the international community,
leaders of Yemen, Jordan and Syria are taking swift steps
before their own people follow Egyptians into the streets.

And if Americans want to learn something about protest --
to end wars, defend rights, call for jobs, change course
-- we could learn something from the protests in Egypt:
that numbers, passion & persistence can have impact.

We can all take a lesson from the streets of Cairo
about the difference between words and action:
It's not enough to talk like Egyptians.
We need to learn to walk like an Egyptian.

Talk the talk, walk the walk, and drink the drink
by sharing a few rounds & going a few rounds
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Bi-Partisan...or Just Bi-Curious?

A co-mingled Congress crossed the aisle for one night,
and heard a State of the Union that cleverly combined
progressive policies & conservative canards into bipartisan brew.

The President waxed about the woes of wasteful spending,
while calling unnecessary tax cuts a form of waste,
& rolled out a reduction in corporate taxes,
as he also lashed out at loopholes for tax evaders.

He challenged the country to move to clean energy,
but included "clean coal" as a viable option,
as he opposed oil but nudged us on nuclear.

To boost our economy he wants investment
& talked infrastructure, energy & information-age ideas,
but embraced the businesses that brought us to the brink
& failed to address foreclosure fraud at all.

Seeing positive policies paired with less appealing ideas
was like seeing the Senator Gillibrand next to John Thune.

Now will Congress move along this middle-way model,
or since date-night is done, do they dare cross the aisle?

Do they buy Obama's bid or will they just say bye-bye?
Are they feeling bi-partisan? Or just bi-curious?

Take any seat you want as you cheer and jeer,
toast what you liked, and bemoan what you hated
in the company of like-minded liberals & libertines
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Drinking Liberally State of the Union Drinking Game

As we do every year, here is Drinking Liberally's very own drinking game for the State of the Union. Courtesy of Josh Bolotsky.

(Another popular set of drinking game rules can be found at this site)

Take a sip:
- The state of our union is "strong"
- Obama says "Civility"
- Obama makes humorous good-natured reference to Joe Biden
- "healthcare reform"
- Obama says "hope"
- Obama says "change"
- A standing ovation from Congress
- Obama says "Afghanistan"
- Obama calls Rep. Giffords "Gabby"

Take a shot:
- The state of our union is anything but "strong"
- Obama says "now, there are those who would say/suggest..."
- Joe Biden makes a hilarious facial expression
- Obama introduces one of his guests to the chamber that's Giffords-related
- Obama refers to "the previous administration" instead of saying
"Bush fucked up"
- Obama mentions "Wall Street" and/or "Main Street"
- Joe Wilson yells at him
- Nancy Pelosi looks pained when glancing at John Boehner

Take a big gulp:
- Obama refers to Joe Biden by nickname or something like "no one
messes with Joe"
- Obama introduces a guest to the chamber that's non-Giffords-related
- We see Michelle Obama's arms
- The state of our union is "strong, if..."
- Someone other than Joe Wilson yells at him
- Obama says something so eloquent on Tucson tragedy that you start to tear up

Chug in agony:
- Joe Biden makes a gaffe when it's not even his fucking speech
- The state of our union is "umm...well..."
- The camera pans to Rand Paul
- He extends our commitments in Afghanistan/Iraq
- More than one Republican yell at him in a coordinated effort

Celebratory toast:
- He uses the word "liberal" or "progressive" in a positive context
- Rep. Giffords' husband, Mark E. Kelly, is shown on screen
- Obama praises Daniel Hernandez as an American hero
- Obama brags about ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
- Obama promises troops out of Iraq or Afghanistan in the next six months
- Obama positively references FDR
- Obama upbraids the Supreme Court for the Citizens United verdict AGAIN

Finish your drink
- Obama yells back when he's yelled at
- "The state of our union? Are you fucking kidding me?"
- He declines to retroactively repeal healthcare reform
- "Face it, progressives - you have nowhere else to go."

The Republican Response

Take a sip:

- A Glenn-Beckian reference is made to socialism
- A reference to tea bags
- "Tea Party"

Take a shot:
- A Glenn-Beckian reference is made to communism
- A proud reference to being the party of No
- There is an explicit defense of right-wing rhetoric

Take a big gulp:
- A Glenn-Beckian reference is made to fascism
- They play populism with the bailout

Chug:
- A Glenn-Beckian reference is made to Nazism

Finish your drink:
- "The President is Hitler - there, I fucking said it"
- They play dog-whistle racism tactics

Hu's On First...But What's On Second?

After a week of mourning, as DC gets back to work,
the House put repealing healthcare first and foremost,
a symbolic vote to hurt the American people...
Now nobody in the GOP has any idea what to do next.

Since the Senate's first step isn't filibuster reform,
they probably won't get a second item on their agenda
and the stalled Senate's greatest accomplishment will be
Schumer & Coburn sitting together at the State of the Union.

The President's first priority was dinner with President Hu
& their "friends" from Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
Beyond wooing Wall Street & cheering our chief creditor,
what are the plans for jobs & relief for the American people?

Congress put gestures first, but what comes next?

Mr. President: Hu's on first...but what's on second?

Here's to bringing real ideas to the State of the Union
...and leaving Lloyd Blankfein & Jamie Diamond behind.

No invite to the state dinner? Then come by the bar
to share a few beers, cheers & jeers
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

He Took a Shot at Democracy. We're Giving Democracy a Shot.

The horrific shooting attacked the citizens of Tucson,
attacked a representative of our democracy
and attacked participation in that same democracy.

If we throw up our hands & say there's nothing we could do,
that no steps will reduce violence, gun control can't work,
we will be giving up on our democratic process.

If we decide to drop out of the public sphere --
or, like Rep Heath Shuler, to carry a gun to town halls,
-- we will be the ones stifling our democratic space.

If we claim this has always been the tone of our rhetoric
& ignore the increase in threats against our officials,
we'll be allowing the disintegration of our civic discourse.

But when we call for leaders to be better than they've been,
when we gather in public to mourn, rather than shun the public,
when we push for commonsense steps to break this pattern.
we'll be doing what Rep Giffords & the victims did:
we will be participating in our democracy.

He took a shot at democracy.
We're giving democracy a shot.

Come out to share your reactions, your fears & hopes
as you share a booth & a night with friends
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The GOP Will Read The Constitution - At Last!

The Boehner era begins in the House
with a reading of the Constitution.
It's about time the Republicans read it.

About time they read all the Amendments:
the 1st - separating church & state,
the 4th - barring unwarranted searches & seizures,
& the 6th - guaranteeing speedy trials.

About time they read the 7th, 8th & 14th:
trials by jury, no cruel & unusual punishment,
& providing for birthright citizenship.

If only Bush & Cheney had ever read the parts
about limits on executive power.

Is reading the Constitution all theatrics?
Sure. But at least it's a civics lesson.
Whereas most of Congress's theatrics
(eg healthcare repeal) is just a waste of time.

Come pass time toasting the 21st Amendment
as we discuss Constitutional values
while drinking those rights as well
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

And mark your calendars:
STATE OF THE UNION WATCH PARTY
Tuesday, January 25th.

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