Justin Krebs's blog

Thinking Liberally: Jerry Nadler, Howard Dean and You

by Rep. Jerry Nadler
(Jerrold Nadler, author of this guest post, represents New York's eighth Congressional district)

On Wednesday night I will be sitting down with Howard Dean, Kelli Conlin (NARAL Pro-Choice New York), Baratunde Thurston (Co-founder of Jack & Jill Politics and a comedian with Laughing Liberally) and Joel Silberman (who works with Media Matters) for a frank conversation about where we go from here with progressive policy and activism.

Since President Obama took office, I've worked hard to pass two forward-thinking pieces of legislation through the House. The first was an amendment to the stimulus package, which added $3 billion for new public transportation projects. The second bill which I co-sponsored and helped to write was the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which was the first bill that President Obama signed into law.

As Chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on the House Judiciary Committee, I will continue to hold hearings about abuses of executive privilege in the Bush administration. And, on that score, I recently introduced two important bills -- the Midnight Rule Act and the State Secret Protection Act -- in order to roll back some of the more odious elements of Bush's disastrous legacy. In the Judiciary Committee, we've again subpoenaed Karl Rove to testify and finally answer some questions on the flagrant politicization of the Justice Department under Bush. Hopefully Rove saw me on Countdown with Keith Olbermann recently making it clear that he will be held in contempt and arrested if he continues to ignore the law.

My questions to you now is: what else do YOU think I should be doing in the House for you? And what are progressive activists who gave Obama his historic victory doing to keep the administration accountable to progressives and making real change? How can our efforts intertwine to make a real impact? How do we convince the new administration to go forward with bold legislation as well as look back at the Bush years and hold those who disregarded our Constitution accountable?

We hope you can be there for this conversation on February 18th. But even if you can't, we want to hear what questions and issues you think should be covered in this dialogue about progressive activism both inside and outside government right now.

Please put your questions in the comments for me and my special guests in the comments.

Again, I hope you can join me on February 18th from 6pm-9pm at Tribeca Cinemas at 54 Varick St. in NYC. For more information/buy tickets for 2/18: http://www.jerrynadler.com/2.18.09.htm.

Abraham Lincoln & Charles Darwin Would Obviously Be Liberals

Two hundred years ago today, a person was born
who would lead the US through our greatest crisis
and in doing so, he would end slavery
& preserve a union of, by & for the people.

Another, also born 200 years ago today,
used science to challenge convention
and sparked an "Evolution" in how humans
understand our place in the world.

Now, in Congress, courtrooms & community groups,
two centuries later, conservatives still fight
against democracy & against science at every turn.

The Right-wing isn't just old-fashion --
they are 200 years behind the times.

And today, Abraham Lincoln & Charles Darwin
would, without a doubt, be called Liberals
(tho' maybe too extreme for the Democratic Party...)

Happy 200th Birthday, Abe & Chuck!

Raise a glass to these two great Liberals
& their revolutionary & evolutionary ideas
as your share a pitcher & share the night
at your local progressive social club

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

Get Your Bush Out

Bush still makes us laugh. A sad laugh. Especially as this video relates to the culture of grab-what-you-can greed he instilled in the corporate cronies who are still plaguing and bankrupting us.

But it's still funny:

God Luv Ya, G. Dub'ya..! ~ director's cut

It was also funny when this song was sung by gophers:

Taking Back the Super Bowl

The values are all there: teamwork; fairplay; a transparent and honest judiciary. By many counts, sports embody liberal values.

So why does it seem like pro sports -- and its apotheosis, last night's Superbowl -- are the domain of conservative thinking? Is it the martial posturing (although, despite the on-field pre-game presence of David Petraeus, the NFL does claim it's moving away from military metaphors? Is it the culture of excessive consumerism embodied in the ads? Is it the machismo that sometimes resembles an anti-woman ethos (and has led to Superbowl Sunday having a horrid reputation for spousal abuse)?

And yet, there's Bard for the Blue Collar, the Boss himself, at the halftime show...surely Liberals should think twice before giving this ground over to the other side.


Fortunately, some members of Drinking Liberally decided to take to the field -- our Philadelphia friends, despite the Eagles ouster, organized an outing...and even made a special logo for the occasion.

How did you mark yesterday? We know friends who had anti-Super Bowl outings to the movies, or nice dinners. But here in New York City, just as many liberals were finding ways to watch (grass-fed sliders, anyone?) and liberal reasons to root (Pennsylvania voted Obama, so Steelers were preferred; on the other hand, you gotta love the underdogs, so there was an argument for the Cardinals).

What was your reasoning?

We've reclaimed our bars...we've reclaimed our capital...now let's reclaim the NFL.

Stimul-Us vs. Stimul-them

Both parties helped to bail out the banks,
funds that have been unaccounted for & abused,
but when it comes to investing in stimulus,
House Republicans decide to sit it out.

Crossing the aisle, the Prez compromises
from bankruptcy reform to family planning funds,
and ends up winning zero GOP votes.

And now having passed with just Dems,
the package will be changed for the Senate
...to win "bi-partisan" support.

Does the GOP prefer burning down to building up?
Or after 8 years of making government not work,
maybe it's all they know how to do.

Or they may just not care about regular Americans
& it's time we choose Stimul-Us over Stimul-Them

Who ever said a new President would make this all easy?

Come share your thoughts, a booth & a pitcher or 3
as we stimulate our talk with liberal libations
at your local progressive social club

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

The First 100 Minutes

With a short speech on renewing America,
a new President gave hope to a nation,
a new direction to DC, relief to the world
& a stern rebuke to the man on his way out.

Even before orders to close Guantanamo,
policies about lobbying and White House staff,
and directions to freeze Bush regulations,
his words set the tone to empower us to make change.

And yet, within those same first minutes of joy,
a seizure reminded how fragile liberal leadership is,
GOP schemed to block aid to children & working families,
and Fox asked whether Justice Roberts' stumbled oath
meant that Obama wasn't President yet.

We all talk about a President's first 100 days.
Obama's first 100 minutes showed how much changed
...and how much work there remains to do.

So let's dust ourselves off & restore America.

But first, how about a drink?
A toast to a new President, to new debates,
& one last chortle for the man finally gone
at your local progressive social club.

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

What's the Official Unofficial Drink of the Obama Presidency?

On Tuesday night, we'll all be raising a glass at one of the many Drinking Liberally parties or other Inaugural Bashes around the country.

But what, exactly, will we be liberally drinking?

Many of our chapters offered suggestions for the Official Unofficial Drink of the Obama Presidency. But now we need to hear from you: which is the winner?

We'll be announcing it on Monday, in time for you to make sure your local bartender is ready to brew it up. Tell us in the comments thread what'll quench your thirst.

The Spartanburg, SC, chapter held their own competition and here were some of their candidates:

"Yes We Caffiene"
- Coffee, Brandy and Chrystalized Pineapple

Team of Rivals:
- Kahlua, Cocoanut rum, Baileys, layered in shot glass.

Obama Mama:
- Vodka, Kahlua, Coconut Liquer,and Milk over ice.

Hope Float:
- Baileys, Butterschotch Schnapps, float Creme de Cocoa on top.

"How Sweet it Is"
- Southern Comfort, Grapefruit Juice, Grenadine

"Obama Drop"
- Vodka, Blue Curacao, Lemon Juice in shot glass rimmed with sugar

Obama Express-O:
- Expresso, Vodka and Baileys.

Washington Apple:
- Apple Pucker, Cranberry Juice, Sprite, and Crown Royal.

Obama Mama II:
- Vodka, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Blue Curreco, Cherry Garnish.

And more:

Barack O’Poma
[Jeni and Jim from Winthrop, Maine]
- Pour a dash of pomegranate liqueur into a champagne flute and top off with champagne.

Barack O-Pom-a (Same name, different drink)
[Mary Jack/LA-Westside DL]
- a pomegranate martini.
"We DL-ers have enjoyed it on many occasions, but never more so than on Election Night!"

Caribbean Sunrise
[Dylan, Salt Lake City]
- Three parts rum
- Six parts orange juice
- One part grenadine
"Rum comes from foreign islands, orange juice comes from the heartland of America, and grenadine originated in France, so it's a multicultural mix not unlike our President-Elect, but it was invented right here in the U.S.A., again not unlike our President-Elect.

Finally, the sunrise represent a new dawn, which is what our country needs right now."

Chocolate covered Cherry
[Millicent Lewis, Salt Lake City]
- In a tall glass filled with ice, pour the following double cocktail:
- 2.5 oz. Black Cherry Smirnoff
- .5 oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
- 3 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
- Stir with a swizzle stick, strain if desired

And some classics from Liberal Mixology:

Obama-rita
[Amy and Steve from Gardner, KS]
16 oz seeded and blended fresh watermelon
1/2 lime
6 oz tequila
3 oz triple sec
1 tbsp sugar (or as needed)
Liquefy watermelon in blender until there is about 16 oz. Add remaining ingredients, top with ice and blend until smooth. Taste and add sugar if watermelon is not sweet enough. Serve with sugar on the rim of the glass

Obama Bomb
[J.B. from Minneapolis, MN]
1 oz cherry vodka
1 glass Red Bull
Drop shot into tumbler and drink.

Barack on the Beach
[Carrie from Lawrence, KS]
2 oz Tuaca
Orange juice
Splash of pineapple juice
Combine over ice in shaker. Shake and strain into glass.

George Who?
[Gordon from Burien, WA]
1-1/2 oz Kahlua
1 oz tequila
1/2 oz Courvoisier
Serve over ice.

Democratic Landslide
[Tracy from Columbus, OH]
1 part Kahlua
1 part Baileys
1 part vodka
Mix and serve over ice.

Obama Slammer
[Tricia from Des Moines, IA]
1 part black sambuca
1 part peach schnapps
Fill a shot glass halfway with sambuca. Pour the clear schnapps over the back of a spoon to make two layers.

Dead Elephant
[Jenny from West Des Moines, IA]
1/2 oz vanilla vodka
1/2 oz grenadine
Splash of pineapple juice
Combine vanilla vodka and grenadine in a shaker with ice. Add a splash of pineapple juice. Shake and strain into a shot glass.

The Obama-52
[Patti from Greenville, SC]
3/4 oz Kahlua
1/2 oz Baileys
1 oz Grand Marnier
Layer in a shot glass and "Obama" it.

Remember, what we drink is up to you. Let us know. You have the power. Yes, we can...drink liberally.

Time to Inaugurate Liberally - Parties Across the Country

Last night, we announced that we're joining with terrific progressive partners to host over 3,500 Inaugural Parties around the country on Tuesday, January 20th.

With MoveOn.org Civic Action, True Majority, CREDO, Color of Change, YDA and others, these parties will be across the country in bars and homes, restaurants and theaters, and will range from dance parties to potlucks as we celebrate a new day in America.

So check out the Drinking Liberally Inauguration 2009 page to see where our chapters are hosting events; find your local chapter to see what they're up to; or visit the directory of national bashes to find -- or host -- one that fits you.

Last Call for George W. Bush

After 8 years of Bush & Cheney,
of Ashcroft-to-Gonzales-to-Mukasey,
of Rummy & Rove & Heckuva-Job-Brownie,
of Iraq, Katrina & cronies & incompetence,
after this week, we won't have
George Walker Bush to kick around anymore.

Through 8 State-of-DisUnion Addresses,
2 UnAugurals, Presidential debates & the RNC,
we've had to raise a glass together,
because it was better than drinking alone,
not to toast the President, but to roast him,
to forget him & to find each other.

After 295 Thursdays of Drinking Liberally,
this is the last call in the Bush Years.
We can all drink to that.

The liberal drinking isn't over,
& the work continues over Thursdays to come,
but finally we'll kick a keg marked W.

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

Small Town Values in "Crawford"

"Screening Liberally Big Picture
by Jen Johnson

"Small Town Values." It's big time politics' winning slogan. But what exactly does that mean? And is it even possible for the political machine, so desirous of this wholesome image, to actually value the small town itself?

"Crawford", David Modigliani's documentary about the Texas town of the same name, attempts to answer that question by examining the aftershocks of then-Governor George W. Bush's wholly artificial move to the small hamlet as he prepped for the 2000 election.

Crawford: a documentary from Crawford: The Movie on Vimeo.

Remember Crawford? The quaint Texas burg where Bush publicized his brush-cutting, ranch-walking "roots"? In this film, Modigliani introduces us to the real town and its full-time residents. "Crawford" begins by introducing the audience to the town and a sampling of its residents. Each tells us when they moved to Crawford and why they're there, revealing a bit about themselves and the town: 10 years, good school district. 24 years, loving community. 44 years, Crawford native with six generations buried in the graveyard.

Then we cut to the newest Crawford resident, George Bush. And I couldn't help but wonder, along with the town, "Why?"

Whatever his motives, many townspeople saw his arrival as an opportunity to revive their flailing local economy, long suffering since a severe drought in the 1950s. And as the administration continued, business did pick up as the town experienced tourists of all kinds: political, gawkers, and eventually thousands of protesters.

By focusing on the people of the town rather than pundits or visitors, "Crawford" offers a unique perspective on the Bush administration, media, protests, and political awareness. We find out just where that typical news image of Crawford – the hay bales and farm equipment – is located, and examine whether it misrepresents the town or George W. We hear from fervent Bush supporters, like Crawford's souvenir shop owner, and from his critics, like the school's supposedly "blasphemous" history teacher.

Modigliani's editing heightens the audience's understanding of the residents' emotional journeys, at one point layering protest audio with residents' faces, at another cutting from a packed street to an empty town. Through the film, I felt each character's convictions, confusions, frustrations - whether I agreed with their politics or not.

"Crawford" wisely unfolds from the vantage point of the townspeople, favoring no single view or group. What does become clear is how difficult – and important – it is to be politically aware and active in a community, especially when you have a minority opinion. How does Crawford's history teacher wake up each day, knowing that most of her student's parents do not support her? How should we rise to our own political challenges? "Crawford" will inspire you to consider this, long after the Bush years are but a bitter memory.

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