the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

June 19, 2007

DCDL “Netroots Salute” Happy Hour Tonight


AltHippo, Jesse, and I are at the Take Back America conference this week, along with hundreds of other progressives from all over. (AltHippo has been reporting about it on his blog.)

Along with Justin from the national Drinking Liberally group, we’re going to be hosting a happy hour tonight for those in town for the conference, DCDL regulars, and anyone else who’s interested in conversation with fellow liberals. We’ll be starting about 6:30pm at our usual hangout, the back room at Timberlake’s (1726 Connecticut Ave NW), less than two blocks south and across Connecticut Avenue from the conference hotel.

So stop by and say hello. We’ll be around until at least 9.

May 4, 2007

Dan Froomkin at Drinking Liberally


On Thursday, May 10 the DC chapter of Drinking Liberally is proud to host washingtonpost.com columnist Dan Froomkin at Timberlake’s, Dupont Circle. Dan is best known for his White House Watch column, a weekday roundup of all the latest on the White House. His column is a critical favorite in the political blogosphere.

The evening starts with a happy hour 6:30-7:30, followed by Dan’s talk and Q&A. Per tradition on our speaker nights, free appetizers, and drink discounts last until 9:00.

April 11, 2007

Farewell to Capitol Hill Drinking Liberally


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.

April 8, 2007

Jeffrey Feldman at DCDL


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.

March 29, 2007

GSA Toady Comes to Capitol Hill


You may have already seen the video, but this was too good not to preserve as text.

On Wednesday, Lurita Doan, Administrator at the General Services Administration, came to talk to talk to Henry Waxman’s committee. She was there to answer questions about a meeting this past January between GSA and Karl Rove’s Office of Political Affairs, a meeting that was by all appearances a Republican strategy session held in a government agency that is supposed to be nonpartisan. That’s why this was probably an illegal meeting.

Bruce Braley (IA-1) is the freshman Democrat who led the questioning. His focus was the Powerpoint presentation on recent Congressional elections that was given at this meeting by Karl Rove’s deputy, Scott Jennings.

BRALEY: Let’s look at Slide 578. This is the slide that has at the top “2008 House Targets Top 20″. … This slide is depicting Republican targets that identify Democratic seats that are vulnerable in 2006. Isn’t that what it says? … And it shows district by district the individual what the percentage of that district was in the 2004 election and what percentage that particular Democratic candidate received in the 2006 election. Correct?
DOAN: Yes, it appears… I-I-I honestly, I have not seen this chart until yesterday, I don’t remember, I mean, I really truly don’t remember seeing this chart until yesterday when I tried to dig it up and I have to say I don’t know what the explanation was that accompanies this. I truly do not remember this part of the presentation.

DOAN: [T]his was not my meeting, I did not convene it, I didn’t run the agenda of it, I did not invite… Scott Jennings to the meeting, I actually didn’t have any involvement in it.
WAXMAN: You were just there, though.
DOAN: I did attend the meeting. Yes, I was there, and I-
WAXMAN: Well I’m going to let Mr. Braley continue.
BRALEY: You would agree that a reasonable interpretation of this slide is that it was a political attempt to try to target the top 20 Democratic candidates for defeat in 2008.
DOAN: No, I would not say that. I would say that this was a slide that says “2008 House Targets Top 20.” I do not want to try to speculate what was intended by Mr. Jennings on the slide. I really think you have to ask him.

Sniff-sniff. Smell something?


March 27, 2007

Wednesday Political Events


Those of you who are interested in politics and plan your schedule at the last minute are in luck. The evening of Wednesday, March 28, is chock-full of exciting events:

March 22, 2007

Max Blumenthal at DCDL


Join us in the back room of Timberlake’s this Thursday, 6:30 to 9. (1726 Connecticut Ave NW, north of Dupont Circle). This is our monthly guest speaker night, and we are proud and pleased to host Max Blumenthal.

Max Blumenthal is a Nation Institute Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow whose work regularly appears in the Nation. He is a Research Fellow at Media Matters for America.

You may want to check out his March 19 article in the Nation: The Porn Plot Against Prosecutors. If you’re interested in the prosecutor purge story, there’s fresh material here that’s definitely worth a read.

March 17, 2007

Bush Weighs In On DC Voting


In case you didn’t see this, the Decider-in-Chief has ruled out voting rights for the District: (Washington Post)

The White House declared its opposition yesterday to a bill that would give the District its first full seat in the House of Representatives, saying it is unconstitutional, and a key Senate supporter said such concerns could kill the measure.

“The Constitution specifies that only ‘the people of the several states’ elect representatives to the House,” said White House spokesman Alex Conant. “And D.C. is not a state.”

Then, Conant added: “Let them eat cake.” Not really, but it’s very easy to imagine him dressed up like Louis XIV.

My question is: when did Bush become pro-Constitution? My whole memory of the legal proceedings at Guantanamo was Bush trying to find the best way to avoid having the Constitution apply to him.

And, if I’m not mistaken, doesn’t the Supreme Court exist to decide what is and what’s not Constitutional? True, some of them are more duck-hunting partners for the VP than legal authorities, but still, wouldn’t it be polite to at least ask them what they think?

On the other hand, as Scalia once put it: “Quack, quack.”

March 15, 2007

How’s the troop surge going? What troop surge?


While there seems to be less news from Iraq than ever recently, we are hearing occasional stories cautiously suggesting that the violence is down a little. An AP story Wednesday reported that bombing deaths in Baghdad are down 30% over the last month.

But according to The Brookings Institute’s Iraq Index, violence overall is way up:

“Iraqis Killed in Multiple Fatality Bombings”:

July: 490 (record high)
November: 580 (record high)
December: 574
January: 442
February 704 (record high)

“Iraqis Wounded in Multiple Fatality Bombings”:

July: 1161 (record high)
November: 1010
December: 1254 (record high)
January: 1081
February: 1684 (record high)

And about that troop surge:

September: 144,000 US troops (+18,000 foreign troops)
October: 144,000 (17,200)
November: 140,000 (+18,000)
December: 140,000 (+15,200)
January: 132,000 (+14,650)
February: 135,000 (+14,010)
March: 141,000 (+14,035)

In other words, there are less troops now than there were in December prior to the “troop surge”.

I assume this is largely because of troop rotations. We’ll have to see where the troop levels are in a couple of months. But so far, the “Year of the Troop Surge” was 2005. US forces were at 150,000 or more for 6 months out of 2005 (all-time high was 160,000 in November and December 2005). If I were John McCain, I’d be asking the White House if we’re ever going to get to those levels again. What followed our efforts in 2005, of course, was a dramatic increase in violence in 2006. (Troop levels ranged from about 130,00-144,000 in 2006.)

Bottom line, the violence in Iraq continues unabated.

February 27, 2007

Eric Boehlert on the Washington Post



The Post’s soft spot for conservative media players is well-known. Last year the paper lovingly profiled Fox News’ openly partisan anchor Brit Hume and announced, “He speaks deliberately, unhurriedly, making his points with logic rather than passion.” And in 2005 the paper equated factually challenged talker Rush Limbaugh with award-winning late-night satirist Jon Stewart.

But I think it’s time to acknowledge what has blossomed into one of the Beltway’s most dysfunctional media liaisons: the love-hate relationship between The Washington Post and right-wing bloggers. The Post loves the bloggers, but the bloggers hate the Post.


The one lengthy Post feature of a liberal blogger that I can find from the last 24 months was a page-one piece from April 2006 when the Post shadowed lesser-known blogger Maryscott O’Connor, who writes at My Left Wing. The Post portrayed O’Connor as a Bush-hating lunatic. Key phrases from the article: “angry,” “rage,” “fury,” “angriest,” “outrage,” “crude,” “loud,” “crass,” “inflammatory,” “attack.”

I’ve noticed the same thing about the Post. I’ve noticed the same thing in such denizens of the left as PBS. There is a tendency inside the beltway to be very critical of the left blogosphere (listen up Mark Shields and Nina Totenberg) but are deferential towards fairly extreme bloggers like Malkin.

Why is that? I’ve written to both the Post and WETA about this, and as far as I can get, they feel that Malkin, Jonah Goldberg, other writers at NRO, etc., represent a point of view that has sympatico with part of their readership or viewing audience, and therefore must be respected.

You’d think, though, that these highly visible media platforms would want to get both sides of the argument. Why the Washington Post (and, for that matter WETA) has been uniformly critical of the left blogosphere, and reasonably supportive of the right hasn’t been explained.


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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