the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

August 15, 2005

Should the Post Sponsor the Freedom Walk? More Voices Say No


I wrote over the weekend about Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher’s disagreeing with his newspaper’s decision to sponsor the Pentagon’s “America Supports You” Freedom Walk. Since then a few more people and organizations have expressed their opposition.


Freedom Walk Description Changes


AltHippo has pointed out that the Pentagon plans to have another Freedom Walk next year as a much bigger deal, covering every state — and coincidentally at the height of the 2006 midterm election campaign. I remembered seeing that shortly after I posted my previous Freedom Walk piece, and I thought it had been in the list of questions on the “About the Walk” page, but looking just now I couldn’t find the passage.

Fortunately I was able to use the Google cache to confirm what I remembered. I think I’m going to start making frequent copies of the Freedom Walk site, since I’ve noticed some changes and I imagine there’ll be a few more. I’ll go over the changes below.


We’re In Last Place


Though last place is very good in this case. According to the California Energy Commission, DC has the lowest per capita gas consumption. At 214.4 gals/person, DC is well below half the national average of 470.6.

Congratulations DC for getting the lead out. Granted it’s in the water supply now, but it’s a start.

Via Metroblogging DC

August 13, 2005

Fourth Most Liberal City


Okay, these lists of most whatever cities are meaningless publicity stunts for the organizations that compile the lists, but what the hell. The Bay Area Center for Voting Research has studied “voting patterns” (could they be a little more vague?) of the 237 US cities with populations over 100,000 and ranked them from most liberal to most conservative. The center apparently doesn’t have anyone who knows HTML well enough to put up the lists as web pages rather than Microsoft Word documents, but here are the top 10 on each side:

Most Liberal Most Conservative
  1. Detroit, Michigan
  2. Gary, Indiana
  3. Berkeley, California
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Oakland, California
  6. Inglewood, California
  7. Newark, New Jersey
  8. Cambridge, Massachusetts
  9. San Francisco, California
  10. Flint, Michigan
  1. Provo, Utah
  2. Lubbock, Texas
  3. Abilene, Texas
  4. Hialeah, Florida
  5. Plano, Texas
  6. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  7. Gilbert, Arizona
  8. Bakersfield, California
  9. Lafayette, Louisiana
  10. Orange, California

Berkeley I can understand, but are we really less liberal than Detroit and Gary?

Of the ten most liberal cities, only three currently have Drinking Liberally chapters: DC, Cambridge, and San Francisco, in order, so we’re the most liberal city with a DL chapter (woo-hoo!). None of the ten most conservative cities has a DL chapter, though they’re the ones most in need of it.

Chat Sours Post Columnist on Freedom Walk, but Management Still Claims It’s Nonpartisan


Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher had a Live Online chat Thursday, and the conversation turned to the Post’s sponsorship of the Pentagon’s “Freedom Walk” September 11 propaganda event (see AltHippo’s post). Fisher first responded like this:

Well, first of all, it’s the Washington Post as a corporate entity in this community that’s sponsoring the march, not the news operation. Second, I don’t see where this is a pro-administration rally. From the web site, it looks like a non-partisan expression of support for the troops and for the memory of those who died on 9/11.

I grant you that anytime our company sponsors events that are remotely controversial, it causes grief in the newsroom because it does indeed raise questions among readers about our neutrality and fairness. So if I were running things, I’d steer clear of any sponsorship of potentially divisive events. But in fairness, this seems to be more along the lines of a Veterans Day commemoration than a pro-war rally.


August 8, 2005

The “Truth Tour” Will Out


Like me, you may have recalled hearing about a “Truth Tour” pulled together to bypass the MSM, and finally hear the Good News coming out of Iraq. I had wondered what had become of them, and why I still hadn’t heard the Good News. Now I think I understand why.

The “Truth Tour” was a group of right-wing radio hosts and personalities who toured Iraqi Army bases July 7 to July 17. The Tour was organized by a group called Move America Forward co-chaired by Melanie Morgan and Howard Kaloogian: (MediaTransparancy.org)

August 4, 2005

Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan


Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan, Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan (Reagan) Reagan Reagan. Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan? Oh, sorry, I lapsed into what will be the US official language before long — Reagan, in which every word has been changed to honor the Supreme President Before Whom All Others Are as Nothing (Except for Dubya).

This post is occasioned by the latest outrage on the naming-everything-after-Reagan front (thanks to DCist for alerting me). On July 28, just before leaving town for the recess, Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX) introduced a bill that would rename 16th Street NW to Ronald Reagan Boulevard. Never mind that no other president has a huge boulevard named after him. Never mind that it would destroy the logical letter-number grid of L’Enfant’s design for the city. Never mind that we already have named an airport and the largest federal building other than the Pentagon after the guy. And certainly never mind that the citizens of the District have no interest in such a renaming or in paying the $1 million it would cost. Republicans must carry their Reaganolatry beyond all reasonable limits (the Reagan Legacy Project’s blog of course rejoices in the idea).

Fortunately, one of our local Republicans, Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), is in charge of the relevant committee and has the right attitude, according to WTOP:

Davis tells WTOP the bill is “ridiculous” and he plans to put it in the “appropriate file.”

“We have named Ronald Reagan Airport, we have the Ronald Reagan building downtown, but I think if Congressman Bonilla wants to name anything else he has to look at his own district in San Antonio.”

I have complaints about Davis, but on this issue all I can say is “bravo, Tom!”

July 31, 2005

Endless Campaigns Reach the Local Level


We’re used to having presidential campaigns that start years before the election and go on forever, but city elections haven’t been that way — until now. I was out getting groceries this afternoon and found that the area around the Cleveland Park Metro has been plastered with signs for a DC council candidate. I wondered for a second whether I had missed the announcement of some sort of special election, but no, Jonathan Rees is just getting a head start on the primary election that’s coming up on September 12. That’s September 12, 2006. I know that several mayoral candidates have already declared, but putting up signs 13 months ahead for a council race, especially one that’s not even citywide, is going a bit far. Rees has been spamming the Craigslist personals (including a “test question” about arranging a threesome) and other web boards for several weeks now, but this is the first actual sign I’ve seen.

Then there’s the content of the sign. The biggest words other than the candidate’s name are “and I will vote no”, part of Rees’s version of Bush the Elder’s “no new taxes” pledge. In fact, the sign is entirely about his antitax positions (complete with a depiction of a taxpayer in handcuffs) and gives no hint what other positions he might have. Is this guy really a Democrat, or is he just running as one because the Democratic primaries are the real elections in this city?


July 28, 2005

DC Wins!


By “wins” in this case I mean we beat out NYC. Overall DC actually came in 5th.

I’m speaking of course about Forbes poll of the best cities for singles. Not only is DC 5th overall, it’s also the 5th coolest.

Sounds about right to me. ‘Cause if anything is at the intersection of Cool and Singles, it’s gotta be Forbes.

July 19, 2005

Edward Lazarus at P&P


From the Politics&Prose web site:

Sunday, July 24, 5 p.m.
(Penguin, $18)
Lazarus, who clerked with Justice Blackmun, has updated his 1998 account of the inner workings of the Supreme Court. Lazarus writes about how differing judicial philosophies may affect current discussions about the appointment of justices.

This, of course, was not just another book on the Supreme Court. It’s a rare insider account, and very controversial among Supreme Court scholars. That he clerked for Blackmun, who was the author of landmark decisions on abortion and the death penalty, should make this a really action-packed afternoon.

For those of you who might have assumed that P&P book talks are quiet, tea-sipping events… umh, no.


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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