the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

June 14, 2005

Robert Greenwald’s Latest


I was perusing Wakeup Walmart when I read this from Robert Greenwald:

Titles are always a challenge. Outfoxed came in a breath of genius to my good friend Earl Katz, but usually it is tough going. And more so than usual with Wal-Mart. Let me explain…we were looking for something that framed the story, de-constructed Wal-Mart and drew attention, hence the subtitle — “The High Cost of Low Price.” However, in talking with George Lakoff, he wisely pointed out that people will primarily remember “low price.” Furthermore, even after weeks of discussion, when I started looking at the title in print and on the website, it doesn’t look like a movie title. So rather then compound the less then perfect title, back to the drawing board.

So he’s asking his blog readers for a title. Here’s my favorites so far:

Any suggestions?

June 13, 2005

Silver Docs


One of the great things about summer in DC is the indy film scene. And one of the major events has to be Silver Docs, 6 days and nights of documentaries starting this Tuesday through Sunday at the AFI Silver.

Under the politics category you may notice a film called Being Caribou (Diana Wilson, Leanne Allison Canada, 2004, 72 minutes) playing this Saturday at 1:00 pm. More details later, but I’ll be setting up a free screening in July at Mark and Orlando’s, Dupont Circle.

Showing before Being Caribou is Getting Through to the President (Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler USA, 2004, 7 minutes ):

A payphone becomes a medium for providing the White House with comments from average citizens, who are encouraged by the filmmakers to mouth off.

That’s a great premise.

How Do You Like the Site?


Well, Cory has officially announced the site on the e-mail list (be sure to subscribe if you haven’t), and I see from the logs that a few people have been visiting as a result. We’ve also had a few visitors coming from Technorati, and one person in France who searched Google for “dcdl” (I don’t know what they were looking for, but somehow I doubt we were it, although we have rocketed into the #1 position for that search, beating out all the pages about Digital Control Design Language). But no one’s made any comments, and the three of us are getting tired of talking to each other, so I thought I’d make a post specifically asking people for comments.

The site has come together pretty well, I think, but it still has plenty of evolving to do. What features and what sorts of posts would you like to see on the site? Does everything look okay on your combination of browser, platform, and settings? Do you think we need a header graphic, and are you volunteering to make one? Have you been coming to the weekly meetings, or is something keeping you away (like the fact that you live in Centreville or France), or have you only just now stumbled upon DCDL?

If you don’t feel like answering those questions, just leave a comment to say hi. And if you need to send me e-mail, use the address you’d expect (my name at the domain).

June 12, 2005

A Few Comparisons


Rox Populi has a good eye. Starting from a post by Ezra Klein, she’s taken graphs of unemployment, who voted for Bush, and who has died in Iraq.

While she didn’t draw explicit conclusions, a few things do leap out at you:

This suggests a couple of questions to me.

  1. Did people essentially vote their jobs in the 2004 election?
  2. Is it part of the Rove strategy to reward Republican-leaning regions with more jobs?
  3. Does military recruitment depend on unemployment?

I ask these questions for two reasons. The first is that the notion of political games being played with people’s livelihood is outrageous. The second is that if military recruitment is being gamed to regions that didn’t vote for Bush, then… I just don’t know what to say.

Anonymous Sources


Keith raised this in comments, but I thought it deserved its own thread.

Are anonymous sources a bad thing? Well, obviously in Jack Kelly’s case, yes. Same thing for the Plame leak.

But what about Watergate? In the On the Media interview that Keith references Mr. McPaper, Al Neuharth, has this to say:

BROOKE GLADSTONE: A lot of people say in the Watergate investigation, not to keep harping on that, came from the mid- and lower-levels of government where they could suffer grievously if they were proved to be a source.

AL NEUHARTH: I think if a lower level source in the government were to have an exclusive of some wrongdoing and then were fired for it, there’d probably be many others who would hire that person for his or her honesty and integrity, if he or she were identified.

That strikes me as hand waving. If you will, I’m curious what his source is for that belief. Note that he doesn’t say that he would be happy to hire someone who’d leaked information damaging to his or her employer.

Reading the account of how Mark Felt kept his identity a secret leads me to believe that he was afraid of more than just losing his job. He was afraid of being prosecuted for breaching national security.

The acid test for the fourth estate is whether they are effective at speaking truth to power. What distinguishes Watergate from the Plame leak is that the abuse of power is what’s being fascilitated.

What I’m saying is that USA Today has the luxury of not using anonymous sources because, well… because they’re McPaper. They put out a bland mix of news and infotainment, and avoid the kind of dissent that you’ll see from the Post or Times.

Don’t Smear Obama


In reading a discussion of Barack Obama’s recent commencement address at Knox College, I became aware that there are some widespread false beliefs about Obama’s voting record. The most common misconception seems to be that he voted for the bankruptcy bill. That is not true, and I don’t understand where it’s coming from. Perhaps it mutated out of recent criticisms of Obama by David Sirota, which mentioned his opposition to an amendment capping credit card interest rates. Obama’s vote (along with 18 other Democrats) against that amendment is understandable when you consider that it would have legitimized 30 percent as a reasonable rate and, worse, prevented individual states from setting lower rate caps of their own.

Even more incomprehensible is that some people believe that Obama voted for the confirmation of torture supporter Alberto Gonzales as attorney general. That also is untrue. In fact, Obama was perhaps the most effective and outspoken opponent of the Gonzales nomination.

I’m beginning to wonder whether someone’s intentionally seeding misinformation somewhere.

Barack Obama has faults, like anyone. But if you want to criticize him, criticize him for things he’s actually said or done — for example, being too quick to distance himself from Howard Dean’s supposedly outrageous statements — not for actions that exist only in the fevered imaginations of blog commenters. Get your facts straight, and if you see someone spreading these smears, correct them.

Do You Want to Receive DC DL Text Messages to Your Cell?


If so please visit Txtmob and set up a user name and password. Once you have registered join the group DCDL.

June 11, 2005

Media Silence on Downing Street Memo


The Downing Street memo may not be as big a deal as some on the left think it is (for one thing, it’s not a document produced by the Bush administration), but it’s still outrageous that the US media completely ignored the story for a month while it was a big story in the UK. On this weekend’s On the Media, USA Today reporter Mark Memmott tried to explain the delay (my transcript):

It’s ironic to some extent. I mean, last year the media was jumped on because of the Texas Air National Guard documents that CBS said it had. Bloggers were all over them about the authenticity of those. Now some in the blogosphere were all over the media for not writing about documents which almost all the media had not seen. Only the Sunday Times of London had actual copies that they said were from reliable sources. Others only had secondhand information, so that explains a lot of the reluctance, at least on the US media’s part, to really weigh in in this one, I think.

Please! It’s not ironic that the media was timid after the right’s successful use of “Rathergate” to damage CBS News and distract from the TANG issue. That was the intended result of the campaign by the administration, assisted by Powerline and other right-wing blogs.

The memo’s significance was also questionable because, according to Memmott, the word “fix” in the phrase “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” could mean in British English something less nefarious than its American meaning would suggest. He didn’t have an English accent, but he’s apparently more of an expert on the subject that the editors at the Times of London and other British media.

Memmott went on to explain that the story wasn’t that important anyway, because it was old news that Bush & Co. were determined to invade Iraq — that everyone knew it at the time. Perhaps that’s true, but in that case wasn’t it the media’s responsibility back in late 2002 and early 2003 to point out the inconsistency between what Bush was saying in speeches and what “everyone” knew?

Check out Rep. Sensenbrenner’s Meltdown


Watch Rep. Sensenbrenner’s (R-WI) tantrum during hearings about renewal of the PATRIOT Act:

This morning Rep. Sensenbrenner, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee was leading a committee hearing looking into the renewal of Patriot Act.

Mr. Sensenbrenner decided that he didn’t like the tone of the meeting and simply got up and left but not before he criticized the witnesses who came and gave their testimony to the committee.

After he left the microphones were switched on and off while the Democratic members of the committee continued to discuss the renewal of the Patriot Act.

June 10, 2005

Compare and Contrast


Fox News, June 1:

Several popular left-leaning blogs have taken up the cause to keep the story alive, encouraging readers to contact media outlets. A Web site, DowningStreetMemo.com, tells readers to contact the White House directly with complaints.

“This is a test of the left-wing blogosphere,” said Jim Pinkerton, syndicated columnist and regular contributor to FOX News Watch, who pointed out that The Sunday Times article came out just before the British election and apparently had little effect on voters’ decisions.

London Times Online, June 9 (via DL speaker Dan Froomkin):

“It is not that often, we have to admit, that an item posted one night on Times Online is still getting hundreds of thousands of hits six weeks later, especially when what bloggers like to call ‘the mainstream media’ have largely ignored its existence.

“But that is what happened to the now infamous secret Downing Street memo, posted on the site on May 1 alongside a story by Michael Smith of The Sunday Times. And if the document has taken on a life of its own it is largely because of the bloggers and their web-savvy allies on the US Left.”


DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

Upcoming Events

See information on the revived DC chapter (2012).

DCDL Member Blogs

DCDL Speaker Links

DC Links

Liberal (Mostly) Blogs

Liberal Groups

Internal Links



Drinking Liberally

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


Search Blog



later entries • earlier entries

42 queries. 0.672 seconds