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Screening Liberally Watch of the Day: Jibjab

JibJab - Time for Some Campaignin'

"A bit more balanced than the New Yorker's one-sided smear campaign." -Ari Melber

"Personally, I never thought they were all that funny." -Mike Connery

"I especially enjoyed seeing Obama leap." -Claire Finch

"Two thumbs up, it's King of the Hill meets Disney sing-along."- Brooke Olaussen

"Obnoxiously catchy and depressingly truthful." -Mazhira Black

"I thought one part was funny, but I just wasn't into it." -Seth Pearce

What do you think?

Blogging Liberally: All Newspapers Suck

1. The HIV Travel and Immigration Ban was repealed last night, meaning that HIV positive residents like Andrew Sullivan can now become citizens. Thanks to Senators Kerry and Smith who introduced the bill, and Biden and Lugar who put it through Congress.

2. In a big F U to the Wall Street Journal, Obama raised over 52 MILLION DOLLARS this month with an average donation of $68. Marc Ambinder sums up what this means.

3. Composting is the key to everything.

4. The bodies of two Israeli soldiers kidnapped at the outset of the second Lebanon war were returned.

5. John McCain thinks rape is hilarious.

6. John McCain thinks attacking teenage girls is hilarious.

7. John McCain thinks genocide is hilarious.

8. John McCain threatens fellow senators with waterboarding when they don't obey his will.

9. 30 Rock, which actually is hilarious, leads all sitcoms in Emmy nods.

10. TOP STORY: Hillary Clinton's new do.

Lame? Duck!

The Iraqi Prime Minister calls for withdrawal,
joining the majority of US public opinion,
& yet our unpopular President stays the course
& manages to keep Congress tangled up too.

Despite unconstitutional domestic spying,
& amnesty for telecom's unlawful acts,
our disapproved Prez pushed for his FISA bill
...& Congress caved to his domestic agenda.

Though it's not a solution to our energy woes,
lowly-regarded W now wants off-shore drilling
...& Congress could get pressured to pump.

Bush just keeps throwing sucker punches...
& Congress is too lame to duck this lame duck.

You'd think Congress's 14% approval rating
would be low enough to duck this sucker...
let's hope they don't try to sink even lower.

Your spirits could drop, or come lift a glass
as you raise your ideas, frustrations & hopes
sharing a night, while you share a pitcher
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Greening Liberally: Budding Ideas

At Living Liberally we are increasingly thinking of new ways to create a more sustainable environment here in New York as well as nationally.

America's obsession with cleaning supplies and air fresheners has become a full time job for advertising strategists who have been known in recent years to market products towards younger and younger consumers. There has been a large increase in commercial cleaning supplies since the 1950s which has caused a lack of information on the ingredients of the products that Americans are using in their homes and workplaces. These air fresheners normally include a combination of benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), and formaldehyde. These chemicals have been shown to be hazardous to the environment as well as questionable in their safety for humans.

As we spend an increasing amount of time indoors, our breathing space suffers. Thanks to improvements in insulation in buildings there is very little room for these chemicals to escape. What results is a hazardous breathing environment for everyone.

Plants are a natural solution to this problem as well as an aesthetic one. They pull carbon out of the atmosphere bringing the best part of the outdoors home to those of us who a rely on the synthetic wood on our desks as the only part of nature that we touch. Some do a better job than others as these natural air purifiers. Some are also better for specific pollutants in the air depending on your workspace or home, it is best to look into certain plants specifically to see what suits your needs.

These are some of the many that are recommended for indoor spaces:

Aloe Vera
Aglaonema Modestum (Chinese Evergreen)
Chamaedorea Seifritzii (Bamboo Palm)
Chlorophytum Elatum (Green Spider Plant)
Chrysanthemum Morifolium (Pot Mum/Florists' Chrysanthemum)
Gerbera Jamesonii (African Daisy)
Hedera Helix (English Ivy)
Scindapsus Aureus (Golden Pothos)
Spathiphyllum Mauna Loa (Peace Lily)

At Living Liberally HQ we recently adopted a Peace Lily, not only because of its ability to release oxygen back into the atmosphere or the fact that its easy to take care of; it was also voted "desk plant of the year 2007" (not to mention the name had a certain appeal). We have dubbed our plant Leaf Wellington Haase, after a wonderful Health Care Fellow at the Century Foundation.

Reading Liberally: Read of the Day

The one post every liberal must read today:

SEXISM, RACISM AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: WHEN THERE ARE TOO MANY STORIES TO KEEP UP WITH
by Jessica Valenti, Feministing

Just in case you thought it was a slow news day...

Balling Liberally

Jordan Farmar, the Los Angeles Lakers young point guard has decided to keep his Nikes on over the summer, but he's not playing the NBA Summer League, he's going overseas.

This summer, Farmar is going to Israel to run basketball camps for Israeli and Palestinian and in doing so trying to relieve some of the cultural tensions that divide them.

Farmar comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from an interesting perspective, both as a Jew and an African-American, like the Palestinians, an ethnic minority.

His belief in this project, working in accordance with Israeli President Shimon Peres's Peres Peace Center, is that the most viable way to achieve peace in Israel is to get both parties involved in unifying social activities, especially at a young age. In a game like basketball for example, Israeli and Palestinian youth on the same team would have to work together to be successful.

This connection between the social and the political is an important part of what Living Liberally believes in. Changing people's interpersonal attitudes is a key part reshaping the political tone. Or in the words Mr. Farmar: "If you can have a good time with someone you're supposed to be enemies with, and you guys can work together, things can be better for your future."

That's why we applaud actions like Farmar's and Peace Players International, another organization that puts together basketball camps in conflict zones from Israel to Ireland, in order to unite youth and give these nations more hope for the new generation. And so, Jordan Farmar, by the power vested in me by the Living Liberally Blog, I know pronounce you Balling Liberally.

Denver and the Future of Poverty

In Denver, it has become pretty apparent that the convention is coming to town. Official Pepsi Center prep has begun, staff have infiltrated the City, and an organization called the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is arranging to give Denver's homeless movie, zoo and museum tickets during the convention. They are also arranging for day shelters to expand their hours during convention time and starting a voter registration drive.

Some believe that the group is working as a tool of the DNC and the Denver municipality to "hide" the homeless from the convention-goers and make Denver seem like a more polished and problem-less City. The group responded that the services they are offering, are designed to aid the homeless from the disruption the convention and its accompanying protests will cause.

But these trips and gifts aren't going to solve the problem of homelessness in our cities. And organizations like the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless are doing important work like expanding mobile health care and creating transitional communities for people trying to escape poverty.

Anti-poverty measures are sure to be a key part of platform discussion as well as the numerous speeches that will be made at the convention between August 25th and 28th. Obama has many plans to fight poverty, such as establishing "Promise Neighborhoods," in high crime, high poverty, low academic achievement areas that will provide networks of services including "early childhood education, youth violence prevention efforts and after-school activities, to an entire neighborhood from birth to college."

These neighborhoods will be modeled after the Harlem Children's Zone, a New York City non-profit that, in my experience as a New York City youth organizer, trains the best young leaders in the entire City.

While CCH efforts for the convention won't make substantial change, I do hope the DNC is compensating them dearly so that they can continue in their efforts to fight poverty in one of America's growing metropolitan areas.

Daily Digest: Always Delicious

1) Why expensive gas is great

2) Iraq to Afganistan. Obama has got the troops, McCain has got the dreams.

3) Study proves Barack Obama has not ended racism. That's weird.

4)Barack won't forget your birthday. How the Obama campaign knows everything.

5)Knowing your friends on the campaign trail and booting the rest.

6) John Stewart settles The New Yorker issue once and for all.