the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

August 16, 2005

Legos: A Brief Respite From Politics


brickfest 2005

From Brickfest 2005. This photo is from the brief period (11-4 last Sunday) that non-lego-building members of the community could view the 3 floors at George Mason University filled with anything you could possibly imagine that could be built out of legos.

August 15, 2005

Should the Post Sponsor the Freedom Walk? More Voices Say No


I wrote over the weekend about Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher’s disagreeing with his newspaper’s decision to sponsor the Pentagon’s “America Supports You” Freedom Walk. Since then a few more people and organizations have expressed their opposition.


Freedom Walk Description Changes


AltHippo has pointed out that the Pentagon plans to have another Freedom Walk next year as a much bigger deal, covering every state — and coincidentally at the height of the 2006 midterm election campaign. I remembered seeing that shortly after I posted my previous Freedom Walk piece, and I thought it had been in the list of questions on the “About the Walk” page, but looking just now I couldn’t find the passage.

Fortunately I was able to use the Google cache to confirm what I remembered. I think I’m going to start making frequent copies of the Freedom Walk site, since I’ve noticed some changes and I imagine there’ll be a few more. I’ll go over the changes below.


More on the Freedom Walk


Over the past week, I’ve slowly been building a circumstantial case that a propaganda shop may have been set up at the Pentagon. In this vein I wanted to mention one or two thoughts concerning the “America Supports You Freedom Walk” scheduled for Sunday, Sept 11.

First, on a lighter note, I was going through this article when the following paragraph leapt out at me from the page: (DefenseLINK News)

We’re In Last Place


Though last place is very good in this case. According to the California Energy Commission, DC has the lowest per capita gas consumption. At 214.4 gals/person, DC is well below half the national average of 470.6.

Congratulations DC for getting the lead out. Granted it’s in the water supply now, but it’s a start.

Via Metroblogging DC

“How Greedy Can You Get?” at Arlington DL Tonight


Arlington Drinking Liberally has its second meeting tonight, 6:30–8:30pm at the Rhodeside Grill. They’ll be discussing greed, corporate America, right-wing politics, the new bankruptcy law, and Dante’s Inferno, among other things.

The chapter now has its rightful place on the national Drinking Liberally site. Sign up on their announcement list, and contact John Craig (john.craig@aya.yale.edu, 571-432-0305) for more information.

A Liberal at Justice Sunday II


I don’t think there was much real news out of yesterday’s Frist-less rerun of Justice Sunday, but you might check out Jackson Miller’s view. He’s the only liberal blogger who wangled a pass. Miller did manage to get Bishop Harry Jackson Jr, a DC-area preacher and founder of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, to admit that opposition to the death penalty might be an important issue for minorities.

It’s All About Dubya


When asked about Cindy Sheehan in Crawford on Saturday, President Bush responded not that she should get past her grief and get on with her life (which would at least have recognized her feelings), but that he needs to get on with his life:

Bush said he is aware of the anti-war sentiments of Cindy Sheehan and others who have joined her protest near the Bush ranch.

“But whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there’s somebody who has got something to say to the president, that’s part of the job,” Bush said on the ranch. “And I think it’s important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say.”

“But,” he added, “I think it’s also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life.” […]

“I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy,” he said when asked about bike riding while a grieving mom wanted to speak with him. “And part of my being is to be outside exercising.”

(Via Atrios and Think Progress. And when searching Technorati for this story, I discovered that Princeton Drinking Liberally now has a blog and has posted about this.)

This self-absorption in the face of bereaved families reminded me of something Bush said at a press conference last year. It was April 13, 2004. The month was not yet over, but it was already on track to have the most US deaths of any month of the war to that point. Just four days earlier, 15 troops had been killed in a single day, and for more than a week the average had been far above the one or two a day that people had become (grimly) accustomed to. This is what he said about the period:

There’s no question it’s been a tough, tough series of weeks for the American people. It’s been really tough for the families. I understand that. It’s been tough on this administration.

He sympathized with the families who had lost members. He understood. After all, it had been tough for his administration too. To Bush, the political problems he was facing as people realized the war wasn’t going so well were comparable to the problems faced by those whose loved ones were being killed.

Has Bush’s completely sheltered life, from birth through the Oval Office bubble, left him incapable of comprehending that other people have feelings? That not everything is about him? It sure looks like it.

August 13, 2005

Fourth Most Liberal City


Okay, these lists of most whatever cities are meaningless publicity stunts for the organizations that compile the lists, but what the hell. The Bay Area Center for Voting Research has studied “voting patterns” (could they be a little more vague?) of the 237 US cities with populations over 100,000 and ranked them from most liberal to most conservative. The center apparently doesn’t have anyone who knows HTML well enough to put up the lists as web pages rather than Microsoft Word documents, but here are the top 10 on each side:

Most Liberal Most Conservative
  1. Detroit, Michigan
  2. Gary, Indiana
  3. Berkeley, California
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Oakland, California
  6. Inglewood, California
  7. Newark, New Jersey
  8. Cambridge, Massachusetts
  9. San Francisco, California
  10. Flint, Michigan
  1. Provo, Utah
  2. Lubbock, Texas
  3. Abilene, Texas
  4. Hialeah, Florida
  5. Plano, Texas
  6. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  7. Gilbert, Arizona
  8. Bakersfield, California
  9. Lafayette, Louisiana
  10. Orange, California

Berkeley I can understand, but are we really less liberal than Detroit and Gary?

Of the ten most liberal cities, only three currently have Drinking Liberally chapters: DC, Cambridge, and San Francisco, in order, so we’re the most liberal city with a DL chapter (woo-hoo!). None of the ten most conservative cities has a DL chapter, though they’re the ones most in need of it.

Chat Sours Post Columnist on Freedom Walk, but Management Still Claims It’s Nonpartisan


Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher had a Live Online chat Thursday, and the conversation turned to the Post’s sponsorship of the Pentagon’s “Freedom Walk” September 11 propaganda event (see AltHippo’s post). Fisher first responded like this:

Well, first of all, it’s the Washington Post as a corporate entity in this community that’s sponsoring the march, not the news operation. Second, I don’t see where this is a pro-administration rally. From the web site, it looks like a non-partisan expression of support for the troops and for the memory of those who died on 9/11.

I grant you that anytime our company sponsors events that are remotely controversial, it causes grief in the newsroom because it does indeed raise questions among readers about our neutrality and fairness. So if I were running things, I’d steer clear of any sponsorship of potentially divisive events. But in fairness, this seems to be more along the lines of a Veterans Day commemoration than a pro-war rally.



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.

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