the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

January 12, 2006

This Is a Defense of Alito?


I admit I haven’t been following every twist and turn of the issue of Alito’s membership in Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP), but I really don’t understand Arlen Specter’s point here:

“Judge Alito’s name never appeared in any document,” Specter said. It was not mentioned in any letters to or from the group’s founder or executive director, did not appear on any canceled checks for subscriptions, was nowhere to be found on any articles, lists of board members or contributors, and was not in any minutes or attendance records from CAP meetings,” Specter said.

He quoted CAP founder William Rusher as saying: “I have no recollection of Samuel Alito at all. He certainly was not very heavily involved in CAP, if at all.”

Is the Republican position now that Alito was never a member of CAP at all, but just lied about being a member when he was applying for a job in the Reagan Justice Department?

Feeling Safe


Tom Tomorrow thinks Bush is misremembering what things were like in his childhood. But perhaps the guy lost those memories somewhere along the way to the White House.

Even those of us who came after the baby boomers lived for decades under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation, and somehow we dealt with it. Fear wasn’t invented by al-Qaida, or by Dubya. But Bush seems to have taken a sentence from an earlier president in a time of trial,

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

and condensed it down to only the words that appear more than once:


That’s Bush’s formula for ruling, and it’s served him pretty well so far. But I’m hoping it’s finally beginning to wear thin.

January 11, 2006

Al Gore Speaking Monday in DC


Al Gore is speaking at noon Monday, January 16 (MLK Day), at DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D Street NW, on “Unchecked Presidential Power”:

The speech will specifically point to domestic wiretapping and torture as examples of the Administration’s assertion of executive power in disregard of Congress and the courts.

The speech is sponsored by the Liberty Coalition and the American Constitution Society. See libertyspeeches.org for more information and to reserve free tickets (which will go fast).

January 10, 2006

Democratic Win in Virginia Tonight!


The Democrats took a seat away from the Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates today. Democrat Shannon Valentine defeated Republican Michael Harrington by 57.5 to 42.4 percent in a special election and will take her seat tomorrow, representing the 23rd District, which includes Lynchburg.

The election was held to fill the seat vacated by moderate Republican Preston Bryant, who was appointed by Gov. Tim Kaine to be secretary of natural resources. Valentine’s win brings the House composition to 57 Republicans, 40 Democrats, and 3 independents, so Democrats still have some work to do, but they’re continuing to move in the right direction after gaining in November.

See coverage at Raising Kaine, Waldo Jaquith, and Daily Kos.

January 9, 2006

Coming this Thursday to DCDL


DCDL is pleased to host Ezra Klein this Thursday, January 12, 6:30-9.

Ezra, a recently transplanted Californian, is the writing fellow for The American Prospect. In the past, he’s freelanced for the Washington Monthly, the LA Weekly, The LA Times, The Jewish Journal, and the Gadflyer.

During the 2004 election Ezra was selected along with a handful of other bloggers to cover the Democratic Convention.

As per tradition on speaker night, we’ll have free appetizers, and the Happy Hour drink special ($1 off all drinks) will be good until 9.

Events This Week


Here are some local events that you might be interested in. I’m still working on the event calendar (linked from the sidebar), which may be changing drastically before long. If you know of an event that should be included, let me know at keith@dcdl.org, or post a comment.

Monday, January 9

Tuesday, January 10

Wednesday, January 11

Thursday, January 12

Saturday, January 14

These announcements are not endorsements of the organizations mentioned.

January 8, 2006

No Justice for Dilawar


At the September 24 antiwar march I saw someone with a sign reading “Who Killed Mr. Dilawar?” Since I spend far too much time reading blogs, I knew who Dilawar was, but the other people with me didn’t. His is one of many stories that have been easy to miss in the news from the War on Terror.

Dilawar was a 22-year-old taxi driver and father of two who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time outside Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in 2002. He ended up being tortured to death in American custody, even though most of his captors believed he was innocent.

TalkLeft has the latest on the Dilawar case: charges have been dropped against the only officer charged in Dilawar’s death.

Abramoff-Allied Group Drops Him and Others From Its Board


Toward Tradition is a conservative Jewish group founded by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, and Jack Abramoff used to serve on its board of directors. The group is allied with conservative Christian groups, and as Josh Marshall pointed out yesterday, Lapin co-chaired the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, whose advisory board included James Dobson, Charles Colson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Michael Medved, and Jack Abramoff. (There’s more about Toward Tradition in this comment on TPMCafe.)

Marshall’s mention of Toward Tradition prompted me to check out its site, and particularly its board of directors. The board currently has a chairman, vice-chairman, and 20 members — with no mention of Jack Abramoff. But checking the Internet Archive, I find that the same page in July 2003 and March 2005 (the most recent archived copy) contained a longer list:


Time to Unsubscribe From Kerry’s List


If you’re like me, you’re probably subscribed to John Kerry’s e-mail announcement list. Maybe you made a donation during the 2004 campaign, or maybe you just signed up to keep up to date on events. But if you’re like me (or like John in DC at Americablog), you’re also not exactly excited by the prospect of Kerry’s running in 2008, and you’re irritated by news articles that describe the list as “an online army of 3 million supporters”.

Well, Jonathan Zasloff at the Reality-Based Community has an idea: If you’re on the list but you don’t want Kerry to run in 2008, then unsubscribe. It’s easy — I just did it. At the bottom of each message you get, there’s a little “Click here to unsubscribe” link. Use it. If the word spreads, maybe we can stop hearing about Kerry’s huge base of online supporters.

By the way, the Reality-Based Community, at samefacts.com, is the site formerly known as Mark A.R. Kleiman (markarkleiman.com). Mark has had several other academics blogging with him for a while now, so they’re finally making the site less Kleiman-focused. Looks like they’re still working a few bugs out of the new setup, but it remains a source of great posts and one of the blogs I visit daily.

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.


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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