the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

April 10, 2006

Immigration Miscellany


  1. Of course the big immigration news today is the rally at the Washington Monument:

    Monday, April 10th, A National Day of Action Rally for Immigrant Rights! When: 3pm - March from Malcolm X Park (16th and Euclid Streets, NW) to the Washington Monument, 4pm - Rally at the Washington Monument. With some 75 cities holding marches and rallies, this may be the biggest day of demonstrations in more than a century. Virginia, Maryland, D.C. will rally at the Washington Monument. Order of the day: American flags and white T-shirts (to show the rally is peaceful — wear them over whatever is keeping you warm). Directed against draconian divide-and-conquer legislation passed in the house (HR 4437) and for progressive immigration reform (such as McCain-Kennedy). This is an issue that touches everybody in America, and the sea of faces at the rallies should show a wide range of solidarity. For more info, national and local: www.April10.org or www.cirnow.org. Info - Caroline Stuart, (202) 467-2457 or volunteer@pfaw.org

  2. I heard Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX) — known on this blog for advocating renaming 16th Street after Reagan — make a couple of wacky statements on Meet the Press yesterday. Fortunately Andrew Heyman at Blackwhite has the transcription to reassure me that I wasn’t imagining things:
    • Yes, Bonilla did say that he doesn’t actually want the Sensenbrenner bill he voted for to be enforced — therefore it’s okay to criminalize the actions of doctors, nurses, churches, and soup kitchens.
    • Yes, Bonilla does believe our neighbor to the south is a totalitarian dictatorship, where Vicente Fox is disappearing people for waving American flags.
  3. Since a lot Republicans seem to be against “amnesty” (not to mention Amnesty), Dwight Meredith at Wampum suggests asking people whether they favor amnesty for the president for illegal eavesdropping. It sounds like a good line to take, even if it doesn’t quite capture the idiocy of passing another law to address Bush’s belief that he can ignore laws.

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 23, 2006

Jim Hightower at Fundraiser for Jamie Raskin


Jamin “Jamie” Raskin is a professor of constitutional law at American University, and I’ve heard his name many times, especially in connection with attempts to obtain DC voting rights through the courts. But I only recently became aware that he’s running for state senate in Maryland’s 20th district, the area around Takoma Park and Silver Spring. He’s been getting some attention in the left-leaning neighborhoods of the Internet because of this March 1 exchange he had with a Republican state senator at a hearing about a bill banning same-sex marriage (the story has circulated so much that it’s made it to Snopes, the urban legend reference site):

“As I read Biblical principles, marriage was intended, ordained and started by God — that is my belief,” [Nancy Jacobs] said. “For me, this is an issue solely based on religious principles.”

Raskin shot back that the Bible was also used to uphold now-outlawed statutes banning interracial marriage, and that the constitution should instead be lawmakers’ guiding principle.

“People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; they don’t put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible,” he said.

Some in the room applauded, which led committee chairman Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Democrat from Montgomery County, to call for order. “This isn’t a football game,” he said.

Sounds like our kind of guy.

Now I see that populist humorist Jim Hightower is going to be at a fundraiser for Raskin tomorrow, March 24, in Silver Spring. There’ll be “fine grub from the Texas Chuck Wagon and the Dominican Kitchen (including vegetarian selections)”, as well as “a Bush-blastin’, Cheney-apprehendin’, Democrat-transformin’ revival”, and “square and salsa dancing for the whole family”. Could be fun (assuming you can spare $50 for a progressive candidate). Anyone up for a field trip to the wilds of Silver Spring?

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.

February 8, 2006



I’ve been to two kinds of funerals. Some were for those who brought us stability.

Such a funeral is a stately progression of somber faces, each person contemplative of the world the survivors have found themselves in. Sometimes this contemplation is personal, sometimes it is political, but it is always private. It is a hallowed, neutral ground, on which a gathering convenes in the spirit of “there, but for the grace of God, go I.” It is a time for understanding and embracing continuity and balance, of considering the moments spent with the deceased, and the memories of them we carry forward. It is a celebration of tradition, of family, and of the culture in which we live. A quiet celebration, but one dedicated to continuity, and the hope that when our time comes, the voices that speak of us in remembrance are kind. It is fundamentally political; it is a monument to the status quo.

Then there are the funerals for those whose lives brought us change.

This is also a celebration of continuity, but on a much more personal scale. It is an expression of grief, but also of hope. Hope that the strength and power of the fallen may be borne with honor by the living. It is a time of reckoning; a time we ask what works have been accomplished, and what remains to be done. A time where we ask ourselves “what should we do,” and realize that she will not be there to help us answer; we must now confront this question for ourselves. A time where we look back to the life of the one who has passed for our answers. Even as we mourn the stillness that once was her living voice, we raise our own, and find our own strength in the expression of the passion that she raised in us. It is a funeral not to honor the continuity in which she lived, but the vision of hope that she moved us towards, despite tragedy and horrible loss. It is where we renew our faith in what the departed taught us. It is fundamentally personal; it is a monument to the human being.

Think about Coretta Scott King; think about her acts, her beliefs, and her legacy. Put aside all else, save her.

Now tell me, which monument did she deserve?

February 7, 2006

Upcoming Events


Here’s your weekly helping of local events, also listed in the event calendar (linked from the sidebar). If you know of an event that should be included, let me know at keith@dcdl.org, or post a comment.

Wednesday, February 8

Thursday, February 9

Friday, February 10

Saturday, February 11

These announcements are not endorsements of the organizations or candidates mentioned — except that we’re very much in favor of Drinking Liberally.

February 1, 2006

Upcoming Events


Here are some local events that you might be interested in. Also see the event calendar (linked from the sidebar), which may be changing drastically at some point. If you know of an event that should be included, let me know at keith@dcdl.org, or post a comment.

Wednesday, February 1

Thursday, February 2

Saturday, February 4

These announcements are not endorsements of the organizations mentioned.

January 27, 2006

Where Will You Be for the State of the Union?


Tuesday, January 31, we will once again experience the jumble of catchphrases, lies, and unreliable pledges that make up a Bush State of the Union address. This year there are many options for places to go to watch it with others who will provide moral support.


January 20, 2006

Democracy for America Weekend Events


Usually when a candidate’s bid for a party’s presidential nomination fails, the campaign organization goes away, or at least goes into hibernation for four years. In Howard Dean’s case, however, his organization, Dean for America, evolved into Democracy for America (DFA), a group “dedicated to supporting fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates at all levels of government — from school board to the presidency”. Though I wasn’t involved in the Dean campaign, I have been a member of DC for Democracy, our city DFA group, for a while (and there are other DFA groups in the area and around the country).

After Howard Dean became chair of the Democratic National Committee, his brother Jim took over the leadership of DFA. And this weekend Jim Dean is in DC to kick off the 2006 Plan for Victory. It starts tonight with a fundraiser:

Friday, January 20
Hawk and Dove
329 Pennsylvania Ave SE
(Capitol South Metro)
Suggested contribution: $20
To RSVP, please contact Dina Wolkoff:

Then tomorrow morning there’s the 3rd annual organizing summit in Adams Morgan:

Join Democracy for America Chairman (and Howard Dean’s brother) Jim Dean and DC for Democracy activists for our 3rd Annual Organizing Summit on Saturday, January 21st! Breakfast starts at 9:30 and we’ll have you out the door right after 1:00.

2006 promises to be a big year in the District and we need your help to chart the course for the new year - from DC’s Mayoral elections to our brand new “Out of Iraq” initiative. Bring your ideas and suggestions, and be prepared to roll up your shirt sleeves to make sure 2006 is even more successful than our last two years.

Saturday, January 21
9:30am to 1pm
Marie Reed School
2200 Champlain St NW
RSVP here
More info: dcfordemocracy{at}gmail.com

And finally, there are three house parties later on Saturday, in McLean, VA, Silver Spring, MD, and Severna Park, MD.

January 17, 2006

“Stop Corruption First” Protest


MoveOn is organizing a protest downtown tomorrow:

Washington is caught up in corruption scandals, but many lobbyists and Republican leaders think they can just go on as if nothing has happened. Little has changed since the scandals became public. We need to expose the corruption and press for reform — or a change in leaders. Can you help?

This Wednesday, tomorrow, a gathering of lobbyists, conservative activists and Republicans leaders from Congress and the White House meet to discuss their next moves. We’re joining with other reform groups to bring the public outcry to their doorstep. Will you attend?

What: “Stop Corruption First” Protest Outside K Street Project meeting
When: 9:45 AM Start Time, Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Where: Sidewalk outside offices of Americans for Tax Reform, 1920 L Street, NW (20th & L Streets) (Red Line/Farragut North, Blue-Orange Line/Farragut West)

Signs: We’ll provide signs.

Please RSVP at http://political.moveon.org/protest_rsvp/

Google Map it:

The plan is to show up, peacefully conduct a protest with signs and disperse after a half hour or so. We’re inviting the media and expect the protest to be widely reported on by the press. We’re co-sponsoring the protest with the Campaign for America’s Future and Public Campaign Action Fund.

The group hosting the meeting — Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform — is at the center of the Republican power machine in Washington and has been implicated in the corruption scandals from lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But they still meet even after Abramoff took a guilty plea.

This meeting illustrates how nothing has changed — the Republicans in Congress work closely with business lobbyists who are funding their operations. We need to expose it and this protest will help do that. Please RSVP and attend.

Thanks for all you do.

—Tom, Eli, Marika, Micayla and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

P.S. Here is some background on Grover Norquist and his connections to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.


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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