the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

June 7, 2006

Marriage Protection Amendment: Specter and Gregg Flip-Flop


As expected, today Senate supporters of the Marriage Protection Amendment, which would change the US Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, failed to muster the votes needed to end debate — and fell far short of the two-thirds vote that would have been needed for passage. The vote was 49-48, slightly better than the 48-50 on an identically worded amendment two years ago (what a coincidence that these votes come up only in election years!).

But the Republicans have gained 5 seats in the Senate since the 2004 vote, so why was there only 1 more vote in favor of the amendment? I decided to get into the details and see exactly what happened.


June 6, 2006

Dinner & A Movie, Saturday June 10


So, here’s the plan for An Inconvenient Truth followed by dinner at Au Pied Bistro.

1.) Buy tickets in advance for the 7:40 showing at the AMC Loews Theatres Georgetown
3111 K St. NW.
2.) Meet up at 7:00 on Saturday, June 14. We’ll be the ones wearing the Drinking Liberally buttons.
3.) After the show we’ll meet up at 9:45 at Au Pied Bistro, 2815 M St., NW.

Here’s a menu from Au Pied Bistro:

Au Pied Bistro Menu #1

Au Pied Bistro Menu #2

June 5, 2006

Are Primary Challenges “Purges” — or Is It Only When They’re From the Left?


Chris Bowers at MyDD wrote yesterday about how the media portray Ned Lamont’s primary challenge against Joe Lieberman as an attempt by extremists to purge the party of anyone deviating from their liberal beliefs, but never have similar stories about primary challenges from the right. This morning NPR’s Morning Edition had a story headlined “Democratic Hawk Faces Antiwar Primary Challenger” about Marcy Winograd’s primary challenge to Rep. Jane Harman in California. It followed the script described by Bowers, so I decided to use the contact form to send a letter to NPR:

The story by Rachael Myrow highlighted the primary challenge to Jane Harman, as well as mentioning the challenge to Lieberman, and portrayed this exercise of democracy within the system as an attempt to purge the party of anyone disagreeing with the liberals.

If such a purge is going on, it’s certainly not getting very far. Liberals are not at all in control of the Democratic Party.

Will you have a similar story about the primary challenge to Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island? It’s much more likely to succeed than the one against Harman, and it’s much easier to make a case that Republican conservatives are purging moderates from their party. It seems that you’re depicting liberals as unreasonable extremists tearing their party apart, while finding the same behavior by conservatives perfectly acceptable.

June 4, 2006

Scouting Report for Upcoming Dinner and a Movie


Based on input from last Thursday’s DCDL meetup, I scouted out a few places for Saturday’s Dinner & A Movie, focusing on Georgetown.

“Why Georgetown?” you might ask. “Isn’t that pretty far away from Metro?” Fair enough. This DL’er is a big fan of the Landmark E St. theater, loves its proximity to the Red Line Metro, but wishes the environs were more conducive to after-movie dining. I’ll add that Georgetown is a pretty cool place, and for folks like me who will probably bike there, anyway, the Metro shouldn’t be the only factor.

I’ll also note that when we were discussing this last Thursday, Bethesda Row wasn’t listed. Now it is. Is this a more favorable location?

Here’s the showtimes. The AMC Loews (3111 K St NW) is showing “An Inconvenient Truth” on Saturday at 6:10, 7:40, and 8:40. The playing time is 100 minutes which would put the 7:40 show ending time at roughly 9:30.

The Au Pied Bistro (2815 M St.) would be my #1 pick for after movie dining. Several entrees under $10, with a variety of attractive picks in the $10-$20 range. While it’s a few blocks from the theater, it’s also very convenient to the Foggy Bottom stop.

As a backup, Paulo’s (1303 Wisconsin Ave) has pizza’s in the $10 range, and plenty of pasta dishes in the $10-$20 range.

Both places can accomodate a party of 15 (roughly my guess), and can take reservations.

June 1, 2006

Iraq Safer Than DC? I Don’t Think So!


The latest bit of right-wing innumeracy comes from Rep. Peter King (R-IA), who claims to believe that the civilian death rate is lower in Iraq than in Washington, DC. Of course King’s statistics are now making the rounds of the pro-war blogs as an example of why we should be clapping harder. Since King’s conclusion doesn’t correspond to most people’s views of reality, you might guess his numbers are wrong, and you’d be right. Kieran Healy and his commenters at Crooked Timber weigh King’s analysis and find it wanting. And if King really believes what he’s saying, Healy has a proposition for him:

In the meantime, I have an offer for Rep. King. He should pay my expenses for a vacation to DC, including a flight to the city, a taxi to a local hotel, a few dinners out at restaurants. Maybe some tickets some museums and local sights, perhaps a concert or a game. At the same time, he could take a parallel trip to Baghdad and do the same things — commercial flight in, local taxi, wander out for dinner, etc. We’ll both bring camcorders and see how it works out. If DC is so much more dangerous than Iraq I’m sure something like this would really show up people who say the situation in Iraq is terrible.

May 30, 2006

The Quest for Corruption “Balance” Continues


We’ve written before about the media’s desperate attempts to portray congressional corruption as being a problem affecting Republicans and Democrats equally. Nowadays you’d expect those seeking bipartisan scandals to be rejoicing over the recent troubles of Democrat William Jefferson. But focusing on Jefferson is just too obvious for some people, and it can be hard to pretend that one isolated corrupt Democratic congressman can balance a network of corruption at the center of the Republican Party.

John Solomon of the Associated Press continues to go the extra mile in smearing Senate minority leader Harry Reid, by suggesting yet again that he must be guilty of something, even though he didn’t break any laws or even vote the way his supposed bribers wanted. Paul Kiel of TPMmuckraker has the details.

May 24, 2006

The “Angry Left” and Commencement Speeches


Alt Hippo and I have talked frequently about the asymmetry in treatment and perception of the “angry right” and the “angry left”. In yet another example, Glenn Greenwald explains the lessons the right (and much of the media) want us to learn from the recent experiences of John McCain and other graduation speakers:

So, to re-cap the rules: (1) When a pro-war politician gives a pro-war speech as part of a graduation ceremony, and students in the audience heckle and boo him, that shows how Deranged the Angry Left is — because they heckled a pro-war speech. (2) When an anti-war politician gives an anti-war speech as part of a graduation ceremony, and students in the audience heckle, walk out and even riot, that also shows how Angry the Left is — because they “provoked a near riot” by pro-war students.

May 23, 2006

This Thursday: Ken Silverstein


We are pleased and proud to host Ken Silverstein this Thursday, May 25, 6:30-9 (while the evening will go 6:30-9, Mr. Silverstein will be speaking from 7:30-8:15, and will need to leave promptly).

Mr. Silverstein is the Washington editor for Harper’s magazine. His bio, from the Harper’s website:

Ken Silverstein is the Washington Editor for Harper’s Magazine, and a regular contributor to both the print and web version of Harper’s. A former reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Silverstein has covered such topics as intelligence collaboration between the CIA and controversial foreign governments in Sudan and Libya, political corruption in Washington, and links between American oil companies and repressive foreign governments. His 2004 series “The Politics of Petroleum,” co-written with T. Christian Miller, won an Overseas Press Club Award. His stories on ties between the government of Equatorial Guinea and major U.S. companies—including Riggs Bank, ExxonMobil and Marathon Oil—led to the convening of a federal grand jury, and to investigations by the Senate and the Securities and Exchange Commission. His report, co-written with Chuck Neubauer, on a lobbying business opened by Karen Weldon, daughter of Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, led to the opening of an investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

Silverstein has been an outspoken gadfly in the newspaper business. In December of 2005, a memo he wrote to his editors at the Los Angeles Times expressing his dismay over their insistence on false “balance” was discussed in an article by Michael Massing in The New York Review of Books. While reporting on potential voter fraud in St. Louis in 2004, Silverstein was angered to learn that his findings were to be woven into a larger “balanced” piece on accusations being made nationwide, when it was clear that Republican charges of irregularities in St. Louis were insubstantial. “I am completely exasperated by this approach to the news,” Silverstein wrote. “The idea seems to be that we go out to report but when it comes time to write we turn off our brains and repeat the spin from both sides.”

Mr. Silverstein is also noted for starting the newsletter Counterpunch.

May 17, 2006

Support the DC Voting Rights Act Thursday


The Absurdist e-mailed me an alert about an important event tomorrow:

Come to Rayburn House Office Building room 2154 on Thursday, May 18 at 3:30 to show your support for legislation to give Washington, D.C. a vote in Congress.

The landscape has changed very suddenly on DC voting rights legislation. Tom Davis (R-VA) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) have introduced a new bill, the DC Fair and Equal House Voting Rights Act of 2006 (H.R. 5388), which incorporates many of the elements of Tom Davis’ DC Fairness Act but corrects elements that many Democrats had objected to. This bill is scheduled for mark-up in the House Government Reform committee on the afternoon of Thursday, May 18. It is expected to be reported out of committee, however, it could languish from there without ever being scheduled for a floor vote. A strong, broadly bipartisan vote from the commitee would help to get this bill scheduled for a floor vote. Our goal is to pack the committee room to show popular support for this bill.

The act, also known as DC VRA, would give the District a real vote in the House of Representatives, so DC residents would actually have a person to write to when someone says “Write your congressperson.” There’s more information at DC Vote.

May 16, 2006

John Podhoretz Notices His Bed Partners


Over at the Corner, John Podhoretz is unhappy:

Suddenly, immigration restriction has become one of those issues about which one is not permitted to disagree, because to disagree is to join with the forces of Evil. Those who favor a less restrictive policy are said to be bought and paid for by Big Business, to want to oppress poor American minorities who can’t earn a decent wage, and to seek the cultural destruction of America. Chief among these villains, it appears, is the president of the United States, whose efforts on behalf of conservative causes — from faith-based policies to stem-cell research to a strict-constructionist judiciary to entitlement reform and massive tax cuts — have all fallen down the memory hole. He is not a conservative, my e-mailers tell me. He is Jorge Arbusto, an agent of the Mexican government. And neither, by the way, am I, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and someone who left mainstream journalism to toil in the fields of conservative media when conservative media weren’t cool, to put it mildly.

Intolerance on the right? How shocking! I really feel for JPod. Who could have imagined that people who regularly denounce other Americans as traitors and terrorist lovers would be so nasty to people who disagree with them?


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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