the blog of DC Drinking Liberally
We are criticized for our lack of an exit strategy in Iraq, but our exit strategy has been clear from day one: winning.
Like Reynolds, Hastert gives no indication of what winning would look like or how it could be accomplished — maybe staying the course for another decade or two and wishing really hard that things will improve?
William Kristol joined in on this week’s Fox News Sunday (at about 32:30 in this MP3):
I propose substituting for the three words “stay the course”, how about these three words: “win the war.” Win the war. That’s what Bush should be for. That’s what the Republicans should be for.
And yesterday Bush himself ventured a variation on the theme, with a little extra pre-election nastiness:
However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses.
That’s what’s at stake in this election. The Democrat goal is to get out of Iraq. The Republican goal is to win in Iraq.
Fortunately he followed this with “I’m not saying these Democrats are unpatriotic.” Wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.
There are 18 days left until the election, and lots of opportunities to help the Democrats retake the House and the Senate and bring a bit of sanity to government. Things are looking good now, but we can’t afford to be complacent. I don’t want to be sitting around after the election goes badly, wishing I’d done more.
Jim Webb’s campaign to unseat Virginia’s Sen. George Allen is one of the critical races, and Generation Webb (an outreach campaign for young voters) has plenty of Metro-accessible events in the next days and weeks, starting tonight:
On Thursday, October 19, we are proud to host Dr. Michael Stebbins discussing his work with Scientists and Engineers for America. Scientists and Engineers for America is a new organization, launched September of this year, dedicated to electing public officials who respect evidence and understand the importance of using scientific and engineering advice in making public policy.
The evening begins at 6:30 pm with $1 off all drinks, and free appetizers. Dr Stebbins will speak starting at 7:30, followed by Q&A until 8:15.
SEA is a new organization with more than than 4000 members. It is led by a Board of Advisors comprised of a number of America’s leading scientists.
“We ask every American who values scientific integrity in decision-making to join us in endorsing a basic Bill of Rights for Scientists and Engineers. Together we will elect new leadership beginning in 2006, and we will continue to work to elect reasonable leadership in federal, state and local elections for years to come.”
Yesterday the Washington Post endorsed Frank Wolf, the Republican Congressman representing Virginia’s 10th District (which encompasses McLean and Manassas and areas to the west). I didn’t get a chance to respond immediately, since I was out most of the day volunteering for Wolf’s opponent, Judy Feder, but today I sent this letter to the editor:
I was disappointed to see the Post endorse Rep. Frank Wolf for reelection [”Mr. Wolf’s Diligence,” Oct. 14], especially since the editorial described him as someone who is “more than a party-line Republican” and has a “zeal for human rights.”
Rep. Wolf’s political independence and concern for human rights were nowhere in evidence on Sept. 29 when he voted for the Military Commissions Act, which gives the president free rein to define “torture” however he wishes; allows use of evidence obtained through cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; and immunizes senior U.S. officials from prosecution for war crimes committed before passage of the act. In addition, any prohibitions of prisoner abuse contained in the act are made meaningless by its elimination of habeas corpus rights for detainees. If detainees are unable to bring their cases to court, then even innocent prisoners can be held indefinitely and subjected to outrageous treatment with no means of bringing the abuses to light or remedying them.
Seven House Republicans chose to break with the president and their party and oppose this shameful legislation because they cared about human rights and the principles the United States stands for. Rep. Wolf was not among them. What does that say about his commitment to human rights?
If you share my feelings about the Post’s endorsement, please write your own letter to the editor right away (e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, home address, and home and work phone). The more letters (different letters, not copies of mine) they get on the subject, the more likely it is they’ll publish one. Letters from people in the 10th District would be especially good. If you need some ideas, try the New York Times editorial on the Military Commissions Act, which calls it “a tyrannical law that will be ranked with the low points in American democracy, our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts”, or Amnesty International’s analysis.
Update (17 Oct): Not that it matters much, but the Washington Times joins in with an endorsement titled “Frank Wolf, defender of human rights”.
Just found this over at BlogActive:
This is what happens when you hire an internet consultant who used his website to dupe people into investing in stock he artificially pumped up the price on:
Political Radar: “Two Democratic sources confirm to ABC News
that former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) will announce today
that he will not be a candidate for president in 2008.”
From the comments:
AmberCat — It’s a reference to Jerome Armstrong of MyDD who co-wrote “Crashing the Gates” with Markos, was a consultant for Warner and in the relatively distant past during the dot.com boom earned his money by hawking questionable stocks in an early version of “blogs-for-hire”.
Now it’s a GOP strategy.
Somehow I don’t think Armstrong’s past has anything major to do with Warner’s decision, but it definitely helps clear the picture up a touch. Funny, I thought Armstrong was mostly involved with the Big Creamsicle. Shows what I know(?).
After taking a couple of months off, DC Drinking Liberally Wednesdays is back, at a new location. Starting tonight, 7–9pm, they’ll be meeting in Capitol Hill, at the 18th Amendment, 613 Pennsylvania Ave SE (near the Eastern Market Metro).
The speaker tonight is Mark Cohen, host and producer of Coffeehouse TV, a monthly public access show that covers politics, public affairs, and the arts. He is also the director of the Food and Drug Safety Program at the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit that defends corporate and governmental whistleblowers.
With this move, the two DC chapters are officially changing their names from Dupont Circle Wednesdays and Dupont Circle Thursdays to Capitol Hill and Dupont Circle. To keep informed about our events, subscribe to the Capitol Hill or Dupont Circle e-mail announcement list, or both. For information on chapters elsewhere, see the national Drinking Liberally site.
Apparently the Army hired the Incredible Hulk to come up with its new recruiting slogan:
In its battle to win the hearts and minds of recruiting-age Americans, the Army is replacing its main ad slogan — “An Army of One” — with one it hopes will pack more punch: “Army Strong.”
Or possibly it was the crack marketing team of Tonto, Tarzan, & Frankenstein.
A message from Micha, an organizer of the Wednesday Drinking Liberally group (which is moving to Capitol Hill next week):
This Wednesday, at the Olsson’s Books in Dupont Circle (1307 19th St. NW), Andy Stern, President of SEIU International, will be speaking about and signing his new book A Country That Works: Getting America Back on Track. Details about the Author and Book are below.
The Signing will be at 7pm. Afterwards, starting around 8pm, we’ll be gathering at The Big Hunt, also in Dupont Circle (1345 Conn. Ave. NW) for discussion and drinks with Andy.
About the Book:
In A Country That Works: Getting America Back on Track Andy Stern, one of the country’s leading advocates for ordinary Americans who go to work each day, describes the serious economic challenges facing the vast majority of Americans, and uses compelling facts and figures to illustrate how close millions of American families are to crisis.
Stern argues that our political leaders, instead of pushing through vital reforms, have put us in jeopardy by manipulating the tax system in favor of the richest, failing to fix our education system, and not making desperately needed reforms to the health care system. He criticizes labor unions for not adapting to the changing economy and current political landscape, and for using ineffective, outmoded strategies that fail to unite more workers to improve their lives. In A Country That Works, Stern ultimately lays out a practical but visionary plan for reforms that would protect Americans from the looming crises, including an overhaul of the tax system, a transformation of the health care system, simple fixes to the retirement system, and overdue innovations in education.
About the Author:
Over the past decade, Andy Stern has been the head of the SEIU, one of the largest and fastest growing unions in North America. After launching a national debate about the fundamental change needed to reverse labor’s decline, Stern led SEIU out of the AFL-CIO to focus on uniting the nine out of 10 American workers not yet in a union, and was the driving force behind Change to Win, a new labor federation of seven major unions representing six million members.
Determined to build a truly 21st century union to help ensure that workers, not just CEOs, benefit from today’s global economy, Stern has initiated partnerships with overseas unions as well as multinationals to form effective, win-win alliances. He chairs Wal-Mart Watch, the advocacy group responsible for challenging the retail giant to become a leader in corporate responsibility toward its employees and host communities.
Stern began his union career in 1973 as a Pennsylvania social service worker and member of SEIU Local 668 and rose through the ranks before his election as president in 1996. He serves on the board of directors for diverse organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, Rock the Vote, and the Broad Foundation. A frequent blogger, he weighs in on economic and political issues on SEIU.org and as a regular contributor to online outlets such as the Huffington Post.
I hope to see lots of people there, in preparation for the first DC DL Wednesday night in our new location next week!
You may have seen Andy Stern on the Colbert Report last night.
On Thursday, October 12, Join us in the back room of Timberlake’s, 1726 Connecticut Ave NW (Dupont Circle Metro), for this special screening of Robert Greenwald’s latest film, Iraq for Sale.
Cash bar starts at 6:30, and the screening will start at 7:30.
Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers is the story of what happens to everyday Americans when corporations go to war.
Acclaimed director Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed and Uncovered) takes you inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have been changed forever as a result of profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq. Iraq for Sale uncovers the connections between private corporations making a killing in Iraq and the decision makers who allow them to do so.
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