Dover Bitch

Friday, November 18, 2005

Your 109th Congress...

This Republican Congress is now officially a failure.

They have substituted a real debate about our methods and strategies in the war with a solitary afternoon's debate over a single-sentence sham resolution. They have completely abdicated their constitutional obligation of oversight.

They have failed to represent the American people, who are having an authentic debate every day on the Internet, on the radio and at the water cooler.

They have failed the troops, who do not have the luxury to question the direction of the war effort.

Tom Lantos is correct. This whole charade was "beneath the dignity of this body."

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So much to say...

So little time to say it. So here's a scattering of thoughts, someday (hopefully) to be rewritten with some real effort.

  • Donald Rumsfeld said you go to war with the Army you have. John Murtha says the army we have doesn't have the resources to accomplish the goal. That's the essence of the debate.

  • It doesn't matter if Murtha is a coward or not (he's not). What matters is the substance of his ideas. Indication of MSM inadequacy No. 2,453,684: Norah O'Donnell's interview of Murtha on MSNBC and the endless repetition of his lone quote about Cheney's lack of service. MSM just wants a food fight.

  • The British suffered nearly 60,000 casualties on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, causing them to shift their terrible strategy. Did they do it out of cowardice? Where do you draw the line between reacting out of fear and reacting for strategic purposes? If you are a Bush supporter, any change in policy is out of fear.

  • Ed Henry, stop saying Dennis Hastert wants to call the Democrats' bluff. I haven't heard the Democratic leadership endorse Murtha's proposal. Plus, if they wanted to see if the Democrats supported the proposal, why would they put a different proposal up for a vote?

    And here's a little blast from the past (emphasis mine):

    "There's a lot of money to pay for this that doesn't have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people ... and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. ... We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon." -- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, at a House Committee on Appropriations Hearing on a Supplemental War Regulation, March 27, 2003

    "Listen, some things happened that were hard to predict. And some things didn't happen that we thought were going to happen. For example, we thought they'd blow up the oil fields." -- George Bush, on CNN's Larry King Live, Aug. 12, 2004

    UPDATE: Some more thoughts...

  • Should we care that our enemies may claim our departure from Iraq is a victory for them? By that I mean, shouldn't we decide whether our mission is accomplished, not them? Won't they claim victory no matter what?

  • If we all agree that exiting now would mean that the soldiers we have lost would have died in vain, doesn't that also tell the insurgency that they must keep blowing themselves up so that their "martyrs" won't have died in vain?


  • If the Republicans truly wanted to send the message to our troops and the world that we are supporting the war, shouldn't they have countered Murtha with a bill supporting the mission instead of a dumbed-down Murtha bill to vote against?

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  • Friday, November 11, 2005

    Judy Miller... for the full hour!

    Some gems from the current delegate from the Great State of Denial...

    I really don't know what kind of brought about this 40-day tsunami on me, these attacks after I came out of jail...

    Are you kidding me? No idea? Start with Greg Mitchell's column from Oct. 15, and then think about this: Results 1 - 10 of about 346,000 for "Judy Miller Liar"

    Well, I think I just want to talk about the serious attacks and criticism. What "Newsweek" magazine called "The New York Times'" war on Miller.

    Oh, you read "Newsweek?" Well perhaps you read Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball when they pointed out that Scooter Libby told you, as you stated, that the still-classified National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq contained "even stronger" evidence of the uranium claims when the document, later declassified, revealed the opposite. You got played. PLAYED. That isn't a mistake; he knew what the report said. He lied to you and you went to jail to protect him from justice.

    He lied to your face about Iraq and you still say this:

    But, when you're wrong, if they're wrong, you're going to be wrong. And boy, those stories were wrong. So now, the issue is, why were they wrong? Why was the information wrong and what happened to it when it got to the White House? Was it manipulated? Was it exaggerated?

    That's what the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is supposed to be looking at. We've all been waiting for this report now, for a long, long time. So far, none of the other commissions have found any evidence of deliberate manipulation, of pressure.

    But, I think we really deserve answers to those questions. And I'm sorry that a lot of media organizations didn't look into this either.

    ANSWERS?? MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS?? What is the gravity like on your home planet? You, a veteran journalist, were lied to and used to spread false claims to drive the nation to war! Why do you need other people to investigate whether the information was "manipulated or exaggerated?"

    And Larry, I'm ready to move on and not to hold grudges and I have a kind of quaint, old-fashioned idea that you don't trash colleagues and you don't trash an institution you're working for. And I'm not going to trash former colleagues either, or the institution that I've worked for, happily, for so many years.

    Yeah, well you just trashed them by saying that. If you don't want to trash them, say nice things or say nothing. Don't indicate that there's a reason you won't say what could be said. And don't use words like "quaint." It only reminds us of your friends' thoughts about the humane treatment of prisoners that once were part of our national ideals.

    DB pauses from this rant to ask how Larry King gets away with softballs like "I got a very nice letter from you when you were in jail. What was that like?"

    I tried to keep a journal. But it was very hard to write in jail, Larry, because until the last month, I didn't have a computer. I can barely read my own handwriting. Everything had to be done by hand.


    It's continued, but al Qaeda, without a doubt, I think, has been significantly weakened by the international war on terrorism, that has been led by this administration.

    Without a doubt? You mean, like it's a slam dunk? Of course it is! There's no point in debating it or even questioning whether that's true... it's beyond a doubt... What's that Larry? A real question?

    Was it unfair when those of your critics said you were a supporter of the administration? Not just a journalist, but a proponent.

    Well, it's close to a real question. What's your answer, Judy?

    No, I don't support the administration. I was reporting on the administration.

    You certainly don't! In fact, when you said "al Qaeda, without a doubt, I think, has been significantly weakened by the international war on terrorism, that has been led by this administration" just 10 seconds earlier, that was clearly an unbiased lack of support!

    I hope this ordeal is over for me.

    Now you know how DB feels about you.

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    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    On Mistakes

    You're in the BitchMobile and DB is at the wheel, quite rightly.

    We're cruising down the expressway when DB turns to you and says "We should pull off this highway and get some lunch." Your stomach has been growling so you say "Go for it" and look ahead to see if there are any signs for a restaurant at the next exit.

    Before you know what's happening, DB says "Great. HANG ON!" and violently swerves off the highway, down the embankment and into a ditch. Steam streaks up through the crumpled hood. The BitchMobile will require an expensive tow and repair job.

    That's the elaborate set-up. Here's the question: Knowing what you know now, were you wrong to agree to lunch?

    Was it wrong to want food? If you could go back in time, would you say no? Is the lesson you have learned from this experience that you should never want to eat when you are in the car? There are no restaurants in the ditch. Let's just say that there wouldn't even have been one at the next exit. The whole adventure is a disaster. Do you still think lunch is a good idea?

    The truth is DB didn't treat you or the car with respect. DB should have stayed on the road and only exited if it was an actual exit and there were signs indicating that our departure at that exit would be rewarded with a delicious lunch.

    The truth is you were right to expect better. Your mistake might have been trusting DB to drive, but it clearly isn't fair to assume your decision was wrong because the result was terrible.

    Liberal bloggers are cheering every time they hear a Democrat say that he made a mistake by voting for the president's authorization to use force in Iraq. DB supposes that if it will get them elected, then it may be a good thing, at least for them.

    But DB also firmly believes that the worst kind of mistakes are the ones that are repeated and that mistakes are only repeated for two reasons: One, people don't learn anything from their mistakes, or two, people learn the wrong lessons entirely.

    DB thinks it's too easy to say the vote was a mistake. The problem wasn't the vote. The vote is the culmination of a decision-making process that is based upon investigation and analysis.

    If they want to confess to making a mistake it should be that they didn't fight hard enough to find out the truth when it mattered. If they want to learn the right lessons from this fiasco, it should be that more thought and scrutiny must be applied in decisions that are a matter of life and death for our citizens and standing in the world. It should also be that the responsibility of declaring war is not something that should be simply handed over to the executive branch.

    The Bush administration is the most culpable of all, and trusting them was probably the biggest mistake. But DB isn't as worried about people trusting this crew anymore.



    Glad to see the Governator is accepting responsibility for the special election catastrophe.

    If I was to make another "Terminator" movie, I'd have the Terminator travel back in time and tell Arnold not to have another special election.

    While he's at it, do you think he could tell past-tense Arnold not to campaign for Bush in Ohio?

    At the Republican National Convention in 2004, Arnold said that the Republican Party is the party that believes in accountability. At least he seems to practice what he preaches in that regard. As for the rest of them...



    Since Zarqawi is going to be on the news all week (again) thanks to his dastardly and cowardly attack on Jordan, DB would like to take this opportunity to point out the memento list on the right side of the home page, where you will find gems like "Bush let Zarqawi go."

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    Wednesday, November 09, 2005


    Looks like a fan club of two. Thanks for wasting all that taxpayer money. California appreciates it.

    Too bad you couldn't work within the system. Maybe if you became governor in something other than a subversion of our normal electoral process, you'd respect the system enough to govern effectively.

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    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    GOP's ends justify their means

    I don't understand this. While the Department of Justice is actively investigating this man for wrongdoing that could have endangered American troops and American lives, the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury are hosting him like some dignitary. -- Dick Durbin, on Ahmad Chalabi, Nov. 8, 2005

    You don't understand this? Allow DB to explain it. Sure he led America into an intractable war and all that... but he's effective. Republicans love a man who's effective.

    WOLF BLITZER: He was an administration ally before the war in Iraq, but he soon fell from favor. Now the Iraqi deputy prime minister, Ahmad Chalabi, is accused of passing American secrets to Iran. So, why is he meeting today with top U.S. officials here in Washington?

    Our national security correspondent, David Ensor, is joining us live with more on this controversy -- David.

    DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this man is -- controversy is probably putting it mildly. But his -- his admirers also say that Ahmad Chalabi is very pragmatic and very effective.

    He's a can-do man!

    Mr Chalabi, by far the most effective anti-Saddam lobbyist in Washington, shrugged off charges that he had deliberately misled US intelligence. "We are heroes in error," he told the Telegraph in Baghdad.

    A real go-getter!

    Don't be surprised... just think about the rest of the crew in charge:

  • Tom DeLay (indicted, still representing Texas)
  • Scooter Libby (worked in the White House until indictment)
  • Karl Rove (under investigation, still handling classified information)
  • Bill Frist (under investigation, still calling for investigations of his own)

    Think DB is joking? Just read Jeffrey Bell's and William Kristol's threnody to the fallen four, which begins with the words, all in caps, "THE MOST EFFECTIVE CONSERVATIVE LEGISLATOR."

    Or, take your pick from these other typical quotes:

    "[Delay]'s going to continue to be an effective and strong leader," [Karl] Rove said. -- USA TODAY

    That plea bargain sticks out. Earle clearly wanted a political takedown of DeLay — one of the most effective fundraisers in congressional history — on the cheap. It didn't work. So he filed charges, knowing full well he could get an indictment and hobble DeLay's effectiveness for months or maybe years. -- IBJ

    Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said that, even as a temporary backbencher, DeLay will wield significant influence both with the leadership and with other members.

    "He's a very powerful and effective force inside the Republican conference, and at this stage, the sympathy and support for him is so strong that he is going to be exceptionally effective if he picks his shots," Cole said. -- Washington Post

    [Majority Whip Roy] Blunt said DeLay would remain "an effective and influential member" of the chamber. -- CNN

    Bush counselor Dan Bartlett pointed to DeLay's role in House passage of a Bush-backed energy bill.

    "I think actions speak louder than words," Bartlett said in an interview. "The House leadership, and specifically Tom DeLay, have not changed. He is a very effective leader." -- USA TODAY

    But if your effectiveness starts to fade, watch your ass!

    "He (Rove) has been very successful, very effective in the political arena. The question is, should he be the deputy chief of staff for policy under the current circumstances?" [Republican Sen. Trent] Lott told MSNBC's "Hardball." -- Washington Post

    It's easy, Senator Durbin... It doesn't matter how hard you screw people or how shady your deeds... as long as you can get the GOP the results they want, you're their guy!

    Why do you think Dick Cheney wants the Congress to quit it with the torture stuff already? This is the do-whatever-it-takes administration.

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  • Plamegate vs. Secret Prisons

    DB may eat these words later, but a first knee-jerk reaction here is that the Washington Post's Dana Priest was right to go with her story about the secret prisons in Eastern Europe and would be right to protect her sources.

    It's important to know what our government is doing in our names.

    On the other hand, it was of no benefit whatsoever to learn that Valerie Plame was a covert agent. Zero. That wasn't whistleblowing, that was revenge.

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    I see your outrage, and raise you a pink slip

    DB returned from a weekend in a midwestern Red State and saw immediately that the excellent source of media outrage that we were looking for has lost his column.

    That's reason No. 1,204,345 for dropping the already sinking L.A. Times circulation rate.


    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Found: Media Outrage

    When the Libby indictment came down last Friday, DB wondered where the media outrage was.

    After all:

  • Members of the administration were lying to reporters. Take one example, one which Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball caught: Libby told Judy Miller that the still-classified National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq contained "even stronger" evidence of the uranium claims. The document, later declassified, revealed the opposite. Not only should this be an outrage to reporters who put trust in sources, but -- memo to Pat Roberts -- there's a reason you should be investigating "Phase II."

  • As Arianna Huffington points out that Chris Matthews points out (and DB now points out), they used the grey ladies and the boob tube in concert to play the American public like a pipe, planting stories in the NY Times to control the topics on their Sunday morning TV appearances and bolster the credibility of their claims.

  • Members of the administration were lying on TV shows. Take one example: Dick Cheney flat out lied to the American people on "Meet the Press" when he said he didn't know anything about Joe Wilson, his trip or who sent him. All host Tim Russert had to say about that interview when the Libby indictment came down was that it "would be scrutinized." Come on, where's the outrage? He used you.

  • They directed the prosecutor to the media and placed a significant burden on reporters. This should be the biggest source of outrage. According to the indictment, Libby told Fitzgerald that he heard about Plame from Russert. He caused reporters like Russert to fall under the scrutiny of the prosecutor. All the legal fees, hastles, worrying and damage to their reputations, inability to report on the case with the appearance of impartiality... all of it because of Libby's loose lips and pointed fingers.

  • DB continues to be baffled by the revelation from Russert that Libby "didn't call me as a source; he called me as a viewer." Then why on earth did you fight a battle all the way to the Supreme Court? To protect viewer mail? Members of the media fought an important battle for the First Amendment, only to have it undermined by the administration's cynical use of the press.

    Well, as promised in the title of this post, DB has found some quality media outrage, a column in the LA Times by Robert Scheer.

    Let the rage flow, media members. You will all feel better. You'll trust just about anybody, apparently. Why not trust DB?

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  • Chris Matthews, relent and repent!

    "Hardball" host Chris Matthews interviewed Jimmy Carter Wednesday and took a brief break from telling everybody with whom he comes into contact that the Democrats are circulating a subtly anti-Italian "hit list" on Judge Alito.

    DB took Matthews to task on Monday for trying over and over to force Howard Dean to reduce the Democratic Party's position on government intrusion into personal decisions down to a narrow and easily manipulated label:

    MATTHEWS: So the Democrats are the pro-choice party, period.

    DEAN: Well, the government...

    MATTHEWS: The Democrats, your party, is the pro-choice party.

    DEAN: No, my party respects everybody's views, but my party firmly believes that the government should stay out of the people's personal lives.

    Dean stated the party position in one clear sentence seven times, and would not let Matthews stick his label on it. Matthews said that anything other than pro-choice vs. pro-life was too "complicated for people."

    Fast-forward 48 hours and read what Matthews said to Carter (emphasis mine):

    MATTHEWS: We're back with Former President Jimmy Carter. President Carter, we're having a new fight. It always begins with the new nominee... Judge Sam Alito, the justice to fill Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's position. And once again, it gets back to the abortion issue and whether he believes in notification of the husband and all that. But it's really about the pro-choice vs. pro-life issue.

    We had Howard Dean on the other night, sitting right there, and he said basically the Democratic Party should no longer be considered the quote pro-choice party. In other words they're softening something in the debate. What is going on here?

    What is going on here indeed? Dean did not suggest a departure from any policy. He simply refused to accept a label. When asked why, Dean said the label is "often misused."

    Matthews was told not to define the party with that label, so instead of stating their one-sentence position, he defines the party by it's relationship to the label.

    Two questions later, Matthews comes up with this (emphasis mine):

    MATTHEWS: I asked Ken Mehlman, who sat here the other night, the Republican Party Chairman, wouldn't we be better off if we didn't have the pro-life crazies and the pro-choice crazies? I mean by crazies means that they won't vote for a guy under any circumstances who disagrees with them. Get them out of Washington. Let these senators decide this. He said 'No, it's a good thing to have them here.'

    Do you think it's a good thing to have these pressure groups...

    CARTER: No.

    MATTHEWS: ...that are absolutists about this thing?

    Unbelievable! First he does everything he can to slap a label on Dean and then he laments the fact that people are divided into the labels he's forcing on them.

    Let it go, Matthews!

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    Throw some Reagan at 'em

    This is a time for choosing.

    I made a speech by that title in 1964. I said, 'We've been told increasingly that we must choose between left or right.' But we're still using those terms -- left or right. And I'll repeat what I said then in '64. 'There is no left or right. There's only an up or down.' Up to the ultimate in individual freedom, man's age old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with an orderly society -- or down to the totalitarianism of the ant heap. And those today who, however good their intentions, tell us that we should trade freedom for security are on that downward path. -- Ronald Reagan, March 20, 1981


    Tuesday, November 01, 2005


    Will blog later... but FINALLY somebody in Congress called for oversight. The extinction of the separation of powers is a disaster for America.

    Congratulations, Harry Reid, for having the fortitude to stand up.

    UPDATE 1: Gee, why didn't Reid want to consult this guy?

    FRIST: Democrats have no principles. They have no convictions. They have no ideas.

    UPDATE 2: Don't think Pat Roberts has been stonewalling?

    UPDATE 3: Frist complains that "Democrats use scare tactics." Calling a closed session is scarier than Bush's headline for the day -- BIRD FLU? How does it compare to "proof could be in the form of a mushroom cloud?" What a joke Frist is.

    UPDATE 4: It was bound to happen eventually. Andrea Mitchell said something absolutely correct. The Senate looked at the intelligence community, but never looked at the White House, the WHIG, or Rumsfeld and the Pentagon. The Executive Branch has not been held accountable at all for anything involving the Iraq war. It's about time that changed.

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    Hey, look over there!

    Poll numbers got you down?

    Smiles in your friends' mug shots not enough to cheer you up?

    Job just no fun anymore?

    Don't fret! Listen to Rumsfeld!

    RUMSFELD: What they're trying to do, I suppose, is capture press attention. And they're succeeding.

    Sure, he's complaining about those pesky detainees... but focus on the success! That's what your echo chamber is for!

  • Highest rate hike since 2001, that'll turn heads!

  • The birds will kill us all!!! That's compelling!

  • I say "Scalito," you say Democrats hate Catholics!!

  • Propose sweeping change of the tax code, just don't "embrace" any of proposals.

  • STEROIDS!!!!

    See it's easy... as long as the Democrats don't force your hand... OH NO!!!

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