Living Liberally Blog

Living Liberally Blog

"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.

The Palin Doctrine: You Pay for Your Rape Kit, I'll Pay for My Tanning Bed

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying
by Katie Halper

Sarah Palin was ambushed by Charlie Gibson with a gotcha question about the Bush Doctrine. Well, maybe Palin isn't an expert on the current president's doctrine, but, as her hero Virginia Woolf would have it, the governator has a doctrine of one's own, the Palin Doctrine, which strikes a balance between governmental largess and governmental neglect.

Presenting: This Week In Blackness

It's always really cool to get the chance to plug popular culture that aims, implicitly or explicitly, to promote progressive values, but it's particularly cool when said popular culture comes from one of our Laughing Liberally comics. Elon James White, the brilliant LL-associated mind behind the Black Comedy Experiment has started a new video-blog series: This Week In Blackness, a biting examination of the latest political news directly affecting black communities - it's more than worth checking out, and given the rate with which they've been produced in the past few days, it looks like 'weekly' will be a minimum level of regularity.

An Inconvenient Truth, Multiplied by 18? We're On Board.

We're unabashed huge fans of Particpant Media - and not just because the Director of Screening Liberally, Wendy Cohen, has found a wonderful home there promoting progressive media (though that certainly doesn't hurt.) It's just that, between An Inconvenient Truth on the climate crisis, The Visitor on post-9/11 xenophobia and Standard Operating Procedure on Abu Ghraib and the mindset that allowed it, they're doing such a great job fulfilling their mission statement as a production company with a conscience, spreading a progressive message with a spoonful of sugar when necessary.

Which is why we were so overjoyed to read this:

Los Angeles-based entertainment company Participant Media has partnered with imagenation abu dhabi to create a $250 million fund that will finance 15 - 18 narrative features over five years, Jim Berk, CEO of Participant and Edward Brogerding, CEO of Abu Dhabi Comany and imagenation announced Wednesday.

Leaked: McCain's Voicemail to the New York Times

Laughing Liberally To Keep From Crying

Over at 23/6, Lee Camp unearths a voicemail recording of McCain correcting a New York Times story.

It's a sort of ironic twist of fate that just as Obama's pushback seems to be getting flimsier and flimsier, the comedic takes on McCain we're seeing throughout the internets seem to be getting sharper and sharper - as we've written before, comedy can be a great way to reframe the debate and redefine the perceptions of candidates and issues. Now, if only the campaign proper and campaign improper could get on the same page.

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.

Save Democracy. Get Paid.

What if I told you there was a way you could ensure voting rights on election day?

You might say, "Sure I know about Election Protection and being a poll-watcher."

What if I told you that you wouldn't be a watcher -- but could protect votes from the inside?

You might look at me funny.

What if I told you that you could get paid?

If we've got your interest, it's time you become a Pollworker for Democracy.

Our friends at CREDO have done it again: taken a simple idea, created a straightforward program, and made it easy for people to make a difference.

You know those impossibly ancient people that populate polling sites across America? Well, thank god for them -- because without pollworkers, we wouldn't have elections. That said, let's be kind to them -- let them retire! And the only way to do that is to take their spot.

In many states, the Boards of Elections are still in need of pollworkers. They pay you for your day's labors, and in many cases feed you. And they entrust you with the keys to the automobile of democracy. That means that you get to verify a person's right to vote; you get to proactively offer provisional ballots; you get to be the point-person for irregularities.

Let's be clear: you are not the watcher voicing an objections -- you are the operator making sure sh*t works.

If you can keep lines moving, keep counts honest, keep people enfranchised, keep right-wing efforts to suppress and intimidate out of your polling stations, then you will have spent November 4th wisely.

So sign on up -- and somebody you can be the impossibly ancient pollworker who knows that for decades you made our democracy work.

We're Holding Our Heads High, Bob

In today's New York Times, Bob Herbert -- a favorite columnist of Living Liberally -- laments:

Liberals have been so cowed by the pummeling they’ve taken from the right that they’ve tried to shed their own identity, calling themselves everything but liberal and hoping to pass conservative muster by presenting themselves as hyper-religious and lifelong lovers of rifles, handguns, whatever.

He goes on to articulate the proud liberal legacy in America: civil rights and women's rights, environmental protection and food safety, Social Security and Medicare, concluding:

Without the many great and noble deeds of liberals over the past six or seven decades, America would hardly be recognizable to today’s young people.

Bob - have we got a video to show you.

Bob, you're speaking our language. The 10,000 monthly attendees at Living Liberally events around the country agree with you. The activists, bloggers and electeds in the video above agree with you. Daily Kos creator Markos -- whose first words on his blog (as recounted in his new book Taking on the System) were "I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies." -- agrees with you too.

And John Kennedy pre-emptively agreed with you in his famous remarks (that are the video's soundtrack).

So what's with our elected officials? What's with our leaders on the "Left" that leave them so scared of this label?

They believe they've only given up on a word that's been poisoned in the public imagination while we were too complacent to defend it. But they are actually giving up the ideas, the tradition and the accomplishments that had accompanied that word for the last century.

Unfortunately, if you only think election-to-election, you don't make language your battlefield. You willingly cede that footing thinking repositioning may get you short-term gains.

We see where that gets us. Which is why so many regular Americans are taking the lead where our "leaders" are failing -- why everyday citizens are becoming voters, volunteers, activists, and even candidates under the "liberal" banner. From Idaho, where 6 chapters of Drinking Liberally gather progressive peace activists; to Salt Lake City, where 40-50 regularly gather and proudly proclaim their liberal identify -- there are loud, lively Liberals in this nation.

Bob, we're with you in calling upon our politicians to step up -- but in the meantime, don't despair: we're holding our heads high -- liberal, loud and proud.