the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

August 3, 2005

America Coming Together to Dissolve


Washington Post:

The dream was that ACT — heavily funded by billionaire George Soros — would play a decisive role in getting Democratic nominee John F. Kerry elected president and then remain in business as a permanent force in liberal politics.

Instead, the group this week began sending e-mails to most of the 28 people who make up the remaining ACT staff warning that their paychecks would stop at the end of August. All the state offices have been, or are soon to be, closed.

Alex, I’m going with What happens when progressive organizations suck at fundraising for $500.

July 29, 2005

Saturday Road Trip to Virginia Beach to Help a Democratic Candidate


At tonight’s DCDL meeting Rene, a regular, told us all about a road trip he’s taking Saturday to help turn a small part of Virginia blue, and he wants to invite anyone who’s interested to go along! He and some friends are leaving at 8:30 Saturday morning to head down to Virginia Beach to volunteer for a candidate and have a beach party.

Supriya Christopher is running as a Democrat for the open House of Delegates seat for District 84, in Virginia Beach. She’s the first Indian American — in fact, the first Asian American of any kind — to run for a seat in the Virginia legislature. She’s been an officer in the US Army Signal Corps, and her husband is a Navy pilot serving in Iraq.

If you’re interested in going (or want more information), contact Gautam Dutta (e-mail gautam{at}aya.yale.edu) right away, to reserve your place with Rene and the gang!

July 25, 2005

What’s The Matter With Book Discussions


Over at the TPM Cafe Book Club, Thomas Frank is discussing his bestseller What’s the Matter With Kansas.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him, and he’s got a sharp yet laid-back wit. Here he reflects on a book reading in Kansas:

How has the book been received in Kansas? Well, at first there was a great deal of hostility from the local media, arising, I suspect, from a lot of bad impulses. My favorite example of this: I was in Wichita in May 2005 to speak at a bookstore, and a TV crew wanted to do an interview before I got started. First question: Are you “afraid” to be in Wichita? I laughed. Second question: Why did I “flee” the Midwest? I wrote the book while living in Chicago, I pointed out. Third question: Why was I doing only one reading in the state of Kansas? This was my tenth, as a matter of fact. You can easily decipher the journalistic narrative that they were plugging into here: Blue-state, east-coast, glasses-wearing elitist makes fun of the honest, God-fearing people of the heartland. Good thing they didn’t catch me swigging a latte or something.

Hopefully, we’ll get him as a guest speaker at Drinking Liberally at some point. During our own book discussion would have been nice, but what can you do. Speaking of which, any thoughts on a future book discussion?

July 22, 2005

Got Accountability?


I wanted to follow up on a conversation from last night’s Drinking Liberally happy “hour.” We were talking about Republican strategies and Democratic strategies for dealing with the situation in Iraq.

I brought up Rumsfeld’s track record on accountability vis a vis this recent story (Boston Globe):

The Bush administration yesterday came under more pressure to outline the number of American forces that may need to stay in Iraq over the next two years after the Pentagon failed to meet a 60-day deadline set by Congress to provide a detailed plan for training Iraqis and for likely US troop levels.

The report to Congress, due yesterday, was required under the $80 billion war spending legislation approved in May. It is intended to help answer one of the most pressing questions hanging over the American-led occupation: when the United States might be able to begin drawing down the estimated 140,000 forces in Iraq.

The White House and Pentagon are facing rising calls from Democrats and Republicans for a more detailed strategy in Iraq — calls that grew louder yesterday.

Rumsfeld missed the date to have a plan, and didn’t suggest a new date. Meanwhile, Bush is pushing the envelope of compassionate conservatism; he cares so much for his employees that he doesn’t want them to over-exert themselves over things like planning. Schedule? What’s a schedule?

I also like this bit at the end of the article:

The Army, meanwhile, also delayed the scheduled release of a study about the impact of the extended deployment, which officials said raises new questions about its ability to respond to other trouble spots around the world. Top generals needed more time to review the RAND Corporation findings before making them public. ‘’There is nothing to hide,” said a senior Army officer who asked not to be named. ‘’We wanted a chance to absorb it.”

What does your absorption have to do with timely public disclosure? When are you going to release the report? Hello? Anybody home?

Running for Change Kickoff Party Saturday


I hope you’ve kept your social schedule clear for Saturday night. Tomorrow DCDL and our friends at DC for Democracy are sponsoring a kickoff party in Adams Morgan for Running for Change, the political running club formerly known as Run Against Bush. RFC will be unveiling its new T-shirt and new campaign, and there’ll be a cash bar and door prizes. The fun starts at 7pm, July 23, at the (aptly named) Blue Room, 2321 18th St NW. Special guest Adam Shah, counsel to the Judicial Selection Project at the Alliance for Justice, will have a few words to say about the Supreme Court nomination fight. Even if, like me, you’re not a runner, come out and support your fellow liberals as they launch this new campaign.

See you there!

July 14, 2005

Steven Aftergood at DCDL Tonight


Tonight DC Drinking Liberally is back at Timberlake’s, 1726 Connecticut Avenue NW, a couple of blocks north of the Dupont Circle Metro (Red Line), from 6:30 to 8:30. Our guest speaker is Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, who will be speaking about Bush administration secrecy.

Steven directs the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, which works to reduce the scope of government secrecy, to accelerate the declassification of cold war documents, and to promote reform of official secrecy practices. He writes and edits the email newsletter Secrecy News, which is read by more than 10,000 self-selected subscribers in media, government and among the general public. In 1997, Mr. Aftergood was the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency which successfully led to the declassification and publication of the total intelligence budget ($26.6 billion in 1997) for the first time in fifty years. For Steven’s complete bio please visit http://www.fas.org/sgp/aftergood.html.

See you tonight!

July 12, 2005

Espionage Posters


For folks who like free downloads, you may like this collection of posters from the Office of the National Counter-Intelligence Executive.

Something about it needs updating, but I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s the photo.

July 1, 2005

Thanks, Zack


zack exley at drinking liberally

As was expected, a huge turnout for Zack Exley. Interesting, impressive guy, as was Luke Bruce. A couple of key points that I came away with in the discussion of the Kerry campaign versus the Tony Blair campaign:

Does the DNC have a rapid response team? I’m guessing not. It’s hard to imagine anything more rapid than the criticisms of Dean by other Dems.

If anything, I’d say we’ve got a rapid circular firing squad.

June 28, 2005

Presidential Speech Tonight


I was just reminded by MoveOn.org that Presidente Arbusto is addressing the nation this evening:

Tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET, President Bush will speak to the nation about the war in Iraq in a televised address. Despite the car bombs and rising attacks, he’s expected to offer no new policy—in fact, he’s expected to say that we’re making progress, that everything is going just fine.

Over the last week, we asked you to vote on whether we should work together in a major campaign to get Democrats and Republicans in Congress on board with a responsible exit plan. As of this morning, hundreds of thousands have voted and the results are clear: more than 83 percent said you were in. Together, we’re ready to tell our leaders that it’s time to come home.

They then suggest to write a letter to your local newspaper editor after the speech. Makes sense.

To get through the occasionally painful experience of listening to Arbusto mangle the English language, may I suggest this drinking game? It hasn’t been updated since the State of the Union, but most of it still applies:

To that I’ll add that if he says “My job is hard”, throw an unemployment check at the TV screen, then quickly down a bloody mary.

June 27, 2005

Thursday’s Speakers Zack Exley from Kerry-Edwards Campaign and Luke Bruce from the British Labour Party


Please join us this Thursday 7:30P.M. at Timberlakes for a very special DCDL with two fantastic speakers Zack Exley from the Kerry-Edwards campaign and Luke Bruce from the British Labour Party. Zack Exley coordinated online efforts for the British Labour Party’s recent re-election campaign, was Director of Online Organizing and Communications at Kerry-Edwards 2004 and served as Organizing Director at MoveOn.org. Luke Bruce was the director of policy for the British Labour Party election campaign. Zack and Luke will speak about what the Democrats have to learn from the Labour Party who keep winning despite all kinds of obstacles. They have fairly different views on the topic but both are united on the basic idea that Democrats need to be more aggressive and decisive to be successful in the future.

Please check out Zack and Luke at Timberlakes in DuPont Circle (1726
Connecticut Ave NW (202) 483-2266).


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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