the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

February 26, 2008

Tonight’s Kitchen Sink Fusillade


So, who’s hosting a debate party tonight? Inquiring minds want to know.

Meanwhile, I’ve been checking out this NYT article. Some interesting stuff:

“There’s a general rule in politics: A legitimate distinction which could be effective when drawn early in the campaign often backfires and could seem desperate when it happens in the final hours of a campaign,” said Steve McMahon, a Democratic strategist working for neither candidate.

Timing is everything, as they say. My favorite line of the article, though, comes in the introduction: (emphasis mine)

After struggling for months to dent Senator Barack Obama’s candidacy, the campaign of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is now unleashing what one Clinton aide called a “kitchen sink” fusillade against Mr. Obama, pursuing five lines of attack since Saturday in hopes of stopping his political momentum.

Here’s the schedule: MSNBC, 9-10:30.

Here’s the Fast Facts on the debate from Mahalo:

1. When: February 26, 2008
2. Where: Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio
3. Sponsors: NBC
4. Participants: Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama
5. Moderators: Brian Williams and Tim Russert
6. A limited number of tickets will be made available to students and the public
7. Ohio Primary: March 4, 2008
8. The Hillary Clinton Campaign almost withdrew from the debate after some disrespectful comments about Chelsea Clinton were made on MSNBC

February 14, 2008

Feb 21: Bernie Horn at DCDL


Join us February 21, 6:30 to 9, in the back room of Timberlake’s (1726 Connecticut Ave NW, north of Dupont Circle) for our February guest speaker, Bernie Horn.

Bernie Horn will be discussing and signing copies of his book “Framing the Future: How Progressive Values Can Win Elections and Influence People.” The Daily Kos writes: “Politics,” says Bernie Horn, “is too important to be left to the professionals in Washington.” It’s hard not to love a book that so directly appeals to progressive dedication to participatory democracy — and provides a sterling set of guidelines on how to make our ideals prevail.

Copies of “Framing the Future: How Progressive Values Can Win Elections and Influence People” will be available for sale at the event.

More on Bernie Horn:

Bernie Horn has worked on politics and public policy for the past 30 years as a campaign manager, political consultant, lawyer, lobbyist, communications director, and policy director. He is currently Senior Director for Policy and Communications at the Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA), one of the premier progressive policy and leadership centers in Washington, D.C. His most recent books for CPA are the Progressive Agenda for the States (which lays out 50 policy solutions for state legislators), Progressive Platform for the States (a candidate briefing book covering 115 state issues), and Progressive Policy Models for the States (containing 123 model bills).

February 11, 2008

Potomac Primary or Chesapeake Primary?


Judging by Google News search results, journalists seeking a name for the February 12 primary in DC, Maryland, and Virginia are breaking in favor of alliteration:

I prefer “Chesapeake primary” myself, because it covers the widest area. The vast majority of voters in tomorrow’s primary are not in the DC area. Besides, I don’t want my brother’s head to explode.

At least the odious name “Beltway primary” is losing badly.

Regardless of what you call it, if you’re a registered Democrat in DC or Maryland, or a registered voter of any sort in Virginia, make sure you get to the polls tomorrow. It’s not often that those of us outside the early states actually get a say in who our presidential candidate is, so let’s make the most of it. And if you’re having trouble deciding, the correct answer is Barack Obama!

February 6, 2008

Primaries are Fun


Atrios is, of course, kidding when he says the primary race will all boil down to what happens in Pennsylvania. He is kidding, isn’t he?

At any rate the point of immediate attention is our own fair city and environs: (CNN)

With Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton almost even in delegate counts, the two Democratic presidential candidates will focus on several weekend contests and then a trio of primaries in the Washington area next Tuesday.

So, whose turn is it to throw a party?

February 2, 2008

Blue Catapult Super Duper Tuesday Watch Party


DCDL regular Ian is having a party on Super Duper Tuesday to raise funds for his Blue Catapult PAC, which is doing its part to put more Democrats in Congress:

In the DC area? Help us celebrate our first fundraiser of 2008.

You are invited…
Super Duper Tuesday

Tuesday February 5 2008
7:30 - 11:00 pm

Watch the returns from 20 primaries across the country on two fantastic large screen flat TVs.

Meet & greet DC Democrats.

Free finger food; full cash bar.

$20 contribution if under 30 / $30 otherwise

17th street cafe
1513 17th St., NW
Washington, DC 20036
(Dupont Circle Metro)

Should be a good time. If you go, please try to avoid getting into shouting matches or fist fights with supporters of the other candidate.

January 27, 2008

Watch Bush’s Last State of the Union With DCDL and TheSeminal.com


SOTU 2008: The End of an Error. Toast the final Bush State of the Union speech with DC Drinking Liberally and TheSeminal.com, Monday, January 28, 8-10pm at the 17th St Cafe, 1513 17th St NW (Dupont Circle Metro). RSVP to seminal@theseminal.com (or the Facebook event).

January 26, 2008

Rally With Obama in DC Monday


Looks like the Obama campaign is thinking our February 12 regional primary in DC, Maryland, and Virginia may be important:

Please join Barack Obama at a ‘Stand for Change’ Rally in Washington, DC, where he’ll talk about his vision for bringing America together and bringing about the kind of change we can believe in.

Stand for Change Rally with Barack Obama

American University
Bender Arena
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016

Monday, January 28
Doors open: 10:30 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required but an RSVP is strongly encouraged, so sign up now:


For security reasons, bags are not allowed inside the event. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners are permitted.


January 22, 2008

Spencer Ackerman at DCDL


Join us January 24, 6:30 to 9, in the back room of Timberlake’s (1726 Connecticut Ave NW, north of Dupont Circle) for our first guest speaker of the year, Spencer Ackerman:

Spencer Ackerman is transitioning from his role as Reporter/Blogger for TPMmuckraker.com, to his new position as Senior Reporter for the Washington Independent (set to launch Jan 28). Additionally, he’s a senior correspondent for The American Prospect and national security correspondent for the Washington Monthly. His writing has appeared in Slate, Salon, Men’s Journal, the Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, New York Press and The New Republic. In 1996, the New York Daily News included him in a profile on punk-rock fashion in city high schools, which began Ackerman’s long career of embarrassing himself in public. He was named as a potential witness in the Scooter Libby trial and is still bitter about not being called to testify.

BloggingHeads.com will soon feature the second annual cooking/blogging competition between himself and the Atlantic’s Megan McArdle.



In last night’s debate, Barack Obama said this:

When you look at Bush and Cheney and their record, the one good thing they’ve done for us is they have given their party a very bad name.

No doubt we’ll now be hearing from the Obama haters about how Obama praised the good that Bush and Cheney have done.

January 21, 2008

A Pardon a Day Keeps the Impeachment Away


And other maxims of the right.

After seeing There Will be Blood, a few of us huddled in Georgetown’s Alamo Grill for a meal of chips, and well… mostly chips. I’d really hate to see how slow the kitchen is on a busy night.

At any rate, in a typically wide-ranging conversation someone touched on the subject of presidential pardons. Would Bush issue pardons for political cronies? Given that’s one of those questions that answer themselves, more generally, would Bush issue a blanket pardon for the entire Executive branch?

Personally, I find the area of presidential pardons to be very interesting. This wikipedia article is a starting point. (Though, given the controversial nature of the subject matter, it really needs to be taken with a grain of salt.)

One thing that the article mentions, supported by Bob Woodward’s Shadow, is that accepting a pardon implies an admission of guilt. See also this NYT article on Ford’s defense of his pardoning of Nixon:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 — President Gerald R. Ford was never one for second-guessing, but for many years after leaving office in 1977, he carried in his wallet a scrap of a 1915 Supreme Court ruling. A pardon, the excerpt said, “carries an imputation of guilt,” and acceptance of a pardon is “a confession of it.”

Note that Bush didn’t pardon Scooter Libby. To do so would jeopardize Libby’s defense in Joe Wilson’s civil suit. Instead, he commuted Libby’s sentence.

Note also that Carter’s blanket amnesty for draft evaders was really a pardon (see here). Here, there was not a disagreement over whether draft evaders had broken the law- they clearly had. And, it could be that the argument would be similar for a potential blanket pardon of Bushies: it’s not really a crime to break an unjust law. That is, of course, a rhetorical defense and not a legal defense.

I’d say there’s an unexplored question over how blanket a blanket pardon can be. I think we can all agree that Bush couldn’t issue an executive pardon for all Republicans until the end of time. But, he may be able to issue a blanket pardon for his favorite 12,500 people in his administration. (See this 1974 Time Magazine article. 12,500 was the minimum number that Carter’s pardon applied to.)

Now, getting back to our conversation in the Alamo Grill we all agreed that a President Kucinich would challenge such a pardon. Would a President Obama or Clinton? It seems to me a worthwhile question to ask these candidates while we still have their attention.


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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