the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

March 30, 2006

Media Matters at GWU


Just got this in the mail, and thought some of you might be interested:

WHY MEDIA MATTERS: Progressive Voices and the Media

Can progressives find their media voice? Is news coverage skewed to either side? What can consumers of news do to ensure accurate and reliable reporting? These and other questions will be explored on April 5 at The George Washington University by a range of media practitioners and critics. They’ll identify both problems and potential solutions.


David Brock, President and CEO, Media Matters for America
Eleanor Clift, Contributing Editor, Newsweek
Al Franken, Host, The Al Franken Show
Danny Goldberg, CEO, Air America Radio
Helen Thomas, Syndicated Columnist, Hearst Newspapers


Wednesday, April 5, 2006, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Doors open at 3:30 p.m.


The George Washington University
Media and Public Affairs Building, Jack Morton Auditorium
805 21st Street NW
Washington, D.C. (Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro, Blue and Orange lines)

March 28, 2006

Card Out at White House


Andrew Card has resigned after more than five years as White House chief of staff. The departure is being described in a lot of articles as a shakeup, but since Card’s replacement is Joshua Bolten (not to be confused with UN ambassador John Bolton), the OMB director and another Bush loyalist, it doesn’t seem likely to change things much:

In picking Bolten to replace Card, the current President Bush stayed close to home. Resisting Republican advice to pick a seasoned Washington veteran the way Reagan brought in former Senate majority leader Howard H. Baker Jr. when his own presidency was listing in his second term, Bush characteristically picked someone he knows well and trusts implicitly.

It might be unfair to Card, but I can’t help but remember the previous resignation from the White House staff, when Claude Allen left and the White House said he wanted to spend more time with his family. A month later the real reason came out when Allen was arrested for stealing. Never assume the White House story is the true one.

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?

March 21, 2006

Welcome, Koreans!


Or I suppose I should say “annyong haseyo!” Since Friday we’ve been having a flurry of people visiting this site from google.co.kr or daum.net (another Korean search site), or using Google to translate the front page into Korean, so I figured I’d put up a message for our new visitors.

You’re all searching for “DCDL”, so I assume there’s something going on in Korea at the moment related to something called DCDL, but I doubt you’re looking for DC-based political blog written by regulars at Drinking Liberally. Perhaps you’re looking for Digital Control Design Language? Design Constraints Description Language? Driver-Controlled Differential Lock? Digitally Controllable Delay Line? District of Columbia Debate League? Data Collection and Dissemination Lab? Double-Current Data Logger? Delaware County District Library? Dallas Cowboys Discussion List? Dolnośląskie Centrum Diagnostyki Laboratoryjnej (which has dcdl.pl)? Maybe not.

In any case, I apologize for the disappointment. Feel free to leave a comment letting us know what it’s all about or pointing your compatriots to more satisfactory site for whatever it is you’re looking for.

Calling All Bloggers


It’s time to sharpen your metaphorical blogging pencils. And point them in the general direction of the WaPo’s latest blogchild, Red America.

This is a blog for the majority of Americans.

Since the election of 1992, the extreme political left has fought a losing battle. Their views on the economy, marriage, abortion, guns, the death penalty, health care, welfare, taxes, and a dozen other major domestic policy issues have been exposed as unpopular, unmarketable and unquestioned losers at the ballot box.

I think Jim Brady may finally have found a blogger so hacky that Katherine Graham will be obliged to return from the dead to point out Domenech’s many errors in substance, not to mention tone.

(I spotted 3 logical fallacies in his lede. Can you find them all? Here’s a handy guide to common fallacies in case you want to play.)

A blog for the majority of Americans? You don’t say. You don’t by any chance have anything to back that assertion up, do you? Polls I’ve seen, like this USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll, say that what the current administration will most be remembered for is the invasion of Iraq, and they believe it was a mistake. Domenech may, of course, reason that anyone who thinks the Iraq invasion was a mistake isn’t an actual American. Under this logic (and no other) could he say that a majority of Americans believe as he does.

Yes, Domenech goes on to criticize the Republicans in power as “fat and happy on pork contracts”, but therein lies a dilemma: if these were the guys who got elected, but they don’t represent “true conservative” values, then on what basis are you saying that the country is trending conservative? Do you mean that if you add together the “true conservatives” with the “fat and happy on pork” people then (according to your fuzzy math) you get a majority? Maybe what the country wants is more of the “fat and happy on pork” people? Maybe they don’t want you at all?

But then, I’m not one to argue that a majority opinion represents truth or justice, though it may represent the American way. Take for instance, this poll where a majority of Americans believed there was an Iraq/9.11 link. Remember that? Turns out, the majority was wrong. Here’s my point: it may be that a majority of people voted for Bush in 2004. If they did, then, like the forementioned poll, they were wrong.

That brings me to another question for les Americains Rouges: if you really believe that your superior values are what wins you elections, then how come you needed to:

Shouldn’t conservatives be able to just explain their values, and people would say: conservatives really do have superior values. I’m going to vote conservative. They fact that conservatives feel the need to umh… help the democratic process along suggests to me they may not be so sure their values are all that popular.

Dinner & a Movie Night, Saturday March 25


This Saturday, March 25 will be DCDL’s “Dinner & a Movie Night” for the month of March. We are planning to catch the 7:05 showing of “Thank You for Smoking” at the Bethesda Row Theater, 7235 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD, near the Bethesda Metro Stop.

Some of us have already seen “Smoking” (me for instance, and I give it a strong recommend) so we’ll also have an alternative movie from the Bethesda Row schedule.

At 9:00 pm we’ll meet for dinner. Two restaurants so far have been suggested: Delhi Dhaba (Indian) and Cafe Deluxe (American). If you have a preference, just respond in comments, or send mail at dcthu@drinkingliberally.org.

Here’s the menu for Cafe Deluxe (link).

Here are brief Washingtonian reviews for both restaurants (link).

March 20, 2006

Glenn Reynolds, Supergenius


Via Belle Waring at Crooked Timber, I found these serious answers to serious questions by Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds:

1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?


2. Have you changed your position?

No. Sanctions were failing and Saddam was a threat, making any other action in the region impossible.

3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?


The last answer is of course the best, since he cuts through all the foolish, eggheaded, unmanly, terrorist-sympathizing concerns about planning or strategy and gets straight to the point. The Reynolds solution can clearly be adapted to other intractable problems — for example:

What should we do about cancer?

Cure it.

What should we do about world hunger?

Make sure everyone gets enough food.

Yes, I know, that second answer has too many details. That’s why DCDL isn’t on the A list of blogs.

I invite you to apply the Reynolds solution to other world problems (or city problems, or personal problems) in the comments.

March 7, 2006

Update: ethics reform and this week’s speaker


The Washington Post had an important editorial on Monday on the stakes involving this week’s critical votes on lobbying and ethics reform. Without meaningful reform, disastrous pro-corporate legislation like Medicare part D will continue to be passed — and progressive legislation will be ignored. Few people in Washington are as expert on these issues as our speaker, Craig Holman of Congress Watch.

The importance of ethics reform was underscored by Rep. Louise Slaughter and Rules Committee Democrats, who recently documented the impact of all the corruption on working Americans in an important report, “America for Sale.”

Debate begins Wednesday on two relatively feeble “reform” measures that have been combined into one bill, omitting the key element of enforcement through an independent Office of Public Integrity. As Public Citizen points out:

The U.S. Senate’s floor debate on lobbying reform starts on Wednesday, March 8. The bill (S. 2349) that will be on the Senate floor is a composite of two bills approved last week by two Senate committees…. This package is inadequate and would not do enough to curb the excesses of moneyed interests in Congress.

The composite bill is available at:

This week’s speaker, Craig Holman, is Public Citizen’s Congress Watch legislative representative and an expert on Congressional ethics. The Senate marked up weak reform legislation last week and will vote on the bill this week, but there’s still a chance to influence our legislators (if you don’t live in the District) to get a stronger bill or learn how you can become a clean government activist. I wrote about it at Huffington Post. This week the Senate will vote on whether to have an independent public integrity office as an amendment to mild lobbying reform legislation. Unfortunately, they’re more interested in the fig-leaf of upgraded disclosure than real reform.

Here’s the latest on what the Senate did last week, from Public Citizen’s Joan Claybrook:

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee significantly improved a lobbying disclosure and reform bill today by adding a requirement that major lobbyists disclose the money they spend on grassroots lobbying. But the committee took a giant step backward — crippling the reform effort — by rejecting an independent Office of Public Integrity.

Overall, this measure is insufficient because it focuses on disclosing corruption, rather than deterring it. That’s like tallying the number of people killed in highway crashes instead of making safer vehicles.

Learn more this week when Craig Holman speaks.

Update from Keith: Holman will be at the Thursday DCDL gathering March 9, starting around 6:30pm in the back room at Timberlake’s, 1726 Connecticut Ave NW (2½ blocks north of the Dupont Circle Metro). Free appetizers and extended happy hour drink specials. Subscribe to the announcement list to hear about future events.

March 3, 2006

“Shooting Liberally” Sunday


No, Shooting Liberally is not an attempt to follow in the footsteps of our Vice President for Torture — we’re talking about shooting pool. Thursday DCDL’s social director, Saba, has come up with another idea for weekend socializing. We’ll gather this Sunday, March 5, from 5 to 7, at Kokopooli’s, 2305 18th Street NW, in Adams Morgan, for beer and conversation, and to exercise our (mostly nonexistent) billiards skills. If you’re interested, e-mail us at dcthu@drinkingliberally.org so we can have some idea how many people we’ll have.

If you’re reading this and live in the DC area, subscribe to our announcement list so you’ll hear about our events.

Great Turnout Last Night


Thanks to everyone who came to Thursday Drinking Liberally last night! I believe it was the biggest turnout for a non-speaker night we’ve had since moving to Timberlake’s. Some people were in town for training for online organizers by the New Organizing Institute, and at least one was in DC for a Democrats Abroad meeting. Places represented include Kansas, Texas, California, and Ireland (a guy who’s in the process of starting Dublin Drinking Liberally, which we’ll have to organize a group trip to visit).

The locals attending included people from a new PAC called Blue Catapult that has a launch party in Adams Morgan next Wednesday that sounds like a fun way to support a good cause. And there were various unaffiliated people stopping by to see what Drinking Liberally is all about — I hope they enjoyed it and will come back soon.

If you’re reading this and live in the DC area, subscribe to our announcement list so you’ll hear about our events.


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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