Justin Krebs's blog

Don't Need a Tea Party...but Do Need a Drink

The President asked Dems not to run for the hills.
Since then they've folded on financial reform,
skipped out on healthcare & generally stayed quiet.

He called upon the GOP to do more than say No.
Then in one voice, they all said No.
Does a double negative make a positive?
No -- it just makes them more negative.

Meanwhile, AIG awards excessive bonuses,
corporations push for more "personhood" rights
& Goldman awaits record pay-outs.

Our representatives aren't representing us,
but they are taxing us to support corporations
...you can see where the Tea Party gets its anger.

Yet, I'm not drawn to this week's Tea Party Convention
...I'll skip the Tea Party -- but I do need a drink.

Vent your anger at politicians & profiteers
as you share a beer instead of tea --
call it the Keg Party...and make it yours
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Taking Jobs Seriously...Starting With Their Own

President Obama's address prioritized jobs,
but he made time to address Dems on their job:
to use their large Congressional majorities
& do their duty, not run for the hills.

He asked Republicans to do their job as well
which means doing more than just saying no
as the Senate moves on healthcare, the economy
financial reform, energy & climate change.

As he showed flashes of why we elected him --
telling a compelling story, calling for progress
& stepping from the sideline to be a leader
-- Obama seemed at last ready to do his job.

For all the talk of creating American jobs,
Prez & Congress need to start with their own.

It's time for DC to get back to work
so Americans can get back to work too.

Did you cheer or jeer? Delight or despair?
Share your thoughts on the State of the Union
as you share a drink & a toast to our future
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The 2010 Drinking Liberally State of the Union Drinking Game

(Note: DL encourages you to drink, and vote, responsibly.)

Obama's State of the Union address

Take a sip:
- The state of our union is "strong"
- Obama says "jobs"
- Obama makes reference to Joe Biden
- Obama says "health care"
- Obama says "hope"
- Obama says "change"
- A standing ovation from Congress
- Obama says "Afghanistan"

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
- Obama refers to "the previous administration"
- Obama mentions "Wall Street"
- Obama mentions "Main Street"
- Joe Wilson yells at him
- Nancy Pelosi looks pained

Take a big gulp:
- Obama refers to Joe Biden by nickname or something like "no one
messes with Joe"
- Someone besides Joe Wilson yells at him
- We see Michelle Obama's arms
- The state of our union is "strong, if..."
- He directly references the NJ and VA gubernatorial elections
- Obama defends Bernanke or Geithner by name (someone has to bail out
the price of your drink)
- He directly references the Massachusetts Senate election

Chug in agony:
- More than one Republican yell at him in a coordinated effort
- Joe Biden makes a gaffe when it's not even his speech
- The state of our union is "umm...well.."
- He decides to delay health care reform
- The camera pans to Scott Brown
- He mentions the spending freeze (must be jagermeister or some other cold shot)
- He extends our commitments in Afghanistan/Iraq

Celebratory toast:
- He uses the word "liberal" or "progressive" in a positive context
- Republicans boo at him
- Obama goes ahead with reconciliation on health care
- Obama moves to reinstate the public option
- Obama promises to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell
- Obama promises troops out of Iraq or Afghanistan in the next six months
- Obama positively references FDR
- He chides lack of congressional leadership
- He mentions our moral responsibility to Haiti
- He pushes ahead on a green-collar economy
- Obama upbraids the Supreme Court for the Citizens United verdict

Finish your drink
- Obama yells back
- "The state of our union? Are you fucking kidding me?"
- He declines to run for re-election
- He decides to abandon health care reform
- "Face it, progressives - you have nowhere else to go."

The Republican Response

Take a sip:
- A reference is made to socialism
- A reference to teabaggers

Take a shot:
- A reference is made to communism
- A proud reference to being the party of No

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

- A reference is made to Nazism
- They refer to Scott Brown or Sarah Palin

Finish your drink:
- "The President is Hitler"
- They play dog-whistle racism tactics

What's the Matter With Massachusetts?

Did the sure-thing win for Ted Kennedy's seat tumble
because of an inspiring candidate for the Dems?
Because Congress is full of uninspiring Dems
who prefer procedure to progress, donors to voters?

Was it because the GOP got a small-but-vocal base excited?
There are tea partiers everywhere, ready to rumble,
while many progressives still wait for results.

Was it because a year into Dem-controlled DC
we're still out of jobs & healthcare, in two wars,
while banks & Blackwater are back at the table?

Or was it that Dems had no real game plan
& treated their commanding majorities
like they had a slim victory & the narrowest margin?

Whereas the GOP will now act
like it has a commanding 41-59 majority.

We can ask, "What's the matter with Massachusetts?"
But it's a problem we need to answer in all 50 states.

Come out to debate & drink, sneer & strategize,
as you share a night, a talk & a pitcher or two
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Some Things Are More Important Than Tiger Woods

We sometimes hear an impulse towards isolationism.
Then an earthquake in Haiti reminds us
the role America needs to play around the world.

Economic meltdown, expensive bailouts
get Senators talking fearfully of deficits.
All of a sudden, as relief efforts are needed,
we remember what is more important than money.

We fight over rights of immigrants & border security
but looking to our neighbors in Haiti,
we realize these are silly political arguments
compared to the real value of human lives.

While we engage in nation-building in Afghanistan,
let's hope we invest in rebuilding Haiti,
our neighbor, who would welcome the aid.

As our attention & prayers turns to relief efforts
we know some things are more important than Tiger Woods

Let's remember that & turn our thoughts & hearts
to relief efforts to improve lives year-round.

You can donate to Doctors Without Borders
to support the relief effort:

You can also call on the President to grant
"Temporary Protected Status" to Haitian refugees:

And you can join us tonight to share ideas
on how we can help the world not just today
but how we can be a positive force every day
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The End of the Decade...Too Much Like the Beginning

An act on an airline terrorizes the public
leading to a reaction fearful, confused & extreme
full of security theater & partisan accusations.

A speculative frenzy fueled by fixed numbers
deceived consumers, gamed the market
& hurt the economy -- making a few rich richer.

An open-ended war in a fractured country
costs lives & sacrifices domestic priorities
without a clear goal or exit strategy.

The end of the decade...
...sounds a little too much like the beginning.

The lesson of the "aughts" might be"
"Those who don't learn from history repeat it."

Too bad we seem not to have learned that lesson.

Come out to toast the decade gone by
& drink while discussing the decade to come
with your local progressive social club.

And Happy New Year to all.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Are There Even Three Wise Men in the US Senate

We had hoped for real healthcare reform:
cover all, reduce costs, offer a public option.
But Olympia Scrooge said, "Bah, humbug."

We wanted to expand Medicare to more Americans,
but Joe Liebergrinch stole all our joy.

We lit the lights of hope for women's rights,
but Ben Nelson blew those candles out
& no miracle could keep them burning 8 nights.

We'll get a stocking mixed with gifts & coal...
not reform that says, "God bless us, everyone!"

Yet even passing this may be a Christmas Miracle.

Thank goodness Jesus weren't born now.
Mary couldn't afford pre-natal care
& there may not be 3 Wise Men in the whole Senate.

Come share good tidings & celebrate liberally
as we warm up these cold winter nights
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

In New York City? Join the annual
Tonight (note the special date!)
Tues, Dec 22nd - 7:30 onward
Rudy's - 9th Ave btw 44th & 45th
Food, fun & a pint on us!
Questions: nyc@drinkingliberally.org

The American People: Compromised & Compromiserable

We wanted single-payer healthcare
with everyone covered & overall costs lowered
but that was considered "politically impractical"
so Democratic leaders asked us to compromise.

We fought instead for a "public option"
which would compete with private insurers
but Conservadems had guts & Reid lacked spine
& thus the Senate asked us to compromise.

Reid proposed an extension of Medicare,
a cost-efficient choice for the over-55 crowd
until Lieberman remembered whose team he's on...
not ours -- and thus we're asked to compromise.

The House compromised against women's health,
the Senate against competitive drug importation
& the White House has compromised all of us.

And it's making us compromiserable.

Raise a glass to wash out the taste of betrayal
& raise some hell to toast to something better
as you share a drink, a dream & a scheme
with your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Now He's a Nobel, Let's Aim for "No Bull"

It swells us with pride to see our President honored
& with him our country's highest aspirations for peace.
Yet as he receives the Nobel, those noble aims
are undermined by escalation in Afghanistan.

As our leader, Obama will attend Copenhagen
to call for global action on climate change.
Yet his proposals have been those of a follower,
lagging far behind our neighbors & our needs.

His call for healthcare reform drove the agenda
but his willingness to water down the work
means what could've been a bold new bill
is becoming full of bull & bipartisan bluster.

There's much about him that's noble
& today he is honored with a Nobel.
Now, let's get some progress that's no bull.

Come share a toast & a roast, drink & debate
with like-minded lefties over liberal libations
at our weekly progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

What Happens to Hope Deferred?

We were hopeful the President would change course
but should've recalled what he called the Good War,
as he asks to escalate Afghanistan quickly
& postpones a slow exit to 2011.

The House gave us hope for healthcare reform,
but the GOP has written an obstructionist handbook
& too many centrist Dems drag their feet
possibly delaying help for Americans 'til 2010.

We hoped the NY Senate would stand for equality,
shaming Maine & California, beating New Jersey
...but should've remembered this was Albany.
Now hope is derailed for another year.

Langston Hughes asked whether a dream deferred
would dry up, fester, sag or explode?

What happens to Hope deferred?
Does it dry up voters like a raisin in the sun?
Or make progressive ire fester, then run?
Maybe it sags Democrats like a heavy load.
Or, in the primaries, does it explode?

In 2010, Dems will find out...

Meanwhile share your hope & frustration
as you engage & argue, drink, debate & dream
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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