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Deflated Balls

Charges brought in Baltimore offer a modicum of hope
to a deflated city that seems defined by despair.

Dems and the prez battle over a massive trade deal
that has deflated the spirits of those who cheered
Obama’s post-midterm progressive resurgence.

As Carly Fiorina jumps in to outsource America,
Huckabee runs to be Scold-in-Chief,
and Christie suffers from an unfolding court case,
the GOP must have deflated expectations of winning.

Yet, with all this, the story the news will really cover
is whether grown men cheated like little kids at football.

The media’s going to be talking about deflated balls —
Tom Brady’s, that is, not Chris Christie’s.

If you want to inflate the debate, elevate ideas,
and celebrate in solidarity, come for a night out
at your local, progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

What’s black-and-white with Freddy Gray

In Baltimore, the clear tragedy of Freddie Gray
has marked yet another death of a black male
at the hands of those in uniforms of blue,
leading to protests that are many shades of gray.

The issue has entered presidential politics,
as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both addressed
complicated issues about blacks and whites,
with conclusions that are hardly black-and-white.

And while we affirm #BlackLivesMatter in the U.S.,
our hearts are shadowed by thousands of lives lost
in an earthquake that shook Nepal to its core.

While many march saying, “We are Freddy Gray,”
many more of us are simply feeling gray:
clouded and confused, searching for clarity,
in a world gone very out of focus.

Meanwhile, there’s Bernie Sanders —
who is about to color outside the lines
in the 2016 Democratic primary.

Share frustrations and fears, as well as hopes and cheers,
as we raise our voices and raise up our beers
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Waging Wars and Warring For Wages

Diplomacy could be the President’s lasting imprint,
but hawks seek to undermine Iran negotiations,
and Obama threatens to sabotage his own legacy
as his ISIS escalation risks a new Mideast quagmire.

On the home front, the Fight for $15
pushes minimum wage into maximum spotlight,
and Democrats realize that waging a wage war
could be their best battlefield leading to 2016.

Meanwhile, the President splits with his party
over the monstrous TPP trade deal —
as labor warns of low wages and currency wars,
the Left finds its own set of negotiations to oppose.

Unlikely allies and escalation on all fronts
as some in Congress choose to wage wars
and others focus on warring for wages.
How it works out is anyone’s wager.

Whether you’re working, wondering or waiting,
why not wander over to share views and booze
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Back to the Future

Delusional, warmongering Senate hawks
talk about bombing a Middle East country.
Last time it was Iraq, this time Iran —
if you blur your vision, you might confuse the two.

Big corporations’ cronies in Congress
push for a trade deal that will benefit big business
but hurt American workers and the environment.
Yesterday’s NAFTA is today’s TPP.

And Clinton is running for president,
while Bush shores up a skeptical GOP base
and a libertarian named Paul makes some noise.

Looks like the dream of the 90s is alive and well,
we’ve landed somewhere between 1992 and 2003,
and we could all use a time machine
to bring us back to the future.

Ready for Hillary or ridiculing Rubio,
join a raucous night of pints and politics
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Little Shock. Less Awe.

The nation is outraged by a video
of a police officer killing and framing a man,
but sadly the nation isn’t too surprised,
as events such as these recur in the headlines.

A historic announcement shows diplomacy works,
and yet the GOP wants to sabotage negotiations.
No surprise that a party that was wrong on Iraq
is running to be just as wrong on Iran.

And Rand Paul launched his bid,
thinking he’d quickly shock the field —
but all that he did was underwhelm expectations,
stumble on issues and shush a few reporters.

From warmongers wanting to bomb Iran
to aggressive police tactics across the nation
to presidential campaigns opening with a bang,
everyone seems to be going for shock and awe.

But with very few surprises,
and tactics worthy of no respect whatsoever,
this week has offered little shock, and a lot less awe.

If you need some company to pick up your spirits,
or after a sad week, don’t want to drink alone,
come find like-minded left-leaning camaraderie
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Exodus and Easter from Indiana to Iran

In response to Indiana’s anti-LGBT legislation,
businesses threatened such an Exodus
that Pharaoh Pence is changing his tune.

The outcry in Arkansas was so loud
that Hutchinson couldn’t play Pontius Pilate —
realizing he’d be stained by discrimination,
he sent the bill back unsigned.

And meanwhile, despite the cries of neocons,
diplomats continue talks on Iran’s nuclear program.
It may feel as torturous as 40 years in the desert,
but maybe the Holy Land is at the end of this journey.

As Christians and Jews embrace a holy weekend,
the right wing would do well to remember:
Jesus was the immigrant son of an unwed mother,
Moses represented a persecuted minority,
they both were community organizers,
and in neither story is discrimination a good thing.

Start your holy weekend in very happy company,
trading toasts and telling tales with your tribe
at your local, progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Not Quite Cruz Control

Ted Cruz launched the first official presidential bid,
but his kick-off was mired in website spoofs,
an audience obligated to attend his speech
and news that his family’s going on Obamacare.

Meanwhile, he and his fellow Senate Tea Partiers
have sidelined themselves from serious governance
from Iran negotiations to immigration reform,
stuck instead of slashing Social Security.

And as other GOP contenders get ready,
Jeb confronts the problem right-wingers don’t like him,
Rand deals with the establishment not liking him
and Christie faces the fact that nobody likes him.

And meanwhile, on the Democratic side,
there is still “nobody” running at all. For now.

Presidential politics is rarely on cruise control —
and this week, it definitely wasn’t on Cruz control.

Cruise on out for a chat and a sip,
as you share the news and your views
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

Spring in the Air and in Obama’s Step

While Republicans cast a frozen gaze
on the prospect of peace with Iran,
the President welcomes a new season
as diplomacy nears a nuclear deal.

Conservatives continue to storm
against healthcare and marriage equality,
but gay rights blossom in unlikely states
and new Obamacare enrollees keep blooming.

And despite the GOP’s frigid fuming,
the President keeps taking executive action:
on immigration, financial regulations,
wages and now greenhouse gas emissions.

Republicans are in a winter of discontent,
but for many of us, spring is in the air —
and the spring is back in Obama’s step.

Although if Democrats scuttle diplomacy,
or the President keeps pushing bad trade deals,
we could still expect another cold front.

But for now, enjoy warm conversation,
hot ideas, and cool company
at your local, progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.