Justin Krebs's blog

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Think, Don't Try, Don't Vote

On the effort to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell,"
the GOP goes with, "Don't Try, Don't Vote"
as they don't heed commanders & voters,
& don't let a vote even come to the floor.

In DC, they've gone with "Don't Act, Don't Solve"
-- don't work together, don't share ideas,
don't do anything except say No, No, No.

And this has become their midterm strategy:
don't repeal tax cuts on the wealthiest,
don't let healthcare take effect,
don't work, don't help, don't solve.

DADT isn't just their military policy --
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is their core mantra:
don't ask what relief voters really need,
don't tell us ideas to solve our challenges.

The Party of No is the Party of Don't.
It's up to us: don't let them get away with it
...and don't send them back to Washington.

While you're at it don't miss the chance
to share your ideas as you share a few drinks.
Yes, ask us our thoughts; Yes, tell us yours --
at your local political drinking club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Remember, Remember That Day in September

Fear-mongering right-wingers whip up a storm
over a building several blocks from Ground Zero
-- but where's the concern about lack of progress
in rebuilding & memorializing the site itself?

Congressional GOP dictate how to honor the dead
while they block aid to the living,
fighting against funds for 9/11 rescue workers.

We claim that terrorists attacked our freedom
so in response we attack our own freedom:
extraordinary rendition & security state steps
that change the fundamental American Way of Life.

Politicians claim September 11th is on their minds
but it's Election Day that really consumes them.

They might do better to check their calendar
& really remember that day in September.

DL remembers those we lossed on September 11th,
toasts those who came to the rescue
& on this Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year,
we wish for a year of peace and healing.

Come share your wishes for the year
at your local political social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Mission More Accomplished?

President Obama declared combat in Iraq over
even while tens of thousands of troops remain
in a fractured, tumultuous, uncertain country.

He declared it was time to turn the page
though we still turn to military contractors
and still pour wealth out our national coffers.

He didn't say "stay the course" --
rather, he insisted we completed it,
even as we sink deeper into the quagmire
of the uncompletable Afghanistan.

The Prez basically said "Mission Accomplished."
We've heard that before...
Let's hope the Mission's now More Accomplished
...for his sake, for ours and for Iraq's.

Share your thoughts, doubts & ideas
as you share pitchers, shots and beers
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The Dream Deferred...but Not Deterred

On August 28th, 1963 , Martin Luther King had a dream.
Now, in a country still haunted by racial division,
Glenn Beck's taking the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
to fuel fear, suspicion and dishonor the "dream."

A hurricane devastated an American city 5 years ago.
Areas of New Orleans are still abandoned
& its residents still scattered & struggling
as the city now suffers again with the BP spill.

Two years ago, Barack Obama accepted the nomination.
He's pushed reforms & reached out to the world,
but also continued wars & presidential secrecy.
And Americans increasingly think he's Muslim.

The dream 47 years ago was a powerful vision
& the hopes of 2 years ago were a great step
but while we've made strides, we're not there yet.

The dream has been deferred...
but we cannot be deterred.

Come out to share a vision, not sow division,
and share what you're thinking & drinking
at your local progressive social club.

Tonight - and every Thursday
7:30pm onward
Rudy's - 9th Ave btw 44th & 45th
[back booths beneath the DL banner]
Questions: [email protected]

They're Called the "Right" but are Constitutionally Wrong

A judge delivered news the right-wing has most feared:
that their stance against marriage equality is wrong --
not just morally, not religiously...but Constitutionally.

Conservatives switched fear mongering from gays to Muslims
attacking the right to build an Islamic Cultural Center
though free practice of religion is old as the Constitution itself.

And because the right-wing loves to hate immigrants,
the GOP has started an attack on the 14th Amendment
-- a direct assault on out Constitution & its principles.

These guys on the "Right" are just plain wrong.
Being wrong is in their constitution.
But let's keep their hands off of ours.

Whether you want to wash the taste of the Right away
or toast to a Constitution that is stronger than they are,
come out to drink a little & think a little
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

President Obama Needs a New Pair of Shoes

President Obama followed in President Bush's footsteps
when, he declared our mission in Iraq accomplished
-- while planning to leave over 50,000 troops behind.

The President also walked his predecessor's walk
by declaring the economic recovery underway --
while the unemployed & underemployed feel no relief.

Then with Afghanistan, where the military urges the Prez
to revise any drawdown & plan a longer stay,
the Presidential path he's following is that of LBJ.

President Obama needs to choose a new pair of shoes.

Maybe f he walked a day in the life of the millions
of Americans who just want to go back to work
he'd find the resolve to invest less in war & more in jobs.

Come out tonight to share your views over some booze,
as we vent & rant, debate & drink, toast & roast
at your local, progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

America's Liberal Tribe

Pundits obsess with elections. Will the Democrats hold both houses of Congress? Will Obama voters return to the polls in the midterms? Do recent primaries send a warning to incumbents -- and if so, what warning: that they should move left, right or center?

Around the country, though, the politically-minded population has had more than election cycles on their mind. They care about the systemic structural issues in the Senate and the temperament of the administration, issues which won't change with a single vote. They are equally obsessed with local transit and neighborhood redevelopment. They exchange book and move recommendations and argue over favorite news anchors and comedians.

These people belong to America's Liberal Tribe: a growing community of people who share attitudes and culture rooted in common values that transcend single election cycles.

And good news America: the liberal cause is growing.

Over the past six weeks, I have had the chance to meet local liberals around the country, as I've toured with my recent book, "538 Ways to Live, Work and Play Like a Liberal." I have been visiting chapters of Drinking Liberally, the ubiquitous progressive social club. What is really remarkable is how much the members of these groups -- separated by city, state and region -- have in common.

They love Rachel Maddow and are getting to love Ed Schultz. They are split over who prefers Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. They know when the local green market is open. Many of them are surprisingly knowledgeable about local beers. They can often tick of local and national bloggers as though they were naming network anchors. They are more familiar with their public transportation options, even in cities with anemic mass transit, than the average barfly.

And yes, their commonalities extend into more conventional politics. They debate whether they are disappointed in the President's resolve, or whether they sympathize for him being hemmed in by a constitutionally-conservative Senate. They are often as versed in the contours of their local races as they are in the contests to send representatives to DC. They know the name "Alan Grayson." They also know the name "Michele Bachman."

I visited groups that were majority senior citizen and groups that were recent college grads. I visited the classic "red state" of Kentucky, the urban liberal oasis of San Francisco, and states Obama tipped over like North Carolina and Indiana. While the accents varied with the beers on tap, many of these cultural-political markers remained the same.

The politicians themselves differ -- a Democrat in Orange County, California, may not offer the same assessment of what it means to be a Democrat as one in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The candidates focus on different issues and hedge their talking points.

The self-identified liberals, though, aren't defined or divided by narrow parochial issues. They may diverge on many issues: limits of gun ownership, best ways to improve public schools, which favorite local industry to invest in. However, they share a larger set of values about investing in common resources, pursuing shared goals, and building diverse, inclusive, sustainable communities that connect them more than any local differences may parse them.

I had a conversation with a woman in Indianapolis active in neighborhood organizing in the city's Near Eastside. What she expressed as their goals, resonated with conversations around the country: improved transit, which is a major effort in DC and Cincinnati; more community gardens, a hot button issue in New York and San Francisco; greater neighborhood involvement in schools, which I heard in Durham and Los Angeles; and the hope to draw more options for fresh, affordable food into the area, which was a conversation in Covington and central New Jersey,

She would immediately feel comfortable at a Drinking Liberally chapter anywhere around the country. Wherever she went, people would discuss Olbermann's latest special comment. They'd laugh and vent about Andrew Breitbart. They'd give recommendations for local movie theaters, music venues and bookstores. They'd share a tasty local beer.

They'd know she was part of their Liberal Tribe, and they'd welcome her home.

As I continue to travel through the midterm elections, I'll report back about our Tribe -- and if I come to your town, join me for a drink.

A More Perfect Union -- and More Equal Unions

On President Obama's 49th birthday,
America celebrated with a gift of equality.

A Federal judge threw out Prop 8,
thus affirming the right of Americans
to marry the people they love.

And as heterosexuals wake up today,
their own marriages are the same as yesterday.
For better or for worse.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President.

Now, let's fight to protect more equal unions
...and thus work for a more perfect Union.

Toast the decision & the future newlyweds
as you sip and share, drink and debate
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Damn the Leaks...or Dam the Leaks?

A leak in the Gulf that's taken 100 days to plug
spilled away our country's faith in off-shore drilling,
spreading new concerns & new ideas about energy policy.

A leak in the media about Afghanistan
may be even harder for the military to plug,
& as it gushes new evidence about the war
may spread new concerns & ideas about our mission.

Meanwhile, an economy that continues to leak jobs
won't be plugged by half-measures or deficit-mongering.
Can the Obama Administration stop that leak
before it gushes away our faith in our President?

We can stamp & fume and damn the leaks.
Or we can respond, work & dam the leaks.

Either way, a little leak can lead to big change.

There will be no leaks coming from our liberal libation
as we share ideas, hopes, frustrations & insights
with fellow like-minded lefties over a a drink or two
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Will Wall Street Reform or Simply Re-Form?

Nearly two years after the titans of Wall Street
brought our economy careening & crashing,
Washington actually passed financial reform.

It should've been inevitable but was near impossible
as the sluggish centrists & sellouts of the Senate
seemed to serve Wall Street over Main Street
& as the industry of excess lobbied for its life.

And while there's no doubt the financial industry
will find ways to evade any authority,
to grab with greed & rebel against regulation,
for this moment, at least, we made it happen.

The people won.

In the face of new measure, will Wall Street reform?
Or with new exotic investments, will it simply re-form?

That may be up to us.
Passing reform is one step.
Now let's make it stick.

Come out tonight to toast the new reforms
& share ideas on strengthening them
as you share a drink or two & a night of fun
with your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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