the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

July 15, 2005

Free Talk on Media Bias Monday


SALSA (The Social Action & Leadership School for Activists of the Institute for Policy Studies) is holding a free “interactive discussion” on media bias Monday night. Sounds like it could be interesting:

Act Globally, Learn LocallyMyths & Monsters of News Media
Mon, July 18, 2005 — 6:45-8:45pm

Independent, aggressive and critical media are essential to an informed democracy. But mainstream media are increasingly cozy with the economic and political powers they should be watch dogging. Come learn how increasing corporate concentration and the effects of a thirty-year war on journalism, waged by the far right elements in society, have taken a toll on independent reporting. We will talk about how the charge that news media are liberal — a right wing strategy with no foundation in evidence — has distorted the news. SALSA presents Steve Rendall, Senior Analyst at FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) in an interactive discussion examining media bias and the threat to independent journalism. Learn what can be done about this and what alternative media already exists.

July 14, 2005

Steven Aftergood at DCDL Tonight


Tonight DC Drinking Liberally is back at Timberlake’s, 1726 Connecticut Avenue NW, a couple of blocks north of the Dupont Circle Metro (Red Line), from 6:30 to 8:30. Our guest speaker is Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, who will be speaking about Bush administration secrecy.

Steven directs the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, which works to reduce the scope of government secrecy, to accelerate the declassification of cold war documents, and to promote reform of official secrecy practices. He writes and edits the email newsletter Secrecy News, which is read by more than 10,000 self-selected subscribers in media, government and among the general public. In 1997, Mr. Aftergood was the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency which successfully led to the declassification and publication of the total intelligence budget ($26.6 billion in 1997) for the first time in fifty years. For Steven’s complete bio please visit http://www.fas.org/sgp/aftergood.html.

See you tonight!

July 13, 2005

“Fire Rove” Rally Thursday


If any of you are going to be in the area of the White House Thursday afternoon, you might want to attend this rally I just got an announcement about:

You’re invited to come speak out against Karl Rove’s abuse of power and demand that President Bush fire Rove. Join other MoveOn members and members of the community at a peaceful protest and picket, Thursday July 14, at 2:30 PM on Pennsylvania Avenue outside The White House.

Rove betrayed the identity of an undercover CIA operative forcing her to end a decade of important national security work. He did it to protect the Bush political agenda. Now, the White House is covering up this betrayal of our national security. The media is ready to report on public outrage about Rove. Will you show up and speak out?

Please join us tomorrow and let Bush, the media and Congress know that Americans are angry about Rove.

What: Protest and Picket to Demand Bush Fire Karl Rove

Where: The White House, Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC (Metro: Farragut West or McPherson Square)

When: 2:30 PM :: Thursday, July 14, 2005 (rain or shine)

Signs will be provided.

I’ll see you there. Thanks for all you do.

—Tom Matzzie
MoveOn PAC
Wednesday, July 13, 2005

P.S. If you want to come dressed up in costume as a spy and protest the media will love that. Think: trench coat, sunglasses and a little nametag that says, “Spy.”

July 12, 2005

“Taxation Without Representation” Banner at RFK


Latest news from DC Vote:

WASHINGTON — A gigantic 10 foot by 20 foot DC Vote banner with the phrase “Go Nats!” and the District’s motto “Taxation Without Representation” was permanently fastened to the west side of RFK Stadium in early July.

Made from a durable material, DC Vote hopes that the banner will act as a means to support the team and support the cause of DC voting rights at the same time.

“The first place Nationals have garnered attention from sports fans around the country,” said Ilir Zherka, executive director of DC Vote. “Our hope is that the DC voting rights movement message and history travels with the team from city-to-city.”

The Nationals and the issue of DC voting rights are significantly tied to one another. The decision to name the team the Nationals as opposed to the team’s former name, the Washington Senators, came as a request from the District’s Mayor, Anthony Williams.

“We don’t have senators here [in Washington, DC],” the mayor said in October of 2004. “Give us two senators and I’ll be happy to call them [DC’s baseball team] ‘the Senators.’”

Okay, there’s a dangling participle there, but I say it’s a good thing that DC Vote is made of durable material, because DC residents have still got a long road ahead of us before we obtain the rights that other American citizens have.

Espionage Posters


For folks who like free downloads, you may like this collection of posters from the Office of the National Counter-Intelligence Executive.

Something about it needs updating, but I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s the photo.

July 11, 2005

Analyzing the ScottBot


I can’t add much to the commentary by Hilzoy, Kevin Drum, Billmon, and others, but I can write a Perl program to analyze text. Here are phrases used by Scott McClellan three or more times during today’s press briefing:

9 get into commenting on
8 get to the bottom of
7 not going to get into
6 an ongoing criminal investigation
6 just not going to
5 not going to get into commenting
5 not get into commenting on
5 get into commenting on it
5 I’m just not going to
5 be glad to talk about
5 I will be glad to
5 to talk about it
5 it while it is
4 not going to get into commenting on
4 an ongoing investigation, and
4 the investigation is complete
4 I will be glad to talk about
4 get to the bottom of this
4 be glad to talk about it
4 the United States Senate
4 to get to the bottom of
4 at the appropriate time
4 get to the bottom of it
4 the fight to the enemy
4 that we not get into
4 as we move forward
4 on it while it is
4 in a serious way
4 we are going to
3 no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the President of the United States
3 not going to get into commenting on it
3 get into commenting on it while it is
3 that we not get into commenting on
3 I will be glad to talk about it
3 be glad to talk about it at
3 take the fight to the enemy
3 in the United States Senate
3 it while it is ongoing

July 10, 2005

Follow Up on Supreme Court Party


I’ll be interested in hearing how Keith’s MoveOn.org event went. While Keith chose a Supreme Court party in his neighborhood, I went to one in the white wine and quiche section of the People’s Republic of Montgomery County.

DNC Vice Chair, Susan Turnbull was there, along with a yacht-load of high-priced DC attorneys. Politically aware, deeply angry at the Bush administration, refreshingly good at organizational skills, and not ones to take an activist anti-stare decisis judicial nominee.

We talked about Alberto Gonzales, reponsible for the newspeak equation of torture=fighting terrorism, as well as his questionable role in Texas Death Penalty review (good writeup here, by the way). And he’s the least objectionable candidate.

I know that when people outside of the DC area think of Maryland (and most likely, they don’t) they get images of what Dean euphamistically referred to as Nascar dads in pickup trucks. They are blissfully unaware of the grand socialist experiment of Montgomery County. Unlike most of the country, Montgomery County has a small city government, and a powerful County government. The result is a uniformly good public school system, arts and theater programs, a community college system, and a parks and recreation program unparalleled in my experience.

After a short meeting where we organized rapid response teams for an eventual Supreme Court nominee, we pigged out big time (or at least I did), trashed the Bushies, and watched the Pelican Brief.

Basically, my idea of a good time.

Where Is Home?


Okay, ridiculing over-the-top right-wingers who are already self-parodies may not be productive or morally upright, but it can be fun to take an occasional break from seriousness. The Poor Man’s newest parody of Power Line explains why the London bombings aren’t actually a refutation of Bush’s “flypaper” strategy (and what that means for those of us in DC):


Mewling, traitorous liberals won’t even wait until the bodies from the London terrorist bombings are cold before using them as props in their endless propaganda war against Bush and America. According to these liberals, the bombings are somehow evidence that Bush’s masterful “flypaper strategy” isn’t working. Come again? The whole genius of the flypaper strategy is that by invading Iraq, we can fight the terrorists abroad instead of at home. Last time I checked, my home wasn’t in London, nor was it the home of any self-respecting American. I would much rather fight the terrorists in Baghdad, Kabul, London, and have daily terrorist attacks in hundreds of cities and towns all over the world — provided that none of these places are in America — than have to fight them at home.

But what these rabid Bush-haters don’t understand — or pretend not to understand — is that the flypaper strategy has been in effect since Bush’s first day in office, and has been an unqualified success since day 1. While Clinton spent 8 years cribbing his anti-terror strategy directly from the Neville Chamberlin playbook, the worst domestic terrorist attack in American history occured in the center of America’s heartland, Oklahoma City. However, under the Bush strategy, the worst terrorist attack in human history occured in New York City and Washington DC, a thousand miles away from America’s heartland! Think about it: wouldn’t you rather fight the terrorists in NYC and Washington — coastal enclaves from where the decadent Left form what amounts to a fifth column — than at home? The choice for patriotic Americans is obvious.

Read, as they say, the whole thing.

July 9, 2005

Your FBI at Work


This American Life devotes its entire hour this weekend (the archived audio won’t be available till next week) to the bizarre case of Hemant Lakhani, a 70-year-old Indian small-time salesman and braggart who the FBI decided was a major arms trafficker worth hundreds of millions of dollars — thanks to the work of an unreliable informant. The FBI informant, pretending to represent a terrorist organization, approached Lakhani and asked him to procure weapons. Lakhani assured him he could get whatever he wanted — armored personnel carriers, submarines, plutonium — but they settled on acquiring a single shoulder-launched antiaircraft missile to start with.

After more than a year and a half of Lakhani’s being unable to get anything — and accidentally alerting Russian authorities during his bumbling attempts — the FBI became impatient and eventually cooperated with the Russians to supply Lakhani with a fake missile, then arrested him when he delivered it. The August 2003 arrest was trumpeted as a great victory in the war on terrorism by US Attorney Christopher Christie, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and of course the president:

“We are doing everything possible to protect the homeland,” said Mr. Bush. “And the fact we are able to sting this guy is a pretty good example of what we are doing in order to protect the American people.”

I have little sympathy for Lakhani, who did after all think that he was supplying a missile that would be used to blow up a civilian airliner, but I really hope that Bush is wrong and that this farce was not “a pretty good example” of what’s being done to protect us.

Note what happened. This was not a case where a fake terrorist approached real arms smugglers and made it possible to round up a gang of people who might supply weapons to real terrorists. Nor was it a fake arms smuggler approaching real terrorists and thus allowing the arrest of a dangerous terrorist cell. This was the resources of the American and Russian governments being used to have a fake terrorist get a fake missile from fake arms smugglers, through a real middleman recruited more or less at random — someone who had no previous connections with terrorists. No real terrorists or real weapons were involved, and no crime would have taken place if the FBI hadn’t made one happen through the use of untold amounts of money and agent time.

I realize that mistakes happen, but I hope that the other people among the few dozen “terrorists” actually convicted in law enforcement’s part of the war on terrorism are a bit more of a threat to the United States than this schmuck.

Update (7 Jul 2006): Here’s the link to the archive.

July 8, 2005

Party for the Supreme Court


With two Supreme Court retirements pending, MoveOn is organizing more of its famous house parties this weekend, combining a previously planned movie night with efforts to oppose extremist nominees:

We need to make sure that the president, the Senate and the media all know that the American people won’t stand for a radically conservative nominee. So we’ve changed the name of Progressive Movie Night and added some time to develop our campaign to counter the right. Over the weekend of July 8-10 MoveOn members across the country will be holding over a thousand Supreme Court house parties. Meet up with other MoveOn members to create a neighborhood plan and watch a progressive movie about the rights we’re fighting to protect.

Find a house party in your area or start a party of your own.


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. 0.516 seconds