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Racing Race and Trumping Trump

A shooting in Charleston stops us in our tracks,
yet Congress stands still on gun violence
while racing to re-vote on Fast Track
and scrambling to scuttle Obamacare.

Amidst news of pool party police brutality,
abuse in prisons, and criminal justice reforms,
the story about race that gets the most focus
is of one sensational case in Spokane.

In the GOP race, Jeb jumps, Trump trumps,
but the biggest challenge to GOP hopefuls
may be a Pope named Francis who just declared
it’s time to race into action on climate change.

We sprint to keep up in a spinning news cycle,
though too often run the wrong way
especially when we race to make sense of race.

But if there’s one thing these stories share,
in terms of importance, they all trump Trump.

The days get longer, the topics get hotter,
so come for cool drinks and warm conversation
at your local progressive social club.

Drinking Liberally
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Medicare or Meta-Careless

The President is pushing a trade deal
by relying on Republicans, vilifying progressives,
and enlisting the help of corporate America.

The Heritage Foundation and the Tea Party
are on the same side as labor and enviros
in opposing what will come down to a toss-up vote.

And to pass Fast Track TPA for the TPP,
the GOP is accepting worker-friendly TAA
but paying for it by raiding $700m from Medicare,
and pitting the elderly vs the unemployed.

So in this labyrinth of unlikely alliances
and alphabet soup of legislation,
a handful of critical Dems have to choose:
support Medicare or be Meta-Careless?

Place your bets and bet on a place
full of good company and conversation
at your local progressive social club.

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A Very Perry, Graham-Slammed, Am-Bushed Season

Before Jeb even officially announced he’s running,
we’re already feeling bushed by reports about Bush,
and are about to be ambushed but his money-machine.

Now, Lindsey Graham joins the slam,
Rick Perry reports he’s very ready,
and though Pataki is rocky and Santorum a ho-hum,
they are both in — and the list goes on.

Finally, there’s Democratic action:
Bernie is burning, O’Malley tries to rally,
and even Chafee chafes into the primary.

Hope you’re not bored by primary politics:
because it’s a loud crowd and a long, hot summer
and whether we like it or not, we’re beginning
a very Perry, Graham-Slam Am-Bushed Season.

Need a drink? Then we’ve got the cure:
liberal libations and cordial conversations
at your local, progressive social club.

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Maybe FIFA Should Join the Republican Primary

Maybe FIFA Should Join the Republican Primary

FIFA, which runs the World Cup,
is given a red card for corruption.
But in America, legalized bribery
is pouring money into presidential politics.

The World Cup was already under fire
for extensive labor violations in Qatar.
In the US, TPP proponents push a trade deal
that could undermine workers rights globally.

Even now, FIFA officials would be more popular
than long-forgotten George Pataki.
And in a field with Jeb Bush and Scott Walker,
FIFA wouldn’t be the only one with financial scandals.

The only problem: soccer is so popular
among immigrants and Spanish-speakers,
there’s no way Republicans would vote for it.

Then again, Republicans just overturned
the death penalty in Nebraska.
So anything is possible.

Talk, laugh, share, vent, rant, learn and enjoy
as you raise your voices and raise a pint
at your local, progressive social club.

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Marathon Men

Rand Paul launches a filibuster-ish fight
as the principled voice protesting the Patriot Act,
and speaks for a marathon 11 hours
becoming, for a moment, an unlikely hero to the Left.

In Boston, the jury chooses the death penalty
to end the story of the Marathon bomber,
yet even such a verdict won’t quickly bring survivors
to the finish line in their own journey of mourning.

As Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki
toy with their own presidential ambitions,
and the GOP wrestles with how to conduct debates,
that marathon promises to be one heck of a spectacle.

Fast Track for the TPP has turned into a slow track,
Iran negotiations continue moving slow-and-steady,
and meanwhile, Letterman finishes a 33-year run of his own.

It’s not a season for sprinting, but a summer for long hauls,
as politics promises to produce a series of Marathon Men.

And given that Hillary Clinton has been running for years,
there’s one pretty powerful Marathon Woman as well.

Kick off a long weekend and the symbolic start of summer
as your share cool drinks and hot topics
at your local progressive social club.

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Fast Track, Amtrak, Off-Track

After the Senate temporarily derailed
efforts to rush approval of a corporate trade deal,
looks like Democrats are now taking the wrong track
and getting back on board with Fast Track.

After the tragic and deadly Amtrak crash,
we’re reminded that our first-rate nation
is saddled with second-rate infrastructure
and its time to get investment back on track.

After a weak week on the campaign trail,
Jeb’s gone off-track when it comes to Iraq,
but with other GOP hopefuls just as hopeless,
he’s still a leader of this pack.

Americans are ready to invest in America —
yet from Fast Track to Amtrak, we’ve gone off-track.

Share what’s on your mind and in your pitcher
as you join like-minded, left-leaners
at your local progressive social club.

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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.

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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.