the blog of DC Drinking Liberally
Over at my other place, a reader had written in asking some really good questions. Since I had just posted on Pombo, this largely serves as a follow up to that previous post.
Representative Pombo (R-CA) is apparently gearing up for a little environmental jihadism: (Washington Post)
Imagine Theodore Roosevelt Island filled with strip malls and hundreds of luxury townhouses, all with breathtaking views of the Potomac River and the monuments. A new bridge would connect the newly developed island with George Washington Memorial Parkway.
That vision of the island’s future is contained in a House Resources Committee “brainstorming” document that was inadvertently released to the public. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) is looking for ways to raise $2.4 billion in new federal revenue.
This is reminiscent of another Pombo story from 2004.
After marching Saturday, yesterday I went down to the Mall again to check out the prowar rally, which was organized by the same folks who brought you the “You Don’t Speak for Me, Cindy” caravan last month, including Move America Forward and Free Republic.
Not surprisingly the rally was somewhat whiter and maler than Saturday’s antiwar march. Also, it was a lot smaller. The smallest estimate in the media for the number participating in the antiwar march was 100,000. The largest estimate for the prowar rally was 400, and I think that’s about right — as long as you’re counting all the observers, curious tourists, and antiwar protesters who were gathered around too.
The speeches I heard included a mention of a letter of support for the rally from Senator Lieberman, a reference to participants in the antiwar march as “100,000 radicals” whose views don’t represent those of real Americans (that was from Senator Sessions, who was one of the speakers), and a call for the marchers to be shipped to Iran. I didn’t stay very long, and from StealthBadger’s report I apparently missed some excitement, though he’s pretty vague about it.
One of the dirty little open secrets of DC is that the editorial board of the allegedly liberal Washington Post supported the invasion of Iraq, and continues to support the war. As far as anti-war folks (or as I like to call them, the majority) go they seem to have little other than contempt.
Take for instance this editorial from Sunday’s paper:
The fundamental source of trouble is not the Islamic extremists President Bush usually speaks about; nor is it the presence of American soldiers. If the protesters visiting Washington this weekend succeeded in forcing a quick U.S. troop withdrawal, the bloodshed in Iraq, and the damage to the United States, would grow far worse.
Don’t you just love being talked down to? I suspect that the neoconish elites who run the Post imagine the anti-war crowd spends their time reading poetry to their bonsai plants. Note to Post editorial board: You were wrong in your support of the invasion. No nukes, no anthrax, no airborne drones, just a bunch of right-wing utopianists who wanted to remake the Middle East in their own image. Now wake up and smell the petroleum.
The Washington Post owns a free newspaper called The Express. As Alt Weeklies marketing director, Roxanne Cooper, put it: The Express is “the bane of my existence.” It really is pretty dreadful. For instance, today’s front cover (pdf) “Praise, Tears at Rally for Troops” shows grieving parents at the Support the Troops rally on Sunday (tiny) and only briefly mentions the anti-war demonstration on Saturday (massive).
Embarassing from a “reality-based” perspective, and unfortunately, typical.
AltHippo and I missed each other at today’s rally and march against the Iraq war, but I did get together with a bunch of people from DC for Democracy and other Democracy for America groups from across the country.
I took a few photos. The first is Cindy Sheehan being interviewed at Freedom Plaza before the rally. Click for larger versions.
As many of you know, this weekend there will be a large anti-war rally here in D.C., which many members of DCfD — and Democracy for America — plan to attend. To help everyone connect at what will likely be a very large event, we have organized a happy hour for Friday night and a meeting point for Saturday morning. Details are below.
‘Social and Serious Drinking’ Happy Hour
Friday, September 23, 2005
527 Eighth Street, SE (two blocks south of the Eastern Market Metro stop on the Blue and Orange lines)
Join DC for Democracy and Democracy for America members for an evening of “Social and Serious Drinking” prior to the anti-war rally at Marty’s on Barracks Row.
Meeting Place for DCFD & DFA Members Attending Anti-War Rally
Saturday, September 24, 2005
meet at 11:00 a.m., walk to rally 11:30 a.m.
Freedom Plaza (opposite the Marriott on Pennsylvania Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets, NW)
We hope to see you at these events!
And don’t forget about our efforts to elect progressives in Virginia for 2005. The single best way to get Congress to change its views on our issues is to let them know their jobs are at risk in 2006. A strong showing in 2005 will show them — and the media — that this is possible. Help set the narrative for 2006 by bringing in change in 2005.
Via Crooked Timber, I see that Creek Running North has declared today Lurker Day, so DCDL is joining. If you don’t know what a lurker is, you probably are one, since lurkers (the term is not derogatory) are people — the majority of blog readers — who read posts but never make comments. If you’re reading this, please make a comment and tell us who you are, why you read DCDL, how you found us, or whatever you want to say. And if you’re in the DC area, join us tonight at Timberlake’s, 1726 Connecticut Avenue NW (north of Dupont Circle) starting at 6:30.
Happy Lurker Day!
DCDL regular Lee was among those there today to protest Grover Norquist’s regular Wednesday meeting downtown. Working Assets and the League of Independent Voters (also known as the League of Pissed Off Voters) provided a mobile billboard with a photo of a flooded New Orleans overlaid with Norquist’s statement about getting the government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub”.
Fiat Lux has a full report on Daily Kos.
As some of you may know, tomorrow is Arctic Action Day here in the nation’s capitol. More info at the Alaska Wilderness League if you’re interested.
A good article here covering the latest developments, from which I’ll grab a few bullets:
As someone who has followed this issue for a while, I’ll say that the amount of disinformation on this topic is huge. The chief beneficiary will be Exxon-Mobil, the remaining supporter of Arctic Power, the pro-drilling lobbying group.
What’s interesting is that Senator Stevens (R-Alaska) appears to have abandoned the Energy Independence baloney that others have used to justify drilling. Instead, his argument is drilling in ANWR is necessary to keep from busting the budget:
“If you look at it, ANWR’s dollar sign is $2.4 billion,” he said. “That’s needed to keep this budget balanced now, as far as the routine budget. There’s no question about that now. I think they’ve looked for other areas but the budget itself can’t be approved unless somewhere the Energy Committee can raise $2.4 billion. I don’t see any other place in the economy they can do it other than ANWR.”
Let’s see if I get this: we’ve spent $200 billion on Iraq and plan to spend another $200 billion on New Orleans. And ANWR is supposed to save us from fiscal disaster?
YUKINS: In the $52 billion bill, the administration included a key exception for contracting up to $250,000. That exception means that there will be no competition and no transparency whatsover. Approximately 60 to 65 percent of all federal contracting actions are actually below $250,000. You’d be astounded at how many small actions the federal government undertakes.
SIMON: And for what kind of jobs are these?
YUKINS: Services to clean out garbage, or a truckload of diapers. And, Scott, I’d like to emphasize that, in fact, it’s $250,000 per order, so it’s very common to see, unfortunately, companies and agencies will agree to split
requirements so that you always stay below a certain threshold — in this case, below $250,000.
SIMON: So somebody, for example, like a trash removal firm could do a whole series of jobs for $240,000 and never have to go through a competitive bidding process.
SIMON: But on the other hand, a lot of companies have to move quickly.
YUKINS: They do, and in fairness it is necessary to abbreviate the competition in a situation like this, but you really shouldn’t abandon competition and transparency entirely.
No accountability and no transparency for almost two thirds of the spending.
Josh Marshall is right. It’s been fun for left-wing sites to beat up on the few Republicans who voted against rebuilding funds, but pretty soon I think Democrats who voted for the bill are going to be regretting it as much as they now regret voting for the Iraq war.
Bush has put Karl Rove in charge of managing the reconstruction. The money is going to go to contractors who are connected to the administration. Bush promises that there will be appropriate oversight, but Billmon has the history of how well Bush’s watchdogs have worked earlier. It’s on track to be the biggest-ever Republican slush fund.
The one thing we can be sure of is that in 2006 Republican candidates will be hitting the jackpot on campaign contributions, as all the contractors kick back a fraction of the vast amounts of taxpayer money that went into their pockets.
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