the blog of DC Drinking Liberally
As the Democratic leadership promised after Republicans managed to torpedo an earlier bill last month, the House passed a bill that would give DC a full representative in the House. The bill, the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act (HR 1905), has a long way to go still — and even if passed and found constitutional it does nothing about our lack of a voice in the Senate — but it’s an important step.
The vote was 241–177, with 22 Republicans standing against their party and voting for bringing democracy to the nation’s capital:
On the other hand, 6 Democrats voted against the legislation:
Republican Rob Bishop (UT) voted present, and 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans, including Virginia Republicans Jo Ann Davis and Eric Cantor (my parents’ congressman), didn’t vote.
Update (10:53pm): What is it with Pennsylvanians? Three Republicans and three Democrats from Pennsylvania voted the opposite of the way the vast majority of members of their parties did. Pennsylvania has 19 House members, so that means almost a third were mavericks on this bill.
On Monday, April 16, DC Emancipation Day, Congress returns from recess, and the people of DC will be greeting them with the biggest demonstration ever for DC voting rights. You can be part of it. If you work for the DC government (including the schools), you won’t even have to take time off work, since Emancipation Day is a city holiday. Otherwise, please consider taking part of the day off and showing that you care about having voting representation in Congress, even if you can attend only the rally at 4 o’clock.
DC Vote is the main organizer of the march, which conveniently ended up being the week that the DC Voting Rights Act is expected to be reintroduced in the House. For details see www.votingrightsmarch.org.
Tonight’s the last night for Capitol Hill Drinking Liberally, at least until someone starts it up again. CHDL organizer Micha writes:
Come on out Wednesday to the 18th Amendment for what will sadly be the last Capitol Hill Drinking Liberally. The main reason for this is my schedule, which looks to be busy, unstable, or both for the foreseeable future as I finish my degree and try to figure out what comes next. I’d like to thank Rene who has been holding down the fort for the past month, and everyone who has shown up, it’s been lots of fun.
Come out tonight, Wednesday, April 11, 7–9pm, to the 18th Amendment (downstairs), 613 Pennsylvania Ave SE (Eastern Market Metro), and wish Micha good luck in his endeavors. His thesis is on Drinking Liberally!
If you’ve been going to Capitol Hill and need a new chapter, we’ve always got a seat for you at Dupont Circle. See the left sidebar for the latest events, and subscribe to our e-mail announcement list to keep up to date.
This Thursday, April 12 we are pleased to host author/blogger Jeffrey Feldman discussing and signing his book Framing the Debate. The evening starts at 6:30 in the back room of Timberlake’s (1726 Connecticut Ave NW, Dupont Circle Metro). Drink discounts ($1 off drinks) until 9:00. Appetizers will be supplied. Books will be available for purchase courtesy Olsson’s Books.
For decades, the powerful communications machine of the conservative movement has controlled our national political discourse. One of the biggest obstacles to progressive victory has been seeing what American political speech looks like when it is not “framed” by the Republican noise machine.
Framing the Debate: Famous Presidential Speeches and How Progressives Can Use Them to Change the Conversation (and Win Elections) is about unleashing the power of communication in contemporary progressive politics. The book presents fifteen key speeches by American presidents — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George Bush — in order to define the big ideas and images — the “frames” — that each speech evokes to show how those framing techniques can be applied to today’s political debate in order promote a progressive perspective.
An essential book in today’s political climate, Framing the Debate will be instrumental in helping to reshape progressive political language and rhetoric.
More on Jeffrey Feldman:
An expert on speeches and messaging, Jeffrey Feldman is the editor in chief of the influential political blog Frameshop. He has been a contributor to the The Thom Hartmann Show on Air America, and travels the country offering seminars on language and progressive politics.
The District is having a special election for Wards 3, 4, and 7 on May 1. Since I was researching it for tonight’s DC for Democracy meeting (please attend if you’re looking for a local grassroots political group), I thought I’d do one of my traditional posts listing the candidates in ballot order with links to their websites.
For the special election, there is no primary. Candidates from all the parties, along with independents, run on the same ballot, so the number of candidates can be overwhelming. This would seem to give Republicans their best shot at getting a ward seat in DC, but for some reason no Republicans got onto the ballot.
Residents of Ward 3 will vote for one school board member, residents of Ward 4 for school board and council, and Ward 7 for council. Residents of Wards 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8 won’t be voting this time. The deadline for registering to vote in the special election was April 2.
Candidates for the three positions are below. If I’m missing any candidates or links, let me know in the comments.
You’ve probably heard about John McCain’s latest unconvincing press conference from Iraq. But I think I have to give it to Lindsay Graham this time. He outfailed McCain by far, I think (video here):
Predictably, the jist of most of Graham’s remarks was that despite the terrible violence, yes, yes, he sees major improvement in the Iraqi military forces — they are more “empowered” now.
Every person I had lunch with today… said that the Iraqi military capability was better.
By this point the Iraqi forces are probably more capable fighters than they were a few years ago, sure, I’ll buy that. Whether they’re putting those skills to good use is another matter.
But Graham realized he also had to claim the security situation had somehow improved. Time for some theatrics:
So it goes back to who we’re gonna allow to define this war, the fanatics who wanna just blindly kill people or the folks who will go back to that market 4 weeks later and will bring their kids and shop and try to do business and say thank you to us. This is a great struggle and we’ve made tremendous mistakes and we’re finally getting it right. And is it too little too late?, I don’t know but I don’t think so. So yes, in my opinion things are better today than they’ve ever been since I came here 3 or 4 years ago.
PHANTO THE PHANTOM REPORTER WHO NEVER EXISTED: Senator, were things WORSE 3 or 4 years ago when there wasn’t even half as much violence as today?
GRAHAM: Well, now WAIT. 3 or 4 years ago we didn’t have any Iraqi Security Forces to speak of. We had no elections, no Iraqi government.
PHANTO: But now huge numbers of Iraqis are dying who weren’t dying then. How is that progress?
GRAHAM [wide Lindsey Graham smile]: Phanto, you’re ignoring the issue of infrastructure. We’ve built so much more infrastructure now, schools, markets — we’ve got a new Iraqi oil law- PHANTO: But, Senator, my question-
GRAHAM [wider Lindsey Graham smile, finger in the air]: THINGS — ARE — BETTER. I am a SENATOR. That’s what I’ve seen. [pause] OK, thank you…
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