the blog of DC Drinking Liberally
Ready for some protesting, canvassing, or school maintenance this weekend? Here are three options for Saturday, April 29:
The March for Peace, Justice, and Democracy is happening in New York City, organized by United for Peace and Justice and other groups including the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the National Organization for Women, and Friends of the Earth. The message is to end the war in Iraq, not start one in Iran, stand up for immigrants’ and womens’ rights, rebuild the Gulf Coast, stop corporate subsidies, address the climate crisis, and probably a few other things (unfortunately, like many recent protests, it sounds a bit unfocused). See the transportation page for information on buses leaving from DC and elsewhere.
The Democratic National Committee has its Neighbor-to-Neighbor National Organizing Day. The goal is to knock on 1 million doors across the country to tell people about the Democratic Party and get them energized. This is part of Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy for reviving the party and building it up from the state and local level. There are several canvasses organized in DC and nearby.
Our friends at DC for Democracy have chosen public schools as one of their focuses for the year, so they’ve formed a team for the annual Hands on DC volunteer project for fixing up DC schools. If you’d like to join the team for painting, landscaping, or whatever needs to be done, RSVP right away. I’ve done Hands on DC in previous years with some other groups, and that’s what I’ll be doing this Saturday.
Tuesday night I donned my tuxedo and headed down to the post office near Union Station, where I assumed the identity of Caspar “Cap” Gaines, billionaire, and met up with my fellow billionaires Ivan Tital, Anita Nuther Taxcutte, R. Owen Lawes, and Marie Antoinette Gaines (my cousin, or sister, or wife, or something). We were there to mingle with last-minute taxpayers dropping off their 1040s and thank the little people for paying their taxes so that billionaires don’t have to, as well as to inform people about the estate tax (or “dynasty tax”) repeal.
It was my first event with Billionaires for Bush, and I was afraid the group might be past its prime, but the satirical protesters are still going strong (though searching for a new name as Bush becomes less relevant). As Ivan says, it’s a mix of people who enjoy dressing up and wonks who are deeply concerned about the way government policies are tilting increasingly toward the ultrarich. Ivan himself fits solidly into both categories.
If you’ve got a tuxedo or gown or can pull together some other sort of billionairewear, consider joining in the fun. The DC chapter has a lunchtime event coming up next week, focusing on the dynasty tax. If you’re interested, contact Ivan Tital, the Richly-Upholstered Chair of the chapter, at email@example.com.
The photo of Anita and Ivan comes from Utne’s coverage of the September 24 antiwar march. Tuesday night wasn’t quite as exciting.
Via Talking Points Memo, I see Bloomberg has the latest scary Iran news from the Bush administration, under the headline “Iran Could Produce Nuclear Bomb in 16 Days, U.S. Says”:
Iran, which is defying United Nations Security Council demands to cease its nuclear program, may be capable of making a nuclear bomb within 16 days if it goes ahead with plans to install thousands of centrifuges at its Natanz plant, a U.S. State Department official said.
“Natanz was constructed to house 50,000 centrifuges,” Stephen Rademaker, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, told reporters today in Moscow. “Using those 50,000 centrifuges they could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in 16 days.”
Hmm. If I move some furniture around, I figure I could fit two printing presses into my apartment. And if each press can produce 65,000 $20 bills an hour, I figure I can have $1 billion in 16 days. You can stop by to pick it up on the 28th.
By the way, any idea where I could get the right ink, paper, security strips, and engraved plates? No? Well, I’m sure it won’t be a problem. After all, I already have the space, and that’s the hard part.
Looks like we’re still on course for my sad joke from January.
We are pleased and proud to host Phyllis Bennis at Timberlake’s this Thursday, April 13, 6:30-9.
She will be discussing her book “Challenging Empire” and answer questions about the current situation in the Middle East.
“Challenging Empire” tackles the question of why we went to war in Iraq, examining whether the cause may be rooted in empirical ambition. It’s a particularly timely book given how the Iraq situation has developed since our president declared “Mission Accomplished” 3 years ago, as well as the potential crisis with Iran.
As per tradition on speaker night, free appetizers, and drink specials until 9pm.
A short bio on Dr. Bennis after the jump:
Monday, April 10th, A National Day of Action Rally for Immigrant Rights! When: 3pm - March from Malcolm X Park (16th and Euclid Streets, NW) to the Washington Monument, 4pm - Rally at the Washington Monument. With some 75 cities holding marches and rallies, this may be the biggest day of demonstrations in more than a century. Virginia, Maryland, D.C. will rally at the Washington Monument. Order of the day: American flags and white T-shirts (to show the rally is peaceful — wear them over whatever is keeping you warm). Directed against draconian divide-and-conquer legislation passed in the house (HR 4437) and for progressive immigration reform (such as McCain-Kennedy). This is an issue that touches everybody in America, and the sea of faces at the rallies should show a wide range of solidarity. For more info, national and local: www.April10.org or www.cirnow.org. Info - Caroline Stuart, (202) 467-2457 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our friends at DC for Democracy have been working on a nationwide campaign they call Change the Course. See the link for details, but the idea is to coordinate lobbying by other Democracy for America chapters to get the House of Representatives to have a “full and open debate” on the Iraq war. The campaign is just getting started, but they’ve already gotten several House members to sign up.
DC4D’s monthly meeting this Wednesday will be devoted to the campaign, and it looks like our own Art Levine will be there to report on it. I’ll be there too. If you’re interested in helping or finding out more, RSVP or just show up. Here’s the announcement:
We hope you will all come to a very special Meetup this Wednesday!
Why so special?
Because this Wednesday, Change the Course has rolled out to a bunch of other states and become truly national in scope. To kick it off, DCFD and DFA hosted a teleconference, where Rep. Neil Abercrombie spoke to us from Hawaii. Come and hear his rousing speech, which we taped for everyone’s enjoyment!
Also, we may have media coverage of our Meetup. Art Levine, journalist and DCFD supporter, hopes to do a story about our campaign for American Prospect or Mother Jones. Let’s show Art what DCFD is made of!
So come out to Ben’s Chili Bowl this Wednesday, 7PM as usual — but for a very special Meetup!
Joanne, Michelle, Mike, and Kesh
for DC for Democracy’s Change the Course Team
In an effort to show that Washington, DC, can outliberal New York City (which has eight DL chapters), we’re proud to announce eight new chapters to supplement the two we already have in DC and increase our geographic reach:
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