Drinking Liberally Yankton Chapter Blog

Weekly DL Links

Hi all,

Monday's here again, and we've got a few links for you to look over if you're interested. Apologies if too many are focused on the primaries. It seems that's all anybody is talking about these days, and we've still got ten months to go until the general election. Oy.

On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Charlie Pierce wrote eloquently about farm issues that surprisingly get largely ignored, even while the media focuses on their caricature image of Iowa. http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a41713/iowa-farming-s...

Charlie also remembers the role of the Jesse Jackson campaigns in American politics, and how they've largely been disappeared from our progressive history. If you supported the ideas of Jackson or Howard Dean—or especially if you opposed them out of "pragmatism"—you must read this. http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a41691/bernie-sanders...

Jeff Spross writes about how class could remake the Democratic party. http://www.theweek.com/articles/602653/how-class-could-eventually-remake...

As a side note, can we stop arguing about which candidate would be able to "accomplish more" as president? News flash: Neither Hillary nor Bernie is going to accomplish much of anything with a Republican congress. So, instead of playing parlor games about which of them is more likely to do something that neither of them can do, how about the candidates give us their vision for America? What are their goals? What do they aspire to? Inspire us, already. You might even bring more voters to the polls. I mean, even Lawrence O'Donnell has noticed that no president is going to get anything done with the current yahoo congress: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a41822/democratic-pre...

The Rude Pundit addresses that same topic in his clear, inimitable way (Warning, rude words, etc.): http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2016/02/believe-it-or-not-you-can-support...

Health Corner:  Is the calorie broken as a unit of measurement?  http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160201-why-the-calorie-is-broken

Linguistics Corner:  Is the Queen's accent becoming more common?  The BBC discusses British pronunciation, what it says about social class, and how it has changed over time.  http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160202-has-the-queen-become-frightfull...

That's all for now. Come join us this week for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7-9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's, downtown Yankton

Weekly DL Links

Hi all,

The Iowa caucus is almost upon us, so the actual voting in our ridiculously long campaign season is finally under way. We've got a lot of links this week — some political, some not — so hopefully there's something here for every taste. Peruse them at your leisure.

To ease the transition to their newly adopted country, Finland teaches immigrants "how to behave": http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35353310

Is America sleepwalking into a war in Libya? http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/29/america-war-libya-m...

Greg Sargent: Donald Trump is running as Christianity's savior, and it might work. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2016/01/19/donald-trum...

Atrios has some pithy observations about the scorched-earth nonsense coming from some camps during the primary. For example, once upon a time Single Payer was a good thing all progressives favored. Now, not only isn't it doable, suddenly it's "too expensive." ProTip to everyone involved in that kind of transparent hackery: When campaigning for the progressive vote, don't use Republican talking points. http://www.eschatonblog.com/2016/01/primaryd.html

Also, no matter who you favor during the primary, do your best not to be a jerk (that's just good advice regardless of whether it's primary season). If you want people to vote for your candidate eventually, don't spend months insulting and alienating them. In short, if you poison the well, you don't get to complain about the water. http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a41608/bernie-sanders...

More on a similar topic from Atrios, and how the highly paid professionals in charge of messaging and getting out the vote always blame the voters, rather than their own failed strategies: http://www.eschatonblog.com/2016/01/thats-your-job-professional-democrat...

Another "top secret e-mails" brouhaha may involve e-mails that weren't actually classified when they were sent, but later got included by the culture of secrecy in the government. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/01/top-secret-political-doubletalk.h...

Republican candidate John Kasich (motto: "I'm the reasonable one, no matter what my record says") has been desperately trying to keep quiet a charter school grifting scandal back in Ohio: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a41482/kasich-charter...

From the Department of Unintended Consequences, we see that the right-wing hatchet job on Planned Parenthood didn't go according to plan: http://www.eschatonblog.com/2016/01/that-didnt-go-as-planned.html

Michigan officials gave bottled water to state employees months before Flint residents: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2016/01/28/3743987/flint-water-state-emp...

RIP Abe Vigoda. http://www.keloland.com/newsdetail.cfm/actor-abe-vigoda-dies-at-age-94/?...

Health Corner: Why do people put on differing amounts of weight? http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35193414

That's all for now. Come join us this week for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7-9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's, downtown Yankton

This Week's DL Links

Hi all,

Monday's here again, and we've got a few links for you to look over if you're interested.

First off, a general comment, since we're entering the silly-strident phase of the primary season. If you find that any supporters of Bernie or Hillary are annoying you beyond your ability to express yourself, Atrios has some blunt, pithy advice: http://www.eschatonblog.com/2016/01/people-are-assholes-on-internet.html In short, don't get too wound up by what Some Dude says on the internets. Support your candidate (even if it's not one of the above), get enthusiastic or annoyed as you want, and then let it go. Every primary has differences of opinion, and this one is no exception. Don't let any arguments turn genuine differences of opinion into a lingering BitterFest. If nothing else, think of the other choices on offer in the Republican primary, and then remember how much you likely have in common with people who are seeming "enemies" for the moment. (Down off the soapbox now.)

Another brief comment by Atrios about primary season here: http://www.eschatonblog.com/2016/01/know-players.html

The Rude Pundit has some thoughts on a related note: http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2016/01/bernie-sanders-and-death-of-dream...

Digby has an excellent post about the appeal of Trump and Cruz, respectively, and the evangelical voter split: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-evangelical-voter-split.html

Apparently Ted Cruz really, really loves putting people to death. Maybe he should be governor of Nebraska! http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a41368/ted-cruz-execu...

Right-wingers politicize the poisoned drinking water in Flint, Michigan. But if any of the city's residents, who are overwhelmingly African-American and vote Democratic, complain about it – well, they're just politicizing it. And that is not allowed. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/01/let-them-drink-champagne.html

Culture Corner: A wedding party in New Zealand perform a traditional Maori haka for the couple. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35378875 More about haka here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haka

Travel Corner: The city of caves beneath Nottingham, England. http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20160114-a-haunted-hidden-world-of-caves

That's all for now. Come join us this week for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7-9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's, downtown Yankton

This Week's DL Links

Hi all,

Monday's here again, and we've got a few links for you to look over if you're interested.

Charlie Pierce takes a look at a few right-wing governments at work out in the several states, and the benefits that they bring to their constituents. Like lead poisoning, for instance. http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a41152/flint-michigan...

On an unrelated note but also from Charlie, Joe Lieberman remains a useless goblin: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a41155/no-labels-dona...

Atrios has a comment about newspapers chasing off their own customer base: http://www.eschatonblog.com/2016/01/where-did-all-our-subscribers-go.htm...

As always, for local bloggy goodness, check out Dakota Free Press, especially while our esteemed legislature is in session: http://dakotafreepress.com/

For anyone interested in the discussion of whether Ted Cruz is eligible to run for President, TPM has an article: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/legal-scholar-ted-cruz

That's all for now. Come join us this week for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7-9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's, downtown Yankton

Monday DL Links

Hi all,

Monday sneaked up on us this week, and I don't have any specific links to pass along. However, if you don't have them bookmarked, here are some good sites to check during the week to stay informed:

Josh Marshall's TPM: http://talkingpointsmemo.com

British newspaper The Guardian: www.guardian.co.uk

Cory's excellent, South Dakota-oriented Dakota Free Press: http://dakotafreepress.com/

Atrios/Eschaton: http://www.eschatonblog.com/

Digby's Hullabaloo: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/

Charlie Pierce at Esquire: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/

For an amusing take on what's happening in Right Wing World, Roy's Alicublog: http://alicublog.blogspot.com/

That's all for now. Come join us this week for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7-9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's, downtown Yankton

Monday DL Links

Hi all,

Monday's here again, and we've got a few links for you to look over, if you're interested.

In a fun, tongue-in-cheek holiday game of Six Degrees of Separation, Charlie Pierce connects the Iran-Contra scandal to Peyton Manning and HGH. http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a40876/iran-contra-pe...

The Washington Post dismisses their lone liberal columnist, Harold Meyerson. Thank heavens conservatives and neo-liberals are still well represented. Someone has to please the Beltway Bubble by shilling for endless war and for gutting Social Security. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-washington-post-just-dismisse...

In what regions of the USA are Republican Trump supporters located? Digby has a map and a link to an article. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/12/well-look-whos-voting-for-donald-...

If you find yourself occasionally annoyed by Black Lives Matter or by people trying to shut up BLM by saying "All Lives Matter" (duh!), let's imagine how the following story might have played out if the accused people had been black, not white. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/01/occupied-agin-by-bloggersrus.html

The Guardian has more about these self-styled militia types threatening US agents at a wildlife refuge. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/03/oregon-militia-threatens-...

That's all for now. Hope you had a good holiday season; now come join us this week for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7-9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's, downtown Yankton

Monday DL Link

Hi all,

It's a holiday week, and things are a little slower. We've only got one link to share — nothing political, just something from Anthropology Corner. For politics, be sure to check the normal places like Atrios, Digby, TPM, and Paul Krugman. Hopefully that will tide you over until next week when things pick up again.

Anthropology Corner: New discoveries in the Orkney Islands in the North Sea north of Scotland show an advanced civilization once lived there. http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20151210-were-these-remote-wild-islands-...

That's all for now. Come join us this week for Drinking Liberally.

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7-9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's, downtown Yankton

Monday DL Links

Hi all,

Christmas is almost here, and I'm sure your schedule is busy. Nevertheless, we've got a few links for you to look over, if you're interested.

Atrios has an excellent post about how Democrats blame the voters when they lose. And specifically, they blame "The Left," as though the group of Democrats who don't vote (especially in non-presidential elections) is some monolithic group. It's a tired old hippie-punching tactic, it's counterproductive, and it's stupid. If a candidate loses, it's mostly the fault of the candidate and party for not motivating their own voters. Stop blaming the voters for your own failings. (Atrios says it better.) http://www.eschatonblog.com/2015/12/dont-blame-voters.html

Atrios summarizes the "partisanship" trap laid for Democrats by the media pundits (note that this same trap is never laid for Republicans): http://www.eschatonblog.com/2015/12/the-partisan-trap.html

Charlie Pierce has a take on the Republican debate, with a bonus quote from Garry Wills circa 2007: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a40540/las-vegas-repu...

Greg Sargent explains that the deficit scolds don't really care about the deficit (or the debt, for that matter). We all kind of knew this, but it's nice to see it in the Washington Post, where some of the Very Serious People might actually read it – not that it will make a difference, of course. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/12/17/can-we-stop...

I don't know if this belongs in a sort of Black Humor Corner or just how to categorize it: Thirty percent of Americans support bombing Agrabah . . . the fictional city from the animated movie Aladdin. https://www.balloon-juice.com/2015/12/18/its-barbaric-but-hey-its-home/

That's all for now. Come join us this week for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7-9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's, downtown Yankton

This Week's DL Links

Hi all,

Last week's Christmas party was a great success, with lots of food, people, and fun. It was great to see so many new and familiar faces. To keep up the energy in the future, be sure to invite friends to Drinking Liberally for our "regular" meetings, too. People don't always realize that we're at Ben's every week.

Now for some links, if you're interested.

Paul Krugman comments on "the banality of Trumpism," with a link to the Brian Beutler piece that got him thinking about it:
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/the-banality-of-trumpism/

Senator Professor Warren goes to bat for students defrauded by for-profit colleges: http://www.salon.com/2015/12/08/this_is_what_good_government_looks_like_...

Digby quotes Jay Rosen about the media's role in creating extremist monsters like Donald Trump: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/12/qotd-jay-rosen-jayrosennyu.html

Digby also quotes Daniel Larison at the American Conservative that Daesh is not an "existential threat" to the USA, and that it's counterproductive, even harmful, to elevate them to that status that they don't deserve. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-lesson-for-chicken-little.html

Atrios has some fine points about semantic arguments that gun nuts often drag people into for no real purpose: http://www.eschatonblog.com/2015/12/gun-groper-jargon.html

Charlie Pierce has some thoughts about how insurrectionist moocher Cliven Bundy changed our national politics: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a40359/cliven-bundy-w...

In the comments to that story, William Bennett has some thoughts about the Second Amendment, which I'm including here in full (sorry for the length) because the comments can be hard to find, and sometimes won't even display in your browser, depending upon your version:

"Ah yes, the "Constitution originalism" appeal. Very popular among the T-Party set. Of course what it means is almost exclusively the 2nd Amendment interpretation set forth in Heller. Funny thing about that interpretation: it is far and away the most anachronistic and ahistorical decision yet penned. I happen to know something about the history and development of the English language from Anglo Saxon to the present, having taught it at the university level. And that phrase "to bear arms" was no more synonymous with "individual gun ownership" in the 18th century--or for a thousand years before that--than it was synonymous with, oh I dunno, "quantum entanglement." It was an exclusively military term, and referred to any war materiel, from swords and shields to, yes, firearms. But its origin is rooted in the aristocratic form of rule, an inherently military organization of society (this is why kings wear military uniforms) in which being entitled to "bear arms" was (originally) something only someone on the rungs of knighthood was permitted to do. Hence bearing a "coat of arms" means having the emblem of that service. It didn't mean "to own a gun." When you think about it, that's an absurd interpretation. In the agrarian society of 18th C America, owning a gun was like owning a shovel. No one would bother enshrining the right to own a shovel in the founding document. No, the whole POINT was about the way the organization of the military fit into the organization of society. Having the right to "keep" (which in this context clearly means "store and maintain"--another exceedingly well attested historical usage) and "bear arms" was no longer to be tied inextricably to an aristocratic social hierarchy. It's about establishing a different--democratic--organization of society, not having a gun in your house. 

And there is absolutely no real etymological justification for the reading the Heller decision rests on. They managed to cherrypick a couple of citations, but even those don't hold up to scrutiny. To accept it, you have to accept that whereas the phrase means one thing in virtually every other text extant at the time (and over hundreds of years before then), it means something entirely different in this one spot in the Constitution. 

Of course the comeback when you point this out is that liberal courts have freely "legislated from the bench" so why not conservative ones? But the thing is, those liberal decisions rest on a "living Constitution" rubric that says the Constitution needs to be interpreted in light of modern reality so that it can serve overriding social goods. And in Heller there was no overriding social good they could point to, not to mention they had to pretend they'd arrived at it via their originalist doctrine. So they had to Make. Something. Up. You may like what they decided--obviously I don't--but you can't pretend to be a "Constitutionalist" if Heller is what you're originalism amounts to. Because it's not originalist at all. "

(end of Bennett's comments)

That's all for now. Come join us this week for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7-9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's, downtown Yankton

Weekly DL Links and Christmas Party Invitation

Hi all,

Here are this week's links. Please come join us for the Drinking Liberally Christmas Party this week. Bring friends, food, and treats to share — though you're not required to bring anything, of course. Just come, enjoy some good liberal company, and have a good time.

At Dakota Free Press, Cory finds that the rampant corruption in Pierre has gotten so bad that even out-of-staters like the Bismarck newspaper are starting to notice the stench wafting from our capitol: http://dakotafreepress.com/2015/12/02/bismarck-editorial-ballot-measures...

Digby notes (with a map!) that all the attacks on clinics sure show a lot of mysterious "lone wolves," rather than a campaign of the dreaded T-word. Odd, that. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-whole-pack-of-lone-wolves.html She also finds Rush Limbaugh getting in on the victim-blaming: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/12/victim-blaming-101.html

With all the public discussion of religion (and sometimes atheism), non-believer Atrios has a few thoughts about religious evangelism of every sort – including "evangelical atheism," which term would likely cause its adherents to bristle. http://www.eschatonblog.com/2015/11/not-interested-in-your-club.html

Atrios also has some thoughts about the rote phrase "thoughts n' prayers" that some people incant meaninglessly after every tragedy. http://www.eschatonblog.com/2015/12/they-dont-pray.html Click through to his link to Athenae at First Draft for more in-depth thoughts.

Charlie Pierce also adds a thundering piece about prayer-shaming: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a40201/gun-violence-p...

At Hullabaloo, Tristero describes Scalia's jurisprudence as "incoherent, inconsistent, and bizarre " and links to a NY Times article: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/12/incoherence-with-bias-by-tristero...

Our illustrious governor is hankering to impose work requirements for poor people needing medical care. Cory does some digging and finds out that it's probably illegal: http://dakotafreepress.com/2015/12/05/feds-wont-grant-medicaid-expansion... How's a governor supposed to implement Dickensian workhouses, anyway? Maybe he could take some lessons from the Monty Python sketch about doctors as drill sergeants barking at patients: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52EEzBNn48g

That's all for now. Come join us this week at the Drinking Liberally Christmas Party!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7-9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's, downtown Yankton