Be an Inaugurator!

Sometimes being a liberal means rising up in a beaten down world; sometimes it means having a beer. There are ups and downs. If you live near Chapel Hill, the very special opportunity presented to you tomorrow evening (Thursday, 3/16) is to midwife a brand stinking new chapter of Drinking Liberally.

WHAT: "An informal, inclusive progressive drinking club. Raise your spirits while you raise your glass, and share ideas while you share a pitcher. Drinking Liberally gives like-minded, left-leaning individuals a place to talk politics. You don't need to be a policy expert and this isn't a book club - just come and learn from peers, trade jokes, vent frustration and hang out in an environment where it's not taboo to talk politics.

Bars are democratic spaces - you talk to strangers, you share booths, you feel the bond of common ground. Bring democratic discourse to your local democratic space - build democracy one drink at a time."

Wednesday Afternoon Action Plan

Today we have two things we need to do. First we need to keep the debate over censure for the President going. If you've been following through on the plan we have called, emailed and mailed our Senators. Now it's time to send letters to the editors of your local newspaper.

LTEs are best if they are short - one or two sentences and quickly make your point. (This goes without saying if you've kept it to two sentences.) It could be something as simple as....

Many pundits and members of Congress say it is a bad time to censure the President for breaking the law.

I say it's never a good time for the President to break the law.


Master Puppet John Hood of the John Locke Fornication is in rare form today, writing about the favorite subject of wingers: Other People's Money.

Iterations of the OPM myth pervade state political debates. For example, there is a major move afoot in Raleigh right now to convince state lawmakers to put some costly bond issues on the November ballot. Water and sewer needs will cost North Carolina localities $7 billion in just the next half-decade, the argument goes, and “they” can’t afford it all. “State government” should pick up at least $1 billion of the cost in a new statewide bond.

National News Roundup

From The Washington Post: Finally! A Democratic Senator with a spine. Don't miss this online Tourney Tracker bracket generator. Three months ago it was "Cut and Run" and now it's doable. (Pssst! It's election time.)
From Newsweek: Hypocrisy from the Bush, really. Is abortion the new third rail for the GOP? There's fallout from the Dubai ports deal.
From The New York Times: The trial lawyer who screwed up the Moussaoui case had almost no criminal trial experience....and she's working on one of the single most important criminal cases of our time. Wow. Senate Republicans reject Pay-go budget strategy, yet again. Utility companies bilking us LEGALLY.

More news below the fold...

David Price: On the Record

No one would accuse me of being a moderate in any regard. Not in work, not in play, not in love, not in politics. But I must admit to a certain curiosity about people who bring a more considered approach to their words and actions. One such person is David Price of North Carolina’s 4th Congressional district. I recently had the chance to interview him – to find out what he thinks about the state of affairs in Washington.

What's it like being in the minority party with George Bush in the White House? In all my nine terms in Congress, I've never seen as bitter and punitive a partisan atmosphere. Democrats in Congress have virtually no say in the major legislation that comes before the House. Bills are rammed through to appease the right-wing zealots of the Republican Party, giving the minority no opportunity to amend them or to vote on alternate legislation that would appeal to members on both sides of the aisle. Even more troubling is the utter lack of oversight. Instead of functioning as a co-equal branch of government, Congress is abdicating its constitutional responsibility to hold the Administration accountable - at a time when accountability couldn't be more critical.

Bible or Constitution?

North Carolina is home to more than its fair share of people who want to see their Christian god running our government -- people like Chuck Taylor, who's happy to thump a Bible if it'll cover his sorry tracks of graft and greed. So I especially enjoyed this exchange reported on DailyKos, between a law professor and a Maryland state senator.

Lack of Interest in North Carolina Legislature

The Daily News (Jacksonville, NC) has an interesting article detailing the lack of interest in running for the North Carolina Legislature. Their reasons for half of the races for the legislature only having one candidate are: time commitment, small pay, gerrymandered districts, and the expense of modern campaigns.

Regardless of the reasons, it is a shame that 50% of the races are unopposed (we have a list of races with only one candidate here). If we are going to get any traction for progressive reforms in the legislature we need new blood and heated campaigns to get the ideas off the ground. As we move through this campaign cycle, I am starting a challenge to get our readers interested in advancing progressive causes to find out who is running in your district, and if there is no Democrat, consider running yourself.

Tuesday Morning Action Plan

I found it inspiring to be a part of an action plan yesterday to help build support for a censure resolution against President Bush. We need to send a message to the rest of the world that our country is one of laws and we do not believe that any man is above the law.

Lighting a fire under complacent, cowering Democrats in Washington is not going to be easy and won't take just one day of phoning and emailing.

Here is today's simple action plan. We should write letters to every single Democrat and the lone Independent in the Senate encouraging them to stand with Senator Feingold.

More below the fold...

Raleigh Drinking Liberally 6-9p Tues 3/14

Next week we're going to Durham as well- stay tuned for details! This week still at the Saucer.

News roundup:
1- Buy tuna fish & dried milk to help get prepared for bird flu (soo don't get this one).
2- Who needs bird flu when we've got mad cow?
3- Or having to raise the debt ceiling? Again?

Robin Hayes' Felons & Friends

When I was growing up my parents warned me about hanging out with the wrong crowd. I thought then that a person's character would be judged by their actions, but have learned through life experiences that it is many times judged by the company that a person keeps. Much can be learned about our Representatives in Washington just by looking at the company they keep, as well as who is giving them money and when.

I recently spent some time going through six years of Robin Hayes' FEC reports to see just who among his fellow members of congress are giving him money. I was amazed to find out some of the details about Robin's friends. There were enough felons, indictees, adulterers, liars and cheaters to fill a good-sized corner of hell.

The rest is below the fold...


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