Justin Krebs's blog

After BP, Everyone Agrees: America Needs Big Government

As the BP disaster continues unabated,
criticism of the President gets louder and louder:
he should have done more from the beginning,
he shouldn't have trusted the Big Oil companies.

The people of the Gulf want more government action.
BP wants the government to take more responsibility.
The American people grow tired of federal agencies
that aren't able to take over where industry fails.

Even conservative pundits argue the President
should make this a "moon landing" like moment
to galvanize the Nation for a shared purpose.

Everyone agrees: America needs Big Government.

This disaster really has changed the country.

Now, if only Obama & the Dems would seize the moment
& articulate that government isn't the "problem"
but is our tool to pursue common goals.
But that's as likely as BP caring about the Earth....

Take a step away from cable news, blogs & tweets
& join a face-to-face, pint-to-pint gathering
of of left-minded liberal libation-lifters
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The GOP: Yes to Corporal Punishment, No to Corporate Punishment

BP has "Beyond Phucked" our Gulf Coast
yet Rand Paul says we shouldn't blame corporations
& others stand in the way of Democratic efforts
to deal with the liability cap that incentivizes bad behavior.

The Republicans claim Dems are too close to Wall Street
while the GOP chooses a banking lobbyist for NY Governor
& Big Biz execs for Gov and Senate in California.

Meanwhile, despite the "outrage" at the bailouts
& The Tea Party furor against bankers,
how many conservatives are helping Congress
pass a modest package of financial reforms?

They're the "law-and-order, 3-strikes-you're-out" party
yet while the GOP supports capital & corporal punishment,
they just can't get behind corporate punishment.

We all have sympathy for some bad behavior.
In this case, the bad actors happens to be donors as well.

Share your thoughts on what BP should stand for
& your reactions to primaries over a prime pitcher or two
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The Honeymoon is Over but the Drinking Goes On

As the oil disaster spreads & attempted solutions fail,
we've seen Louisiana politicians & even Sarah Palin
turn against the slogan, "Drill, baby, drill."
America's honeymoon with offshore drilling is over.

As Israel confronts the international community over the embargo,
peace talks are scattered and hope is shattered
& the Obama-Netanyahu honeymoon, if there was one, is over.

And in news that really shocked all of us,
Al and Tipper Gore are parting ways.
Even that honeymoon is over.

Yet 7 years after the first Drinking Liberally,
this marriage of your political & social life continues.

While we need a drink to vent over the world's affairs,
at least Drinking Liberally isn't breaking apart.

Let's toast to that.

Join a 7th Anniversary night of liberal drinks
as you share a few pitchers & pitch a few ideas.
with your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Seven Years of Liberal Drinking

By now, the story is familiar: a few friends got together in a bar to talk politics. Friends brought their friends, nascent blogs told their readers, word-of-mouth drove liberals thirsty for company.

And Drinking Liberally was born.

From the backyard of Rudy's, the vision of promoting democracy one pint at a time spread across the country: to over 300 chapters, all 50 states and increasingly around the world. Our happy hours regularly host activists, traveling speakers and major candidates, proving that we're about more than the alcohol (in fact, former Senator and Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton, who is a recovering alcoholic, announced he will attend an upcoming DL meeting) -- we're about mixing social and political life, creating a cultural component to our progressive movement and building a community that welcomes veteran volunteers and political newcomers alike.

The story of the viral spread of DL used to amaze me, one of the founders who discovered that a host of folks were invested in making my organization bigger than I had imagined. It now sounds familiar.

What amazes me now isn't the newness of Drinking Liberally -- it's the longevity.

We've been around for seven years. Seven years ago, you had never heard of Barack Obama. Seven years ago, Al Franken hadn't even gone on Air America. Seven years ago, we didn't have iPhones.

We've been around longer than the Tea Party -- I'll be curious to see if they last. After all, the Reform Party didn't last that long. We have outlived the 527s that seemed ready to reshape politics in 2004. We have served more years than Donald Rumsfeld did as Bush's Secretary of Defense.

We're not the new kids on the block anymore. If you look at our chapters, you see that. Our Fayetteville, Arkansas, chapter hits its 4-year mark in August, and its host, Greg Leding, just won a primary for the state legislature. Our Des Moines chapter recently toasted its 5th Anniversary -- and can recall when Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd came to court their caucus support.

It feels a little astonishing to have gotten so old.

That said, we are still, sadly, a few months short of the Iraq War. We look forward to outliving that folly, and we pray it may be soon.

Despite growing out of our infancy, Drinking Liberally -- and the larger Living Liberally world it sparked -- aren't yet over-the-hill. We have plenty of growing to do -- and we're innovating as we continue to define our role in the progressive movement.

We invite you to come help us shape that role. Let us know what Drinking Liberally means to you. Or come to a chapter and tell us over a beer.

I'm told wool and copper are the traditional 7th Anniversary gifts. We'll settle for a toast. In seven years, we've gone from Bush to Obama, Hastert to Pelosi, Frist to Reid. It's not perfect, but we'll drink to seven more years headed the same direction.

[Drinking Liberally continues to meet every Thursday night at its original home: Rudy's on 9th Avenue between 44th & 45th Streets in Manhattan, from 7:30pm onward. On June 3rd, for the first hour, your first pint of Rudy's Red is on us. For other Drinking Liberally locations, visit: http://livingliberally.org/drinking/]

What Next? Big Government Takeover of the Military?!

As the BP disaster continues to spread unresolved,
the Obama administration slowly realizes it needs to be in charge
...& right-wingers complain of "government takeover" of disaster relief.

As Congress works on financial reforms to curb the worst excesses
of an industry that has run amok with our national wealth,
the Tea Party complains of "government takeover" of banking regulation.

And now that there's finally a course to work with the Pentagon
to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, conservatives oppose it...
will they complain about "government takeover" of the military?

It's not a "takeover" every time the government does its job.
And the GOP lost power because they didn't do theirs.

In fact, the only "government takeover" Obama really engineered
was taking back the White House from the Republicans.

Vent a little, share a little, drink a little. Repeat.
That's the formula for a night of liberal libations
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.on.com/nyc by May 31st

Who Should be Scared: Incumbents - or the GOP?

In Kentucky, the GOP's "chosen one" for an open seat,
endorsed by the current Senate GOP leader,
lost to Rand Paul, whose father Ron Paul
was a presidential primary pariah just 2 years ago.

In Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln now faces a run-off --
yet her challenge isn't because she's an incumbent
but rather because she's a corporate conservadem
who, more than any other Dem, acts like a Republican.

And people ooh & ahh that Specter lost the primary,
but within the past year, he was a GOP Senator,
something Sestak and PA voters didn't forget.

So you're in trouble when you're endorsed by the GOP,
vote with the GOP or are associated with the GOP.

Pundits shout: "Look out, incumbents!"
But I'd warn Republicans that now may be a time
to rethink their opposition to unemployment benefits.

Tell me I'm wrong or toast that I'm right,
but do it face-to-face and pint-to-pint
as we trade our views and sip some booze
at your local progressive social club

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Can the President Turn Subprime into Supreme?

In allowing more corporate money in elections,
the Supreme Court made a sub-par decision.
But what kind of decision is Obama's nominee:
subtly superb, or simply a sound & solid substitute?

The financial sector sunk our economy,
while their own rewards still skyrocket --
but are the proposed reforms to strengthen the system
serious, substantive steps or silly sideshow charades?

BP's steadily spreading oil slick shocked us
& the spilling has helped slow the call for drilling,
but where is the significant sense of real reform
to create a sensible, sustainable energy policy?

Obama inherited his office from a subprime President
& these crises give him the chance to call for change.

But he needs to step up if he's going to turn
subprime situations into supreme opportunities.

Share a toast to possibilities as your share the night
with like-minded lefties & liberal libations
at your local, progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Spill, Baby, Spill

We all knew off-shore drilling was dirty business
& that we should be investing in energy alternatives
yet it took a catastrophic (but not unprecedented) spill
to get Obama's admin to rethink its policy.

We all knew the banks were on a binge of bad bets
& we needed new policy to slow down the sector
yet it took catastrophic (but not unprecedented) excess
to raise the public ire to push for reform.

We all know dangerous, xenophobic anger is out there,
seen in anti-immigrant, pro-gun and birther movements.
What catastrophic (but not unprecedented) violence
will have to happen before we call out hate as hate?

It's tough to contain oil, corruption & hatred --
as soon as they spill, it's already too late.

Yet we still haven't learned from precedents
& our culture encourages: "Spill, baby, spill."

Join us to pour out your heart & ideas
as we pour a pitcher and try not to spill
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Putting the "Bull" Into Bull Market

Goldman Sachs was betting against its clients
but couldn't explain to the Senate
whether this was an ethical lapse of any sort.

The GOP caters to the Tea Party anti-bank rhetoric
but has opposed Dem proposals for reform
calling them "big bank bail outs"...
even the proposals to prevent & prohibit bail-outs.

And the Dems who now come riding to the rescue
were the party under Clinton that eased regulations
& are advised by all the same bankers today.

It's not just Lloyd Blankfein who's full of it.
Everyone's putting the "bull" into bull market.

Yet we may still get some real reforms out if it.
What odds would Goldman give us on that?

Two commodities we're ready to invest in:
beer & conversation, and we'll go long on both
as we share ideas, the night & a few pitchers
at our local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Congressman Alan Grayson Believes In Living Liberally

Fresh off a debate in LA with George W. Bush (played by Laughing Liberally vet James Adomian), Congressman Alan Grayson offered a message to the good people of Living Liberally.

Thank you, Congressman -- and keep on fighting!

Though he won't make it person, we know Congressman Grayson is with us in spirit at this year's Living Liberally Annual Celebration -- this Saturday, MAY DAY, in New York City.

Come partake in this proud tradition of living -- and drinking -- liberally.

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