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Reading Liberally: Read of the Day

The one report that every liberal must read today

MEDIA CONTINUE TO FALSELY CLAIM CLARK CRITICIZED MCCAIN'S SERVICE
by Media Matters


Media Matters reminds us that General Clark did not criticize McCain. The mainstream media has picked up on and is trying to legitimize the McCain Campaign's talking points. As a liberal, you need to make sure the truth gets out there. Keep 'em honest.

Daniel Mintz is Living Liberally

Talking Liberally Progressive Parley
by Seth Pearce, Living Liberally Blog

Part of Living Liberally's mission has been to promote engagement and collaboration among progressive organizations. To fulfill this goal we at Living Liberally have decided to feature interviews with people involved in different parts of the progressive movement. Hopefully, through these interviews, we can learn about what progressives are working on today, and get a little more in depth about what its like to be a part of the progressive movement.

Our first interviewee, Daniel Mintz, is in Research and Development at progressive powerhouse MoveOn.org Political Action. He currently lives in Brooklyn and every once in a while shows up at the Original Drinking Liberally. Enjoy!

Seth Pearce: So, what did your parents say when your organization was condemned by the US congress?
Daniel Mintz: I think, they, like a lot of people, were just blown away that with so many huge problems to tackle, the US Congress decided to spend so much time talking about a newspaper ad. Just like, whether you agreed or disagreed with the ad, what a manufactured controversy.

SP: What exactly do you do at MoveOn?
DM: Officially, I'm in charge of Research and Development, which is to say that I'm the R&D dept. (we're a pretty tiny shop). What that means in practice is that I get to have my hands in lots of cool stuff that we're trying out.

SP: Stuff John McCain would know how to use?
DM: Not so much.

SP: People think of MoveOn as this big shadowy progressive organization, running some kind of secret progressive world order- what are some specific things that MoveOn is working on right now?
DM: Ha. What are we working on right now?...Let's see...We're getting ready to run a massive get out the vote operation in the fall, hundreds of paid organizers working with tens of thousands of volunteers. We'll be essentially combining our 2004 program, Leave No Voter Behind, where people in swing states canvassed their neighbors, with our 2006 program, Call for Change, where MoveOn members across the country made more than 7 million calls to voters in key House and Senate races.

We're also working on FISA: Right now, we're asking thousands of MoveOn members to call their senators every day to tell them not to cave on the FISA "compromise".

And we're running a National Day of Action for an Oil-Free President at gas stations across the country in a few weeks. McCain is pretty darn tight with Big Oil. Many of the more than 100 lobbyists associated with his campaign are lobbyists for Big Oil. We wanted to highlight those ties and push for our next president to free himself and us of our dependence on foreign oil. So we're holding hundreds of gas station rallies where thousands of MoveOn members will show up at local gas stations to rally and call for a real, progressive solutions to the energy crisis.

Follow across the jump for more fresh Mintz.

Blogging Liberally: Daily Round-Up

1. Speculating on Obama’s running mate, Republicans are calling former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt their ultimate VP nightmare. Meanwhile a new poll ranks Gephardt 2nd most favorable running mate. #1 is Colin Powell.

2. Big Brother update: The government is illegally holding certain public records as "state secrets." On the hopeful side, Chief Judge Vaughan Walker just issued an opinion that leaves the case for telecom immunity somewhat undermined.

3. "President Bush Boosts Porn Industry With Economic Stimulus Plan” Supposed to generate jobs, the stimulus plan instead has generated demand for erotica.

4. Living Limbaugh: $400 Million Contract, Gulfstream, Scented Candles, And The "Business" Of Hating Liberals

5. Box office superheroes are a disappointment, some say. superheros

6. According to latest polls, campaigning in Montana is paying off for Obama.

7. Netroots activist Darcy Burner needs help. She's getting some, plus many compliments on her t-shirt.

8. "That's the most stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life." Stephen Baldwin on Fox News – endorses McCain, then unendorses himself.

9. Faceless couple attends Wimbledon. Other faceless people have been spotted. It is still unclear whether this gig is part of a new ad campaign or a grassroots protest.

10. Oil is at $146 a barrel.

11. is now a t-shirt and more historical than you might guess. Paul Thomas Anderson took Plainsview's milkshake speech straight out of a transcript from a 1924 congressional hearing on the Teapot Dome Scandal.

How to Enjoy a Dubiously Progressive Film

I should probably preface this post with an admission: I absolutely loved The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Despite the abysmally low expectations set by the first Narnia attempt, I sat through Caspian in a state of gleeful enthrallment. And from an entertainment perspective, it was a surprisingly great movie: the landscape was crafted with Peter-Jackson-level expertise, the Pevensie children have become less insufferably whiny, and the sexual tension between characters Susan Pevensie and Prince Caspian was cringe-inducingly hilarious.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the original story, Prince Caspian weaves the tale of the Pevensie children’s return to Narnia after The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Since their last visit, over a thousand years have passed in Narnia and things have gotten really rough: a neighboring land has taken over everything, and all Narnians have been killed or driven into hiding. Enter attractive yet bizarrely accented Prince Caspian, the exiled heir to the throne—and Narnia’s only hope. Essentially, magical hijinks and epic battles ensue as good battles evil for power over Narnia.

Overall, Caspian is a satisfying fantasy adventure--which is not to say that the film is even close to being flawless—there were many moments when it veered into being ridiculously overwrought, unintentionally inspiring several hearty guffaws. Like the first moment that Aslan appears, beams of light triumphantly shooting out of his mane, in a blatant "Thank God! It’s Jesus!" moment. (C.S. Lewis’s original Narnia stories were modeled after Christian parables, with Aslan the lion serving as an obvious Jesus figure).

The movie versions of the tales are produced by Walden Media, financed by notoriously conservative Christian billionaire Philip Anschutz. Which had me, a staunch athiest, pseudo-maliciously poised to pounce on any thinly-veiled attempts at conversion. Of which there were surprisingly few. Most of what could be associated with a religious purpose was ambiguous. For example, a scene in which a river swells into the shape of a giant man, who then swallows the enemy army, is simultaneously a reference to the parting of the red seas and a harmless demonstration of cool Narnian magic.

(click "Read More" to see the rest of this post)

Praying Liberally: Ring the Bells

As part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the issue of Global warming, many New England United Church of Christ congregations have begun ringing their bells.

In collaboration with 350.org, the churches are attempting to ring their church bells 350 times by December 15th, the 350th day of the year.

Now, what's so special about the number 350?

Well, right now the Carbon Dioxide concentration in our atmosphere is 383 parts per million (ppm). This high number is the result of carbon emissions from cars, factories and basically anything that burns stuff.

The goal of 350.org is to lower our atmosphere's CO2 concentration to, you guessed it, 350 ppm.

It's really great that progressive movement organizations like 350.org are reaching out to these religious communities. In true Living Liberally fashion, they are bringing politics into places where we gather, socialize, learn, love and live.

Declare Independence...from "Independents"

Conventional wisdom says that Obama
caved on FISA & talked up faith-based programs
because he's appealing to "Independents."

Who knew independents oppose the Constitution?

Obama HAD to disavow Wes Clark's comments --
though Clark only questioned his experience as leader
& specifically honored his courage and will --
since "dishonoring" McCain would turn off independents.

Who knew independents are so ill-informed?

And McCain keeps saying he's a "maverick"
as he continues his "Straight Talk Express"
because these words appeal to independents.

Who knew independents liked slogans so much?!

If "independent" voters read only the spin,
& don't read the Constitution or the news,
maybe we shouldn't ask them to decide elections.

Or maybe "independent" really means something else.

And maybe "independent" candidates
who shy away from principled stands
aren't what we're looking for either.

It's time we take strong positions,
stop listening to the media's darling tales,
and Declare our Independence...from "Independents."

Celebrate the holiday in the most American way:
sharing an evening of spirited discussion
as you share a few pitchers of liberal libations
at your local progressive social club.

DRINKING LIBERALLY
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Happy 4th of July!

Reading Liberally: Read of the Day

The one post that every Liberal needs to read today:

HUMANITY IS THE DEVIL
by Spencer Ackerman, Attackerman


Spencer Ackerman respond Christopher Hitchens's waterboarding for Vanity Fair. In his post, Ackerman attacks Bush's torture policies as anti-American. He also describes, in vivid detail, the disgusting process of water boarding, one that defies our patriotism and our humanity.

Saving People Liberally

Drinking Liberally Shot of Truth
by Seth Pearce

Today, we here at Living Liberally are both extremely proud and slightly saddened. We're saddened because we are losing our two Lincoln, NE chapter leaders for the next month.

However, our sadness is quickly overcome by how proud we are of what Paul McFarland and Troy Johnson are doing for the next couple weeks.

Early this morning, Troy and Paul left for California, to serve as Helicopter Flight Engineers fighting the California wild fires. As Paul related us in an email last night, they're going as part of a group of trained Nebraskan aircrews eager to assist the Californian firefighters who are unfortunately running out of resources, dealing with all the fires out there.

As liberals, we know it is a proud day when we see our friends, who've talked about politics and the issues that face our country at their local Drinking Liberally chapter, turn their words into action. They put their daily lives aside and went all the way to California to help out their fellow Americans in need.

Sacrificing to help those who are suffering is key part of being a liberal, whether it means fighting wild fires like Troy and Paul, helping out good people like Darcy Burner when tragedy strikes, or voting for progressive candidates who will work for better healthcare for poor families, getting our troops out of Iraq and fighting global warming, (or else Troy an Paul will have to go out and do natural disaster rescue work every month).

Troy and Paul, you guys are true patriots and are most definitely Living Liberally.