the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

September 23, 2005

DC for Democracy Happy Hour, Antiwar Rally


Our friends at DC for Democracy are having a happy hour tonight in preparation for tomorrow’s march and rally. Some of us from DCDL will be there too. Join us!

As many of you know, this weekend there will be a large anti-war rally here in D.C., which many members of DCfD — and Democracy for America — plan to attend. To help everyone connect at what will likely be a very large event, we have organized a happy hour for Friday night and a meeting point for Saturday morning. Details are below.

‘Social and Serious Drinking’ Happy Hour
Friday, September 23, 2005
7:00 p.m.
527 Eighth Street, SE (two blocks south of the Eastern Market Metro stop on the Blue and Orange lines)

Join DC for Democracy and Democracy for America members for an evening of “Social and Serious Drinking” prior to the anti-war rally at Marty’s on Barracks Row.

Meeting Place for DCFD & DFA Members Attending Anti-War Rally
Saturday, September 24, 2005
meet at 11:00 a.m., walk to rally 11:30 a.m.
Freedom Plaza (opposite the Marriott on Pennsylvania Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets, NW)

We hope to see you at these events!

And don’t forget about our efforts to elect progressives in Virginia for 2005. The single best way to get Congress to change its views on our issues is to let them know their jobs are at risk in 2006. A strong showing in 2005 will show them — and the media — that this is possible. Help set the narrative for 2006 by bringing in change in 2005.

Join the 2005 Virginia Action Team by signing up here!

September 22, 2005

Lurker Day


Via Crooked Timber, I see that Creek Running North has declared today Lurker Day, so DCDL is joining. If you don’t know what a lurker is, you probably are one, since lurkers (the term is not derogatory) are people — the majority of blog readers — who read posts but never make comments. If you’re reading this, please make a comment and tell us who you are, why you read DCDL, how you found us, or whatever you want to say. And if you’re in the DC area, join us tonight at Timberlake’s, 1726 Connecticut Avenue NW (north of Dupont Circle) starting at 6:30.

Happy Lurker Day!

September 21, 2005

Protecting Government for the People


DCDL regular Lee was among those there today to protest Grover Norquist’s regular Wednesday meeting downtown. Working Assets and the League of Independent Voters (also known as the League of Pissed Off Voters) provided a mobile billboard with a photo of a flooded New Orleans overlaid with Norquist’s statement about getting the government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub”.

Fiat Lux has a full report on Daily Kos.

September 19, 2005

Arctic Action Day


As some of you may know, tomorrow is Arctic Action Day here in the nation’s capitol. More info at the Alaska Wilderness League if you’re interested.

A good article here covering the latest developments, from which I’ll grab a few bullets:

As someone who has followed this issue for a while, I’ll say that the amount of disinformation on this topic is huge. The chief beneficiary will be Exxon-Mobil, the remaining supporter of Arctic Power, the pro-drilling lobbying group.

What’s interesting is that Senator Stevens (R-Alaska) appears to have abandoned the Energy Independence baloney that others have used to justify drilling. Instead, his argument is drilling in ANWR is necessary to keep from busting the budget:

“If you look at it, ANWR’s dollar sign is $2.4 billion,” he said. “That’s needed to keep this budget balanced now, as far as the routine budget. There’s no question about that now. I think they’ve looked for other areas but the budget itself can’t be approved unless somewhere the Energy Committee can raise $2.4 billion. I don’t see any other place in the economy they can do it other than ANWR.”

Let’s see if I get this: we’ve spent $200 billion on Iraq and plan to spend another $200 billion on New Orleans. And ANWR is supposed to save us from fiscal disaster?

September 17, 2005

Looting $249,999 at a Time


On today’s Weekend Edition, Scott Simon interviewed George Washington University law professor Christopher Yukins about government contracting for Katrina rebuilding (my transcript):

YUKINS: In the $52 billion bill, the administration included a key exception for contracting up to $250,000. That exception means that there will be no competition and no transparency whatsover. Approximately 60 to 65 percent of all federal contracting actions are actually below $250,000. You’d be astounded at how many small actions the federal government undertakes.

SIMON: And for what kind of jobs are these?

YUKINS: Services to clean out garbage, or a truckload of diapers. And, Scott, I’d like to emphasize that, in fact, it’s $250,000 per order, so it’s very common to see, unfortunately, companies and agencies will agree to split
requirements so that you always stay below a certain threshold — in this case, below $250,000.

SIMON: So somebody, for example, like a trash removal firm could do a whole series of jobs for $240,000 and never have to go through a competitive bidding process.

YUKINS: Exactly.

SIMON: But on the other hand, a lot of companies have to move quickly.

YUKINS: They do, and in fairness it is necessary to abbreviate the competition in a situation like this, but you really shouldn’t abandon competition and transparency entirely.

No accountability and no transparency for almost two thirds of the spending.

Josh Marshall is right. It’s been fun for left-wing sites to beat up on the few Republicans who voted against rebuilding funds, but pretty soon I think Democrats who voted for the bill are going to be regretting it as much as they now regret voting for the Iraq war.

Bush has put Karl Rove in charge of managing the reconstruction. The money is going to go to contractors who are connected to the administration. Bush promises that there will be appropriate oversight, but Billmon has the history of how well Bush’s watchdogs have worked earlier. It’s on track to be the biggest-ever Republican slush fund.

The one thing we can be sure of is that in 2006 Republican candidates will be hitting the jackpot on campaign contributions, as all the contractors kick back a fraction of the vast amounts of taxpayer money that went into their pockets.

September 15, 2005

Help Victims of Katrina at DCDL Tonight


Sorry for the late notice. Those of you on the e-mail list have already gotten this message from Cory.

Dulles Area Democrats are collecting items for survivors of Hurricane Katrina that they will drive from Virginia to food banks in Baton Rouge and Little Rock. Kat Zambon from DC for Democracy will be at Timberlake’s (1726 Connecticut Avenue NW) tonight to collect items from DCDL to hand off to the team in Virginia. They need nonperishable food items and toiletries — a specific list of items is below. Please contribute whatever you can. It’ll make a huge difference to the folks who need it. Thanks for everything you do!

  • “pop-top” items of complete meals (e.g., Spaghetti-O’s)
  • fruit cups
  • granola bars
  • bottled sports drinks
  • fruit juices
  • cookies
  • crackers
  • chips
  • candy bars
  • small boxes of dry cereal
  • canned vegetables (beans, peas, carrots, etc.)
  • canned soups
  • dried beans
  • canned meats
  • rice
  • pasta
  • peanut butter
  • baby food
  • soap
  • antibacterial sanitizers
  • wipes
  • shampoo (individual size)
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrushes
  • blankets
  • pillows
  • towels
  • diapers
  • formula
  • small blankets
  • school supplies
  • adult diapers
  • deodorant
  • disposable razors
  • shaving cream
  • feminine hygiene products
  • nutritional supplements (including vitamins)

For more information, see the Dulles Area Community Network site.

September 14, 2005

False Equivalency in Memo Requests


Republicans are now claiming that if Democrats want the release of memos written by Roberts earlier in his career, it’s only fair that they release some memos of their own. The Hill has the story:

Conservative strategists are drafting a letter to Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee demanding the release of hundreds of internal memos detailing contacts between the lawmakers and liberal interest groups opposing John Roberts’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

By planning to press Democrats on the sensitive subject, conservatives seem to be pulling a page from the Democrats’ own political playbook. In the weeks leading up to the confirmation hearings, Senate Democrats have repeatedly called on the White House to give them memos Roberts penned while he was deputy solicitor general in President George H.W. Bush’s administration.

This sounds halfway reasonable, until you think about it for a few seconds. It’s typical Republican strategy: throw dust in the public’s eyes and hope they won’t notice it’s irrelevant. Unfortunately, the Hill puts forth only the Republican side, mentioning one Democratic source who declined to comment and then quoting three separate conservatives who favored the Republican ploy.

The reason the Democrats want memos written by Roberts is because they’re being asked to determine whether he’s fit for a lifetime appointment to the highest judicial position in the nation. Since the memos are examples of his legal work and indicators of his skill, personality, and philosophy, they are relevant to that determination.

The reason the Republicans are asking for the Democratic memos is because they’re hoping to find something in them that will embarrass the Democrats. The memos were not written by Roberts and are clearly irrelevant to whether he should be confirmed. They are in no way equivalent to Roberts’s memos, but they would be equivalent to any memos related to communication between Republicans and conservative groups (say, Focus on the Family or Americans for Tax Reform). I’m taking a wild guess that the Republicans aren’t offering to release any of those memos.

September 13, 2005

Me on Milbank on Roberts


I was reading Dana Milbank’s account of the Roberts Confirmation hearings when I came across this passage (italics added):

“Are you sending us a message?” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, asked hopefully. Democrats labored to unmask Roberts as a fierce conservative, but they were largely thwarted.

The clock in Hart 216 neared 11 this morning, and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Democrats’ liberal lion, was on deck to question Roberts. He tapped his pencil, fixed his tie, adjusted his glasses, scratched his brow, leaned his cheek on his fist and scowled down at the nominee. Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.), two of the committee’s conservatives, left the room rather than expose themselves to the exchange.

What struck me about the passage was the use of subjective language in what is supposed to be a newspaper story. Thus the italics. I italicized what I believed to be more artful construction of a narrative, rather than something that can be verified.

I can’t help but wander if Milbank is a frustrated novelist. Which would explain his generally sarcastic tone, not to mention his tendency to lash out randomly at people.

If that’s the case, a tip to Mr. Milbank: since you referred to Kennedy as a “liberal lion,” it’s a better choice to say he “snarled” instead of “scowled.”

September 12, 2005

Freedom Walk Reports


There’s a fair bit of blogging out there about the Freedom Walk — though surprisingly few photos on Flickr. I went to the Unity Walk instead (and ran into Paulo of How Now, Brownpau?), but here are a couple of interesting bits of blogospheric coverage:

Update: AltHippo has a report as well.

September 11, 2005

Houston Chronicle Sees Freedom Walk as a Symbol of What We’ve Lost


The Houston Chronicle has an editorial today about the Freedom Walk:

Today the Pentagon will hold the America Supports You Freedom Walk, ostensibly to commemorate the victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and to show support for members of the armed forces. Nothing could be better contrived to show the high price Americans have paid since that day of infamy.

The Freedom Walk is limited to those who register and submit to being searched. The route of the march will be fenced and lined with police officers. No one can join the march en route. No one can leave it. The press cannot walk along the route. The walk to proclaim Americans’ freedom reveals how much freedom we have lost.

It continues.

(Via the People’s Republic of Seabrook.)


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.

Upcoming Events

See information on the revived DC chapter (2012).

DCDL Member Blogs

DCDL Speaker Links

DC Links

Liberal (Mostly) Blogs

Liberal Groups

Internal Links



Drinking Liberally

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


Search Blog



later entries • earlier entries

42 queries. 0.575 seconds