the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

September 29, 2006

Dinner and a Movie — “Al Franken: God Spoke”


It’s time for another DCDL movie outing. This Saturday, September 30, we’ll be going to see the new movie Al Franken: God Spoke:

The makers of The War Room turn their cameras on yet another burgeoning political career. A cinema verite pursuit of Al Franken, shot over the course of two years, the film follows the former SNL writer turned political attack dog from his highly publicized (and well-timed) feud with Bill O’Reilly over Franken’s best selling book, “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them” to his tireless campaign against George Bush in the 2004 Presidential election.

We’ll be converging on Landmark E Street Cinema, 555 11th Street NW (near Metro Center and Gallery Place), meeting in front of the theater at 7 sharp to go to the 7:15 show. Afterward we’ll head over to the Capitol City Brewing Company, 1100 New York Ave NW (near 11th and H) for dinner and beer. You can meet us there at 9:15 if you’re not going to the movie. Let us know at dcthu@drinkingliberally.org if you’re coming to dinner so we have an idea how many people to tell the restaurant we have.

If you want to make sure you’re in the loop for future events, subscribe to our e-mail announcement list.

September 25, 2006

Local Libertarian Blogger Is Voting for Cardin


Jim Henley of Unqualified Offerings (one of several nonliberal blogs I read frequently) lives in Silver Spring and got himself quoted in the Baltimore Sun endorsing the Democratic Senate candidate in Maryland:

Silver Spring resident James Henley, 45, is a Libertarian who said he planned to vote for Cardin to balance power in Washington. It’s nothing personal against Steele, he said.

“At the national level, the Republican Party has become such a repugnant institution that I would like to take as much of the control of Congress away from the Republicans as possible,” said Henley, who works in finance for a telecommunications company.

The Bush administration is having unusual effects on political alliances. Maybe Henley will be showing up at DC Drinking Liberally some Thursday next. After all, David Weigel did show up once, but that may just have been an anthropological investigation.

I think Henley may actually be a libertarian, though, not a Libertarian.

“Bring Down the House” With NEXT PAC


Our friends at NEXT PAC are holding a “Bring Down the House” Bash on Friday to raise money for four Democratic congressional candidates. Sounds like a worthwhile endeavor. I’ll be there.

This event is a fundraiser with a twist. Your $50 donation allows you to vote for the candidates who will receive the proceeds from the night. With our partner, New Democratic Action, we’ve selected four of the candidates most likely to help turn the House from Red to Blue. These races are amongst the closest in the country, your contribution will make an impact, and you’ll have a great time.

Our candidates are:

Please join us next Friday and help make a difference.

September 29, 2006
Eye Bar — 1716 Eye Street NW
2nd Floor
8 pm
Cash and Check ONLY at the door. Credit Card donations must be made online — RSVP HERE.

September 23, 2006

And Now A Word From the Big Dog


Bill Clinton on Fox News: (usa today)

Clinton: No, let’s talk about it.

Wallace: But the question is, why didn’t you connect the dots and put him out of business?

Clinton: Let’s talk about it. I will answer all those things on the merits, but first I want to talk about the context in which this arises. I’m being asked this on the FOX network. ABC just had a right-wing conservative running their little pathway to 9/11, falsely claiming it was based on the 9/11 commission report with three things asserted against me directly contradictory to the 9/11 commission report. And I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans who
now say I didn’t do enough claim that I was too obsessed with bin Laden.

All of President Bush’s neo-cons that I was too obsessed with bin Laden, they had no meetings on bin Laden for nine months after I left office. All the right wingers who now say I didn’t do enough, said
I did too much, the same people. They were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day after we were involved in Black Hawk Down and I refused to do it and stayed six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations.

While I didn’t understand at first why Clinton was on Fox News, I also didn’t understand why Fox thought they’d get the better of him. After reading over the transcript a few times, I understood, or at least had a reference point for what sharp dialetic means.

September 22, 2006

Well lookie here!


From MyDD, via the comments at the Brad Blog:

I just got this email from the Donna Edwards campaign.


By now you are aware of the multiple layers of problems that occurred in the Tuesday, September 12, election in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District. Whether these flaws are attributable to incompetence, inefficiency, or fraud — we may never know. Votes are still being tabulated in Maryland’s 4th District — provisional ballots arriving as late as Tuesday, September 19, a truckload of machines and memory cards arriving 21 hours after the polls closed on September 12, changing estimates of absentee ballots to be counted, etc.

Needless to say, the system is deeply flawed — leaving voters with little reason to be confident. In the midst of all of this system failure and uncertainty, I wanted to share with you the transcript of an exchange that took place on Tuesday, September 19, between my opponent, Albert Wynn, and his colleague on the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee:

BARTON: Down in Texas, we had a Democratic primary about 50 years ago that Lyndon Johnson won by 54 votes. And he got the nickname “Landslide Lyndon.” We have Mr. Wynn next. He had a little bit of a tussle last week, but he did win. And so, I want to recognize “Landslide Wynn” for any opening statement that he wishes…
WYNN: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. In fact, they’re still counting, but we’re quite optimistic. And I did take a couple pages out of Lyndon’s book, so if I win, it can be attributed to Texas know-how.
(UNKNOWN): Did you (inaudible)?
BARTON: I hope not. I hope you win fair and square.
WYNN: A win is a win.

P.S. Just within the last couple of hours, the Board of Elections in Prince George’s County opened up a machine with no tamper tape (so much for security), and at least one other machine that recorded votes for other offices but none for U.S. Congress.

And from the comments:

Re: Al Wynn Brags of Stealing the Election (3.00 / 1)

I can’t stream audio presently but I think this is the hearing where this exchange occured. Can anyone listen to the webcast & verify this?

by pragmatic adjustable hed on Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 02:27:41 PM EST

Re: Al Wynn Brags of Stealing the Election (3.00 / 1)

Yep that’s it. The comment start at 27:36.

by miguel on Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 03:39:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]

One bright spot: the more the gloves come off and politicians are publically seen discussing how the government actually works, the more likely it is to be changed.

Note to K&K - WordPress’ editor doesn’t like nested blockquotes. :D

September 21, 2006

Gov. Ehrlich Calls for Abandoning Electronic Voting, Returning to Paper


I don’t normally say much good about Republicans, but I’m having trouble seeing this move by Maryland’s Gov. Bob Ehrlich as a bad thing:

A week after the primary election was plagued by human error and technical glitches, Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) called yesterday for the state to scrap its $106 million electronic voting apparatus and revert to a paper ballot system for the November election.

“When in doubt, go paper, go low-tech,” he said.

Ehrlich is most interested in abandoning the Diebold electronic poll books used to check in voters, which featured prominently in e-voting critic Avi Rubin’s account of chaos at one Maryland polling place. The idea would be to go back to a paper-based system of printouts of voters that are manually checked off, like what we use in DC. But Ehrlich also wants to get rid of the electronic voting machines, if possible by November. He’s willing to call a special session of the Maryland General Assembly if necessary.

Unfortunately, Democratic leaders in the General Assembly want to keep the electronic system and throw good money after bad:

But [Senate President Mike] Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) dismissed the idea of a special session, saying elections officials should focus instead on fixing the current system.

“We paid millions. These are state-of-the-art machines,” said Miller, who called Ehrlich’s announcement a political ploy to energize his Republican supporters.

I don’t care how much money has been spent already. When you’ve instituted a poorly designed system that disenfranchises votes and undermines people’s faith that votes are counted correctly, you need to recognize that you’ve made a mistake and move immediately to fix the problem.

September 19, 2006

Scott Bolden Still Campaigning


One week after being unexpectedly clobbered 63 to 36 percent by liberal incumbent Phil Mendelson in the Democratic primary for at-large councilmember, A. Scott Bolden is still paying for Google ads. I saw one yesterday on DCist, and you can still see them today on Google itself if you search for “Bolden” or “Phil Mendelson”. I know from experience that you do enter an ending date when setting up a Google AdWords campaign, but I guess if you have hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign donations from the business community to outspend your opponent 3 to 1, a few extra web ads here or there don’t make much difference.

Help Take Back Congress: Fundraisers and Rally


If you want to see the Democrats take back Congress and you have some money you can devote to that cause, there are several opportunities coming up (plus one rally that asks only for your enthusiasm):

September 18, 2006

Guantánamo Lawyer Charley Carpenter at Drinking Liberally Thursday


Hear about the Guantánamo Bay detention camp from someone who’s visited it. Our guest speaker at DC Drinking Liberally Thursday, September 21, will be Charley Carpenter, a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP, primarily engaged in civil litigation. Since January 2005, he’s been representing a couple of prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay in their petitions for habeas corpus, and related matters. He’ll talk about his experiences and answer questions.

My starting point for news on Guantánamo Bay detainment has been posts by Hilzoy and Katherine at Obsidian Wings, along with the comments there, which tend to be well above average in blog comment quality. The latest Guantánamo-related post is “Numbers”, from yesterday.

Drinking Liberally starts with a happy hour at 6:30, and the talk will begin at about 7:30. We’ll be in the back room Timberlake’s, 1726 Connecticut Ave NW (Dupont Circle Metro). To be informed of future events, subscribe to our e-mail announcement list.

September 17, 2006

“Count the Votes” Rally for Donna Edwards


Via the Maryland blog Crablaw, I see that supporters of Maryland 4th District congressional candidate Donna Edwards will hold a rally Monday morning, September 18, at 9:30 at the Montgomery County Board of Elections (751 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville) “to coincide with the counting of the large number of uncounted Montgomery County ballots of all sorts for Edwards and all candidates running within that county.”

I don’t want to compare the rally to the Brooks Brothers Riot of 2000, but it’s time progressives started standing up for themselves. The events of September 12 in Montgomery County may very well have resulted only from incompetence (and the unnecessary complication of introducing electronic voting machines into the process), but regardless of the cause, people were disenfranchised, and that must not be allowed to recur in November. I’m distressed that the election-day chaos in Maryland hasn’t gotten much coverage in the national media.


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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