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Dover Bitch



Your window to the world is a part of the world and so are you.



Last Build Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2014 01:06:55 +0000

 



How dull it is to pause!

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 08:33:00 +0000

It's time for Dover Bitch to hang 'em up. This blog has been neglected by me for some time, but I've been waiting until an appropriate day to put it to rest, and that day is finally upon us.It is the end of an era, at last: The country is now out of Dick Cheney's cold grip. Many of us survived. Some spectacular people did not.When I started this blog, it did not actually occur to me that anybody would read it. I had zero ambition for it. It was to be my online catharsis. The day I met Digby, I gave her a poem by Theodore Roethke, "Against Danger." The word "against" is the greatest of all adpositions. Unlike "on," "within" or "among," the word "against" carries with it a vitality. There is an implied force behind it. A will. And to have been a left-leaning blogger during the Bush years was certainly to have been "against danger."During the anthrax attacks, I had an epiphany while re-reading Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" and Anthony Hecht's "Dover Bitch." In short, it occurred to me that it was presumptuous to assume that the woman in both poems was the "bitch." Perhaps it was Arnold (Hecht makes Arnold the speaker of his own poem). Perhaps it's the man in "Dover Bitch." Perhaps it's all or none of them. A situation can certainly be a bitch. The complaints of both speakers could be bitching.But the revelation I had is that attempts to reject the world fail. Arnold looked out his window and did not realize the world he despised was right there in the room with him. In fact, his window is a part of that world. He, too, is a part of the world. It is reason I named this blog Dover Bitch and gave it the description: Your window to the world is a part of the world and so are you.With that spirit, I tried to do more than be "against danger." More often than not, I think I failed. But I learned quite a bit, mostly through my interactions with other bloggers and commentators. And so I would like to thank a few of them.First and foremost, I would like to thank Digby. Guest posting at Digby's blog is a real fast way to discover how much better she is than everybody else (or at least, than I). I'm happy to say that I think I saved my best post ever for General JC Christian's blog. Thanks for everything, General! I'd also like to say thank you to Glenn Greenwald, who definitely made blogging a more rewarding experience.Other people who made my blogging days rewarding (and I'm sure I will forget more than a few), some of whom I was fortunate to meet and some of whom I was lucky to engage in correspondence (some I only read) are: Atrios, TRex, Steve Gilliard, Roy Edroso, Dengre, Batocchio, Jane Hamsher, Christy Hardin Smith, Suzanne, SteveAudio, Greg Sergent, Josh Marshall, Steve Benen, Brad R, David Neiwert, MJS, Lindsay Beyerstein and Kagro X. I'd also like to thank a certain Maverick, whom I was never able to lure into the world of blogging. He would have made this a much better blog with his own personal touch, but he influenced it, nonetheless.Finally, it is not only because Obama will be president in just a few days that I'm shutting down today. This blog actually began on the anniversary of Anthony Hecht's death, and it seems fitting to end it on his birthday, January 16th. So in tribute to him, I say farewell on this day. Maybe I'll see you around in the comments somewhere. Maybe one day I'll feel compelled to call myself a blogger again. I don't expect to. But I wish you all health, happiness and peace, and I leave you with one of Hecht's finest poems...-DBRiddlesAnd the Spirit of Godmoved upon the watersWhere the wind listeth, there the sailboats list,   Water is touched with a light case of hivesOf wandering gooseflesh. The strange power and gist   Of whatever it is that animates our livesScrawls with a lavish hand its signature   Of ripples gathered into folds and pleatsAs indecipherable, chiselled, pure   And everlasting as the name of Keats.The surface wrinkles in spirit-shapes that sprint   Like small rapids or frightened schools of fish;They blot[...]



Criminal

Sun, 07 Dec 2008 01:51:00 +0000

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FEWER, goddammit.

The staff at TBS should be flogged in public.



R.I.P. Mitch Mitchell

Thu, 13 Nov 2008 04:39:00 +0000

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Really?

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 22:46:00 +0000

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Seriously.



Hyperspace

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 23:08:00 +0000

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I've been way too busy to blog, which is a drag because this has been a remarkable time.

But since I have about five free minutes, here's my favorite thing about the McCain campaign: It's like the old game Asteroids.

All the talking heads are wondering what McCain is going to do to hit a home run tonight. Chris Matthews just asked what big new proposal he would come up with to grab the headlines.

In other words, the world is zooming around Battleship McCain like a zillion asteroids and all he's got left is the hyperspace button. He's hit it dozens of times already and all it's done is what it's designed to do: move him to another random part of the screen. It doesn't actually blow up any asteroids, nor does it destroy the little flying saucer coming to get him.

It's one of the Four Modes of the McCain campaign:


  1. Attack Mode. Truth be damned.
  2. Man of Action Mode. Something happened somewhere in the world? Quick! Grab a mic and look busy!
  3. Manufactured Outrage Mode. Palin is not a pig, sexist! I had no kitchen table for five-and-a-half years!
  4. Hyperspace! I pick Palin! Campaign suspended! We're buying your shitty mortgage!


Every single thing McCain has done this year falls into one or more of these four modes. Notice that there is absolutely no Introduce Well-Thought-Out Policy That Is New And Will Make Things Better Mode. Wonder why that is.



The Campaigner

Sat, 11 Oct 2008 05:01:00 +0000

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GOP 2008 Message

Fri, 05 Sep 2008 22:07:00 +0000

Don't expect big government to solve your problems. The real American heroes take some initiative and work within their own communities to organize people and solve problems.

Also, Americans who take initiative and work within their own communities to organize people and solve problems are complete losers.



Zzzzzzzzz... did I miss something?

Fri, 05 Sep 2008 21:14:00 +0000

Oh. I guess that was McCain's acceptance speech.

I'm heading away for the weekend. Need to clean out my brain after all this washing. While I'm gone, I'll leave you with a few things...

Once again, if you have some coin to spare, consider keeping good satire flowing through the tubes.

Here's the dumbest paragraph I've seen today:

Culturally, there is little for the Heartland to dislike. By now, you've probably seen picture or two of Palin sporting a rifle. Apparently, she's left carcasses strewn across the Alaskan wilderness. In some places -- areas where the nation is growing -- owning a gun is not yet a sin. And unlike Obama, Palin seems to believe that the Second Amendment means the exact same thing in rural Alaska as it does in the streets of Chicago.


Aside from Harsanyi's deep understanding of the "Heartland" as seen from New York City (where I believe he still resides), he appears to be implying that Chicago's streets should be littered with carcasses. A sort of 12 Monkeys vision of the future under McCain/Palin.

I forgot to thank Digby, dday and tristero for having me over at Hullabaloo. It was a pleasure to spend time there, as always. Thanks also to Batocchio, who did a bang-up job posting there with me.

Finally, it's been a while since I posted a poem. Here's one I like:

The Revenant by Billy Collins

I am the dog you put to sleep,
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you--not one bit.

When I licked your face,
I thought of biting off your nose.
When I watched you toweling yourself dry,
I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.

I resented the way you moved,
your lack of animal grace,
the way you would sit in a chair to eat,
a napkin on your lap, knife in your hand.

I would have run away,
but I was too weak, a trick you taught me
while I was learning to sit and heel,
and--greatest of insults--shake hands without a hand.

I admit the sight of the leash
would excite me
but only because it meant I was about
to smell things you had never touched.

You do not want to believe this,
but I have no reason to lie.
I hated the car, the rubber toys,
disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives.

The jingling of my tags drove me mad.
You always scratched me in the wrong place.
All I ever wanted from you
was food and fresh water in my metal bowls.

While you slept, I watched you breathe
as the moon rose in the sky.
It took all of my strength
not to raise my head and howl.

Now I am free of the collar,
the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater,
the absurdity of your lawn,
and that is all you need to know about this place

except what you already supposed
and are glad it did not happen sooner--

that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry, the cats and the others in prose.



Palin's speech II

Thu, 04 Sep 2008 05:37:00 +0000

I was wrong.

It was no tear-jerker. Just jerk.

I forgot, for a couple days, that the base of the GOP really only cares about mocking other people. Hard to believe I forgot that. That's what hope does to you, I guess.

Hillary Clinton's convention speech, to me, was phenomenal. Not just because of the values we share. She was a class act. Even her barbs at McCain were done with respect.

Palin, in no small feat, managed to follow a rabid Rudy by looking petty. She is petty. No wonder they love her. I cannot believe any real Hillary supporters could have watched that and seen anything in Palin they saw in Clinton.

This has been a shallow and ugly convention. I've watched every convention since I was nine years old. I truly believe this is the worst one I've ever seen.



Vietnam... cut to Cindy!

Wed, 03 Sep 2008 02:24:00 +0000

Nice of Fred Thompson to cut to the chase. It's like nothing happened to McCain between coming home from Vietnam and posing for a photo with Cindy McCain.



A note about debating

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 23:01:00 +0000

I think I can speak for every political junkie out there when I say that I love to watch and participate in debates. It's hard to resist a debate, especially when the debate is one which you believe to your core is yours to win, just based on the facts.

The problem is -- when the opposition presents you with such a debate, it's usually because they want to you in it.

An example that comes to mind is the 2004 shiny object that George Bush waved in front of John Kerry: Global Test. Really, who cares what Kerry meant by "global test." It was obvious to anybody paying attention what he meant, but instead of debating about a hypothetical war in which Kerry would have to argue he would behave exactly like Bush, he would have been better served to point out that we were fighting an actual war at that time and it was based on bullshit.

Every Democrat on television or answering questions by the press should ask themselves first before every question What is the point of staying on this topic and is there something better to talk about?

If the answer to that is "There is no point in talking about this when I could talk about that," then they will control the conversation and win the day.

I just watched Michael Smerconish explain to David Gregory that McCain selected Palin in part to make people talk about Obama's experience. David responded by turning to Rachel Maddow and asking her about... Obama's experience. Perfect example.

When anybody talks about her experience and compares her's to Obama's, every single Democrat on my TV should laugh it off as a joke and stick it to McCain for his recklessness. I don't want to see one second wasted talking about Obama's experience.

McCain doesn't think he can win unless people are talking about Obama. Let's keep the spotlight on McCain. It's that simple.

Not every debate is worth having, even if it's winnable.



Low-information country

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 22:11:00 +0000

Despite my amusement by the complete train wreck that is the McCain selection of Sarah Palin, I think the thing that bothers me the most, at my core, is the insult McCain has hurled at our political process.

I'm not always the biggest fan (to say the least) of the process, but at least I have respect for the idea that America is supposed to work because we, as citizens, are given an opportunity to evaluate the candidates and issues and make our decisions based on what we see and feel.

It is always frustrating to see elections turn on the votes of people who don't pay much attention. It is thoroughly depressing to see the numbers of elated Americans who are thrilled to support a candidate they didn't even know last week. What can you say to defend America's political system in light of that? A massive number of people who don't know squat about Palin are delighted with the pick.

But I've learned to be unsurprised and calm about the vast numbers of blind supporters out there. I've even been able to remain only slightly irritated by the calculations of the GOP to try to woo the support of low-information voters.

But I cannot abide the idea that McCain has tried deliberately to make us all low-information voters.

Here's how the Sarah Palin Story is supposed to be told: Palin makes a great speech at the 2008 convention. Palin announces an exploratory committee in 2011 or 2015 and puts together thoughtful policy papers and teams of experienced advisors. Palin participates in debates, gives interviews, manages a campaign, is vetted by the press, responds to real-time world events... And then, after seeing her in action, the American people decide whether she is up to the task of leading the country in dangerous times.

That's how it works. It's not a secret formula. It happens all the time. That's how America gets to learn about and evaluate the political skills of nationally unknown candidates.

McCain, in his gamble, has robbed the American people of this opportunity. He wants us all to be unable to see what kind of leader she is. Obviously, he didn't really know, either, as evidenced by the litany of blemishes that have come to light in recent days.

I find it seriously insulting that he made this move for many, many reasons. But I just wanted to highlight this one because in a lot of ways, it burns me the most.



The same process

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 22:06:00 +0000

The McCain campaign is saying, over and over, that Sarah Palin was put through the same vetting process as every other candidate.

I guess that means they only read the Hartford Courant.



Palin's speech

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 20:20:00 +0000

Palin's acceptance speech at the convention is going to be a real tear-jerker for the Religious Right. She's really going to go for the sympathy vote. I think it's going to be remarkable in that sense and it will be fascinating to see how much the talking heads will work to facilitate that angle for her.

I wonder how the Obama camp is preparing to respond to this. They have to know it's coming.



Question

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 20:03:00 +0000

I'm enjoying reading the Sarah Palin news so much I'm not spending any time writing about it. The absurd revelations are coming in too fast to keep up anyway.

I do have one question today, though. During the DNC, the media was talking relentlessly about the McCain ads that were timed to coincide with the convention. I know there's a new Obama ad, but are the Democrats doing anything to control the conversation? I know there's a lot for the media to talk about right now, so I don't expect them to be dropping the lack-of-Palin-vetting or Gustav or plane-with-blown-landing-gear, etc.

Usually, I am quick to point out the media's flaws (which are legion), but I always know that when they fail to cover something, it's partially due to the Democrats' lack of effort in pushing it. We have all heard the proclamations that the media doesn't create a debate all on their own. As horrible as that is, it's still an open invitation for the Democrats to create debates when it suits them.

Perhaps they just love all this Palin news so much they're letting it ride. I get that. I would, too. But I hope they have something ready to air if Zeus' bottomless pot of ugly Palin news ever runs dry.



Definition of selfishness

Sat, 30 Aug 2008 20:20:00 +0000

From a comment at Corrente:

Palin is enough to get me to vote for McCain instead of just voting downticket. I doubt I agree with a single thing she believes in, but this time, I just don't care. Women have been offered a chance to prove we can swing an election in a big way. If we can, neither the DNC nor the RNC will take us lightly for the next couple decades. If we can't, well... It's been 24 years since Ferraro was on the Dem ticket. 24 years from now I'll be 72, and I want a woman in the White House before I die. If the BB et al. don't think that's a good enough reason, they can suck me.


I'm glad you want to see a woman in the White House, but I'd like my daughters to have the same rights (and more) you've enjoyed your entire adult life. Those rights aren't yours to trade away.

Seriously, who the fuck do you think you are?



Go long

Fri, 29 Aug 2008 18:56:00 +0000

(Cross-posted at Hullabaloo)Like most of America, I can't say I know much about Sarah Palin. But here's a few instant (yes, you could say knee-jerk) reactions to today's news that she's on the ticket with John McCain. McCain has definitely concluded that he wasn't going to win without doing something dramatic. Just like his surge in Iraq, McCain has decided to "Go long." McCain got what he wanted and needed the most: Nobody is talking about the magnificent speech Barack Obama gave last night. John "never surrender" McCain just gave up on trying to attack Obama's experience. It was a calculation he was willing to make. Interesting. Palin is already benefiting from extremely low expectations. Really can't get much lower than a complete unknown. Biden will have to realize that winning a debate against her is pointless. He will need to share a stage with her, but win a debate against McCain. Palin has already started blowing the dogwhistles: Now, no one expects us to agree on everything, whether in Juneau or in Washington. But we are expected to govern with integrity, and goodwill, and clear convictions, and a servant's heart. She said Nook-yoo-ler. Whether this pick is just another gimmick in a long line of McCain's gimmicks, it is striking to me that a man who told America that Obama is a big risk in an uncertain world has chosen a running mate who said this in her introduction:If our state wanted a bridge, I said we'd build it ourselves. Well, it's always, though, safer in politics to avoid risk, to just kind of go along with the status quo. But I didn't get into government to do the safe and easy things. A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not why the ship is built.It's been noted that McCain likes to roll the dice. He is now asking America not just to gamble on an unknown, but to gamble on a pair of gamblers. Palin has an interesting personal story and in our superficial national discourse, that will be a plus for her. As much of a dull blade as Rep. Eric Cantor can be, I was actually worried that he would be the surprise pick. I'm less worried about Palin, but going with somebody other than Mitt or Lieberman was a good move. I think we're going to see a lot more of Hillary Clinton over the next two months than I thought yesterday. The fact that there are only a couple months before the election might help Palin quite a bit. Everybody knew Arnold Schwarzenegger already, but his initial victory in California was facilitated by the extremely short campaign allowed by the special election. There's less time for something really embarrassing to happen. The vice presidential selection is not as important as everybody will make it out to be today. (UPDATE: As was pointed out in comments, in the case of McCain's age, it is a big deal. Good point. Damn, knee-jerk reactions.) Even though Palin comes with a scandal in progress, I wonder if the Obama camp will get drawn into making a big deal about it. I think it will help blunt her claims to be a big reformer, but as I wrote above, the person they really need to defeat is John McCain.UPDATE: That didn't take long. Palin's big reformer talking point is already falling apart. Really, really falling apart.We've already heard all the great things that we're going to hear about Palin. Everything from here on out is going to be stuff they didn't want to talk about. This could get good.[...]



Post-speech analysis

Fri, 29 Aug 2008 06:10:00 +0000

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Alons enfants de la patrie

Fri, 29 Aug 2008 05:18:00 +0000

Because I'm "probably French," I'm going to find whatever Francs are in my sofa and didn't get converted to Euros, so I can give them to one of the finest satirists on the intertubes. Join me in keeping Jesus' General riding to Armageddon in his gold-plated Abrams M1 tank.



This is not a blog post

Thu, 28 Aug 2008 23:30:00 +0000

(Cross-posted at Hullabaloo)Another day, another McCain advisor thrown under the bus for accidentally telling the truth about his candidate's indifference to the struggles of ordinary Americans. John Goodman "said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance.""So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American -- even illegal aliens -- as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care."So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."This is nothing new, of course. Just a year ago, Bush made the same argument:The immediate goal is to make sure there are more people on private insurance plans. I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room. Ronald Reagan pioneered this art when he justified his lack of decent funding for school lunches by redefining ketchup as a vegetable.Still, before Bush became president, the idea you could solve problems simply by calling them victories was a concept reserved for satirists. Or something only a governor would get away with.George Bush and his sidekick, John McCain, have really taken it to a new level. They redefined "hunger" as "very low food security" in order to salvage their domestic record. They redefined squirting guacamole at Taco Bell as a "manufacturing job" to salvage their jobs record. They are trying to redefine contraception as abortion.They redefined what a stream is in order to open them up to the coal industry. They've tried to redefine carbon dioxide in order to allow more pollution. They redefined "privacy." They redefined "overtime." They tried to redefine toxic sludge to justify defunding Superfund. They redefined the Vice President as a fourth branch of government. They redefined "organic." They redefined "torture" and the Geneva Conventions. They prevented NASA from talking about global warming or even mentioning the Big Bang. They don't want irradiated food labelled. They even fought to prevent meatpackers from testing their own cattle for Mad Cow disease. And I haven't even started on all the people who were kicked to the curb for predicting the costs of the Iraq War would be tremendous. Or the way they hid the real costs of the GOP's health care bill.That's how they solve problems. Two plus two equals four? No problem! "Two plus [redacted] equals five!"McCain's plan is to deliver the exact same prescriptions for the "whiners" in a "mental recession:" Out of sight, out of mind.I'm sure you all may be getting speeched out this week (with so many more to come), but if you get a chance and you haven't read it before, check out Mark Danner's 2007 commencement address to a group of Department of Rhetoric graduates at UC Berkely.[...]



Massive

Thu, 28 Aug 2008 16:47:00 +0000

(Cross-posted at Hullabaloo)The McCain team is ready for their close up.DENVER (CNN) – John McCain has decided on his running mate and will officially reveal his pick on Friday in Ohio, multiple sources tell CNN.A knowledgeable Republican source says there the matter was settled at a major meeting of McCain's advisers Wednesday.The Arizona senator's choice has not yet been told of the decision, but the plan is to call tomorrow. A handful of names of dominated VP speculation in recent days, including former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, independent Senator Joe Lieberman, and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.The presumptive Republican nominee will appear with his prospective running mate at a massive rally on August 29, the day after Barack Obama formally accepts the Democratic presidential nomination.The McCain campaign is hoping to have 15,000 people at the Ohio rally — roughly five times the size of his largest crowd to date.That massive rally is sure going to look daunting after Barack Obama electrifies a capacity crowd at Invesco Field tonight. Of course, you know this will probably be leaked today to change the subject away from Obama's big speech. That's the card you play when you simply cannot compete on the same playing field (literally). Oh, but I forgot... McCain's inability to draw big crowds is simply a reflection of his vast experience.When you think about it, Obama actually has more experience than McCain. Sure, a guy named "John McCain" has been in the Senate since 1987, but he's not the Republican nominee.There was a guy by that name who supported Roe v. Wade, but the new John McCain replaced him two years ago.There was a guy by that name who called Jerry Falwell an "agent of intolerance", but the new John McCain replaced him two years ago.There was a guy by that name who proposed comprehensive immigration reform, but the new John McCain replaced him in February.There was a guy by that name who was against waterboarding, but the new John McCain replaced him in February.There was a guy by that name who was willing to talk to Hamas, but the new John McCain replaced him in May.There was a guy by that name who was against offshore drilling, but the new John McCain replaced him in June.There was a guy by that name who supported affirmative action, but the new John McCain replaced him in July.The new John McCain running for president has only really existed for a couple years, max. Parts of his brain have been replaced as recently as this summer. Really, the list of his reversals is staggering. We're going to hear a lot next week about his huge advantage on experience, but they're really not going to be talking about the same person they nominated. What happened to that guy? Where did the world's oldest freshman come from and how did he get keys to all of John McCain's houses?They're also going to throw around their favorite tired zingers, like "Blame America First." This from the crowd that nominated a guy who reacted to 9/11 by leading the Blame Iraq First brigade. This from a guy who abandoned his principles to cozy up to the extremists who really did Blame America First, while real Americans, the majority of Americans, were coming together, united, the way we have defeated every threat in our history.It's certainly useful for Obama that people are starting to notice that John McCain is playing the POW card with increasing frequency. I find that it never justifies the mistake he's trying to excuse with it or the position he's claiming he supports because of it. Bu[...]



Really proud

Thu, 28 Aug 2008 04:02:00 +0000

Billmon has written a beautiful diary at Daily Kos.

I'm so glad billmon is writing again.



Impostor

Wed, 27 Aug 2008 20:31:00 +0000

(Cross-posted at Hullabaloo)Beyond the usual pleasure of reading one of Digby's dispatches, I was happy to read this morning's anecdote about the Hillary supporter who was ready to work hard to get Barack Obama elected. Though I've been greatly annoyed by the relentless reporting of the "rift" in the party, when Hillary gave her fantastic speech last night, I started to wonder if the media's inflation of the magnitude of the perceived internal war might actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Clinton so skillfully connected this election and its consequences to the history, sacrifice and struggle of American women for equality and fairness, I began to think maybe John McCain did the Democrats a favor with his ads fanning those flames. Clinton's Harriett Tubman reference last night was brilliant.I also thought about Hillary's campaign and how different the outcome might have been had she taken Rachel Maddow's advice early on and focused her attention on John McCain and the GOP, instead of trying to take down Obama.But, as Digby wrote this morning, the media narrative is like a piece of Ikea furniture. The holes are already drilled, the dowels already measured out and there's only one way to put it together, no matter how painful it is to assemble it into its catalog-photo orientation. And in the end, of course, there are obviously a few screws loose.For the loosest screws, we can always turn to Fox News, where they set the bar low yesterday, explaining that Michele Obama's speech actually re-enforced her negative image -- that is, when you replace her words with completely different words. This will be fun to do with McCain next week. ("The glimmerings of democracy are very faint in Russia America today, and so I would be very harsh.")Steve Benen notices today that other media outlets aren't replacing Clinton's words with their own, they're just ignoring them completely and inviting "body language experts" to demonstrate that she was essentially lying.On the evening of June 28, a few hours after Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton appeared together in Unity, N.H., for their first post-primary joint appearance, CNN devoted quite a bit of airtime to "body-language experts."At one point, one of the "experts" argued that the position of Hillary Clinton's navel carries great political significance: "She angles her belly button toward him. She's treating him with respect. She has her hands in a fig leaf position, which tends to be a passive position, really turning the power over to Obama. We face our belly buttons and the core of our body to people we like, have affinity toward and people we respect. And she's doing it."It was, to my mind, some of the worst on-air political "journalism" -- I use the word loosely -- I've ever seen from a major news outlet. And yet, CBS News this morning did the exact same thing.I'm disappointed. I was expecting to wake up and learn that anonymous sources leaked word that wasn't even Hillary last night, but an impostor. Maybe even Barack Obama in a Hillary costume.I have the undeniable proof right here:[...]



Try decaf

Tue, 26 Aug 2008 19:28:00 +0000

(Cross-posted at Hullabaloo)

You can always tell an election is nearing. The ads start airing during your shows. The bumper stickers become more visible during your commute. And Joe Scarborough begins his gradual, but inevitable transition from thinly-veiled, independent "journalist" to complete water-carrying GOP hack. It's really the same script every election cycle and it usually blooms like a flower with an episode like today's Morning Joe:

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The only time he shut up during the entire segment (other than during the beginning of Mika Brzezinski's newscast, which he interrupted and ended prematurely) was when David Shuster challenged him: to say "John McCain was wrong."

SHUSTER: One final point: It's very different to say, "Yes, we ought to take the Iraqis up on their word," and at the same time say, "You know what, when John McCain ridicules that very point, he is wrong." And if you want to say, right now -- we can end this argument -- "When John McCain ridicules the point that we ought to take up the Iraqis and get out of Iraq, and he ridicules that, he is wrong." You can say that right now and that's the end of this.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, actually, you're trying to pick a fight with somebody that wasn't fighting with you. As a guy...

SHUSTER: Well, you can end the fight by saying "John McCain is wrong." Go ahead say it. "John McCain is wrong when he ridicules people who call for a timetable."

[a few seconds of cafeteria din]

SCARBOROUGH: I.. wha... whuuu... miii... Where am I? Am I on Crossfire? I thought they cancelled that show... John McCain is John... OK... John McCain is wrong for blah, blah, blah, whatever you said. We're not on opposite sides here.


This smackdown followed seven minutes of schoolyard taunts by Scarborough, including, in the most sarcastic tone he could muster, "Ooooh, you're an independent! Why, I feel soooo comforted by the fact that you're an independent! I bet everybody at MSNBC has 'independent' on their voting cards! Ooooh, we're down the middle now!"

Truly embarrassing. You can tell the GOP is in trouble this year, because Joe usually waits until somebody mentions Mary Cheney before he percolates completely.

He's probably still smarting from last night, when Keith Olbermann muttered, "Jesus, Joe, why don't you get a shovel?" while Scarborough was praising McCain's Karl Rove 2.0, Steve Schmidt.



Transcendental photo op of our time, my friends

Mon, 25 Aug 2008 21:00:00 +0000

(Cross-posted at Hullabaloo)

How hard is John McCain trying to keep Georgia in the news? He's sending his wife, Cindy, there for a photo op with president Mikheil Saakashvili.

SACRAMENTO -- Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain, is headed to the Republic of Georgia, where tensions between the government and Russia have sparked international concern and have become an issue on the presidential campaign trail.

McCain announced to a group of fundraisers in Sacramento that his wife was headed to the country, but the campaign did not provide any details about the trip.

McCain has been very aggressive in his condemnation of Russia's invasion of Georgia, and his campaign has been critical of Obama's more measured response when Russian tanks first pushed into the country.


You've got to hand it to him. Four years ago, George Bush tried to change the subject by sending his wife and kids to New York. At least McCain's wife is heading to an actual war zone. Even scarier, there are rumors that Dick Cheney may be hunting in Tbilisi.