Justin Krebs's blog

The Steelers Lost, But The Stealers Keep Winning

As state governments use budget crises to justify
painful concessions from public sector employees,
few states ask shared sacrifice of the wealthiest
who keep getting richer as everyone else is hurting.

Despite findings of the Financial Crisis commission
about the reckless gambles that created this chaos,
the gamblers have gotten only a light reprimand,
as well as bonuses & carte blanche to do it again.

Working Americans battle foreclosures across the US,
yet corrupt mortgage services elude criminal charges
while Big Banksters walk away with big profits.

We cheered the municipally-owned Packers over the Steelers,
but now the municipalities are getting stolen from
...and these Stealers are having a championship season.

Raise your voice & raise your concerns
as you lift a glass & lift your spirits
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Walk Like An Egyptian

For years, the US talked of more democracy in Egypt,
but it took an unprecedented uprising of Egyptians
to do what diplomatic pressure could never accomplish
and get Mubarak to agree not to seek reelection.

After decades of rhetoric about democracy in the Mideast,
and endless calls from the international community,
leaders of Yemen, Jordan and Syria are taking swift steps
before their own people follow Egyptians into the streets.

And if Americans want to learn something about protest --
to end wars, defend rights, call for jobs, change course
-- we could learn something from the protests in Egypt:
that numbers, passion & persistence can have impact.

We can all take a lesson from the streets of Cairo
about the difference between words and action:
It's not enough to talk like Egyptians.
We need to learn to walk like an Egyptian.

Talk the talk, walk the walk, and drink the drink
by sharing a few rounds & going a few rounds
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Bi-Partisan...or Just Bi-Curious?

A co-mingled Congress crossed the aisle for one night,
and heard a State of the Union that cleverly combined
progressive policies & conservative canards into bipartisan brew.

The President waxed about the woes of wasteful spending,
while calling unnecessary tax cuts a form of waste,
& rolled out a reduction in corporate taxes,
as he also lashed out at loopholes for tax evaders.

He challenged the country to move to clean energy,
but included "clean coal" as a viable option,
as he opposed oil but nudged us on nuclear.

To boost our economy he wants investment
& talked infrastructure, energy & information-age ideas,
but embraced the businesses that brought us to the brink
& failed to address foreclosure fraud at all.

Seeing positive policies paired with less appealing ideas
was like seeing the Senator Gillibrand next to John Thune.

Now will Congress move along this middle-way model,
or since date-night is done, do they dare cross the aisle?

Do they buy Obama's bid or will they just say bye-bye?
Are they feeling bi-partisan? Or just bi-curious?

Take any seat you want as you cheer and jeer,
toast what you liked, and bemoan what you hated
in the company of like-minded liberals & libertines
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Drinking Liberally State of the Union Drinking Game

As we do every year, here is Drinking Liberally's very own drinking game for the State of the Union. Courtesy of Josh Bolotsky.

(Another popular set of drinking game rules can be found at this site)

Take a sip:
- The state of our union is "strong"
- Obama says "Civility"
- Obama makes humorous good-natured reference to Joe Biden
- "healthcare reform"
- Obama says "hope"
- Obama says "change"
- A standing ovation from Congress
- Obama says "Afghanistan"
- Obama calls Rep. Giffords "Gabby"

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 that's Giffords-related
- Obama refers to "the previous administration" instead of saying
"Bush fucked up"
- Obama mentions "Wall Street" and/or "Main Street"
- Joe Wilson yells at him
- Nancy Pelosi looks pained when glancing at John Boehner

Take a big gulp:
- Obama refers to Joe Biden by nickname or something like "no one
messes with Joe"
- Obama introduces a guest to the chamber that's non-Giffords-related
- We see Michelle Obama's arms
- The state of our union is "strong, if..."
- Someone other than Joe Wilson yells at him
- Obama says something so eloquent on Tucson tragedy that you start to tear up

Chug in agony:
- Joe Biden makes a gaffe when it's not even his fucking speech
- The state of our union is "umm...well..."
- The camera pans to Rand Paul
- He extends our commitments in Afghanistan/Iraq
- More than one Republican yell at him in a coordinated effort

Celebratory toast:
- He uses the word "liberal" or "progressive" in a positive context
- Rep. Giffords' husband, Mark E. Kelly, is shown on screen
- Obama praises Daniel Hernandez as an American hero
- Obama brags about ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
- Obama promises troops out of Iraq or Afghanistan in the next six months
- Obama positively references FDR
- Obama upbraids the Supreme Court for the Citizens United verdict AGAIN

Finish your drink
- Obama yells back when he's yelled at
- "The state of our union? Are you fucking kidding me?"
- He declines to retroactively repeal healthcare reform
- "Face it, progressives - you have nowhere else to go."

The Republican Response

Take a sip:

- A Glenn-Beckian reference is made to socialism
- A reference to tea bags
- "Tea Party"

Take a shot:
- A Glenn-Beckian reference is made to communism
- A proud reference to being the party of No
- There is an explicit defense of right-wing rhetoric

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

- A Glenn-Beckian reference is made to Nazism

Finish your drink:
- "The President is Hitler - there, I fucking said it"
- They play dog-whistle racism tactics

Hu's On First...But What's On Second?

After a week of mourning, as DC gets back to work,
the House put repealing healthcare first and foremost,
a symbolic vote to hurt the American people...
Now nobody in the GOP has any idea what to do next.

Since the Senate's first step isn't filibuster reform,
they probably won't get a second item on their agenda
and the stalled Senate's greatest accomplishment will be
Schumer & Coburn sitting together at the State of the Union.

The President's first priority was dinner with President Hu
& their "friends" from Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
Beyond wooing Wall Street & cheering our chief creditor,
what are the plans for jobs & relief for the American people?

Congress put gestures first, but what comes next?

Mr. President: Hu's on first...but what's on second?

Here's to bringing real ideas to the State of the Union
...and leaving Lloyd Blankfein & Jamie Diamond behind.

No invite to the state dinner? Then come by the bar
to share a few beers, cheers & jeers
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

He Took a Shot at Democracy. We're Giving Democracy a Shot.

The horrific shooting attacked the citizens of Tucson,
attacked a representative of our democracy
and attacked participation in that same democracy.

If we throw up our hands & say there's nothing we could do,
that no steps will reduce violence, gun control can't work,
we will be giving up on our democratic process.

If we decide to drop out of the public sphere --
or, like Rep Heath Shuler, to carry a gun to town halls,
-- we will be the ones stifling our democratic space.

If we claim this has always been the tone of our rhetoric
& ignore the increase in threats against our officials,
we'll be allowing the disintegration of our civic discourse.

But when we call for leaders to be better than they've been,
when we gather in public to mourn, rather than shun the public,
when we push for commonsense steps to break this pattern.
we'll be doing what Rep Giffords & the victims did:
we will be participating in our democracy.

He took a shot at democracy.
We're giving democracy a shot.

Come out to share your reactions, your fears & hopes
as you share a booth & a night with friends
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The GOP Will Read The Constitution - At Last!

The Boehner era begins in the House
with a reading of the Constitution.
It's about time the Republicans read it.

About time they read all the Amendments:
the 1st - separating church & state,
the 4th - barring unwarranted searches & seizures,
& the 6th - guaranteeing speedy trials.

About time they read the 7th, 8th & 14th:
trials by jury, no cruel & unusual punishment,
& providing for birthright citizenship.

If only Bush & Cheney had ever read the parts
about limits on executive power.

Is reading the Constitution all theatrics?
Sure. But at least it's a civics lesson.
Whereas most of Congress's theatrics
(eg healthcare repeal) is just a waste of time.

Come pass time toasting the 21st Amendment
as we discuss Constitutional values
while drinking those rights as well
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

And mark your calendars:
Tuesday, January 25th.

A Farewell Toast to 2010 - It's About Time!

It began with Scott Brown winning Kennedy's seat.
& ended with Speaker Pelosi ceding to Speaker Boehner

The year gave us Senators Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio
an emboldened Michele Bachmann, empowered Darrel Issa,
& Sarah Palin's televised trips in the wilds of Alaska
in between audience cameos at Dancing With The Stars.

The year saw more Wall Street bonuses, more foreclosures,
more state budget cuts, more long-term unemployment,
& ended with more wealth in the hands of the wealthiest.

The year delivered a distressing extension of Bush policies
from drone attacks overseas to tax cuts for the rich,
and made no movement on energy independence,
climate change and comprehensive immigration reform.

All told, it's about time we toast farewell to 2010.

Here's to 2011 -- a year in which,
The Tea Party will combust as it's forced to govern,
the GOP will implode over a bloody primary
& progressives get off the mat & into the ring.

Come toast to the final gathering of a tough year
with liberal comrades who are there through good & bad
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

And have a happy new year!

Do Ask, Do Tell -- At Least it's a START

The President passed a needed nuke treaty
as a few GOP crossed the aisle & acted as adults.
With so much yet to do to make the world safer,
START is only a start, not an end, of this work.

Congress, at last, mustered the momentum
to move historic legislation for equal rights.
Now, let's Ask & Tell DC that equality in the military
needs to extend to the office & the altar.

The Senate did right by 9/11 responders
when the public pushed the Right not to be so wrong,
proving that with press & pressure, there's potential
to compel the Party of No to say yes.

So progress is possible! But why did we wait
'til a shellacking, Speaker Boehner & sell-out on taxes
to see any semblance of strength & success?

The Prez delivered Americans a few gifts this Xmas,
but let's make a New Year's resolution:
Do Ask him to do more & Do Tell him when he doesn't...
because all this progress is great, but it's only a START.

Now come raise a pint to progress
& share holiday cheer over a political beer
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.
Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

A Pox on Both Their Parties, a Tax from Neither One

The GOP said they sought to slash spending,
the Dems argued to invest in America...
in the end they bargained for a bunch of tax breaks
that see us spending more with less to invest.

The campaign season claimed again & again
that the deficit would do dire damage to us all...
then DC declared there was a greater threat:
the wealthiest Americans paying their fair share.

Republicans can't collaborate to reduce nuclear weapons,
ensure equality in the military or support immigrants
but bipartisanship blossoms this holiday season
to give the rich more loot for their Christmas stockings.

Except for a few proud independent voices,
both parties gave millionaires another reason to party,
so a pox on both their parties:
on the Dems for sacrificing their principles
& on the GOP for standing by theirs.

Talk taxes, rant about Repubs, drink over the dems
and share liberal points plus liberal pints
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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