And... who listens to you, again?

In which Whine- er, RIGHT-Wing Hate Radio Talking Head Michelle Malkin Strikes Again!

Apparently, someone's in a tizzy over *LE GASP* the temperature of President Obama's office! He supposedly has it set to a sweltering 77 degrees, which seems to be the temperature at which racist, far-right wingnuts catch fire and explode into flaming clouds of self-righteous demagoguery.

It’s hard to crusade for “green” this and “green” that with the thermostat at 77 degrees, don’t you think. I predict Mrs. Obama will be shopping ASAP for some Jimmy Carter-style cardigans to rectify Obama’s eco-hypocrisy.

(Bold emphasis mine, of course.)

Anyway, to address the point...

No, Ms. Malkin, it really isn't hard to "crusade for 'green' this and 'green' that" in this situation. There's a reason for this, but you being who you are... I'm really not surprised at all that you're so ill-informed.

You see, the White House was "Greened" all the way back during the Clinton Administration (shocking, I know.) Instead of electric or gas heat, the building is heated with hot water coils, a more efficient process known as "steam heating." The White House is also zoned - which means that any given room can have its temperature raised or lowered depending on the tastes of the occupant(s,) without adversely effecting the overall efficiency of the system. One might wish that every home in the United States were so equipped. Imagine the savings!

It was also Bush Administration policy, in a move to make things still more efficient, to have the internal temperature of the WH set at a consistent 74-78 degrees, dependent upon the external temperature and humidity.

So, ultimately, if President Obama wants his office to be 72 degrees, or 75 degrees, or 77, 80, or 100 degrees... he can. It won't effect the "greenness" of the White House one bit, and it sure as hell doesn't make him a "hypocrite."

Not that that will stop sore losers, racists, hatemongers, or any combination of the above from bitching and moaning when they really have absolutely nothing to complain about.

(Though now I am left wondering... What's the temperature of your office, Ms. Malkin?)


IL Senate Finishes Vote on Removal of Blagojevich

The vote is in: 59 Yea votes, no Nay votes.

Rod Blagojevich is hereby removed from his office as governor of Illinois. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn will be sworn in shortly.

More Fun Times

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My Liberal Identity:

You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.

Walking on Hot Air, Part 2

From YouTube chanel tpmtv (Talking Points Memo's YouTube channel): Dick Armey To Joan Walsh: I Am Glad That You Can Never Be My Wife

The video's right there if you'd like to see what yesterday's post was about, but let me warn you: You will get the urge to reach through the screen and slap that idiot Armey around.

Thanks to blueollie for pointing out the video.


Mike Pence: "Limbaugh Isn't Racist, No Matter How Many Times He's Shown Himself to Be One"

From Think Progress: Pence: ‘I Don’t Believe Rush Limbaugh Has A Racist Bone In His Body’
PENCE: I don’t believe Rush Limbaugh has a racist bone in his body. If you’re suggesting that his statement had a racist element in it, I commend you to a greater understanding of the positions he’s taken.
Really now, Rep. Pence? So you don't believe there's a racist bone in the body of the man who: That man, Rep. Pence, is not a racist in your eyes? If he isn't, Rep. Pence, then who in the Hell is? Are you that ignorant on matters of race, or are you just blinded to it because he's currently the most vocal conservative voice in the country?

I'm going to say what I say every time a story like this comes up: I did not vote for this man. I would never. That this man is so ignorant of even basic, easily-found facts, especially in this age of the ever-present Internet is frightening; that he is an elected official is galling; that he is essentially guaranteed a continual job because of the people in this area who would vote for him is a tragedy.

Walking on Hot Air

Just watched Dick Armey on Hardball.

God, someone shut this man up - a Limbaugh-fellating, misogynistic, hateful, self-important, dismissive asshole par excellence. Bob Herbert opened up in the next segment by telling Chris Matthews that Armey needed to apologize for his garbage.

I can see why. Personally, if that jackass never sees another moment in the spotlight, I'd be glad. We need fewer people like him pushing garbage like that.


Definitely a Recession

From the Kansas City Star: Super Bowl ads are a tough sell as recession squeezes buyers
A week before Super Bowl XLIII, NBC is still in “active negotiations” to sell its last few commercial spots.

That’s why some advertising wags are calling Super Bowl 2009 the Economy Bowl.
This might be the best indication of being in a recession I've ever seen. The biggest advertising day of the year, and companies are scared to buy space.

Come on, it's the Super Bowl, for pete's sakes - buy some ad space, show us you're confident, show us you want our business.

More Good Christian Love in Action

From The Telegraph.co.uk: Sir David Attenborough: 'I get hate mail telling me to burn in hell for not crediting God'
Sir David Attenborough receives hate mail from viewers for not crediting God in his nature programmes.

"They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance," Sir David said during an interview with the Radio Times about his latest documentary on Charles Darwin and natural selection.
Thanks to PZ Myers for pointing this out.

Is this how bad things are? People send a man hateful, disgusting letters just because he doesn't give thanks to a Magical Sky-Man during his nature programs? Is that how weak your beliefs are, that you have to have them reinforced in every facet of life, at regular intervals throughout the day?

I'm sick of these kinds of people. They're the ones who complain when they don't get a special time period each day to pray (and yet if they allowed the children they claim they're doing this for to bow to Mecca, it'd be an outrage), who wish devoutly for a theocracy and think that it'll come if they just wish hard enough (or if they can engineer it), who complain that other people are getting the special rights they think should be exclusive to them, who make a huge and unavoidable spectacle about a pastor who calls out America for its faults but turn a blind eye to ones who praise history's greatest monster, who state that any belief other than theirs is harmful by its nature without even the slightest hint of irony. And yet, they still claim to be moral, loving, superior people, and society swallows that idea without question. F that noise. I say we need to cut these people off from public acknowledgement of their views and see how they like it.

If this kind of hatred and belligerence is what your beliefs really entail, then no thank you. I'll stick with rationality and keep company with rational people of all stripes, if it's all the same to you and even if it isn't.

McCain: Flip-Flopping for Sport

From Think Progress: McCain Votes Against Geithner After Saying Last Week That He Would ‘Most Likely’ Support Him
Yesterday, the Senate confirmed former New York Federal Reserve president Timothy Geithner as the new Treasury Secretary with a vote of 60 to 34.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was among the 30 Senate Republicans who voted against Geithner. McCain’s nay vote is surprising, considering that he told Larry King last week that he would “most likely” support Geithner’s confirmation:
KING: His first full day, he convened a meeting of the economic advisers. Still no Treasury secretary. The Finance Committee approved Mr. Geithner’s nomination 18-5.

Do you think he’ll be confirmed by the full Senate?

MCCAIN: I do and I thought it was…

KING: Will you vote for him?

MCCAIN: Yes. Most likely.
Though McCain told King that he was “concerned about this tax issue and also the role that he played in the TARP,” he indicated that he would likely support Geithner because he believed that the president should “be able to appoint the president’s team.”
So suddenly he goes from "I'll vote for him" and "the President should be able to appoint the President's team" to "I'm not going to vote for him". And here I thought McCain was learning to be a class act. What could possibly make McCain change his mind so quickly? Is he being a "maverick" in regards to President Obama? Is he cleaving to right-wing ideals to support his continued existence as a Senator? Is he going senile?

Or maybe it's this:
But the nomination vote gave conservatives an opportunity to rail against Geithner, as conservative talk radio rallied a flood of calls to Capitol Hill on Monday opposing his nomination. A majority of Senate Republicans heeded those calls, making it clear that Geithner may have a credibility gap with the GOP.

Rush Limbaugh said earlier this month: “Timothy Geithner. I can't let this go. He's the Treasury secretary nominee, and he didn't pay taxes. … This is the drive-by [mainstream media] sentiment: … Geithner is a genius — he's going to save the economy of the entire world. So what if he doesn't pay his taxes? These are serious times. We need the man! “
Looks like folks like El Rushbo are still stinging over President Obama telling the GOPpers, "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done." The GOP apparently needs someone, anyone, in power to listen to who's white and rich, just like them, and with Dubya back in Texas where he can do very little damage between now and whenever people get the right idea and have him tried for war crimes, they're getting desperate.

Or it really could be that McCain just suddenly changed his mind on this, or he may have just been lying out his old ass the whole time. I don't know, I don't read minds.

Having a Little Fun

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Big Switch May Be Pushed Back

From MSNBC.com: Senate passes bill to delay digital TV switch
The Senate on Monday voted unanimously to postpone the upcoming transition from analog to digital television broadcasting by four months to June 12.

The vote is a big victory for the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress, who have been pushing for a delay amid growing concerns that too many Americans won't be ready for the currently scheduled Feb. 17 changeover.
Wait, seriously, people aren't ready YET? They've been telling us about this for years already, and over the past year I haven't been able to get away from the constant nagging reminders to go buy a converter box. I even made sure to get the coupon, just so I could be sure that the crappy, cheap 20" TV next to me can still pick something up (and considering I'm living in the city, it's not something I've had to worry much about outside of the switch.)

Yes, I know this is part of the new administration and all, but even I'm not so sure about this. Honestly, people have had a lot of time to get ready, and a few more months probably isn't going to change that. Let's just get it done sometime soon so we'll stop having to hear about it.

Labor Sec Reich Whacks Right-Wing Idiots

First the World's Worst segment from Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Monday, January 26, 2009:

And the statement mentioned therein: An Open Letter to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michelle Malkin

Personally, I think we need more officials to stand up to these bullies publicly.

Beck + Dobson = Headache

From Pharyngula: You will be stupider after watching this
A hint: Glenn Beck. James Dobson. Together. This will rot your mind.

They are complaining about a court decision that ruled that a 'moment of silence' rule in a public school was a veiled attempt to introduce sectarian religious belief into the classroom.
I think I got through maybe a minute of this, and no more. Seriously, giving a weasel like Glenn Hack and a hateful douche like Jim "Show Your Son Your Cock So He Won't Be Gay" Dobson time on TV together is a recipe for a sudden spike in aspirin sales. And this whole thing, if you don't care to watch it (and I wouldn't blame you) is chock full of the same bullshit people like these love to push: "forcing atheism down our throats", "the Constitution says we can", "they wanna take God out of our country", "Christian nation", "they're sayin' kids can't pray", the whole bit.

The plain truth of it is, if you actually follow the link provided after the video in PZ's post, you find that the ruling states and re-states that this has been determind, time and time again, to be nothing more than an attempt to establish religion as a part of daily school life. As much as they try to weasel out of it, this isn't about "reflection" or "silence", it's about trying to make everyone's kids pray to whatever Magic Sky-Man the teacher follows.

Ah well, at least Bonehead Beck, the deranged, hateful, lying scumbag, is on the "news" channel most in line with his spewings.


Blagojevich: Completely Off the Rails

And now, here's one from the "You Really Can't Make This Stuff Up" files.

Think Progress: Blagojevich compares himself to MLK, Mandela, and Ghandi.
Today in an interview with NBC, disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) compared himself to human rights heros Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi.
So let me see if I've got all this straight, Blogjam: You're like Gandhi, Mandela, and King; the charges against you are, to your family, "what Pearl Harbor Day was to the United States"; you're a cowboy in your own mind being "hung without a fair trial" and it's all a plot to raise taxes.

His whole persona, from the moment he got in there, has been as a down-to-earth guy who's against so-called "political insiders". First off, you're not winning anyone over thrwing tantrums to call attention to yourself, nor are you gaining any points by acting like this is all below you.

Second, you're digging yourself that much deeper with comparisons like these - seriously, you think you're the equal of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? Oh hell no.

But to top off this whole thing, let me add one very important little insight: Your actions were exactly what the "political insiders" you hate so much would do. You are what you claim to hate, Blogjam; I suggest you simply go quietly and stop making a damn fool of yourself.

I swear, if I ever voted for this man, I regret it deeply. If I had known he was this far out of his friggin' mind, I would've written in Mickey Mouse. At least if Mickey were elected, we'd have another total badass in elected office, and I think that's something we sorely need these days.

The ugly past.

I just took it upon myself to republish a huge backlog of posts here - nearly 300 of them.  I realize, with no small amount of apprehension, that I've said some ugly things, many of them things I now regret.

I feel it would be unbecoming of me to simply delete these posts and act as though they had never existed; no, I think being forthright about it is best.

I know I've made mistakes.  Everyone has.  I also know that trying to deny them will only make things worse.  I think of myself as being a pretty honest guy, and I should live up to that.


The story of Palin's wardrobe.

From the Huffington Post: Palin's $180,000 Campaign Clothes "Stuffed in Trash Bags" at RNC Headquarters.
But for reasons that remain mysterious, the clothes remain stashed at the RNC's Washington, D.C., headquarters. A source close to the issue told NewMajority that the clothes are "in the process" of being donated, and an RNC spokesman corroborated, saying the clothes have indeed been returned from Palin, "inventoried and will be appropriately dispersed to various charities." Attempts for an explanation of when and where the clothes will be donated went unanswered, and the governor's Alaska office does not comment on campaign issues.
It's like the story that just won't die.
The fact that the clothes have not been donated or publicly accounted for, however, has angered some big donors...
Gee, I can't imagine why. So they say the clothes are all there, laying around, but they're not being accounted for to the people who actually paid for them, and aren't being donated, like they said they would be.

I've got two guesses. The first is that some items are missing, and they don't want to let on to that fact, since Palin is their great (northern) white hope; OR, that someone's hoping Palin's back in 2012, and don't want to get rid of the clothes, just in case she needs them.

The true meaning of "Reverse Racism".

From Faux News (STOP BOOING): Rush Limbaugh's Shocking Words for President Obama
You know, racism in this country is the exclusive problems of the left. We’re witnessing racism all this week that led up to the inauguration. We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds; that we have to bend over, grab the ankles, bend over forward, backward, whichever; because his father was black, because this is the first black president. We’ve got to accept this. The racism that everybody thinks exists on our side of the aisle has been on full display throughout their primary campaign. So I think they’ve done a great job, the media has, of covering up his deficiencies. He’s too big to fail, and so whatever goes wrong, blame it on Bush, blame it on… I mean, MSNBC’s new life will be criticizing you and me, because they can’t criticize him.

I... what? I'm trying to follow his logic, and the only conclusion I keep coming to is: I'm not a racist, you're all racists for voting for the black guy, who was obviously deficient.

You know, I hate the term reverse racism, because its fucking stupid. So I'm going to coin a new phrase, feel free to steal it, I won't mind.



1. the policy or doctrine of projecting your own racism; specifically, of believing that the advancement of a race other than your own being a result of racist actions.

example: "You gave that black guy a job? You only did that because you're a racist."

2. any phrase to spill forth from the lips of Rush Limbaugh. (see: racist idiot)

Obama: Unscrewing the Last-Minute Screws

From Reuters: WHouse stops pending Bush regulations for review
President Barack Obama's new administration ordered all federal agencies and departments on Tuesday to stop any pending regulations until they can be reviewed by incoming staff, halting last-minute Bush orders in their tracks.
Controversial late rules by the outgoing Bush administration include allowing the carrying of concealed weapons in some national parks and prohibiting medical facilities from receiving federal money for discriminating against doctors and nurses who refuse to assist with abortions or dispense contraceptives based on religious grounds.
This isn't anything new, but kudos to President Obama for following in the footsteps of those before him on this.

First, about the weapons in national parks thing, I know someone going to come along and start up the usual whine about "self-defense" and "ouitlaws with guns", but it's pointless - there's no reason to carry a gun in a national park. Aside from the usual hazards of nature, they're relatively safe, and the main reason people would even carry a gun into a place like that would be to illegally hunt.

The meat of the program here, though, is the second part - cutting off federal funds to medical facilities if they punish doctors and/or nurses who refuse to perform their duties due to religious bigotry (and yes, that's what it is). Nothing like giving people free reign to not do their jobs 'cause God tells them not to, eh, Dubby? Man, it's just another reason I'm glad that smirking asshole is gone.

It's a long road to fixing everything, and Obama won't be able to do it all even if he gets elected to a second term. But this is a good start.

Stem Cell Research OK'd

From Reuters: US FDA allows first test of human stem cell therapy
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the way for the first trial to see if human embryonic stem cells can treat people safely, a company involved in the controversial research on Friday.(sic)

Geron Corp (GERN.O), a California biotechnology company, said it plans a clinical trial to try to use the stem cells to regrow nerve tissue in patients with crushed, but not severed, spinal cords.
At last.

I, for one, have been a huge advocate of this, for the simple fact that, if it works, it could mean a revolution in healthcare. If it doesn't, at least we know it doesn't. We've had to spend years not knowing because the Bush administration, ever the stalwart defenders of non-brown, non-foreign, non-military, non-grown, non-living life, had stonewalled it.

There is nothing in this world more devastating than a lack of knowledge. And there is almost nothing in this world more powerful than clearing the way for knowledge to be gained.

Adios, Mexico City (Rule)

From MSNBC.com: Obama to reverse foreign abortion rule
President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order ending the ban on federal funds for international groups that promote or perform abortions, officials told The Associated Press on Friday.
The policy bans U.S. taxpayer money, usually in the form of U.S. Agency for International Development funds, from going to international family planning groups that either offer abortions or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion. It is also known as the "global gag rule," because it prohibits taxpayer funding for groups that even talk about abortion if there is an unplanned pregnancy.
He hasn't hit his first weekend as Prez and already he's doing great things.

And now, a moment of non-logic:
Anti-choicers, mostly right-wing ones, complain that "foreigners" are "outbreeding us".
Anti-choicers, mostly right-wing ones, oppose U.S. funds going to any foreign group that even mentions abortion.

Do not attempt to reconcile the above statements.

"Pro-Life" Crazy Nearly Kills Multiple People

From StarTribune.com: SUV smashes into Planned Parenthood in St. Paul
On the 36th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, a man smashed his SUV into the entrance of the Planned Parenthood office in St. Paul this morning.
"We think it's intentional because of Roe vs. Wade," Panos said. "He's not saying much. He was praying or chanting when the officers arrived."
When Di Nicola arrived at the clinic, she said the man had gotten out of the SUV and was pacing around it, holding a crucifix and chanting. "He was agitated and he was saying, 'shut down this Auschwitz,' " she said.
Yep, more "good Christian love" and "sanctity of life" here - Going religio-crazy and crashing your gas-guzzler into a clinic, putting the people inside in danger. And what are the news sources saying now about this domestic terrorist? He has a history of mental illness. Apparently, the guy's been hospitalized 12 times.

First off, this is all an excuse - mentally ill or not, this is terrorism, plain and simple. It was an attempt to use force and the possibility of injury or death to make a political statement, the very definition of terrorism. Why isn't this kind of thing considered terrorism? Oh, sorry, I forgot that terrorism is exclusively the acts of foreign brown-skinned people with different-sounding names.

Secondly, why is this guy even allowed on the streets? If he's been hospitalized twelve times, he needs serious attention, and this proves he's not getting it. Ah, but I forgot - mental illness isn't a real illness; it's just people who want attention and want to leech off the system. At least, that's what this country's total lack of mental healthcare tells me. Finally, how "pro-life" is someone if he's trying ot run them over with an SUV? It's just more proof that "pro-life" should be called "anti-choice".

You want mental illness? This guy's a hyper-religious anti-choicer with no compunctions about killing those he deems subhuman; there's your mental illness.


Obama to sign Guantanamo Order Thursday.

From Yahoo News: Obama to sign order shutting down Gitmo in a year.
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order Thursday to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center within a year and halt military trials of terror suspects held there, a senior administration official said. The executive order was one of three expected imminently on how to interrogate and prosecute al-Qaida, Taliban or other foreign fighters believed to threaten the United States.
Holy crap. I mean, he said he'd do it, I knew he would, but the speed at which he's living up to his promises is making my head spin. Today alone the orders he put through regarding transparency, ethics reform, and lobbyist changes was amazing. Now to find out he's actually doing this, this quickly, is amazing.

GO OBAMA, GO! (3rd Bush term my ass, suck it Wingnuts!)

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When the Mask Falls Off, Redux

Chris Matthews, leading into a commercial before covering El Rushbo's hope that President Obama fails: "Does Rush Limbaugh hate America?"

On the one hand, this may be the media finally feeling like it can speak out against the stone wall of right-wing hatred erected by folks like Rush the Comedian; on the other, it could very well be a way of ingratiating themselves as they did when Bush was in power. I should hope it's the former and not the latter - I don't think I could stand a media that remains as spineless and accomodating as before, just for someone else.


And there he goes

FORMER President Bush is leaving Washington now. FORMER President Bush. More beautiful words do not exist in the English language.

"And to All a Good Night"

As the helicopter leaves, Olbermann states that final line of A Visit from St. Nicholas, and truly it does feel like Christmas.

And listen to those cheers and the singing of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" as he leaves. A million people, maybe, all singing him away.

Goodbye, George, we certainly aren't going to miss you.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

Bush is on the helicopter that will take him away from Washington, DC, and out of our lives as a figurehead of power.

"Bush, Get Da HELL OUT!"

That's what a sign in the audience at the inauguration said.

And, as we watch the administration change, the coverage on MSNBC seems to have shifted - Matthews pretty much dropped a big bag of crap on Bush.

And I Shake the Dirt from My Sandals As I Run

It feels good to see a man give a benediction with humor and spirit, as opposed to divison.

Today just feels good. It feels like... a change.

This Is Why I Voted For Him

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers.
Our President acknowledges those of us who don't believe. I feel like I'm being considered an American for everything I am, if only briefly.

It's a good feeling.

Welcome to the White House


Oh yes.

Stand at Attention

For our new President, Barack Hussein Obama.

Live-Blogging the Inauguration

It's happening.

It's really happening.

They just swore in our Vice President... And now the world's greatest living musicians, and the world's greatest living composer, are doing a tribute...


Oh my god, for the longest time, I never thought I'd say this...

Then... then comes the swearing-in of PRESIDENT Barack Obama.

This is truly a great day, indeed.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

I'm wondering if there will be an MP3 of this composition being played available anywhere?

Live-Blogging the Inauguration

They just showed President Bush, and normally I can see his eyes, and see the ... miserable little thoughts behind them. But they showed him, and I looked, expecting that same pompous little visage, and instead, his eyes showed something I didn't expect.

Honesty. Even George knows what this day is, and what history we are seeing.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

Pastor Warren, your numbers are slightly off. This wouldn't be the 44th time of the peaceful transfer of power. Close, though.

And thank you for being civil, in spite of those who have been anything but.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

I stand at attention for our next President.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

Seeing all those flags in the crowd tells me something: People are proud to celebrate America again, for good reasons.


Live-Blogging the Inauguration

And its all about to go down. Here comes Obama.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

Here he comes, the next President. You can tell he's trying very, VERY hard to be outwardly calm. Olbermann: "It's like it involves 'Calmness Helper'."

Inside, every bit of him is busting out in crazy-ass dancing and cartwheels. I know I certainly would be.

"Just accept the idea that I might know what I'm doing."

Live-Blogging the Inauguration

You know, I really feel I should note...

The only people who aren't really smiling today, are Bush and his cronies.

I don't feel sorry for them.

Live-Blogging the Inauguration

Looks like I'm not the only one to draw he comparison between this crowd, and the crowd present for MLK Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech.

God, this is so wonderful. Everyone looks so proud.

There are truly no words to adequately describe it.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

Man, Dubya and his people all look so grumpy. I do wonder why.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

When did George H. W. Bush get so... old?

And Clinton, according to Keith Olbermann, looks "unusually somber"... until the guy beneath that shows through and he can't help but smile.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

Every inch of land between the Capitol and the Washington Monument is filled to bursting with peopleall squeezing together to see this. Even the grass can't get a good look.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

I don't think I've seen a crowd react like this in my lifetime.

Live-Blogging the Inauguration.

What a fitting contrast as we watch President Bush leave the White House, and see Vice President Dick Cheney wheeled out in a wheel-chair.

And to hear the crowds cheer as Bush leaves the White House as President for the final time. Americans today truly have reason to cheer indeed.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

And they're off - soon-to-be-former President Bush and soon-to-be-President Obama have stepped out of the White House, entered the motorcade, and are on their way to the Capitol.

The crowds cheered when they did.

But who were they cheering?

How Appropriate....

The "Inauguration Theme," Joy In the Morning. I can't think of a day when it is more fitting, more appropriate, than today.

(Edit: Found a better quality video)

Live-blogging the Inauguration

Am I worried? A little. There are a lot of crazy people out there. But I'm sure that those of them who have been threatening and shouting their hatred are all talk. I don't think anything bad's going to happen. I just don't discount any possibility, no matter how awful, no matter how insane.

Call it paranoid, call it pointless, call it whatever you'd like. It can't be helped.

Live-Blogging the Inauguration

I am in awe today. I haven't been this thrilled in.... months. Just seeing all these people, all this support for our new President... My heart's so full of pride that I fear it might burst.

"E Pluribus Unum" - Out of Many, One - indeed.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

And to think, there was a point at which people were going to vote against Obama solely because of stupid things like his middle name or what church he went to. There were times when I thought he wouldn't be elected because people were convinced by stupid, hateful demagogues of lies about his heritage, his religion, his birthplace.

Sadly, we're not past that entirely, but at least it's nothing we really need to worry about.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

I wonder, how many people had to sacrifice, how many had to suffer, how many had it die, before we came to this point? How many gave everything so that, in time, this one man could lead this country?

Live-blogging the Inauguration

I wish I were there. But I'm fine just watching it on TV. I still feel like I'm part of history just living here.

And the whole crowd just silenced itself while the Marine Corps Band plays. Getting two million people to suddenly quiet themselves is no mean feat.

Live-blogging the Inauguration

I'm watching the crowds and I'm in awe, to see so many people in one place. I can't recall ever seeing this many people in one place in my lifetime. They're estimating 1-2 million people. I expect that number to grow within the next 2 hours as they near the actual inauguration.


Live-blogging the Inauguration

Yes, I know it hasn't even officially started, but news coverage of it has. I can only imagine how Mr. Obama must be feeling - proud, terrified, resolved...

Good god, I can only imagine.

And I quite literally burst into tears when they showed the Tuskeegee Airmen present. Oh my god...


Good Lord

From appletree: For Israelis, no atrocity is too great: officer says he was right to shoot a 13-year-old child

From the Guardian:

An Israeli army officer who repeatedly shot a 13-year-old Palestinian girl in Gaza dismissed a warning from another soldier that she was a child by saying he would have killed her even if she was three years old.

The officer, identified by the army only as Captain R, was charged this week with illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and other relatively minor infractions after emptying all 10 bullets from his gun’s magazine into Iman al-Hams when she walked into a “security area” on the edge of Rafah refugee camp last month.

A tape recording of radio exchanges between soldiers involved in the incident, played on Israeli television, contradicts the army’s account of the events and appears to show that the captain shot the girl in cold blood.
I rarely make commentary about this because I feel I know too little about it, despite any research I do. But this? This is unacceptable. And I'm just supposed to accept that these people are our allies? No, I refuse.

What's the likelihood of this ever being reported in the national media with any level of accuracy? If this had been reversed, we'd be hearing about it endlessly, wouldn't we?

Ignorance Gets You Far in Life

From Pharyngula: For God's sake, have Bryan Appleyard's articles made any difference to our lives?
Hey, hack journalists, have I got a great concept for you! (...)

Here it is, and just the title alone will inspire you. "Has _X_ made any difference in our lives?" It's universal! It doesn't matter what the editor tells you to write about, just plug it in in place of the X, and you're ready to scamper through the story like a cockroach with its cerci on fire. (...)

No one has mastered the art form of turning abysmal ignorance into a stream of money-earning words on a newspaper page better than Bryan Appleyard, who writes for the London Times. I've stumbled across Appleyard's excretions a few times before, and I've learned what to expect. He fulfills those expectations beautifully in an impressively corrupt and reeking bit of mass-market offal, For God's sake, have Charles Darwin's theories made any difference to our lives?
Make no mistake, this guy's drooling mishmash of stupidity isn't hard to counter - he touches on pretty much every old creationist meme there is, from "I ain't no munky!" to "Evolution caused the Holocaust!" to "Irreducible complexity!". I swear, it reads like a strawman, but there it is, in black and white, as real as you can get without the guy being right there in front of you.

Naturally, since this is from the UK, where people aren't quite as proudly stupid as they are in America, and since this was linked to at Pharyngula, he's getting savaged for his utter lack of anything that could be considered a rational thought. I decided I'd throw my two cents in there, as inelegant as they may be:
Beyond your absolute ignorance of any level of scientific fact, one thing stands out: Without understanding of evolution, we would not understand the rather basic concept of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Right there, your entire premise is blown to smithereens.

Second, you open up the old canard that evolution is responsible for hateful ideas. Evolution as a scientific concept is far less responsible for these ideas than out-and-out stupidity. Furthermore, if you're going to ascribe bad ideas to perfectly good concepts, perhaps you'd like to talk of witch-hunts, crusades, and pogroms, all inspired by religion?

You just want to feel special, like you're better than any other being. That is the basis of the "I Ain't No Monkey" meme of the denialist. I, meanwhile, see a level of beauty in being the distant relation of the noble primate. Personally, I think they are smarter than a good deal of humanity.

I don't expect you to acknowledge any of this, considering you think the Ignorance Museum is anything other than a pseudo-scientific laughingstock. All I can say is that I sincerely hope you realize that rejecting evolution as a concept is to reject much of modern science.
There were far better comments, and I doubt they'll even publish mine. I just think it needed to be said.

Please, PLEASE, Tell Me This Is All a Joke

D'oh Nuts: The Religious Right Comes Down On Krispy Kreme
The American Life League has finally discovered the secret, immoral ingredient that makes Krispy Kreme doughnuts so very addictive: fetuses. And they are not happy.

Having been tipped off to Krispy Kreme's dastardly scheme to make their doughnuts even more addictive than abortion on demand by their insidious use of the word "choice" in a recent free promotion, American Life League president "Not Downtown" Judie Brown had this to say:
The next time you stare down a conveyor belt of slow-moving, hot, sugary glazed donuts at your local Krispy Kreme, you just might be supporting President-elect Barack Obama's radical support for abortion on demand - including his sweeping promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as soon as he steps in the Oval Office, Jan. 20.
It's all part of their plan! More abortions means more Krispy Kremes, and more of this nation's souls will be eaten away along with their arteries!

In fact, Krispy Kreme is offering Americans "a free doughnut of choice" on Tuesday, signifying, obviously, that their doughnuts are made possible only through choice, which obviously only means abortion, which Barack Obama is going to make every man, woman and child in this country have when he takes the mantle of the Presidency in order to promote Krispy Kreme hegemony over Dunkin Donuts.

Someone, please, tell me this is all a big joke. Tell me they're trolling us. If this is the level to which America has sunk, we are in deep shit. Seriously, we can't even use the word "choice" without these dim bulbs getting up in arms? That's just plain sad.

Our language has been eroded by this kind of over-association of words with causes. It's getting so you can't even use perfectly good words because people assume the worst. For example, the word "abortion" is used in wrestling to describe a gimmick or angle that suddenly disappears because the fans aren't going for it - or, rather, it used to be, before people like these turned it into a dirty word. I'm just wondering when they'll go after Fatboy Slim (and, by extension, Christopher Walken) for "Weapon of Choice".

I know three things in regards to this. First, these people are as dumb as a box of rocks. Second, I like donuts, pretty much regardless of their origin - I don't think I've ever had what one could honestly describe as a bad donut. Third, I'll be going to the nearest Krispy Kreme come Tuesday.

And if this all turns out to be some massive trolling effort on their part? I won't care - I'll still have my donuts.

Change you absolutely CAN believe in.

From Faux News (Stop booing): Obama to End Military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy
WASHINGTON: President-elect Barack Obama will allow gays to serve openly in the military by overturning the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy that marred President Clinton's first days in office, according to incoming White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
I... I'm honestly at a loss. I'm not exactly military material myself, but many in my family have served - and to be honest, if I felt the cause was just, and I was fit, I would gladly serve.

Until this I could not however, because of my sexual orientation, and the fact I refuse to lie about it. There was never a good excuse to keeping gays out of the military, many other armed forces do not have such rules, and we haven't seen those fall apart. Other soldiers being 'uncomfortable' has never been a good excuse, as it's simply giving weight to an argument born out of fear and intolerance.

Furthermore, it's one of the key issues that has always made me feel less than human. Male or female, both can serve in the military in this day and age, but the homosexual - be they male or female - we are apparently something less. Or were.

I said it when the Warren issue came out, and I'll say it here, having an intolerant preacher give a prayer isn't IMPORTANT, and it certainly isn't condemning of the President-Elect. His actions are what will show us the measure of his character.

This action speaks of that character. Thank you, President-Elect Obama, thank you for making me feel human once more.


I Find Your Lack of Faith... Ah, Screw It, That Joke Is Old

From Pharyngula: Sins so heinous that only the Pope can grant absolution
Details of some high-level Catholic tribunal and how it handles the most grievous sins have been revealed. In a very strange overview, we learn that murder and genocide, while truly horrible crimes, can be handled by lower members of the hierarchy. There are a few that only this tribunal and the Pope are qualified to cope with. They are briefly listed: trying to assassinate the Pope, a priest spilling the beans about what is said in the confessional, priests having sex, and abortionists becoming priest. But there is one other crime, which the article dwells on:

Defiling the Eucharist, which Catholics believe is the body and blood of Christ, is also considered a sin of extreme gravity and one which is on the increase, the high-ranking members of the tribunal said.


In July last year an American academic, to make a point about freedom of thought and religion, drove a nail through a Communion wafer and then threw it in a rubbish bin.

Paul Myers, from the University of Minnesota, said later: "I pierced it with a rusty nail. Then I simply threw it in the trash. Question everything. God is not great, Jesus is not your Lord."
Man, oh, man, how badass is that? PZ Myers is so evil that only Emperor Popeatine can deal directly with him. And if the Pope won't grant him a repreive, he's excommunicated - oh, such a punishment, considering PZ isn't Catholic.

What's really sad about it, though is in that first paragraph:
In a very strange overview, we learn that murder and genocide, while truly horrible crimes, can be handled by lower members of the hierarchy.
That's right, a pirest getting some is a worse crime than killing or attempting to kill entire groups of people. And folks wonder why it is I'm not Catholic.

Personally, I'd give just about anything to see PZ go to Rome to have the Pope "deal with him". If it were me, I wouldn't go there without a lot of Jedi training, mind you, and considering Yoda is off fighting nunchaku-swinging Elvis impersonators and bipolar teenagers with hula hoops of doom, I guess this is something that's going to remain firmly in the realm of fantasy.


Nailin' Palin (But Not In That Way)

From Left In Aboite: Note to Sarah Palin

John tears into ol' Failin' for her continued whining. Go read it. You'll be glad you did.

On a similar note, why the continued grumble-fests from folks like Caribou Barbie over the media? Nobody's buying the old "liberal media" meme these days, so now we've got to entirely discredit the media as whole, do we? Maybe if you guys tried a little honesty and didn't get yourselves constantly mired in scandals, we wouldn't have this problem.

Just a thought.

Have a Seat, Chris Hansen.

From the New York Times: Report Finds Online Threats to Children Overblown
The Internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all.

A task force created by 49 state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem.

The findings ran counter to popular perceptions of online dangers as reinforced by depictions in the news media like NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” series. One attorney general was quick to criticize the group’s report.
Finally - someone comes along to work against the endless tream of OMG AUR CHILLDRENZ paranoia. I'll admit there are some seriously fucked-up people out there, but at least someone's trying to prove it's not all like that.

Now if only we could get those who ARE like that to remove themselves from the Internet, we'd be gold.


You know what'd be great?

A way to directly edit the tag list here. I'd like to merge some tags into one, or at least be able to wholesale delete some of them.


If At First You Don't Succeed, Hate, Hate Again

From Bilerico: Indiana's marriage amendment: Now with more anti-gay feeling
Indiana State Representatives Eric Turner (R - Marion) and Dave Cheatham (D - North Vernon) introduced a resolution today to amend them state constitution to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. After language concerns buried the previously proposed amendment, the wording right-wingers have chosen this time points out some fascinating tidbits for those who've been following along.
So, what was that about only wanting to stop gay people from marrying, hatemongers? Because that's not what this thing looks like to me. It looks like you're trying to keep the exclusive, preferential, special rights of married people away from everyone else.


Buchanan Wheels Out the Projector

From Media Matters: On Hardball, Buchanan said Reid doesn't want Burris seated "[b]ecause he's an African-American"
Summary: On Hardball, Pat Buchanan said of Roland Burris' appointment to the Senate and the Senate leadership's refusal to seat him: "[W]hy does [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid not want this guy? Why can't he get elected? Because he's an African-American." However, neither Matthews nor Buchanan mentioned that Reid stated -- well before Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Burris -- that the Senate would consider rejecting anyone appointed by Blagojevich. Nor did they mention that Reid previously denied that his opposition to Burris was based on race.
Uh-huh. Pat Buchanan saying someone else is a racist. I'm just gonna let the irony of that sink in.

Look, the reason why the Senate - and quite a few Democrats and liberals in general - are opposed to this is because Burris is Gov. Blagojevich's appointment, and Blago has essentially given up his right to act with any authority because of his corruption. In fact, an appointment to fill President Obama's Senate seat is precisely what the whole corruption thing is over. How can we trust any decision he makes, or anyone he appoints?

Lou Dobbs: Still Spineless

From Media Matters: CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight baselessly included Franken in segment on "Dems behaving badly"
Summary: Lou Dobbs Tonight baselessly included Al Franken in a segment on, in host Lou Dobbs' words, "Democratic Party scandals and downright bad behavior." During both Dobbs' teaser for and introduction of a report by CNN correspondent Casey Wian, CNN ran on-screen text reading "Dems Behaving Badly" over video footage that included Franken. During the portion of Wian's report on the Minnesota recount, on-screen text read, "Dems behaving badly: Democrats rocked by party scandals."
So, Rethugs, still want to tell me Lou Dobbs is independent? I know you're all eating your own hats because Franken won, but this is just pathetic. Oh, wait, I forgot - when we do it, it's "being a sore loser"; when you do it, it's just trying to get justice, right?

Red Ink Never Looks Good

From the Washington Post: Obama: Trillion-Dollar Deficits 'for Years to Come'
Slowing tax revenues and a historic bailout of the U.S. financial system will send the budget deficit soaring toward $1 trillion this year, President-elect Barack Obama said today, and the red ink stands to get substantially deeper if Obama wins approval of a massive economic stimulus plan.

Even if the package of spending and tax cuts helps restore the nation's immediate economic health, Obama said, the government is likely to be left with "trillion-dollar deficits for years to come" unless policymakers "make a change in the way that Washington does business."
Admittedly, we've heard this before. Problem is, we keep hearing it coupled with attacks against us. I'm hoping that this time, we can at least get some results out of it.

On Suspicion

From the Associated Press: Death of Travolta's son raises medical questions
Millions of children and adults have seizures in the United States, but dying from one is rare. That only adds to the confusion and mystery surrounding the life and death of Jett Travolta, the 16-year-old son of actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston.

The death certificate lists a seizure as the cause of death, according to an undertaker in the Bahamas, where the boy died Friday. Family representatives and lawyers declined requests Tuesday for more information, fueling speculation that has swirled for years about the boy's health.
This wouldn't be notable, except for one article that raises quite a few questions that need to be raised:
Kelly Preston blamed household cleaners and fertilizers for the disease and said a detoxification program based on Scientology teachings helped improve his health, according to People magazine.