If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today. And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.
These words, in the final moments of President Obama’s address in Tucson, refer to the 9 year-old victim, Christina Taylor Green. Christina’s life began on a day of national tragedy, September 11th, 2001, and ended with a national tragedy — spanning a decade that saw rancor, war, and economic crisis, as well as historic elections and moments of nationwide unity, prayer and celebration.
Her life began at the moment of President Bush’s peak of popularity, when he stepped beyond his partisan alliances and delivered words to a grieving nation. Now, a decade later, President Obama has stepped up for his turn to console us, calm us, empathize with us and inspire us.
Emotions have been running high across the country since the Saturday shooting shattered our sense of security, took a half dozen lives and injured a dozen more victims in Tucson, Arizona.
Prayer is an appropriate, but not a sufficient, reaction to Saturday’s event. Fortunately, we as a nation are equipped with the necessary tools: the ability to pass legislation, to engage in and transform political discourse and to support a robust political process.
It’s not surprising that the new governor is speaking in imperfect symbols — the act of governing is imperfect and seldom allows simple symbols to go uncompromised. But the tension is not just in his rhetoric. It’s in his first substantive proposals as well.
The Republican majority moves into the House of Representatives today, fueled by the energy of newly elected Tea Partiers who arrive declaring that they’ll shake things up, undo Obama’s victories and change Washington.
My prediction: they will cause some commotion, get a good deal of attention, undo nothing and Washington will survive yet another push to transform it, for better or for worse.
It's a Free Country contributers dissect the new congress. Solomon Kleinsmith, founder of the political website Rise of the Center; Karol Markowicz, PR consultant and blogger at Alarming News; and Justin Krebs, founder of Living Liberally, talk about the prospects for Republicans and Democrats, and the country's political future.
You have to hand it to the right-wing: they stick to their principles — at least when it comes to the principle of detesting organized labor. The conservative War Against Work rarely misses an opportunity to blame unionized workers for something, regardless of the truth.
Following our recent blizzard in New York, the conservative messaging machine spewed so much hot air, I’m surprised it didn’t help melt the snow.
Prepare to pop your champagne corks and warm up your vocal cords to belt out the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne. New Year’s Eve is upon us. For some, it’s a time to look forward to a new chapter. For others, a chance to reflect upon the accomplishments of the past year.
For liberals, let’s just toast that 2010 is over at last.
A massive snowstorm is coming! Twenty inches of snow will blanket our city! Did we remember to pay our private snow-clearing insurance to plow our street?!
That last exclamation wasn’t heard in the commotion and clamor leading up to NYC’s latest Snowpocalypse. We don’t need to pay for private companies to open up our roadways because we – like many Americans – rely on local government to handle the job.
That’s right: we depend on, and are largely served by, Big Government Snow Plows. Or, as The Tea Party and its friends at Fox News may call it: “Government Takeover of the Snow Removal Industry."
Over the holidays, it can be tempting to take a break from political conversations for a few days while you curl up by the fire and watch classic Christmas movies with your family. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose one or the other if you watch It’s A Wonderful Life America’s greatest liberal holiday film.
Frank Capra’s beloved tale of George Bailey and Bedford Falls is a political story that resonates today. The good guy: a community lender who supports his neighbors, puts others ahead of himself and helps folks build homes and live out their dreams. The bad guy: the big banker in the town whose greed knows no bounds.
Liberal blogger and author Justin Krebs writes an open apology to New York’s junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand over doubting if she was up to the task.
Justin Krebs talked about his piece on the Brian Lehrer Show Thursday, December 23rd. You can listen to it above.
Senator Charles Schumer is famous for his Sunday press conferences, but it was New York’s junior Senator – Kirsten Gillibrand – who was in the media spotlight this Sunday. The lead articles on The New York Times website about the historic repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" featured a photograph of the Senator who had championed this legislation in DC, over the airwaves and over her own email list for months. Right below was an article on the final push for a meaningful action to support the health of the first responders on 9/11…and the article led with quotes from Senator Gillibrand, who has been working to pass this legislation through the Senate.
New York is full of big personalities, but on this issue, Senator Gillibrand proved herself as vocal and visible as our billionaire Mayor, media-savvy senior Senator and even her predecessor, the current Secretary of State. What matters even more to New Yorkers than her ability to make headlines may be her effectiveness. It’s not a done deal yet, but the Senator is hoping for a "Christmas Miracle."
So speaking on behalf of at least some New York liberals, let me say: "Sorry – we were wrong."
Liberals shouldn't be in a festive mood. The sweeping, game-changing realignment promised by the 2008 election got re-realigned in 2010. The Tea Party grabbed the headlines as it won the hearts of a small, passionate, activist population. Meanwhile, progressive champs like Russ Feingold and Alan Grayson went down. At least, they went down swinging -- many other Democrats went down running.
So you'd think that this holiday season would find Tea Partiers toasting eggnog by the Christmas tree and liberals sulking alone near the mistletoe.
Not in New York.
Why did the launch of “No Labels” – a new “movement” to become MoveOn.org for the political middle – receive such extraordinary attention on Monday? Unlike MoveOn, which earned its attention by giving millions of regular Americans an opportunity to express their frustration with the start of the Iraq War in 2003, No Labels doesn’t have a committed membership. Unlike the Tea Party – another analogue that was invoked during the day-long kick-off – No Labels hasn’t seen its followers organize around town hall meetings across the country.
Instead, No Labels seems to have become an instantly faddish phenomenon due to its high-profile attendees – and the love affair a certain set of elites has with claiming the middle of the road.