Drinking Liberally Idaho Falls Chapter Blog

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

The Trend in Predictions

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 3th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Buy Justin's new book!  Excerpt here.

Please come to the Add the Words rally at the Broadway bridge - every Wednesday at noon.  Only 15 minutes.


There are a couple of historical trends pertaining to this year's presidential election.  We have a long-term trend of alternating presidencies between the parties.  We tend to like two-term presidencies (or perhaps it's that incumbent presidents are harder to unseat).  But we also like to switch parties after two terms with one party.  It's unusual for a party to hold office for three terms running.  Of course, this is just a trend, and there are counter examples.  But many people are worried about this particular trend, thinking that it poses a hurdle for electing Clinton or Santorum.

And another modern trend is that we seem to prefer a divided government.  We tend to reject a single-party rule of both Congress and the presidency.

Today (Super Tuesday), brings up another pattern.  People are saying that no candidate with Trump's or Clinton's winning record on Super Tuesday has ever lost the nomination for his or her party.

And, of course, no woman has ever won the presidency.  Or even run as a candidate from a major party.

So there are lots of confusing and conflicting treads.  However, statistically speaking, there are many trends that can be identified, and trends broken every year.  And this year has been so surprisingly unpredictable.

So do trends and predictions matter?  Can any of them be trusted?

I think the key is to consider the how fundamental and immedate the basis of the prediction is.  Long-term patterns in elections are made up of data from individual elections.  Any pattern we eventually recognize as a higher-level expression of experience, while each individual election is more fundamental and more immediate.


For example, we've never elected a woman before.  But that is based on high-level patriarchal issues that are decaying all the time.  It's a trend that cannot last forever, and seems close to being over.  Nearly as close as the trend of not electing people of color.  Alternatively, the division in the GOP between establishment and teabaggers is pretty fundamental and particularly pertinent to this election.  It's not a high-level extraction of events made over years of experience.

I have my argument about how the Dems cannot lose this year.  It's based on some fundamental data (specifically the relatively larger number of Democratic voters in 2014 - even though it is popularly thought to have been a Republican landslide).  That is recent behavior that isn't related to some perhaps mythical cycles in voting.  My argument also had a longer-term, less fundamental component - that presidential election years tend to show a larger boost in Democrating voter participation rates than what we see for the Republicans.

I've already mentioned that the internal strife going on within the GOP is a fundamental and immediate issue facing this election cycle.  It has definitely made this election much more entertaining that we could have hoped for.

And the SCOTUS situation - I think - is going to bite the GOP in the butt.  Their obstructionist behavior should help the Dem nominee a bit (but will likely also help the Dems possibly retake the Senate).

[An interesting side issue that I haven't seen discussed anywhere:  when either President Obama or President Clinton gets a liberal-to-moderate justice seated and the court gets a 5-4 liberal balance - what will be the approach of Justice Roberts?  He will have the some power to set the court's agenda (though I'm not sure how much).]

So most of the elements of my argument are based upon specific facts about current events rather than an expectation that there is a high-level pattern that will hold.

In my mind, there isn't worry much to worry about.  No matter who the GOP nominates, they just don't have the ability to overcome their built-in disadvantage in voters as well as their many self-inflicted disadvantages.  Then again, I got Jeb Bush completely wrong (to be fair, that was based on some high-level assumptions:  that Jeb had the money, the advisors, and the organizational support to win).  And like every sane person, I expected Trump to flame out.  So this could all be bogus.  However - again - my conclusions are based on lower-level, more fundamental facts.  So I think conclusions based on them are about as reasonable as can be.


Has anyone heard any more about a potential 3rd party run by Bloomberg?  Seems like he was approaching some near-term deadlines for filing.  He could throw a wrench into the works.

Cheers,
Dan

 

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Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Bone marrow registry:  Be The Match (those of you under 45 should sign up; over 45 will cost you $100)

 

Quotations of the Week

"Well, just so you understand, I don't anything about David Duke, OK?  I don't even know anything about what you're talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.  Did he endorse me, or what's going on?  I know nothing about David Duke.  I know nothing about white supremacists."
- Donald Trump, yesterday

 

"As you know, the Reform Party has got some pretty big problems, not the least of which is Pat Buchanan, David Duke, Fulani, and it's a problem."
- Donald Trump, 2000 interview

 

"Although I am totally comfortable with the people in the New York Independence Party, I leave the Reform Party to David Duke, Pat Buchanan and Lenora Fulani.  That is not company I wish to keep."
- Donald Trump, 2000 op ed

 

Poem of the Week

Hurricane Song

Lady, won't you wait
out the hurricane

all night at my place-
we'll take cover like

the lamps & I'll
let you oil

my scalp. Please, I needs
a good woman's hands

caught in my hair, turning
my knots to butter.

All night we'll churn.
Dawn

will lean in too soon-
you'll leave out into

the wet world, winded
& alone, knowing

the me only
midnight sees.

About This Poem

"'Hurricane Song' is an outtake from my book Jelly Roll:  A Blues.  A series of such bonus tracks are included in my new book Blue Laws:  Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015, due out in February of 2016."
-Kevin Young

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Inside the GOP's attempt to stop Trump (thanks, Hollis)
*  ... and Josh Marshall's take
* Maybe there's a way to fix it
* Trump's appeal:  nationalism, not free-market conservatism
*  ... and the Clinton camp is taking that seriously
* People really don't like Trump
*  ... but Clinton's not much better
* Maybe Rubio has a shot?
* Neat GOP delegate calculator
* Scummy Breitbart tactics
* Locally, Sen Hill is so darned upset about not being able to Add the Words
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

       
Mar 17 Thu 9th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War:  The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (7pm, Shilo Inn)
Mar 22 Tues Bonneville County Democratic caucus
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Anger

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, February 25th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Please come to the Add the Words rally at the Broadway bridge - every Wednesday at noon.  Only 15 minutes.


So a guy drove past the Add the Words protest on the Broadway Bridge today, and he flipped us off and yelled something unintelligible and likely unintelligent.  It's kind of surprising that I am so surprised to see that level of anger these days - which I guess is a measure of the great progress that we've made on the LGBTQ front.  Why would someone be angry at a pride flag and an Add the Words sign?  Hasn't the battle over outward expressions of hatred been conceded?

In general, why is it that a small underdog group of people requesting to be treated equally generates such angry responses?  That experience is happening in a lot of different places.

If you want to feel sick to your stomach, read the comments on the KIFI Local News 8 article about the new Black Lives Matter banner at the Unitarian Universalist church.  Hollis, Kim, Danny and others chipped in with great comments meant to be educational.  But the anger and bitterness displayed by those opposed to Black Lives Matter is stunning.  And I understand that the worst comments have been deleted.

But if you're feeling particularly prideful and think that you need to be taken down a notch, there's no better way than this:

  1. First, be a woman.
  2. Next, go online and make a comment supporting feminism.

The anger and hate will pour out onto you in no time.  I get it bad enough as a man.  I can't imagine the abuse that outspoken non-male feminists get.


So are we liberals immune?  What about when 2nd Amendment absolutists walk around our grocery stores armed for a gun battle?  Are we irrationally angry at them because of their claims regarding rights?  What about the Bundy Militia and their claims to soveriegn rights?  In those cases are we just as belligerent?

I really don't see the situations as equivalent.  Neither gun owners or Bundy Militia members have suffered from any discrimination based on their race, their sex, or their orientation.  They are not demanding to be treated as well as other people are currently being treated.  They are demanding new privileges and rights.

Secondly, the purpose of the anger response is to silence the minority in question.  In contrast, the purpose of our response to the Bundy Militia is often mockery.  We are not as viscious.

Donalt Trump has figured out how to capitalize on this anger.  And the potential result is horrifying.  Good thing he can't win.  Knock, knock.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Bone marrow registry:  Be The Match (those of you under 45 should sign up; over 45 will cost you $100)

 

Quotations of the Week

"I'm just going to say it straight up.  If the Republican Party breaks here, if they capitulate, if they go wobbly, if their spines crumble like usual, I'm done with you people.  Done.  I'm finished.  I want nothing to do with you, because you are no good to any conservative in this country.  You didn't repeal and replace Obamacare, you won't stand up to a lawless president on executive amnesty, and now if you're not going to fight against something that hasn't been done in 80 years, you are useless and pathetic and you all need to go.  Only those that will capitulate.  So I want our side to be, you better be ready all you senators in Washington for the onslaught."
- Sean Hannity

 

"A person who thinks only about building walls - wherever they may be - and not building bridges, is not Christian.  This is not in the Gospel.  I'd just say that this man is not Christian if he said it this way."
- Pope Francis

 

"If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS's ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened.  ISIS would have been eradicated unlike what is happening now with our all talk, no action politicians.

[ ...]

"For a religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful."
- Donald Trump

 

"To be fair to Sanders, even if his promises are unrealistic, given the structural realities of our politics, he is basically trying to shift the boundaries of what we decide at the outset should constitute 'realism.'  Missing this risks missing a core aspect of his appeal.  In addition to his supporters' legitimate agreement with his specific policies, surely his supporters are also fired up by his Big Idea, which is this:  It should not be seen as radical, crazy, or beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse to run for president on the idea that a country as rich and great as this one should guarantee to everyone a minimally decent standard of living and a reasonable measure of opportunity - in the form of guaranteed quality health care, a guaranteed college education, and a guaranteed retirement with dignity."
- Greg Sargent

 

Poem of the Week

Twelve-Hour Shifts

A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home
to real life.  Showers, eats supper, plays video games.
Twelve hours later he comes back, high-fives, takes over the drone

from other pilots, who watch Homeland, do dishes, hope they don't
dream in all screens, bad kills, all slo-mo freeze-frame.
A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home.

A small room, a pilot's chair, the mic and headphones
crowd his mind, take him somewhere else.  Another day
another dollar: hover and shift, twelve hours over strangers'
      homes.

Stop by the store, its Muzak, pick up the Cheerios,
get to the gym if you're lucky.  Get back to your babies, play
Barbies, play blocks.  Twelve hours later, come back.  Take over the
      drone.

Smell of burned coffee in the lounge, the shifting kill zone.
Last-minute abort mission, and the major who forgets your name.
A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home.

It's done in our names, but we don't have to know.  Our own
lives, shifts, hours, bounced off screens all day.
A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home;
fresh from twelve hours off, another comes in, takes over our drone.

About This Poem

"Our secretive drone policy made me think a lot about drone pilots, which led me to read everything I could find from pilots' perspectives.  Real pilots like Brandon Bryant and Matt J. Martin, and fictional ones like those in Omer Fast's film 5000 Feet is the Best and George Brant's play Grounded.  I was struck by the repetitive, tedious, stressful work they do watching perceived enemies from our killer robot planes, in a whole new way of war.  The villanelle, with its looping repetition, felt like a good fit for the experience of weaving in and out of the work piloting UAVs over the desert in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and places we don't talk about, then driving through the desert in Nevada to go home before your next shift."
-Jill McDonough

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Listen to the Idaho Legislative Report (some info about how bad the IFF is for Idaho)
* Ted Cruz's math problem
* The abuse of Zoe Quinn
* Say "reverse racism" one more motherfucking time
* 4 paths for a SCOTUS nomination
* The case against tipping
* 12-yr-old daughter of a III%er shot at a militia meeting
* What will happen at a brokered convention?
* The power of the single American woman
* Sanders will go all the way to the convention (and will have power there)
* John Oliver takes on abortion TRAP laws
* Atomic City photos
* A fine potato rant
* Hieronymus Bosch interactive:  The Garden of Earthly Delights
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

       
Mar 17 Thu 9th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War:  The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (7pm, Shilo Inn)
Mar 22 Tues Bonneville County Democratic caucus
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Scalia's Passing

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, February 18th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Please come to the Add the Words rally at the Broadway bridge - every Wednesday at noon.  Only 15 minutes.


Like many of you, the new vacancy on the Supreme Court pleases me greatly.  It's a wonderful thing for liberals all the way around.  It's a great improvement for the country generally as there will be better decisions from the court in the future.  And it's nice that this uproar will cause problems for the GOP leading up to the November elections.

Being happy about the situation is not the same as rejoicing in Scalia's death.  It's like being happy about a company like Hobby Lobby taking a PR hit from their bigotry, while not being happy that some employees might lose their jobs.

I'm sure that Scalia was a smart, funny guy who loved his family and was a joy to be around.  Justice Ginsburg reportedly considered Scalia her best friend on the court.  He was probably a great neighbor.

But Scalia was also a horrible justice, who did great harm to America in the mistaken belief that he was doing good.  And he seemed to be getting worse over time.  How does someone so smart come to such horrible conclusions?

Was it just moral corruption that lead to Bush v Gore?  Was it just a strong commitment to an ideological stance that biased his reasoning?  Was it homophobia, or Christianity, or conservatism that caused him not only to oppose Obergefell v Hodges, but to mock those who approved of it?


It's an important question.  Because if we ask that question of Scalia, then we also have to ask it of ourselves.  Are we just the opposite side of the Scalia coin?  Are we unfairly convinced that liberalism is good to the point where it colors our decisions?  Should we question ourselves more?

Is the difference merely that liberals tend to support policies that help others primarily?  That tend to destratisfy our So what can cause a person with obvious intellectual gifts to rationalize that innocent people on death row have no right to evidence proving their innocence?  What can cause someone who calls himself a Christian to support the death penalty.

I don't believe that Scalia was just an evil person.  But I can't think of a benign explanation for his decisions.  And that makes me slightly uncomfortable.


There's been lots of speculation about the motivation of the GOP and what they will do in the upcoming year in order to stop or delay any nomination.  They've claimed that their position is that a president nearing the end of his term should not nominate anyone - that the American public expects him to wait until some new president is elected.  That's bullshit, of course.

They know that they don't really have standing to bully President Obama into putting off his choice.  They do know that they can reject any nominee - yet they also know that it will be a public relations blow to do that.  Especially if President Obama nominates someone that they've approved already for a lower court seat.

In fact, they know that they can't really win the battle over the nomination directly.

My supposition is this:  they just want to make the process so frightening that no quality person will submit themselves to the nomination process.

But maybe this guy will.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Bone marrow registry:  Be The Match (those of you under 45 should sign up; over 45 will cost you $100)

 

Quotations of the Week

"One of the things I'm criticized for is saying the truth, and I'll continue to say this:  Barack Obama is undermining this country.  He is hurting this country.  He is doing serious damage to this country in a way that I believe is part of a plan to weaken America on the global stage.  This is the truth."
- Marco Rubio

 

"We are at a cultural crossroads in our country, and if we can be in this race to show this country the face of the God that we serve - this Christian God that we serve is the foundation of our country.  Our country was built on Judeo-Christian values.  We are a nation of freedom of religion, but the God of Christianity is the God of freedom, of individual liberty, of choice and of consequence."
- Heidi Cruz

 

Poem of the Week

Sometimes the Way It Rains Reminds Me of You

these days I speak of myself in the past tense
writing about yesterday knowing tomorrow
is no more than mist crawling toward violet mountains
I think of days when this weather meant you
were not so far away   the light changing
so fast I believe I can see you turning a corner
the rain comes in smelling of pine and moss
a kind of brazen intrusion on the careful seeds of spring
I pay more attention to details these days
saving the most trivial until I sort them for trash
or recycle   a luxury I've come to know only recently
you have never been too far from my thoughts
despite the newborn birds and their erratic songs
the way they tilt their heads as if dowsing for the sun
the way they repeat their singular songs
over and over as if wishing for a different outcome

Colleen J. McElroy
(Listen to an audio version)

About This Poem

"I live in the rain forest.  Torrential or mizzle, the sound of rain snares your body's rhythms, and its smells prompt reverie.  This poem is one of those moments."
-Colleen J. McElroy

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * A more generous report on Mahleur (thanks, Hollis)
* How Trump wins the nomination
* Rubio to focus on
Obama's treason
* PP video fakers in deep trouble on multiple fronts
* Sam Seder from last June:  how Trump will dominate the GOP
* This will make you sick
* The Palinification of the GOP continues
* Scary poll results from South Carolina
* Yosemite Sarah (hilarious)
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

       
Feb 18 Thu IF City ClubWhat's Up with Wages?, Mary Daly, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Senior Vice President, Associate Director of Research (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
Feb 21 Sun Black Lives Matter banner dedication - noon, at the Unitarian Universalist Church
Mar 17 Thu 9th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War:  The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (7pm, Shilo Inn)
Mar 22 Tues Bonneville County Democratic caucus
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

More Odds and Ends

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, February 11th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

I apologize for not having enough time to write some commentary this week.  I want to talk about Beyoncé, Bernie, #BLM, and BLM, but I've run out of time.  However, there are a lot of upcoming events in the near future.  I'll share more info with you all on Thursday, but please keep the following events in mind.

 


 

Please come to the Add the Words rally at the Broadway bridge - every Wednesday at noon.  Only 15 minutes.

 


 


Great news:  the Unitarian Universalist Church of Idaho Falls will be installing a Black Lives Matter banner in a ceremony on Sunday, February 21st.  Please come out and join us - this is a great day for Idaho Falls!

 


 

We will be putting together a table for the Idaho Humanities Council's 9th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner on Thursday, March 17th (7pm, at the Shilo Inn in Idaho Falls).

The speaker will be Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War:  The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam.  Logevall is a renowned historian, accomplished educator, and prolific writer on the Vietnam War and its legacy.

Click for a legible version

His groundbreaking book Embers of War won both the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in History and the prestigious Parkman Prize, which deemed it an "extraordinary work of modern history."  The book draws on more than a decade of research, accessing sources and archives on three continents never before tapped.

Plus, we will be reading the book and maybe having a discussion of our own.  Let me know if you'd like to participate.

 


 

The Bonneville County Democratic caucus is happening on Tuesday, March 22nd.  If you are interested in attending, or even interested in going to Boise as a delegate, please check here for some important information.

The Bonneville County Republican primary is happening on March 8th.  There's information around somewhere.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Bone marrow registry:  Be The Match (those of you under 45 should sign up; over 45 will cost you $100)

 

Quotations of the Week

"In the current campaign, Trump is behaving like a professional wrestler while Trump's opponents are conducting the race like a boxing match.  As the rest of the field measures up their next jab, Trump decks them over the head with a metal chair.

Others in the Republican field are concerned with the rules and constructing a strategy that, under those rules, will lead to the nomination.  But Trump isn't concerned with those things.  Instead, Trump is focused on each moment and eliciting the maximum amount of passion in that moment.  His supporters love it."
- Jed Legum

 

"It was miraculous.  It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice.  Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all.  It merely required no character."
- Joseph Heller, Catch-22

 

Poem of the Week

The Woodlice

The beauty of one sister
who loved them so
she smuggled the woodlice
into her pockets & then into
the house, after a day's work
of digging in the yard,
& after the older ones of us
had fed her & washed,
she carried them into
the bed with her, to mother
them, so that they would have
two blankets & be warm, for
this is what she knew of love,
& the beloveds emerged one
by one from their defenses, unfolding
themselves across the bed's white sheet
like they did over 400 years ago, carried
from that other moonlight,
accidentally, or by children, into
the ship's dark hold, slowly
adapting to the new rooms
of cloths, then fields, & we,
the elders to that sister,
we, having seen strangers
in our house before, we, being
older, being more ugly & afraid,
we began, then, to teach her the lessons
of dirt & fear.

Aracelis Girmay
(Listen to an audio version)

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Reasons liberals should support Trump (different reasons than mine)
* Why Trump will not be president
* List of Hillary Clinton's outrages
* Believe it or not:  the Mahleur occupation is getting weird again
* More bad news for Idaho
* Ruh roh ... classified material on Colin Powell's personal email account
* Now this is chutzpah
* Thatreally scary thing that happened to Melissa Harris-Perry
* Chart:  Why the Middle East is a war zone
* Every day is Groundhog Day for reproductive rights
* Beyoncé's Formation, annotated for us white folks
* Rudy Guiliani's asinine response
* This Texas town had nearly its entire government arrested
* The conservative Lorax
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

       
Feb 18 Thu IF City ClubWhat's Up with Wages?, Mary Daly, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Senior Vice President, Associate Director of Research (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
Feb 21 Sun Black Lives Matter banner dedication - noon, at the Unitarian Universalist Church
Mar 17 Thu 9th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War:  The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (7pm, Shilo Inn)
Mar 22 Tues Bonneville County Democratic caucus
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

No DL Meeting This Thursday

 

No Meeting This Week

Click for a legible version

This week is the Banff Film Festival at the Colonial Theater.  If you want to know what you might miss, watch this trailer.

Anyway, DL will be on an informal basis.  Please feel free to visit the Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd, but there will be no organized meeting.


Also, some reminders.

The Bonneville County Democratic caucus is happening on March 22nd.  If you are interested in attending, or even interested in going to Boise as a delegate, please click on the photo at right for some important information.

The Bonneville County Republican primary is happening on March 8th.  There's information around somewhere.



We will be putting together a table for the Idaho Humanities Council's 9th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner on Thursday, March 17th (7pm, at the Shilo Inn in Idaho Falls).

The speaker will be Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War:  The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam.  Logevall is a renowned historian, accomplished educator, and prolific writer on the Vietnam War and its legacy.  His groundbreaking book Embers of War won both the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in History and the prestigious Parkman Prize, which deemed it an "extraordinary work of modern history."  The book draws on more than a decade of research, accessing sources and archives on three continents never before tapped.

Plus, we will be reading the book and maybe having a discussion of our own.  Let me know if you'd like to participate.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Schedule

       
Feb 18 Thu IF City ClubWhat's Up with Wages?, Mary Daly, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Senior Vice President, Associate Director of Research (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
Mar 17 Thu 9th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War:  The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (7pm, Shilo Inn)
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Guest Announcement from Sarah Palin

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, January 28th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 


Click for a legible version

First, some reminders.

The Bonneville County Democratic caucus is happening on March 22nd.  If you are interested in attending, or even interested in going to Boise as a delegate, please click on the photo at right for some important information.

The Bonneville County Republican primary is happening on March 8th.  There's information around somewhere.


This Friday night the Idaho Humanities Council is presenting Living Voices:  Hear My Voice at the Colonial Theater (in the Carr Gallery).  There will be a discussion moderated by Jim Francis afterward.  Pricey, at $35, but should be very good.


Speaking of the IHC, we will be putting together a table for their annual dinner/lecture on March 17th.  Details to come.  Plus, we will be reading the book and maybe having a discussion of our own.  Let me know if you'd like to participate.


Last meeting before the Iowa Caucus!  Let's hear from our guest meeting notice writer - Ms Sarah Palin:

Hey, you all!  Betcha thought you were done hearing from me!  No such luck for you!  My legacy isn't over yet, friends.  I'm a work in progress, you know.  Also like a bad penny!

So when Donny said that there's a spot for me in his administration, I jumped right up and gave him my unqualified endorsement in exchange.  That's how we politicians do it.  At least us outsider-type politicians who aren't beholden to special interests and who can't be bought and sold like your typical Washington insider.

Bet it pissed off old Teddy Cruz!  You probably remember that I vouched for Teddy back when he was just another Hispanic guy down there in Texas back in twenty-oh-twelve.  It was my endorsement that made it OK for normal Texans to vote for him.  But did he offer me the VP spot?  No!  You snooze, you lose, Teddy Cruz!


So yeah ... Teddy and Donny wanted my endorsement.  I love it when both sides are fighting over me!  It reminds me of me back before I got married, when Todd and Carl were squirmishing for my affection.  Well ... there was the basketball team, too.  It was those three ... Todd, Carl, and the basketball team.  And a couple professors, too.  But they weren't really "marriageable," if you know what I mean.  So Todd took home the trophy - that's ancient history - and I don't hardly ever see those other guys.  (Sigh)  Except Carl is our neighbor up here in Wasilla.  Trig calls him "Uncle Carl" - it's so cute!  But I've been so busy that I haven't seen Carl for some time.  Yeah ... the last time was when Todd went off to that 4-week Iron Dog snowmobile race thingy.  Winters can get kinda cold up here, you know.

Now before you go off thinking that there's something going on between me and Donny - because I can bet you all naturally think that.  What with me still in my prime and looking pretty good for a mama bear, and him so handsome and rich and straight-talking and not all that fat really.

You might think that living a life of splendor and luxuriosity might be appealing to a small-town girl like me.  Being able to buy my clothes without getting all scrutinized about details like did anyone use campaign money and whatnot like that.  Buying my own TV station and not having to depend on the liberal em-ess-em.  Getting away from the burdens of motherhood and being able to hire a team of folks to raise Trig ... geez, wouldn't that be a relief!  And hire some others to handle all the legal hassles and obstetrician visits that parents have to deal with.  Even some of the good ones.  Living life kinda care-free and la vida locally, as they say.  But still being famous and all ... (sigh).

No ... no ... That ship has so sailed.  Right under the bridge.  The bridge to nowhere.  I certainly never expected to have a chance to live like that, because if I'da known ... (sigh).

In all honesty, I'm more of the down-to-Earth type of person.  No ... the plan is to stick it out with the current fam.  No matter how much they let me down.  That's what love means, you know?  You grit your teeth and smile when you really just want to grab them around their ungrateful necks and >squeeze< real hard.  Like Todd always says, "They wouldn't call them white knuckles if they weren't the best kind of knuckles."

And besides, you all know I'm no quitter.

So let me marshal up all my vast credibility and assure you that there is nothing like that going on here.  Plus, even if I wanted to, it's like Ivanka is always hanging around.  Every time I call his hotel room really late, she always answers.

But the important part is that I'm back on the national stage where I belong.  So I won't be able to write these meeting invitations for you all any more.  Which is too bad 'cause I think I'm getting kinda good at it.  But soon I'll be vice-presidenting, or at least secretarying some big department like Defense or Treasury.  Something important.  Maybe I could be Secretary of the States.  God, I hope Donny isn't thinking Education or something stupid like that.

But before I get too occupied by leading the free world, I have to remind you about how that name you guys use is kinda a little problematic.  "Drinking Liberally."  It's almost like you don't know the definitions of simple words.  I was trying to be delicate before, but it looks like I have to spell it out for ya.

"Drinking Liberally" doesn't just mean getting sloshed before a big national speech, which is normal.  It has a whole 'nother meaning, you know?  Like people not as smart as you and me might think it means "drinking while being a liberal." So get that on the agenda and make it your first order of business at your next meeting, before you get all drunk and make another mistake.  I'm not trying to be mean, 'cause we've all made drunken mistakes (like little Trig, God bless him).  But for gosh sake, change that name!

Since I'm getting some props lately for my mad rhymes, I thought I'd close with a little poem I just wrote:

Don't be bitter,
Mama needs a babysitter
For her little critter
(best of the litter!).

Get the confetti and glitter
and elect the heavy hitter;
Trump's the apple fritter,
And I'm his pinch hitter.

Also, like me on Twitter,
'cause I'm no quitter!
(And Track:  don't hit her,
or you'll end up in the shit@$%)

Maybe the end needs a little work.  I don't know.

Anyways, one of these days I'll be there to party with you.  Maybe when I have Air Force One at my disposal, I'll be able to stop by.  In the meantime, have fun!  And vote Trump/Palin in 2016!

Love ya,
Sarah Palin

A history of our special guest announcements:

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Bone marrow registry:  Be The Match (those of you under 45 should sign up; over 45 will cost you $100)

 

Quotations of the Week

"... what the fuck is wrong with these people?  I mean, aside from the rapid decline of the middle class obviously.  And the rise of precarious work and the fact that the basic way of life requires so much sedation that nearly a quarter of all Americans are on psychiatric drugs, and somewhere between 26.4 and 36 million Americans abuse opioids every day.  Oh yes, and the mass shootings.  There was more than one mass shooting a day.  And the white terrorists targeting black churches again.  And the regularly released videos showing the police assassinating black people.  And the police in question never being indicted, let alone being sent to jail.

And you know what Americans were worried about while all this shit was raining down on them?  While all this insanity was wounding their beloved country?  You know what their number one worry was, according to poll after poll after poll?

Muslims.  Muslims,  if you can believe it."
- Stephen Marche

 

"And you quit footing the bill for these nations who are oil-rich, we're paying for some of their squirmishes that have been going on for centuries."
- Sarah Palin, coining a new (and likely useful) word

 

"It doesn't change the facts.  You know, look, Hillary Clinton hasn't been indicted either so what does that say about our justice system?"
- Carly Fiorina, on the PP non-indictments

 

Poem of the Week

To Bring the Horse Home

after Philip Larkin

Is all I've wanted past wanting
since I was six and delirious with fever,
an infinitive forged from a night
when giant ladybugs with toothpick
antennae patrolled my wicker nightstand.
Yes, I've been with horses since,
travelled illegally with them in trailers,
known certain landscapes only framed
by alert ears, and with one in particular,
spent whole afternoons with her big jaw
heavy on my shoulder.  Still, I hatched
plots to bring a horse to the house, to ride
to school, to pasture one or even three
in the garden, shaded by that decorative
willow, which could have used a purpose.
But there were city bylaws in two languages,
and over the years, a dog, stray cats,
turtles, and many fish.  They lived, they died.
It wasn't the same.  Fast-forward, I brought
the baby home in a molded bucket seat, but she
lacked difference, attuned as I was, checking
her twenty-four-seven.  Now that she's
grown, I'm reduced to walking city parks
with this corrosive envy of mounted police,
though I'm too old for the ropes test,
wouldn't know what to do with a gun.
If there's a second act, let me live
like the racetrack rat in a small room
up the narrow stairs from the stalls,
the horse shifting comfortably below,
browsing and chewing sweet hay.
A single bed with blanket the color
of factory-sweepings will suffice,
each day shaped to the same arc,
because days can only end when
the lock slides free on the stall's
Dutch door, and I lead the horse in,
then muscle the corroded bolt shut.
That's what days are for: I cannot rest
until the horse comes home.

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Big story:  Arrests (and killing) at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
* Sanders and Trump:  white appeal in Iowa
* Three reasons Trump will win his primary
* What an excellent ad from Sanders (but I only saw about 6 POC)
* Is the GOP bankrupting states just to
kill social programs?
* Amazing video:  billionaire Nick Hanauer on wealth inequality
* The Flint fiasco:  a failure of conservative governance
* Interesting:  a $1.8 million mistake on a Minuteman missile
* Amanda Marcotte:  Palin wasn't drunk, she was just targeting Republicans
* Really cool new graphic manipulation app from Lambda Labs
* Really cool periodic table
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

       
Feb 18 Thu IF City ClubWhat's Up with Wages?, Mary Daly, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Senior Vice President, Associate Director of Research (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
Mar 17 Thu 9th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War:  The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (7pm, Shilo Inn)
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Making a Murderer

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, January 21st
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

We have a special guest this week:  Katie Stokes, the new opinion page editor at the Post Register.  Join us for a fascinating discussion of state politics and the challenges of coming in from outside the state.


I just finished watching the new 10-part Netflix documentary Making a Murderer.

I hesitate to recommend it, but not because it isn't excellent.  I even wondered whether to suggest it to Hollis, especially.  First, because it is addictive in a binge-watching sort of way.  I saw all 10 episodes over four nights.  I was up until 1:30am last night, and could have kept watching.  It really sucks you in.

But second, it will make you angry.  It's a troubling story of how our judicial system has become a machine for producing convictions.  I'm not giving anything away to reveal that the story involves Steven Avery, a man convicted of rape.  He served 18 years in prison before he was exonerated by the Wisconsin Innocence Project using DNA evidence.  It turns out that the local police were aware of the actual rapist - had even been keeping him under surveillance at the time - but chose to ignore the evidence that pointed away from Avery.  They built their case and put Avery on trial and got their conviction.  The real rapist went on to rape two others before he was eventually caught.  And 18 years later, after being exonerated, Avery gets out and returns home.  He becomes a poster-child for the Innocence Project, and is negotiating a settlement with the state for the unwarranted incarceration.

And that's the end of Episode 1.  That's the background material.  The real injustice starts at that point.


  • " Wednesday Add the Words Rally - every Wednesday at noon on the Broadway Bridge
  • " Special guest at DL on Jan 21:  Katie Stokes, the new editor of the Post Register opinion page
  • " MLK Banquet - Friday, Jan 22, Shilo Inn, 6pm, $35
  • " Our Tenth Anniversary - April 28th (what should we do?)

If you can imagine how that false conviction, Avery's loss of 18 years, and a couple of additional rapes make up only the prelude to the real tale of judicial misconduct and inequality, then you might have an idea of how painful this documentary is.  It's an indictment of our judicial process at its core.  How in it's natural state it is corrupting to the souls of those involved (police, prosecutors, judges, and even defense lawyers).  And perverting of what we imagine are American values of justice and generosity.  It creates perverse incentives that at best lead to dishonesty and criminal misconduct in the misguided idea of achieving the "greater good" of locking up the bad guys.

The system destroys lives and breaks families, and takes advantage of poverty and the poorly educated.  There are scenes where a 16-yr-old nephew named Brandon is being interrogated.  He is somewhat slow, and his struggle to understand what is being asked is evident in his expressionless, slow responses.  It physically hurts to watch him sitting there, obviously searching for the answers that the police want to hear.  You know where the police are trying to lead Brandon with their questions, and you fill his long motionless silences with your own thoughts about how he must be baffled and struggling with the confusing "advice" of these authority figures.

At the end of the interrogation session where the police have just badgered him into admitting involvement in a murder - where he failed to give them any details of the crime and they had to feed them to him - he asks if he'll be back in school by 1:30.  You know that he's going to spend the next bunch of years in jail - whether he's trying to prove innocence after just having admitted guilt, or just living out his plea deal - so his concern about turning in an assignment on time cuts right through your heart.  Your mind reels at the thought of how one set of people can do that to a poor, slow kid.  Just the torture of the interrogation alone - regardless of the hard years ahead that will derail this poor kid's entire life - seems to embody "cruel and unusual."

And that's just one small side story in the main tale of injustice.

The series was obviously arranged with dramatic intent in mind.  There are places where you realize that information has been presented in a fashion that magnifies its emotional and dramatic impact.  There is also disagreement about the resulting innocence or guilt on the part of some of the marginal people in the documentary.  Some claim that the documentary has skewed the facts.  However, I am convinced that anyone who puts in the time to watch the entire series (again - once you start it may be hard to stop) will come away with a strong conviction that the main points of the story are obviously true, that our judicial system is profoundly broken, and that we are mostly lucky when it works as it should.

We have a ideological pride in our justice system - a pride that's instilled in grade school and in Schoolhouse Rock PSAs.  And it is threatening to our equanimity and our sense of self to realize that it is a horrible system that chews up real people and gives us a false sense of order and protection.  There is an unwarranted certitude that starts with the police and prosecutors within a process that is contrived and artificial in so many ways - from how witnesses are treated, what is allowed to be presented to the jury, the deference granted to the authorities.  We claim a presumption of innocence, but it is not often on display during the actual process.

And there are lots of little clues to the problems - little common bromides that we've grown up with and don't even question much.  Things like "good guy with a gun" taking out the bad guys.  Or maintaining law and order.  Or the concept of the "thin blue line."  The militarization of our police.  Three strikes you're out.  All of these contribute to a system that is too often evil and rarely positive.

Sentencing reform and getting rid of for-profit prisons form a good start.  But it's a very small start.  We need to convert our judicial system into one that sees its role as one of helping people recover from mistakes rather than one that maintains order.

Join us this Thursday night at the Bee's Knees, and let's discuss this and other topics (at least when you're not talking with our guest).

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Bone marrow registry:  Be The Match (those of you under 45 should sign up; over 45 will cost you $100)

 

Quotations of the Week

"This president has been the single most divisive political figure this country has had over the last decade."
- Marco Rubio

 

Poem of the Week

Microwave Popcorn

I think a lot of y'all have just been watching Dr. King get beat up and,          ah

            vacillating opportunists straining for a note of militancy            and ah

Hold your great buildings on my tiny wing      or     in my tiny   palm           same thing  different sling

and then they shot him   and     uh               left him on the front lawn  of     everyone's    vulgar  delirium
for          having been chosen       walking home that night       that'll                show you     like   candy     and   love
god     openly          reverse   order

A bird gets along beautifully in the air, but once she is on the ground           that special equipment hampers her a great deal.

         And               Thereby home never gets to be a jaded resting place.

Harmony Holiday
(Listen to an audio version)

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Why is Clinton slipping?
* My expectation:  Sanders will do well in Iowa and New Hampsire, but not much more
* To Sanders fans:  lighten up
* Juan Williams:  GOP to blame for civility's breakdown
* Is Obama really divisive?
* Don't call your kid an Einstein (thanks Hollis)
* Oh, hey!  A new Einstein!
* Just a typical Trump supporter
* The differences between Republicans and Democrats
* What would America look like without gerrymandering
* Powerful:  Black Privilege (thanks Collett)
* Great news:  Planned Parenthood files suit against scam artists
* Listen to Roger Plothow at the City Club last Friday
* This got lots of attention:  Trump rally song
* Check out this awesome version of Battleship
* A Chinese source live-Tweets the GOP debate
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!
* ... and some from Pasadena DL, too

 

Schedule

       
Jan 21 Thurs Special guest at DL:  Katie Stokes, the new editor of the Post Register opinion page
Jan 22 Fri MLK Banquet - Shilo Inn, 6pm
Apr 28 Thurs Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Trumped Up Options

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, January 14th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

We have a special guest coming up next week (January 21st):  Katie Stokes, the new opinion page editor at the Post Register.  Join us for a fascinating discussion of state politics and the challenges of coming in from outside the state.


Here's my quick analysis of the possible Trump-specific outcomes for the GOP primary race in terms of what's good and bad for the Democratic nominee.  At the presidential level, the options come in the following order, best to worst:

  1. Trump runs as an independent
  2. Trump is the GOP nominee
  3. Trump drops out

The first seems obviously the best for the Democratic nominee.  He will split the conservative vote, making it an easy victory for the Dem side.  Second best would be Trump as the GOP nominee - he will drive off a large fraction of the Republican base, making the Democratic victory somewhat easier.  Of course, if Trump drops out, then it's a regular two-person race, so that's the least-favorable outcome.

It's a different picture for all the other down-ticket races, however.  Here we're talking about House and Senate races, and state-level races like governorships and legislative seats.  The preferred order changes:

  1. Trump is the GOP nominee
  2. Trump drops out
  3. Trump runs as an independent


  • " Wednesday Add the Words Rally - every Wednesday at noon on the Broadway Bridge
  • " IF City Club - We Get The Media We Deserve, Roger Plothow, Editor and Publisher of the Post Register (Friday, Jan 15th, noon - 1:30pm, Bennion SUB)
  • " ACLU Activist Academy - in Boise on Saturday, January 16th
  • " Special guest at DL on Jan 21:  Katie Stokes, the new editor of the Post Register opinion page
  • " MLK Banquet - Friday, Jan 22, Shilo Inn, 6pm, $35
  • " Our Tenth Anniversary - April 28th (what should we do?)

For all of these other races, having Trump as the nominee is the best situation, because it causes the most likely Republican voters to stay home and not vote.  If Trump drops out, then all of his rabid voters stay home and refuse to vote establishment candidates.  And I assume that his rabid base is smaller than the Republican establishment base.  The worst option would be if Trump runs an independent race, because then all the Trump supporters and all the other Republican voters end up in the voting booth.  They may vote for different presidential candidates, but they'll mostly support all the GOP candidates down-ticket.

So which should Democratic voters hope for?  Should they hope for the three options in the first order, or in the second order?

It comes down to what you think of the Democratic candidate's chances.  Personally, I don't think either Clinton or Sanders can lose, no matter who the GOP selects as a candidate.  For several reasons:

  • 2014 was supposedly a GOP "landslide" victory.  Yet, in reality, if you add up the votes for House candidates (which is the only proxy for a single national vote in an off-year election), more people voted for Democrats than for Republicans.
  • 2016 is a presidential year, which traditionally brings out even more Democratic voters.
  • The GOP is going through a bruising primary season, which means fractured unity, and lots of money spent in the primary rather than in the general
  • Even outside of the primary, the GOP is in trouble - they had a very difficult time electing a Speaker of the House
  • The Dems will either have a woman or a Democratic Socialist on the ticket.  If it's the former, that will create tremendous excitement (think Obama in 2008).
  • If it's the latter, there will be a different kind of excitement bringing new voters out.  Sanders might even draw quite a few Republican voters (I have witnessed several Republicans make that comment).

The Democratic presidential nominee seems to have a lot of advantages in the next election.  In my view, those interested in seeing lots of Democratic wins should probably hope for the options in the second ordered set.  That is to say they should hope for a Trump candidacy rather than an independent Trump run.

What do you think?  Join us this Thursday to discuss.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Bone marrow registry:  Be The Match (those of you under 45 should sign up; over 45 will cost you $100)

 

Quotations of the Week

"If you look beyond Donald Trump's comprehensive unpleasantness - is there a disagreeable human trait he does not have? - you might see this:  He is a fundamentally sad figure.  His compulsive boasting is evidence of insecurity.  His unassuageable neediness suggests an aching hunger for others' approval to ratify his self-admiration.  His incessant announcements of his self-esteem indicate that he is not self-persuaded.  Now, panting with a puppy's insatiable eagerness to be petted, Trump has reveled in the approval of Vladimir Putin, murderer and war criminal.

"One hundred and four years of history is in the balance.  If Trump is the Republican nominee in 2016, there might not be a conservative party in 2020 either."
- George Will

 

Poem of the Week

Limitations

The subtlest strain a great musician weaves,
Cannot attain in rhythmic harmony
To music in his soul.  May it not be
Celestial lyres send hints to him?  He grieves
That half the sweetness of the song, he leaves
Unheard in the transition.  Thus do we
Yearn to translate the wondrous majesty
Of some rare mood, when the rapt soul receives
A vision exquisite.  Yet who can match
The sunset's iridescent hues?  Who sing
The skylark's ecstasy so seraph-fine?
We struggle vainly, still we fain would catch
Such rifts amid life's shadows, for they bring
Glimpses ineffable of things divine.

Henrietta Cordelia Ray

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Obama's domestic legacy
* Charles Pierce:  Sedition
* Obama's gun control changes, explained
* Why the feds aren't ousting the seditionists?  Here's why.
* Get ready for an all-out hypocritial assault on Bill Clinton
* How climate change denialists are tricking people
* Gravitational waves?
* Winning comedy wildlife photos
* Dominique Matti: 
Why I'm an Angry Black Woman
* Reverse racism myths
* The PC fallacy
* Recipe for vegan turfucken (not safe for work)
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

       
Jan 15 Fri IF City Club:  Roger Plothow, Editor and Publisher of the Post Register, We Get The Media We Deserve (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
Jan 16 Sat ACLU Activist Academy (in Boise)
Jan 21 Thurs Special guest at DL:  Katie Stokes, the new editor of the Post Register opinion page
Jan 22 Fri MLK Banquet - Shilo Inn, 6pm
Apr 28 Thurs Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Special Guest and Special Guest Announcement

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, January 7th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Special Guest:  For the first meeting of 2016 we have Krisi Jensen Staten, executive director of the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation.  Join us this Thursday to find out what's in the works for downtown Idaho Falls.


Hi folks ... Trump here.  I was invited to write a meeting notice for you guys.

I have to say that this isn't much of an honor, but I'll accept it.  You don't get as rich as me by turning down stuff, no matter how worthless.  So I'll take it.  Plus, they say any exposure is good exposure.  I think my campaign has proved that in spades.

Now you might wonder why would I shill for a bunch of ISIS-loving, pro-immigration, anti-wall, socialist losers like you?  Glad you asked.  Two reasons.


  • " Special guest at DL on Jan 7:  Krisi Jensen Staten, executive director of the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation
  • " IF City Club - We Get The Media We Deserve, Roger Plothow, Editor and Publisher of the Post Register (Friday, Jan 15th, noon - 1:30pm, Bennion SUB)
  • " ACLU Activist Academy - in Boise on Saturday, January 16th
  • " Special guest at DL on Jan 21:  Katie Stokes, the new editor of the Post Register opinion page
  • " Our Tenth Anniversary - April 28th (what should we do?)

First, it doesn't matter - because it won't affect me.  Have you seen my opponents?  I couldn't lose to those clowns if I tried.  Believe me.  I have tried.  So who cares?  Not Donald Trump, I promise you that.

Second, you're out there in Iowa or Idaho or whatever.  Don't know.  Don't care.  Point is, you people can't hurt me.  Even that loser Romney beat Obama in your state by what?  80%?  You think I should worry about you?  Please.  I'm going to win by, like, 40% more than that!

I'm taking your state, and the states next to you, and all the states ... right to the White House! We're gonna make winning fashionable again.  And then I'm gonna win the rest of the whole world.  Who's gonna stop me?  Achmadinachoo or whatever his name is over there in Iran?  I got one word:  nuke him.

Merkel?  Are you serious?  A woman?  She has to take off a week out of every four - how's she going to stop me?  Besides, we kicked their asses in World War II, and we can do it again.  Maybe in World War I, too, I can't remember.  Whatever.  Doesn't matter.

China?  The only thing the Chinese understand is economic power.  I've been dealing with them for years.  They make all my merchandise.  Those tiny little hotel shampoo bottles?  Filled by tiny little Chinese kids.  I know how to jew them down, believe me.  And when I have the US Treasury in my pocket?  Those Chinks will be putty in my hands.

Putin?  Come on!  I mean, I respect the guy ... don't get me wrong.  But business is business.  You don't get as rich as Trump without knocking off a few friends.  Figuratively speaking, of course.  I wouldn't harm the guy.  Not with CIA spies at my command.  Or maybe Special Ops forces.  Or drones.  Yeah ... drones.

Let me emphasize that nobody was talking about assassinating Putin until I did.  Just then.

Where was I?  Who cares?  Not important.

You probably heard that my campaign is going gangbusters.  The media just keeps going on and on about that, as if it's some big suprise.  Trump this ... Trump that.  Yadda yadda.  But this campaign ... this movement ... it's huge.  HUGE.  There's never been anything like this.  It's unbelievable.  I'm so far ahead of those losers it's not even funny.  Nobody's ever had a lead as big as this, and nobody ever will in history.

And Hillary?  She won't know what hit her.  We're gonna hit her so hard, she'll bleed from ... Yeah, better not go there again.  The MSM will go all PC on me again.  Whatever, screw 'em.

So I'm supposed to invite you to something called Drinking Liberally.  Other than the pathetic liberal part, it sounds like you guys have a good thing going there.  Show up.  Drink a little bit.  Cry in your beer.  Losers.  I don't care.

Cheers,
Your Future President, Donald Trump

 

Contact

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Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Bone marrow registry:  Be The Match (those of you under 45 should sign up; over 45 will cost you $100)

 

Quotations of the Week

"Would I approve waterboarding?  You bet your ass I would - in a heartbeat.  And I would approve more than that.  Don't kid yourself, folks.  It works, okay?  It works.  Only a stupid person would say it doesn't work."
- Donald Trump

 

"Look.  We can bring the American Dream back.  That I will tell you.  We're bringing it back, okay?  And I understand what you're saying.  And I get that from so many people.  'Is the American Dream dead?'  They are asking me the question, 'Is the American Dream dead?'  And the American Dream is in trouble.  That I can tell you.  Okay?  It's in trouble.  But we're going to get it back and do some real jobs.  How about the man with that beautiful red hat?  Stand up!  Stand up!  What a hat!"
- Donald Trump

 

Poem of the Week

Self-Portrait on the Street of an Unnamed Foreign City

The lettering on the shop window in which
you catch a glimpse of yourself is in Polish.

Behind you a man quickly walks by, nearly shouting
into his cell phone.  Then a woman

at a dreamier pace, carrying a just-bought bouquet
upside-down.  All on a street where pickpockets abound

along with the ubiquitous smell of something baking.
It is delicious to be anonymous on a foreign city street.

Who knew this could be a life, having languages
instead of relationships, struggling even then,

finding out what it means to be a woman
by watching the faces of men passing by.

I went to distant cities, it almost didn't matter
which, so primed was I to be reverent.

All of them have the beautiful bridge
crossing a grey, near-sighted river,

one that massages the eyes, focuses
the swooping birds that skim the water's surface.

The usual things I didn't pine for earlier
because I didn't know I wouldn't have them.

I spent so much time alone, when I actually turned lonely
it was vertigo.

Myself estranged is how I understood the world.
My ignorance had saved me, my vices fueled me,

and then I turned forty.  I who love to look and look
couldn't see what others did.

Now I think about currencies, linguistic equivalents, how lopsided they
      are, while
my reflection blurs in the shop windows.

Wanting to be as far away as possible exactly as much as still with you.
Shamelessly entering a Starbucks (free wifi) to write this.

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * White anger, black anger
* Poor Donald Trump thinks Clinton should apologize
* Let's hope there's some jail time for some Congressmen
* Smart kid taking on Bobby Jindal
* Bad move by President Obama
* Why are people conservative?
* Teaching people to hate their own government
* No one had ever entered the White House so grossly ill-informed (guess who)
* Krugman:  The second worst problem with wealth inequality
* Looks like an interesting weekly summary
* A major natural disaster in the US that you may not know about
* The 2nd Amendment was never meant to protect an individual right
* Anniversary of an ACLU victory:  Tinker turns 50 (and today Hope Tinker is on the board of the DC chapter of the ACLU)
* 80 books no woman should read
* Bizarre city council testimony
* Countries that have yet to adopt the metric system
* Dave Barry's Year in Review
* Beautiful drunks in Manchester
* The Moth:  Taylor Negron
* Great letter from a dying mother
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!
* ... and some from Oakland DL, too

 

Schedule

 

       
Jan 7 Thurs Special guest at DL on Jan 7:  Krisi Jensen Staten, Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation
Jan 15 Fri IF City Club:  Roger Plothow, Editor and Publisher of the Post Register, We Get The Media We Deserve (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
Jan 16 Sat ACLU Activist Academy (in Boise)
Jan 21 Thurs Special guest at DL:  Katie Stokes, the new editor of the Post Register opinion page
Apr 28 Thurs Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Pro-Gun Gospel

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, December 17th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Keep in mind that we will not meet on the next two Thursdays, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, respectively.  However, we have a special guest for the first meeting of 2016:  Krisi Stanton Jenson, executive director of the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation.  Join us on Thursday, January 7th, to find out what's in the works for downtown Idaho Falls.


So a friend posted a note on Facebook about getting one of those police alerts about danger in the area - there had been an armed robbery nearby.  Apparently it ended with an arrest and nobody hurt, thankfully.

But the post was about being thankful that the spouse could provide armed protection if it had been needed.  The spouse was able to unlock the weapon, load it, and was trained to handle it if necessary.  The post expressed a strong sense of gratitude and a feeling of security, given the situation.

[I'm sorry if that paragraph sounded awkward.  I was hiding all identifying information, because this is a good person I'm about to disagree with.]

The comments that followed were kind of predictable:

Comments

I can certainly understand that feeling of security.  If there's someone's up to no good in your neighborhood (sorry), then a firearm certainly could feel comforting.  I have no doubt that many people feel that way.

But I do have a problem if that is the end of the consideration.  "Situations could arise where a gun might provide a feeling of comfort, or even prove directly helpful.  Therefore, we are better off having a gun."

Isn't that missing much of the equation?  I tried to capture my thoughts:

My comment

Simple point, I thought.  Yes, there might be some instances in your life where a weapon might be a good idea to have.  But what about the other 20,000 days of your life where no gun is needed but you've introduced it into your life anyway?  If you're going to give thanks for the weapon on those several rare (or hypothetical) instances of perceived need, shouldn't you also consider the actual danger that you're causing your family every single day?


  • " Pride New Year's Eve Dance - Shilo Inn, Dec 31, 9pm-1am, $10
  • " Special guest at DL on Jan 7:  Krisi Jensen Staten, executive director of the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation

[At this point, let me interrupt to point to one of my favorite DL notices, on this very topic.]

And it isn't even that clear that a weapon can be helpful in the rare situations.  Most intruders are after stuff, and are not armed.  So in most cases you will be introducing the capacity for death where no one needs to die.  In rare scenarios, an intruder might truly intend harm to the occupants of the home.  But as PZ Myers points out, once you are having a shootout in your home, the idea of security has mostly been jettisoned anyway:

Do I need to point out that in his scenario, he has already lost, no matter how well-trained he is with a firearm?  He is having a gunfight in his home, with his family around him.  Imagine yourself in your bedroom, pulling a pistol out of a bedside drawer, loading it, and calmly taking a few shots in the direction of the hallway, without the presence of an intruder to complicate and make even more dangerous the situation.  This is not an action without consequences and without risk.  But this is the preferred nightmare of the gun fanatics.

So I thought my comment was pretty well-written, and a fair point that should be considered and discussed.  Gentle and understanding.  Much more calm than PZ Myer's comment.  And I didn't even mention gun control.

Oh.  My.  God.

Laurie Lynn Walker

That was the first reponse I got (notice the "50 replies").  Laurie got very heated, and her next three comments were full of ALL CAPS and accusations that I just wanted to take away her guns.  She ended up deleting those other comments.  I explained that I had made no political comment, and that I had no problem with her owning weapons, but the emotional response was a huge problem.  I should know not to use the word "emotional" in that context.  She was angry and vitriolic, and accused me of hating women throughout the thread.

Another typical response:

Bill Gillingham

Yeah.  Looks like I aimed pretty far over Bill's head.  "I don't give a good goddam if my gun is a threat to my family, I'm gonna protect 'em!"

Monique was a bit more measured and careful, but still completely missed my point:

Monique Nelson

And another belligerent idiot chimed in:

Ryan Nelson

I didn't even respond to Ryan's insane comment.  Though I am happy to have achieved the rank of Expert Social Media Troll.  I loved the following from Brad - a textbook NRA response calling me a textbook example of something or other that I never even did.

Brad Carter

The right in America has gotten ever more intransigent about gun control in the last decade.  Since Heller gun ownership has become an individual right, even though conservatives typically don't approve of inventing new individual rights (see the excellent quote below).  And because they are so intent on defending this new individual right to own all kinds of weaponry, their response to events like San Bernadino seems to be coming out in a very anti-American way.  I.e., banning Muslim immigrants and shutting down Mosques.  It's like they're taking it out on the Muslims because they have drawn a line in the sand over weaponry.

Perhaps the jump to religious bigotry isn't that clear.  Let me explain.

During that "debate" it started to dawn on me that the types of responses I was seeing mirrored what we atheists often get from angry theists.  (Not what we hear from all theists, mind you.  Most theists are fine with atheists.  But a few theists feel threatened.  They tend to become aggressive with atheists.)

We are often accused of wanting to destroy religion, or take Jesus out of America, or get rid of Christmas.  Just as Laurie Lynn Walker accused me of wanting to take away her gun.

And Bill Gillingham's point is basically called Pascal's wager when employed against atheists.  "You'd better (accept Jesus/own a gun) just in case it happens!"

Monique Nelson's point about getting rid of anything that can do harm is similar to the accusation that atheists have no joy, and nothing to live for.

Ryan Nelson makes a comment that is kind of a generic towel-throwing gesture (once he's done insulting me).  "Nobody will ever change their mind, so why discuss it?"

And Brad Carter first accuses me of lying and then says that I am risking the souls of people.

I just have to conclude that the people wedded to their pro-gun stances have thought processes that are very similar to the theists who fear atheism.  Could there be a deeper link?

Come share your thoughts on the last Drinking Liberally of 2015!

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Quotations of the Week

"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 material, 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."
- William Bennett (but not the famous William Bennett, in a comment to this article)

 

"She is the one that caused all this problem with her stupid policies.  You look at what she did with Libya, what she did with Syria.  Look at Egypt, what happened with Egypt, a total mess.  They don't back - we don't back any of our allies.  You look, she was truly, if not 'the,' one of the worst secretary of states in the history of the country.  She talks about me being dangerous.  She's killed hundreds of thousands of people with her stupidity."
- Donald "Who Else" Trump

 

Poem of the Week

Another of the Happiness Poems

It's not that we're not dying.
Everything is dying.
We hear these rumors of the planet's end
none of us will be around to watch.

It's not that we're not ugly.
We're ugly.
Look at your feet, now that your shoes are off.
You could be a duck,

no, duck-billed platypus,
your feet distraction from your ugly nose.
It's not that we're not traveling,
we're traveling.

But it's not the broadback Mediterranean
carrying us against the world's current.
It's the imagined sea, imagined street,
the winged breakers, the waters we confuse with sky

willingly, so someone out there asks
are you flying or swimming?
That someone envies mortal happiness
like everyone on the other side, the dead

who stand in watch, who would give up their bliss,
their low tide eternity rippleless
for one day back here, alive again with us.
They know the sea and sky I'm walking on

or swimming, flying, they know it's none of these,
this dancing-standing-still, this turning, turning,
these constant transformations of the wind
I can bring down by singing to myself,

the newborn mornings, these continuals-

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Charles Pierce on the legacy of the Bundy showdown
* Saul Cornell on the 2nd Amendment
* The GOP is nervously preparing for a brokered convention
* Tuesday's debate info
* Politicians lie, but who lies the most
* Krugman:  why President Obama is the most successful president in history
* Insane Trump supporter video (funny/sick to watch)
* RIP, Holly Woodlawn
* Who said it:  Donald Trump or Michael Scott?
* The Key and Peele number dropped from Les Mis
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!
* ... and some from Oakland DL, too

 

Schedule

 

       
Dec 24 Thurs Christmas Eve - no DL!
Dec 25 Fri Merry Christmas!
Dec 31 Thurs Pride New Year's Eve Party! - 9pm-1am, Shilo Inn, $10
Jan 7 Thurs Special guest at DL on Jan 7:  Krisi Jensen Staten, Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation