the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

April 12, 2006

16 Days Is the New 45 Minutes


Via Talking Points Memo, I see Bloomberg has the latest scary Iran news from the Bush administration, under the headline “Iran Could Produce Nuclear Bomb in 16 Days, U.S. Says”:

Iran, which is defying United Nations Security Council demands to cease its nuclear program, may be capable of making a nuclear bomb within 16 days if it goes ahead with plans to install thousands of centrifuges at its Natanz plant, a U.S. State Department official said.

“Natanz was constructed to house 50,000 centrifuges,” Stephen Rademaker, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, told reporters today in Moscow. “Using those 50,000 centrifuges they could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in 16 days.”

Hmm. If I move some furniture around, I figure I could fit two printing presses into my apartment. And if each press can produce 65,000 $20 bills an hour, I figure I can have $1 billion in 16 days. You can stop by to pick it up on the 28th.

By the way, any idea where I could get the right ink, paper, security strips, and engraved plates? No? Well, I’m sure it won’t be a problem. After all, I already have the space, and that’s the hard part.

Looks like we’re still on course for my sad joke from January.

April 11, 2006

Thursday: “Challenging Empire” at Timberlake’s


Phyllis Bennis

We are pleased and proud to host Phyllis Bennis at Timberlake’s this Thursday, April 13, 6:30-9.

She will be discussing her book “Challenging Empire” and answer questions about the current situation in the Middle East.

“Challenging Empire” tackles the question of why we went to war in Iraq, examining whether the cause may be rooted in empirical ambition. It’s a particularly timely book given how the Iraq situation has developed since our president declared “Mission Accomplished” 3 years ago, as well as the potential crisis with Iran.

As per tradition on speaker night, free appetizers, and drink specials until 9pm.

A short bio on Dr. Bennis after the jump:

April 4, 2006

“Change the Course” in Iraq With DC for Democracy


Our friends at DC for Democracy have been working on a nationwide campaign they call Change the Course. See the link for details, but the idea is to coordinate lobbying by other Democracy for America chapters to get the House of Representatives to have a “full and open debate” on the Iraq war. The campaign is just getting started, but they’ve already gotten several House members to sign up.

DC4D’s monthly meeting this Wednesday will be devoted to the campaign, and it looks like our own Art Levine will be there to report on it. I’ll be there too. If you’re interested in helping or finding out more, RSVP or just show up. Here’s the announcement:

We hope you will all come to a very special Meetup this Wednesday!

Why so special?

Because this Wednesday, Change the Course has rolled out to a bunch of other states and become truly national in scope. To kick it off, DCFD and DFA hosted a teleconference, where Rep. Neil Abercrombie spoke to us from Hawaii. Come and hear his rousing speech, which we taped for everyone’s enjoyment!

Also, we may have media coverage of our Meetup. Art Levine, journalist and DCFD supporter, hopes to do a story about our campaign for American Prospect or Mother Jones. Let’s show Art what DCFD is made of!

So come out to Ben’s Chili Bowl this Wednesday, 7PM as usual — but for a very special Meetup!

Joanne, Michelle, Mike, and Kesh
for DC for Democracy’s Change the Course Team

March 20, 2006

Glenn Reynolds, Supergenius


Via Belle Waring at Crooked Timber, I found these serious answers to serious questions by Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds:

1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?


2. Have you changed your position?

No. Sanctions were failing and Saddam was a threat, making any other action in the region impossible.

3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?


The last answer is of course the best, since he cuts through all the foolish, eggheaded, unmanly, terrorist-sympathizing concerns about planning or strategy and gets straight to the point. The Reynolds solution can clearly be adapted to other intractable problems — for example:

What should we do about cancer?

Cure it.

What should we do about world hunger?

Make sure everyone gets enough food.

Yes, I know, that second answer has too many details. That’s why DCDL isn’t on the A list of blogs.

I invite you to apply the Reynolds solution to other world problems (or city problems, or personal problems) in the comments.

February 28, 2006

Lamont, Living Wage, Schools, and Iraq at DC for Democracy Wednesday


Speaking of Ned Lamont’s primary challenge to Joe Lieberman, our friends at DC for Democracy are holding their monthly meeting this week and will have a special guest: Lamont senior campaign adviser Aldon Hynes, who will “talk about why progressives are challenging Senator Lieberman and answer your questions about his campaign and the tactics of challenging an incumbent Democrat.”

In addition, people will be talking about DC4D’s efforts at the local level to improve DC public schools and promote a living wage for DC workers. If that sounds like the sort of thing you’d like to help with, show up and find out more.

In national-level politics, DC for Democracy will be continuing with its “Change the Course” campaign — reaching out to Democracy for America chapters across the country to lobby for discussion in Congress about how to end the US occupation of Iraq. The campaign has a specific plan, focused on a stalled bill in the House called the Homeward Bound Resolution. It’s still in its early stages and could use your help.

The meeting is Wednesday, March 1, at 7pm at Ben’s Chili Bowl, 1213 U Street NW (near the U Street Metro stop). For more information, see the RSVP form.

January 3, 2006

Powerful Words.


Rep. Murtha has once again changed the nature of the discussion on Iraq:

A decorated Vietnam combat veteran who retired as a colonel after 37 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Murtha told ABC News’ “Nightline” program that Iraq “absolutely” was a wrong war for President George W. Bush to have launched.

“Would you join (the military) today?,” he was asked in an interview taped on Friday.

“No,” replied Murtha of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending and one of his party’s leading spokesmen on military issues.

“And I think you’re saying the average guy out there who’s considering recruitment is justified in saying ‘I don’t want to serve’,” the interviewer continued.

“Exactly right,” said Murtha, who drew White House ire in November after becoming the first ranking Democrat to push for a pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as it could be done safely.

Remember this when you hear people on the Left argue that he wants more of the same-old same-old in Iraq, just a different deployment.

Like his original resolution, this is a tremendous step forward in deconstructing the entire PNAC playbook.

November 22, 2005

Cheney Roundup


I caught David Letterman’s monologue last night for the first time in months. You know that the idea of a Vice President for Torture is established in the public mind when a late night comic jokes about Cheney having his Thanksgiving turkey tortured by the CIA. Unfortunately, I fear that despite the supposed resurgence of “moral values”, opposition to torture is not a winning political strategy with the US public.

In any case, Dick Cheney’s recent emergence from his undisclosed location to growl at opponents of the administration’s Iraq fiasco has sparked various responses in the blogs:

Update (2:30pm): Dana Milbank, who was criticized here a while back, gets in a few jabs at Cheney today. I like the opening:

Vice President Cheney protested yesterday that he had been misunderstood when he said last week that critics of the White House over Iraq were “dishonest and reprehensible.”

What he meant to say, he explained to his former colleagues at the American Enterprise Institute, was that those who question the White House’s use of prewar intelligence were not only “dishonest and reprehensible” but also “corrupt and shameless.”

It was about as close as the vice president gets to a retraction.

November 9, 2005

Chalabi Protest Today (Updated)


Steve Clemons suggests a citizen’s arrest, or at least a protest, when Ahmed Chalabi shows up to speak at the American Enterprise Institute this afternoon.

Chalabi played the United States government for fools in getting us involved in Iraq and making sure everything worked out to the advantage of his friends in Iran, and after going through a series of ups and downs with the Bush administration (including an arrest warrant against him) now hopes to become prime minister of Iraq.

If you want to be part of the welcoming party, show up outside AEI, 1150 17th Street NW (17th and M, near the Farragut North and Farragut West Metro stations) by 2pm today.

Update (12:30 am): I stopped by this afternoon. Photos after the jump.


October 3, 2005

Ready, Aim, Sing!


Rich at Blogging for Change was yet another observer at the September 25 prowar rally (and like the rest of us might have been included in the count of 400 war supporters). He’s discovered, a week later, that we all missed something important because we left too early: the world premiere of the song “Bush Was Right” by the Right Brothers.

Rich goes through some of the lyrics to that song and other Right Brothers hits, and it’s hard to believe they’re not a parody group, but in these days of the BushFish and comic books about superpowered conservative talk-show hosts, it’s pretty much impossible to come up with a parody of right-wing thinking that won’t be eagerly embraced by the wingers themselves. Particularly disturbing is “Trickle Down”, which defends the powerless, oppressed multimillionaires and billionaires of the country and tells the working man that one day he’ll have his turn to take his place among the ultrarich and benefit from the tax breaks too.

There is one Right Brothers song that I agree with, though I’m not sure how a Bush supporter can sing it. Perhaps they wrote it in 1993. The song is “Wake Up, America”:

There are people in this country
With no idea that something’s wrong
And Mother freedom, she’s been crying
So I just had to write this song

Wake up America you’ve been asleep too long
This country’s being jerked out from under your feet
Open your eyes now and look what’s going on
It’s time to stand and fight for what you believe
Wake up America oh say can’t you see

Can you imagine the Founding Fathers
Coming back to life and standing here today
If they could look out across our nation
I think this might be what they’d say

Repeat Chorus

Wake up, America oh say can’t you see

No doubt these guys will be taking America by storm. Perhaps the Honky Tonkers for Truth (who unfortunately were unable to sway the red states in 2004) can be revived and the two groups can have a fiddling contest or something.

Who Are You Gonna Believe?


Testimony last Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee:

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: General Abizaid, there was a report sent over, I think last June, that three of the hundred Iraqi battalions were fully trained and equipped, capable of operating independently. What is that number now?

GEN. JOHN ABIZAID: The number now is, if you’re talking about level-one trained –



SEN. JOHN McCAIN: At one battalion?


SEN. JOHN McCAIN: The previous report was you had three battalions. Now we’re down to one battalion.

Bush in his Saturday radio address:

I’m encouraged by the increasing size and capability of the Iraqi security forces.

The question now is how people are responding. Are we dealing with Orwell’s 1984?

It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it.

Or with Iraqi information minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf?

The infidels are committing suicide by the hundreds on the gates of Baghdad.


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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