Justin Krebs's blog

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.

Regulators, Voters, Volcanoes...There's Always a Higher Power

Goldman Sachs seemed on top of the world
but an SEC action may slow its swagger
& force them to answer to a higher authority.

Financial giants think they control us,
but Obama's efforts for even modest reforms
remind them that they serve us as well.

And we all believed we'd conquered the planet
soaring above it as though Titans...
until a volcano reminded us who's the boss.

Maybe that's Earth Day's message for Wall Street:
no matter how high you fly,
there's always some higher power
...regulators, voters or Mother Earth.

Happy Earth Day.
40 years...still wandering in the desert
but the promised land is out there.

Toast the effort to regulate Wall Street
& the Earth which at times regulates us
as we drink our politics & share the night
at our local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Protest Attacks ON Our Country, Not A Tax FOR Our Country

While GOP leadership feigns anti-corporate anger
to please and appease one arm of The Tea Party,
they also attack financial reform proposals
& show no interest in regulating banks.

After Obama convenes a historic conversation
about reducing the nuclear threat globally,
conservatives caught in Cold War paralysis
attack his proposal & come out pro-nukes.

Once Justice Stevens announced retirement,
Republicans attacked Obama's nominee
...who hasn't even been named yet.

GOP obstructionism wastes our money & time,
shakes our financial & international security,
& is a threat to the American Way of Life.

This Tax Day, a lesson for the Tea Party:
don't protest a tax FOR our country that helps us;
protest attacks ON our country from the right-wing
who want government to fail us all.

Be Proud to Pay & toast to Invest-in-America Day
as you join an evening of high spirits & high ideals
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Green Day! Broadway! O.K...

Green Day has come to Broadway! The exclamation mark is not my own -- rather it's energy that's been punctuating the buzz around the new theatrical version of the album "American Idiot," originally released in the politically-charged election season of 2004. Every poster and promotional pitch seems to shout as though to let you know this will be really real, really fresh, really loud.

It was, in fact, very loud, which is fitting for a rock concert. The performers bounded and writhed and moshed and left every calorie they had to burn on the stage. There was something electric happening -- bright and flashy and moving -- and the angst they were wailing about mixed with shrieks of delight from enthusiasts in the audience.

Lots of electricity...but what was it charging? In the end, not much. The show does a fine job creating a through-line among the songs with light a touch: bits of monologue tell of suburban youths filled with rage and angst and wandering. Ultimately, though, the story isn't that interesting.

So the musical lives or dies by how you connect with the music -- and in my case, that reaction was ambivalent. Much of the time, I was more engaged by the visuals on the overwhelming number of televisions that dotted the scenery than by the lyrics. The charm and strength of the performers pokes through but at times my attention wandered -- not a good sign in a 95-minute event. The only song you leave humming is cleverly positioned as an encore number (I'll leave the "unpredictable" choice unsaid) so you walk out of the theater with a tune fresh in your mind.

My mixed reaction probably had to do with my own expectations. Part of me had expected the show to transport back to 2004. Sounds strange to be nostalgic for a time so recent? Yet that was a year of protest, of election fever, of feeling like we were campaigning, fighting and, yes, singing for the future of our country. I was ready to experience 2004 again.

Other than a video montage at the top, the show provided no such nostalgia. Which may be OK for its overall success -- how many people feel that strongly about a 6-year time machine? Interestingly, the audience members shouting the loudest were probably in high school in '04 -- for whom an opera of angst may be the most nostalgic feeling of all.

Thank God He Doesn't Say "Nukyuler"

President Obama and Russia's Medvedev
signed an agreement to cut their nuclear arsenals.
Bush never got further than looking into Putin's soul.

Obama prompted national dialogue with new rules
limiting when the US would use nuclear force.
The only conversations the GOP has started
have been about bondage clubs & Confederacy Month.

And the Prez has been bullish on nuclear
as one piece of a new national energy policy.
Republicans haven't had the energy to say anything
except "No" to any and all energy reforms.

One side has a new clear vision for nuclear.
The other has no clear vision for anything.
One side says "nuclear." The other "nukyuler."

Who would you rather trust with the launch codes?

To toast the treaty, treat yourself
to a night of debates, drinks & democracy
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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