the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Let’s be thankful for the small signs we’re starting to see that the country may be getting back on track.

The Wednesday Drinking Liberally group has a Thanksgiving Eve meeting tonight at Mark and Orlando’s (2020 P Street NW), starting at 5:30 (one hour earlier than usual). The Thursday group is taking the week off and will be back on December 1. The Monday group in Arlington is taking next week off and will next meet December 5.

Have a safe trip if, like me, you’re leaving town, and have a great celebration wherever you are!

November 15, 2005

Scalito Watch


To follow up on our most excellent speaker night with Lisa Maatz, I’d like to point out this Washington Post article. This quote from his application to Ed Meese particularly struck me:

“I believe very strongly in limited government, federalism, free enterprise, the supremacy of the elected branches of government, the need for a strong defense and effective law enforcement, and the legitimacy of a government role in protecting traditional values,” he wrote. “In the field of law, I disagree strenuously with the usurpation by the judiciary of decision-making authority that should be exercised by the branches of government responsible to the electorate.”


Wal-Mart Movie This Week (and Democrats’ Kickoff Tonight)


Robert Greenwald’s new film Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price is premiering this week at house parties and other events across the country:

WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE is a feature length documentary that uncovers a retail giant’s assault on families and American values.

The film dives into the deeply personal stories and everyday lives of families and communities struggling to fight a goliath. A working mother is forced to turn to public assistance to provide healthcare for her two small children. A Missouri family loses its business after Wal-Mart is given over $2 million to open its doors down the road. A mayor struggles to equip his first responders after Wal-Mart pulls out and relocates just outside the city limits. A community in California unites, takes on the giant, and wins!

Producer/Director Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films take you on an extraordinary journey that will change the way you think, feel — and shop.

Wednesday-night DCDL has a showing tomorrow, but it’s already full (though you may be able to squeeze in if there are no-shows). Fortunately there are plenty of other showings to sign up for, every day of the week. There are even some tonight — like the one at the Women’s National Democratic Club — that combine the movie premiere with the Democrats’ national organizing kickoff. Sounds like a great way to maximize your progressive event attendance.

November 11, 2005

Events Calendar


Recently, I was reflecting on our connections to other progressive groups and events in the area. As we start to get organized for the 2006 midterms these connections are going to play a critical role in taking our country back. So, we’ll certainly have speakers on critical issues of the day come by on Thursdays. Meanwhile, some other events you may want to check out:

Sierra Club
Second Monday Happy Hour Mon., Nov. 14, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm The Reef, 2446 18th St., NW
Potluck Thanksgiving Dinner Sat., Nov. 19, 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Popular Spring Animal Sanctuary, 15200 Mt. Nebo Rd., Poolesville, MD

DC for Democracy
VA Election Happy Hour celebration, Wednesday, November 16.

Women’s Caucus for Art - DC Chapter
Art from the Heart Community Party, Saturday, November 12, 2005, 7:00–9:30 pm. River Road Unitarian Church 6301 River Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20817 Admission: $5.00

National Organizing Kickoff House Party Night. Tuesday, Nov 15. Times and locations all around DC.

November 9, 2005

Kaine Wins!


Monday night Bush went to Richmond to embrace Jerry Kilgore and ask Virginians to support the Republican candidate for governor. Tuesday night we found out what Virginians’ answer was: a slap in the face for Bush. Virginians overwhelming feel the country is on the wrong track, and they elected Democrat Tim Kaine by a decisive 52 to 46 percent. The result was also a rejection of Kilgore’s relentless negative ads and dirty tricks, which were managed by former Rove colleague Scott Howell.

Republicans also lost seats in the Virginia House of Delegates (though they maintain a large majority). Among the five candidates endorsed by DC for Democracy, four won, including two — David Poisson and David Marsden — who gained seats that had been Republican.

There were other Democratic victories yesterday as well (along with some defeats), as Kos summarizes.

So come out this week and celebrate with Drinking Liberally. We’re also celebrating the first anniversary of the founding of the first DC chapter. Join the fun either tonight at Mark and Orlando’s for the DCDL birthday party or at the traditional place and time tomorrow at Timberlake’s — or perhaps yesterday’s news rates a two-night celebration. (See the upper left corner for addresses and times, and for links to sign up for the announcement lists.)

November 5, 2005

Out and About Today


roosevelt island nov 5, 2005

Keith and I were at the rally earlier today protesting Representative Pombo, and the larger theme about the aggressive Republican stance towards the environment. More coming about this, but I wanted to get this photo up.

And, as I say, more on what Pombo is hatching soon.

November 3, 2005

Hell hath no fury…


…like someone holding their phone bill and discovering that the huge total reflects some unknown person’s voracious phone-sex habit. Until they’ve been on hold for three hours waiting to talk to a human being, that is. The story, or ones like it, has been around for some time, but the Motley Fool tells us that being a customer isn’t what it used to be. While it’s a phenomenon most of us are familiar with, very rarely does anyone look at the history of consumer relations in order to find an explanation. With the post-war economic boom of the 1950’s (domestically driven by the families enthusiastically participating in the Baby Boom), “the customer is always right” was the watchword for service. Now, you don’t hear it anymore. Why not? I have a few ideas:

1. Because it’s expensive. The no-questions return policy (for example) costs a great deal more than just the lost sale. More to the point, a bad marketing decision can mean tremendous losses.
2. Because it’s messy. Customers want to be special cases when things go wrong for them. Special cases take time and money, and time is money.
3. Because it’s much, much easier to identify them as consumers, and assume that consuming is something they must do.

October 29, 2005

Judicial Armegedon Watch


The Washington Post is hinting that Samuel A. Alito Jr will be nominated to replace Sandra Day O’Connor, noting that Alito was in town Thursday night. Alito is best known for his resemblance to Scalia, both physically and judicially, and is often referred to as “Scalito” or “Little Nino.”

He is second-best known for his dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Casey, you may recall, concerned a Pennsylvania law requiring a woman to inform her husband if she wanted to have an abortion. While his dissent may have been couched in the language of “undue burden” or lack thereof, in simplest terms he found such a law perfectly reasonable.

Regarding this decision I’ll just say that Scalito’s desire to return society to the Dark Ages matches well with some of his colleagues pining for the days of the feudal system.

There is a certain logic to such a nomination. It appears calculated to undo the Gang of 14 agreement, which had undermined the authority of the One True branch of government, the Executive. Can’t have that. It also would be an appeasement to the Fundamentalist branch of the Republican party. Their support for Bush in the 2004 election was conditioned on a Supreme Court appointment that would overturn Roe, and Miers was ambiguous on this point. They had ordered up raw meat; imagine their surprise when they found snausage in their bowl.

More on Scalito at dKosopedia.

October 25, 2005

Place Your Bets!


I’m no gambler, but it can be entertaining to look at prices on betting sites that cover things other than sports. Currently Intrade has the following most recent trade prices for selected US legal events:

I. Lewis Libby to be indicted ON or BEFORE 31st DEC 05
Karl Rove to be indicted ON or BEFORE 31st DEC 05
Harriet Miers to be Confirmed to the Supreme Court by the US Senate
Tom DeLay to be found guilty of conspiracy to violate political fund raising laws
Tom DeLay to be found guilty of conspiring to launder money & money laundering

The prices, which can range from 0 to 100, roughly correspond to the percentage likelihood the market is assigning to the events. The DeLay numbers are disappointing, but then ultimately they’re all meaningless since the people buying and selling presumably don’t have any inside information.

Judging by the current rumblings, with luck we may have some indictments to toast this week. Remember, if you want to be in the loop for Thursday Drinking Liberally, you need to subscribe to the new announcement list.

October 23, 2005

November 3: Supreme Court Night


On Thursday November 3, we are pleased and proud to host Lisa Maatz, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations for the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

She will be discussing the Miers nomination, and taking your questions. Free apetizers (we’ve worked out a pretty impressive spread with Timberlake’s), and the happy hour prices (basically, $1 off all drinks) will apply for the whole evening.

More on Lisa Maatz and AAUW after the jump


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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