Dover Bitch

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Media de novo

When a case is appealed, it could be tried de novo, basically (but not exactly) meaning that it can be tried all over again as if for the first time.

Isn't it wonderful that we have media de novo -- campaign coverage that treats every election (if not every day of the campaign) as if there is simply no connection to the past.

It was an open secret for a long time that the GOP employed the "Southern Strategy" in order to win by exploiting racial divisions in America. But it's not even that anymore. Ken Mehlman, former RNC Chairman, went before the NAACP in 2005 and explicitly conceded that was the strategy and even admitted that it was wrong (read: immoral) for them to have done it.

But here we are in 2008 and it's a fresh start! A couple promiscuous blondes paired up with Obama in a McCain ad and how dare the Obama campaign play the race card? Everybody knows blond girls who don't wear underwear are the only way to make the point that Obama lacks experience.

On MSNBC today, they've made the point that the Harold Ford ad with the "call me" girl (and don't forget about the radio ad with jungle drums) was explicitly sexual and this McCain ad isn't.

In our media de novo, that's a fantastic point. But for anybody with a memory that goes back two years, it's nonsense. They no longer have to be explicitly sexual.

Digby nailed it yesterday with this Lee Atwater (awful) admission:

You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" - that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me - because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

Our media stars are so obtuse, they couldn't even conclude that the Bob Corker ads were out of line. Of course these McCain ads are beyond their capabilities. But it doesn't help that they're willing to completely ignore history.

By the way, it's not even ancient history they're ignoring.

How dare Obama inject race into the campaign!

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Friday, July 25, 2008


I think it's important to remember what a real president looks like when standing next to a foreign leader in Europe:


Straight talk


"Senator Obama made a different choice. He not only opposed the new strategy, but actually tried to prevent us from implementing it. He didn't just advocate defeat, he tried to legislate it."


"I don't think it's appropriate to say that you disapprove of a mission and you don't want to fund it and you don't want it to go, but yet you don't take the action necessary to prevent it."


Thursday, July 24, 2008


From MSNBC's "Race to the Bottom White House" on Tuesday:

JAY CARNEY: Well, David, I would guess that voters would look forward, and their interest, still, even though they by a small margin believe the surge is successful, as Stephen pointed out, they still want this war to end overwhelmingly. They still think it was a bad idea to go in. And so I think that redounds to Obama's benefit.

But what I see here is a case of both candidates having a severe case of George W. Bushitis, which is the refusal ever to admit you were wrong about anything. I mean, as Rachel points out, John McCain made some, in retrospect, very foolish statements about going into Iraq and how easy it was going to be.

Now, a lot sooner than a lot of people in Washington, and certainly a lot sooner than anybody in the Bush administration, he saw problems and he came up with ideas of how to fix it by a surge in troops. Now, Barack Obama, clearly, when he said back when the surge was on the table that, you know, the surge might actually have the reverse effect, not reduce violence, but increase violence, he was wrong. He was wrong. And he should say-I mean, he could say-we would reward him at least in the media for saying he was wrong and he looks back and now thinks differently.

Right, because if people warn you to wear a helmet when you ride your bike, they owe you an apology if you make it home safely without wearing one. If you don't get AIDS from unprotected sex, if you don't strike a gas main digging a hole near your house, if you don't wreck your car driving home drunk... lots of people need to tell you that they were wrong.

Carney's logic is that Obama was as wrong to warn that something bad might happen as McCain was in stating flatly that something fantastic would happen.

Of course, McCain was wrong about an entire war, but don't let that enter the equation, Jay.

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Monday, July 07, 2008


Another outstanding result of Republican rule:

The federal firefighting system is "imploding" in California, due to poor spending decisions and high job vacancy rates, as the region struggles to keep pace with what looks to be a historic fire season, a firefighters' advocacy group charges.

As a result, the firefighters say, small fires have exploded into extended, multimillion-dollar conflagrations because the U.S. Forest Service has been unable to contain them during the early "initial attack" stage.

"The federal fire system is imploding in California. They are crossing their fingers and just hoping they get through the season without a disaster," said Casey Judd, who represents government firefighters from five agencies through the Federal Wildland Fire Service Association.


Of all the agencies battling California wildland fires — including the region's two largest, the Indians and Basin fires in Monterey County's Los Padres National Forest — it is U.S. Forest Service crews that suffer the highest vacancy rates, entering this year's season with an estimated shortage of 500 firefighters, Judd said. Fully staffed, the region has authorized a force of 4,432 firefighters for the season.

Last year, the Forest Service's Southern California region lost 47 percent of its newly hired firefighting work force, according to a Forest Service report.

"We acknowledge some national forests areas in California have retention challenges, but we believe these situations are manageable," Forest Service overseer Mark Rey said in testimony before a Senate committee on wildfire preparedness last month.


Judd's group maintains that investing more in prevention and suppression would pay for itself with faster fire containment and lower outsourcing costs. He and others have speculated that under Rey — a Bush appointee with a long career in the timber industry — the Forest Service appears to want to get out of the firefighting business altogether by simply outsourcing more fire contracts to states and cities.

UPDATE: More here

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Prayer for Big Sur

As some readers have keenly noticed, the image in this blog's header is from Big Sur, California. So is the image in the footer.

Big Sur is a very important place for this particular blogger. Today, all residents were ordered to evacuate because of the Basin Complex Fire that is burning out of control.

Please keep your fingers crossed that no more historic places, homes or -- especially -- lives are lost. And if you can help, please do.