Justin Krebs's blog

They're Called the "Right" but are Constitutionally Wrong

A judge delivered news the right-wing has most feared:
that their stance against marriage equality is wrong --
not just morally, not religiously...but Constitutionally.

Conservatives switched fear mongering from gays to Muslims
attacking the right to build an Islamic Cultural Center
though free practice of religion is old as the Constitution itself.

And because the right-wing loves to hate immigrants,
the GOP has started an attack on the 14th Amendment
-- a direct assault on out Constitution & its principles.

These guys on the "Right" are just plain wrong.
Being wrong is in their constitution.
But let's keep their hands off of ours.

Whether you want to wash the taste of the Right away
or toast to a Constitution that is stronger than they are,
come out to drink a little & think a little
at your local progressive social club.

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

President Obama Needs a New Pair of Shoes

President Obama followed in President Bush's footsteps
when, he declared our mission in Iraq accomplished
-- while planning to leave over 50,000 troops behind.

The President also walked his predecessor's walk
by declaring the economic recovery underway --
while the unemployed & underemployed feel no relief.

Then with Afghanistan, where the military urges the Prez
to revise any drawdown & plan a longer stay,
the Presidential path he's following is that of LBJ.

President Obama needs to choose a new pair of shoes.

Maybe f he walked a day in the life of the millions
of Americans who just want to go back to work
he'd find the resolve to invest less in war & more in jobs.

Come out tonight to share your views over some booze,
as we vent & rant, debate & drink, toast & roast
at your local, progressive social club.

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

America's Liberal Tribe

Pundits obsess with elections. Will the Democrats hold both houses of Congress? Will Obama voters return to the polls in the midterms? Do recent primaries send a warning to incumbents -- and if so, what warning: that they should move left, right or center?

Around the country, though, the politically-minded population has had more than election cycles on their mind. They care about the systemic structural issues in the Senate and the temperament of the administration, issues which won't change with a single vote. They are equally obsessed with local transit and neighborhood redevelopment. They exchange book and move recommendations and argue over favorite news anchors and comedians.

These people belong to America's Liberal Tribe: a growing community of people who share attitudes and culture rooted in common values that transcend single election cycles.

And good news America: the liberal cause is growing.

Over the past six weeks, I have had the chance to meet local liberals around the country, as I've toured with my recent book, "538 Ways to Live, Work and Play Like a Liberal." I have been visiting chapters of Drinking Liberally, the ubiquitous progressive social club. What is really remarkable is how much the members of these groups -- separated by city, state and region -- have in common.

They love Rachel Maddow and are getting to love Ed Schultz. They are split over who prefers Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. They know when the local green market is open. Many of them are surprisingly knowledgeable about local beers. They can often tick of local and national bloggers as though they were naming network anchors. They are more familiar with their public transportation options, even in cities with anemic mass transit, than the average barfly.

And yes, their commonalities extend into more conventional politics. They debate whether they are disappointed in the President's resolve, or whether they sympathize for him being hemmed in by a constitutionally-conservative Senate. They are often as versed in the contours of their local races as they are in the contests to send representatives to DC. They know the name "Alan Grayson." They also know the name "Michele Bachman."

I visited groups that were majority senior citizen and groups that were recent college grads. I visited the classic "red state" of Kentucky, the urban liberal oasis of San Francisco, and states Obama tipped over like North Carolina and Indiana. While the accents varied with the beers on tap, many of these cultural-political markers remained the same.

The politicians themselves differ -- a Democrat in Orange County, California, may not offer the same assessment of what it means to be a Democrat as one in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The candidates focus on different issues and hedge their talking points.

The self-identified liberals, though, aren't defined or divided by narrow parochial issues. They may diverge on many issues: limits of gun ownership, best ways to improve public schools, which favorite local industry to invest in. However, they share a larger set of values about investing in common resources, pursuing shared goals, and building diverse, inclusive, sustainable communities that connect them more than any local differences may parse them.

I had a conversation with a woman in Indianapolis active in neighborhood organizing in the city's Near Eastside. What she expressed as their goals, resonated with conversations around the country: improved transit, which is a major effort in DC and Cincinnati; more community gardens, a hot button issue in New York and San Francisco; greater neighborhood involvement in schools, which I heard in Durham and Los Angeles; and the hope to draw more options for fresh, affordable food into the area, which was a conversation in Covington and central New Jersey,

She would immediately feel comfortable at a Drinking Liberally chapter anywhere around the country. Wherever she went, people would discuss Olbermann's latest special comment. They'd laugh and vent about Andrew Breitbart. They'd give recommendations for local movie theaters, music venues and bookstores. They'd share a tasty local beer.

They'd know she was part of their Liberal Tribe, and they'd welcome her home.

As I continue to travel through the midterm elections, I'll report back about our Tribe -- and if I come to your town, join me for a drink.

A More Perfect Union -- and More Equal Unions

On President Obama's 49th birthday,
America celebrated with a gift of equality.

A Federal judge threw out Prop 8,
thus affirming the right of Americans
to marry the people they love.

And as heterosexuals wake up today,
their own marriages are the same as yesterday.
For better or for worse.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President.

Now, let's fight to protect more equal unions
...and thus work for a more perfect Union.

Toast the decision & the future newlyweds
as you sip and share, drink and debate
at your local progressive social club.

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

Damn the Leaks...or Dam the Leaks?

A leak in the Gulf that's taken 100 days to plug
spilled away our country's faith in off-shore drilling,
spreading new concerns & new ideas about energy policy.

A leak in the media about Afghanistan
may be even harder for the military to plug,
& as it gushes new evidence about the war
may spread new concerns & ideas about our mission.

Meanwhile, an economy that continues to leak jobs
won't be plugged by half-measures or deficit-mongering.
Can the Obama Administration stop that leak
before it gushes away our faith in our President?

We can stamp & fume and damn the leaks.
Or we can respond, work & dam the leaks.

Either way, a little leak can lead to big change.

There will be no leaks coming from our liberal libation
as we share ideas, hopes, frustrations & insights
with fellow like-minded lefties over a a drink or two
at your local progressive social club.

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

Will Wall Street Reform or Simply Re-Form?

Nearly two years after the titans of Wall Street
brought our economy careening & crashing,
Washington actually passed financial reform.

It should've been inevitable but was near impossible
as the sluggish centrists & sellouts of the Senate
seemed to serve Wall Street over Main Street
& as the industry of excess lobbied for its life.

And while there's no doubt the financial industry
will find ways to evade any authority,
to grab with greed & rebel against regulation,
for this moment, at least, we made it happen.

The people won.

In the face of new measure, will Wall Street reform?
Or with new exotic investments, will it simply re-form?

That may be up to us.
Passing reform is one step.
Now let's make it stick.

Come out tonight to toast the new reforms
& share ideas on strengthening them
as you share a drink or two & a night of fun
with your local progressive social club.

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

The Senate Must Have Been Watching the World Cup

The Senate must have been watching the World Cup
& taking notes on how to do business.

Soccer players constantly run, run, run --
& Senators are constantly running for re-election
while running away from any tough choices..

The athletes play as much defense as offense
& the Senators are often in defensive mode,
obstructing reforms, deflecting progress.

And in both soccer matches & the Senate,
not a whole lot is accomplished,
so everyone's ecstatic when one goal is achieved.

Yet, soccer starts are beloved around the world...
while Senators are distrusted in all corners of the country.
That's because soccer players are doing their damn jobs.

Why can't the Senate learn that tip from the World Cup?

Now, if only we could drown our Inhofe
with some in-Senate vuvuzelas...

World Cup may be over, but refill your cup
with liberal libations as we discuss & debate
at your local progressive social club.

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

If You Can't Stand The Heat, Get Out of DC

A record heat-wave brings brown-outs & black-outs
& reminds us that DC hasn't touched energy reform
even after the open wound in the Gulf
opened an opportunity to reconsider energy policy.

As the temperature rises, so do tempers
of Americans angry at the Wall Street racket,
yet the Senate keeps cooling down reform efforts
with a watered down bill that still hasn't passed.

We're sunstroked as the thermometer tops 100,
& we're burnt & broke from unemployment at 10%,
yet we'll keep sweating as House conservatives
block an extension of unemployment benefits.

The heat was on to deal with serious issues --
& Senate Republicans simply said "No."

Then everyone went on vacation.

I don't blame them for escaping the DC heat.
But if they can't take the heat of doing their job
maybe they should stay out of the kitchen for good.
Or maybe voters should keep them out this November.

Beat the heat with cool drinks & warm company
as you refresh yourself with conversation & community
at your local progressive social club.

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

Independence in America...but Dependents in DC

We find ourselves so dependent on oil
that even after disaster strikes in the gulf,
drilling goes on, behavior doesn't change
& the country's addiction continues.

Our nation's capital is so thick with lobbyists
that even when we're passing financial reforms,
they're the ones re-writing the legislation.

Our elected reps are so reliant on money
that Big Donors such as the defense industry
keep their contracts flowing for oversea wars.
despite Big Voters' wish to change course.

And despite the Tea Party rhetoric,
our Founders weren't starting a revolution
against immigrants or for corporate rights.

They were looking to create a vibrant democracy,
independent of the corrupting influences
of foreign powers, corporate interests & monarchy.

Our elected leaders & Supreme Court Justices
could use a history lesson this 4th of July.

Too bad Texas is rewriting history books
& there's no money for teachers anyway...

Yet around the country, the spirit is alive
as we celebrate a happy Independence Day.

Toast our country's birthday & talk national news
as you raise your spirits, your voice & a pint
at your local progressive social club.

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

Obama Relieved McChrystal - How About Relief For The Rest Of Us?

We've bullied BP, held hearings, pointed fingers,
tried caps, called for moratoriums, made promises...
but oil keeps gushing...drilling projects continue...
& for nobody in the Gulf, is real relief immediate.

The Administration says the economy is recovering,
but as local & state programs are slashed,
as benefits lapse & the safety net frays,
regular Americans aren't feeling any relief.

And as violence spikes & strategy falters,
neither the Afghan people nor American forces
see in this conflict any sign of relief.

But after his ill-considered comments,
General McChrystal was relieved of command.

It's great that President Obama relieved him.
Now let's get real relief for the rest of us.

Find relief from the heat & respite from the week
as you share ideas, pitchers & an eve of engagement
at your local progressive social club.

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

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