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The Living Liberally Annual Celebration - May 10th in NYC

Support the work of Living Liberally, honor our great progressive allies The New Organizing Institute and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and join a great party at the Living Liberally Annual Celebration on Thursday, May 10th in New York.

Learn more and get your tickets now.

State of the Union 2012 - Parties and Games

Tonight, as the President takes to the podium in the Capitol, members of Drinking Liberally take to bars across America. This is the 9th year running that Drinking Liberally is hosting State of the Union Watch Parties, and you're invited to join.

Find your local chapter on our DL map and see if they've promoted a special watch party for tonight.

And whether you're a host or a guest, bring some games to your local event.

Here's a link to SOTU Bingo Cards created by Kathleen Thompson, our host in Mid-Cities Texas. These cards are pre-designed for you to print-and-play.

Check them out and print them out here.

And our Baltimore host, Robyn Henry, took it a different route: she supplied the words and you can fill in your own Bingo cards.

Her instructions: "Before the speech, fill in each space on a 5x5 grid from the choices below. During the speech, mark off each thing as it is heard or seen. The first person to BINGO and the person closest to blackout will win a prize."

Reward responsibility, Hard work, Bush Tax Cuts, Middle class, Fair share, Fair shake, Fair play, Progress, Blueprint, Buffett Rule, Manufacturing, Alternative Energy, Energy Independence, China, Iran, Insourcing, Equal Opportunity, "The state of our union is strong!", Unemployment, "special guest," Bipartisan Standing Ovation, Partisan Standing Ovation, Vice President Biden Yawns, Mic Check, Speaker Boehner is orange, Speaker Boehner cries, Michelle Obama's "guns," Nancy Pelosi looking unhappy, Arab Spring, Security, Budget, Diplomacy, Deficit, Energy, Pakistan, Private Sector, Elections, Food Security, Keystone XL, Partnership, Transparency, Environment, Results, HIV / AIDS, Hecklers, Someone wears a red suit

Help Keep Our Lights On

Last year, Living Liberally needed your help to keep operating. You came through for us, and we have kept going strong, collaborating with organizations like the SEIU, spreading our chapters to over 350 cities and keeping the dream of progressive communities in all 50 states alive.

This year, we need your help to keep that dream alive. Donate today to keep aggressive activists meeting nationwide.

We are joining in this fundraising effort with a vital partner in the progressive netroots, Open Left. Open Left has been a progressive media powerhouse for the last three critical years in our movement. Just as we have changed the landscape of modern politics by building a network of aggressive activists, they have done so through efforts like getting every 2008 Senate Democratic challenger to come out in support of net neutrality. With both organizations facing a budget shortfall in the upcoming year, we've partnered to ask that you support the effort to build a progressive counterpoint to the tea parties and Fox News.

Contribute now to support progressive infrastructure like Living Liberally and Open Left.

Congressman Alan Grayson Believes In Living Liberally

Fresh off a debate in LA with George W. Bush (played by Laughing Liberally vet James Adomian), Congressman Alan Grayson offered a message to the good people of Living Liberally.

Thank you, Congressman -- and keep on fighting!

Though he won't make it person, we know Congressman Grayson is with us in spirit at this year's Living Liberally Annual Celebration -- this Saturday, MAY DAY, in New York City.

Come partake in this proud tradition of living -- and drinking -- liberally.

Will Bunch on Reagan's Legacy

Will Bunch describes the Ronald Reagan myth and its impact on Republican politics. In this clip, he gives an anecdote of the Republican debates and how modern day Republican party leaders have misinterpreted Reagan's presidency.

His book, Tear Down This Myth, is on sale now:

Check out more upcoming Reading Liberally events:

7/1 Author of Blue Dixie Bob Moser discusses the progressive roots of the "Republican" South with comedy, live music, and free beer.

7/8 Author of This is Your Country on Drugs Ryan Grim in a joint comedy and author event on drugs in America.

Markos Was Right About Us

Markos recently mentioned Living Liberally being a rare example of progressive netroots success.

We like to think that Markos was right about us - Living Liberally is as netroots as it gets, with two full-time employees and a few part-time volunteers maintaining a nationwide network. We certainly don't get rich doing this - we generally consider ourselves lucky to even keep such an effort afloat at all. With the Bush years finally over and many emboldened, vocal liberals bringing their case to Washington for the first time in eight years, it's more important than ever to have progressives in all 50 states ready to meet, socialize and, if they choose, organize for change. That's what Living Liberally means to us.

However, with one day to go until our 3rd annual fundraiser and celebration hosted by Sam Seder, there's a problem - remaining a success story, rather than one of the countless progressive infrastructure projects that had to dismantle due to lack of support, is becoming more and difficult.

Read of the Day: Re-Reading the First Gulf War

Nora Eisenberg, whose excellent novel about veterans returning from the Gulf War, When You Come Home, will soon be reviewed on this page, has just penned a piece for Alternet on the lost lessons hidden in the way the Gulf Was has been remembered.

We highly recommend it -- as our Reading Liberally "Read of the Day" -- and will bring you more on her novel soon.

With rare exceptions, American politicians seem incapable of opposing an American war without befriending another in a different place or time.

Barack Obama, an early and ardent enemy of the Iraq War, quickly declared his affinity for a war in Afghanistan and/or Pakistan. And like so many Democratic leaders, he has commended Bush 41's Gulf War over Bush 43's, for its justifiable cause, clear goals, quick execution and admirable leadership.

Read the full article on Alternet...

Nation Guide: Report From Chicago

On a bitter cold February night, close to 100 Chicago area liberals braved the weather to attend “The Nation Guide To Living Liberally”, a night of comedy, music, and guest speakers celebrating liberalism in Chicago and the release of “The Nation’s Guide To The Nation”.

The event, hosted by Chicago’s Drinking Liberally and Laughing Liberally Local 312 took place at the fabulous No Exit Café in Roger’s Park, which is featured in the Nation Guide along with it’s sister establishment, the Heartland Café. Another business featured in the Nation Guide, local book store Quimby's, was on hand to sell copies of the book.

The night featured stand-up comedy from the hysterical James Fritz and Carrie Callahan. The Accountants of Homeland Security, Chicago's Laughing Liberally Local 312, performed sketches including one envisioning a paranoid George W. Bush, six months from today, having completely fallen off the wagon and fearing prosecution for his war crimes.

"Nixonland" author and historian Rick Perlstein gave a talk on Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood worthy of any stand-up comedian. Tracy Van Slyke of the Media Consortium gave an fascinating speech on the new progressive media landscape.

Songwriter Lauren Maul serenaded the crowd with hysterical songs about the Wall Street bailout and shopping at Wal-mart.

And finally, yours truly, Matthew Filipowicz, had the honor of performing and screening some of my Headzup political cartoons.

After the show, as the audience and performers drank, mingled and talked politics, author, labor lawyer and IL-5th Congressional Candidate Tom Geoghegan stopped by to chat with all of us.

All in all, the night completely accomplished what Living Liberally and "The Nation Guide To The Nation" set out to do. It provided an opportunity for liberals from different backgrounds to connect with each other. To bring politics into their everyday lives. And to have a great time while they do it. Don't believe me? Take a look at the pictures and tell me that doesn't look like fun.

Michael Lux's The Progressive Revolution

Last night, progressives gathered at The Tank to discuss the topic of Michael Lux's new book, The Progressive Revolution. In addition to Mike Lux, MoveOn's Eli Pariser and Atlantic Philanthropy's Gara LaMarche spoke about what Lux calls the next "big change moment." Moderated by Laura Flanders, host of GRITtv, these progressive masterminds spoke to a packed room (people stood in the back and sat on steps). At the end of the discussion, the audience was invited onto the stage to mingle with Mike, buy books and drinks, and chat with fellow audience members.

Mike's literary agent, consultant, and chief of staff all came to the event. From the audience, I met several lively liberals who required little encouragement to share their thoughts. Discussion topics varied, including responses to the talk, debate over the stimulus package, the future of feminism and worker's rights, and hopes and fears for Obama's term. Dedicated discussions closed down The Tank and were transplanted a block away to Drinking Liberally's regular haunt, Rudy's.

Photos after the jump...

The Nation Guide to the Nation

Do you know the Democracy Burlesque in Chicago? Or the best food co-op in Nebraska? What about the lefty cafe of Salt Lake City...or that same town's unique vegan S&M gear?

Chances are that unless you live in one of those town's, you don't (and even if you live there, you may not); fortunately, The Nation Magazine has found them for you.

In The Nation Guide to the Nation, you can find the cafes, film festivals, historical hotspots, a bleeding-heart romantic hide-aways that dot the "purple" landscape of America.

It's not a book you sit down and read straight through. But it's a thick volume that welcomes you to thumb to almost any page and smile with surprise. It's the kind of guide that may help settle a bet after a night of too much liberal drinking ("I told you that there were liberal oases in Idaho!").

And it's especially the book you'll turn to as you plan your travel around the country -- because you'll find new destinations in any state you plan to visit, sites that will amuse, educate, and generally make you feel like Liberal America is everywhere...and that you are part of it.

The book isn't complete -- it can't be. It doesn't list my favorite liberal dive...but that's part of the fun. If the book can start an conflict among friends as to which historical homes should really be included on a drive along Route 66, or which films should never have been left off a top-ten progressive movie buff's list, then the book will prove itself a true lefty institution: one that gets liberals arguing with each other.

As for my favorite listing: well, it has to be the New Belgian Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado. The maker of Fat Tire runs its brewery on wind-generated energy. That's Drinking Liberally...

For more from the Nation Guides themselves, check out the video below.