Justin Krebs's blog

VP Debate Watch Games

As though seeing Biden v. Palin isn't enough fun already...here are some party games that will turn your Debate Watch Night into a Debate Watch Fiesta.

Chief among them: Palin Bingo. (By sheer coincidence, we're told that friends of the sister of our intrepid Boise chapter leader created this little delight.)

When she says "trade missions," "glass ceiling" or the more obvious "Russia" and "maverick," it could bring you one tile closer to winning the game.

For those looking for fewer tiles and more drinks, check out Josh Nelson's drinking game rules. Including such faves as:

- Everytime Biden mentions a foreign leader he has met: sip wine -- every time he mentions a Senator as a friend: drink beer.

- When Palin claims she said "Thanks but no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere: Demand a new drink from your hosts, say "thanks but no thanks," and then when no one's looking, take it anyway, then claim you never wanted it.

(For more straight up sip / chug rules, visit Time Out New York's blog for their drinking game guidelines.)


One Who Talks Too Much vs. One Who Knows Too Little

Biden has been at the lead in the Senate
proposing alternatives to Bush's foreign policy.
Palin's unfamiliar with the Bush doctrine.
But to push her on that is elitist.

Biden pressed & opposed Roberts & Alito.
Palin can't name a Supreme Court decision
other than Roe that she supports or opposes.
But to call her out on that is aggressive.

Biden's record has been through public scrutiny.
Palin can't explain how being next to Russia
counts as foreign policy experience,
& won't even tell us what she reads.
But to press her on that would be sexist.

You have one candidate known for talking too much
who'll try to say a lot less to not be aggressive.
And one who knows so little she has nothing to say.

Biden'll be biding his time & Palin pale in comparison
...this could be the quietest debate ever....
or is that an elitist, sexist thing to suggest?

Nobody should have to watch alone, or sober,
so join the debate -- share a drink & a night
with your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

In NYC? Join our debate watch parties
at Rudy's - 9th btw 44th & 45th
or The Tank @ chashama - 217 East 42nd St.

McCain: Bailing, Ailing, Wailing, Flailing, Derailing

The Bush team wants to bail out its cronies
with a massive, unregulated, give-away
supervised by the guys that got us into this mess.

The GOP wants to bail on the American people,
fighting measures to support the middle class
while putting bailout burdens on taxpayer shoulders.

Meanwhile, McCain wants to bail out of the debates.
And if the economy's still rough on November 4th,
maybe he'll want to bail on the election as well.

But now that Palin's flailing, the GOP's wailing
& their desperate lies are derailing,
who's going to be bailing out John McCain?

At least we'll soon take back our ship of state
...then we can really start bailing out our America.

Share your thoughts as your share a a few beers,
(& sharing a pitcher saves in these tough times)
at your local, progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

...and check out LivingLiberally.org
for blogging, events & updates

This Week In Blackness Episode 6

You gotta give it to Laughing Liberally regular and Tank comedy programmer Elon James White -- when he gets rolling, he makes the most of his momentum.

He's up to episode 6 already of his new series "This Week in Blackness." In this episode, he reveals to all of us what a new scientific poll has discovered: race "matters" in this election.


Debate Prep

Drinking Liberally loves debates. They are great excuses for special events, bringing together our members, bringing out new attendees, and sometimes breaking out drinking games, bingo cards and other group games.

But looking at Media Matters Action Network's latest video, one wonders whether our love of debates is misplaced:

I'd forgotten how frustratingly irrelevant so much of the questioning was -- how much we found ourselves booing the moderators (sometimes more than cheering our favorite candidates). And as the video reminds us, this was a feeling shared by partisans on both sides of the aisle.

So, while we're prepping the rules for the drinking game (sip at "change"...chug at "bailout"), we're happy other organizations are doing the prep to set expectations, shame the networks and hopefully push the debate organizers into making the discussions relevant.

The Right Way To Work a Room

I'm impressed with Scott Kleeb. This Nebraskan Senate candidate takes progressive stances, isn't afraid of offering intelligent answers and is giving a real run in a red state. He also likes to drink liberally.

Scott joined us in New York last night, and demonstrated pitch perfect how a politician can connect with a Drinking Liberally crowd...which also says something about how to connect with people in general.

He didn't give a long speech. He didn't ask everyone to stop what they were doing to listen to him. Instead, after a brief introduction, he hung out for 2 hours having real conversations.

This form of retail politics works. Everyone there felt they got to know Scott, and got far more excited than if they had just heard him stump. The crowd got a clearer sense of why he'd be a good Senator. And he's likable -- people enjoyed talking to him.

We often get requests from politicians who want to speak at Drinking Liberally, and we tell them that what they really want to do is just come drink liberally. Stepping off the stage and into conversation is important for every candidate -- and it's how we most authentically engage in politics.

So invite your local candidates to come by for a drink. Or check out Scott's site -- they host "Boots and Beers" get-togethers all over the country...maybe you'll have a chance to toast him in person.

(Video by Joe Felice)

When's the Last Time Obama Mentioned "White Privilege" in this Race?

You'd think we'd be talking about race a lot. It's incredible that an African American is in the lead for the presidency, and a sad commentary that it's such an unlikelihood in this country. Obama's candidacy could be sparking thoughtful conversations about race in every corner of America.

Ok, ok...the Presidential race too rarely sparks thoughtful conversations on anything -- why should race be any different?

And I think we'd collectively fall out of our seats if Senator Obama started an earnest dialogue unpacking white privilege.

But since he won't (or can't), other surrogates have to:

This video is the 5th installment of "This Week in Blackness," a new project from Laughing Liberally regular and Brooklyn Comedy Company founder Elon James White.

It's more upfront about race than most mainstream commentary (just because it's funny doesn't mean it isn't honest). And Elon can say things that Senator Obama and those around him could never say -- both because Elon's not connected to the campaign, and because he has the Shakespearean fool's privilege granted to comedians to speak truths and taboos.

It's a reminder of the importance of outside surrogates who can inject ideas into the discourse that the campaigns may not touch. And one more example of comedians talking about topics far more interesting than much of the "top-tier" coverage.

I have no idea if it's good or bad political strategy to be as subdued about race as the Obama campaign is...but in the long term it's better for our country to talk, debate, learn, argue -- and laugh, when we can -- about it.

"Fundamentals Are Strong?"...Fundamentally Wrong!

While major banking institutions fail,
John McCain fails as well, saying
"the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

Because McCain and other deranged deregulators
prevented government supervision of these industries,
the Fed was forced from the role of prevention
& now has to try to become the cure.

And while in the past McCain has opposed
programs to help working families in need,
we've fallen to a point that tax-payer dollars
are bailing big business out of free market failure.

Are the fundamentals of our economy that strong?
The fundamentals of John McCain's economy are wrong.

Share your ideas, your fears & a couple of beers
with other like-minded left-leaners
at your local progressive social club.

Drinking Liberally
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

No More Postponements

It was Primary Day, or was supposed to be, seven years ago in New York City, when word came: first, a freak accident; then, clearly something more. By the time the 1010 WINS radio reporter sobbed "Oh my god, my god, it's gone, the tower is gone," we all knew that something new, frightening, unanticipated was happening.

We put the elections on hold, and New Yorkers sought out their loved ones, found their way home, and tuned into their televisions. Except for Lower Manhattan, it wasn't chaos on the streets. It was quiet, almost eerily so -- everyone found the people and places they loved the most and waited.

The next day, as New Yorkers emerged from their apartments, the cloud of smoke hanging above the city and a burning smell present miles from the site, we found our way to common ground, such as the vigils in Union Square. We found each other.

We had put our elections on hold, and engaged in our civic life in other ways -- checking on neighbors, lining up to give blood, sharing tears and looking at photos of missing people in the open churches our parks had become.

At the time, it was unthinkable that life would go on as normal. But 10 days later, a tearful Letterman returned to the air; within days, people returned to their offices; the subways never stopped running for long.

But our politics didn't get back to normal.

From the day of that postponed primary (which, of course, needed to be delayed), our country seemed to agree to postpone democracy. Giuliani's effort to delay New York's elections failed, but the politics of fear that 9/11 enabled the Bush administration to cultivate has been the driving force in our country since. And at first, in those moments of fear, many of us were happy for a commanding hand -- more security, less liberty, seemed an OK trade in those early days (those who warned from the start that such a trade is never worth it will never receive the credit they deserve for being right).

And now, seven years later, we're in a campaign where one side tells us we should still be very afraid. As though we would dishonor those who died in the attack if we dared to challenge the security state those in power wish to maintain.

"Never forget" may be a politicized slogan in the mouths of those who want to justify martial excess, but it's also a very real sentiment for those who lost loved ones, lost a sense of serenity in their beloved city or lost a little of their innocence on that day. I will "never forget" and never roll my eyes at others who keep this day sacred. There were real losses on September 11th that need to be marked.

But not forgetting doesn't equate with not evolving.

Every year on this day, I walk down Broadway from Times Square to Union Square. Every 8-10 blocks, the diagonal Broadway cuts out another public square as it crosses the uptown/downtown avenues: Times Square, then Herald, Madison Square Park, then Union Square. These were the spaces that made me feel safe to come out again seven years ago. And on September 11th, 2002 -- a year later -- Union Square was vibrant with the shared sorrow for what was remembered and hope for a city that was back on its feet.

Today, there were no public gatherings along Broadway. That's not to say there were no memorials today -- but most New Yorkers have returned to life as normal.

If a city can grow beyond a tragedy, so can a nation. One doesn't need to stand still to remember. Just as New Yorkers got their city moving again, we need to get our politics moving.

Enough postponements. The polls are open. We have fewer than 8 weeks to remember that democracy isn't our liability, it's our greatness.

Never Forget? Bush/McCain Never Remembered...

After the attacks, the Bush/McCain team forgot
it was bin Laden & Al Qaeda who attacked us
& launched us into the Iraqi quagmire instead.

They forgot to properly equip our troops,
& forgot to vote to care for our vets.

They forgot that it was religious extremism
that was behind this terrorism,
as they allowed domestic extremism to grow.

They forgot that the world was ready to help,
as they squandered global goodwill
& ruined our international standing.

They forgot to ask us to do anything
other than shop more, drive more, drill more.

They forgot what made America great.

Seven years ago, we said, "Never forget."
Looking at what Bush has done since,
& at what McCain proposes to do next...
it's clear that they never remembered.

Share this anniversary with warm company,
sharing ideas, memories & a drink
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

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