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Justin Krebs's blog
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 5:52pm.
by Rep. Jerry Nadler
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.
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:06am.
Two hundred years ago today, a person was born
Another, also born 200 years ago today,
Now, in Congress, courtrooms & community groups,
The Right-wing isn't just old-fashion --
And today, Abraham Lincoln & Charles Darwin
Happy 200th Birthday, Abe & Chuck!
Raise a glass to these two great Liberals
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 02/05/2009 - 4:39pm.
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:
It was also funny when this song was sung by gophers:
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 2:32pm.
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.
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.
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 8:53am.
Both parties helped to bail out the banks,
Crossing the aisle, the Prez compromises
And now having passed with just Dems,
Does the GOP prefer burning down to building up?
Or they may just not care about regular Americans
Who ever said a new President would make this all easy?
Come share your thoughts, a booth & a pitcher or 3
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 01/22/2009 - 9:47am.
With a short speech on renewing America,
Even before orders to close Guantanamo,
And yet, within those same first minutes of joy,
We all talk about a President's first 100 days.
So let's dust ourselves off & restore America.
But first, how about a drink?
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Fri, 01/16/2009 - 6:39pm.
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"
Team of Rivals:
"How Sweet it Is"
Obama Mama II:
Barack O-Pom-a (Same name, different drink)
Finally, the sunrise represent a new dawn, which is what our country needs right now."
Chocolate covered Cherry
And some classics from Liberal Mixology:
Barack on the Beach
Remember, what we drink is up to you. Let us know. You have the power. Yes, we can...drink liberally.
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Fri, 01/16/2009 - 8:20am.
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.
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 01/15/2009 - 10:14am.
After 8 years of Bush & Cheney,
Through 8 State-of-DisUnion Addresses,
After 295 Thursdays of Drinking Liberally,
The liberal drinking isn't over,
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 4:31pm.
"Screening Liberally Big Picture
"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.
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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