Category Archives: politics

“Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!”

Speaker Pelosi totally threw up in her mouth a little bit – and who could blame her? I loved that she added the eye-roll/side-eye right at the end there. You know, right after Harry Reid essentially ceded the Constitutionally-specified powers of the legislative branch to the executive branch?

from Wonkette

No comment.

Kevin Brady Oct 08 web

Rep. Kevin Brady - Moron or imbecile? You be the judge...

Is this funny? Sad? Enraging? All of the above and more?

From the Wall Street Journal:

Protesters who attended Saturday’s Tea Party rally in Washington found a new reason to be upset: Apparently they are unhappy with the level of service provided by the subway system.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) asked for an explanation of why the government-run subway system didn’t, in his view, adequately prepare for this past weekend’s rally to protest government spending and government services.

“These individuals came all the way from Southeast Texas to protest the excessive spending and growing government intrusion by the 111th Congress and the new Obama administration,” Brady wrote. “These participants, whose tax dollars were used to create and maintain this public transit system, were frustrated and disappointed that our nation’s capital did not make a great effort to simply provide a basic level of transit for them.”

Seriously, is this hypocrisy? Rank stupidity? Or maybe it’s some kind of performance art? Not to mention – what sort of public transit infrastructure exists in Texas? How would these rubes even know whether the service they got was above or below average? Don’t they usually travel one person per Chevy Suburban?

Oh, and the depressing and predictable punchline:

Back in July HR3288, a Transportation and HUD appropriations bill, came up for a vote. It included $150 million for emergency maintenance funding for the DC Metro.

Brady voted against it
.

Remind me again why the Democrats are pandering to these imbeciles in hopes of a “bipartisan” solution to anything..?

Now THIS is a judge…

rakoff

My hero...

Judge Jed S. Rakoff just overturned the settlement between Bank of America and the SEC, in which BofA agreed to pay a fine of $33 million.  The fine was penance for not revealing to stockholders of either BofA or Merrill Lynch that Merrill had paid out $3.6 billion (yes, with a “b”) in employee bonuses immediately prior to their acquisition by BofA.

Judge Rakoff concluded that BofA “materially lied” to shareholders – in other words, BofA’s pants were literally on fire.

He went on to add that the $33 million settlement “does not comport with the most elementary notions of justice and morality.” Oh snap, your honor…

He was also not especially thrilled by the fact that the burden of paying the fine was being borne by BofA’s shareholders – the very people injured by the failure to disclose the bonus scheme, writing:

It is quite something else for the very management that is accused of having lied to its shareholders to determine how much of those victims’ money should be used to make the case against the management go away.

As if all of this wasn’t enough to make me swoon with delight, Judge Rakoff also quoted from Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde (I know!), in which a cynic is defined as someone “who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Can we please get this guy onto the Supreme Court – stat?

Why can’t Al Franken be my Senator?

A calm and reasonable discussion about health care reform – WTF?  Are Minnesotans just saner than residents of other states?  This seems unlikely considering that Michele Bachmann has been elected to public office in that state more than once.

Maybe it’s just because Al Franken is likely one of the smarter members of the Senate?  Note for example his use of the correct “preventive” rather than the non-word “preventative.”  I’ve always believed that it’s pretty much impossible to be funny without also being intelligent… (My own Senator Feinstein appears to be neither – though I do ♥ Senator Boxer, even if she does enjoy the theatrics every once and again…  But I digress.)

Whatever the case, imagine how delightful it would be if the citizens of this country could engage in actual discussions of policy rather than simply screaming “Socialist!” – “Teabagger!” – “Hitler!” at one another.

By the way, this video is ten minutes long – but it’s like a ten-minute trip to a spa…  Such a lovely and refreshing change from the shoutiness we’re all so used to hearing when it comes to the debate over health care reform.

from Ana Marie Cox via Gawker

As a queen, don’t I outrank a bishop?

WWRJD

Was reading NYTimes on the bus and came across this: Some Roman Catholic Bishops Assail Health Plan.  Now, that headline should’ve been enough for me to know not to read the damn thing, since I don’t need to set my blood a-boiling first thing in the morning – but I cast caution to the wind…  And was treated to this quote:

No health care reform is better than the wrong sort of health care reform,” Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa, declared in a recent pastoral letter, urging the faithful to call their members of Congress.

Are you shitting me? I can just hear “His Excellency” now, telling a starving man that “no food is better than the wrong kind of food” – y’know, just like Jesus would’ve done.

Of course, their real concern is to guarantee that any federally administered or mandated health care plan must not include any provision that allows women to control their reproductive choices. And Democrats are even trying to ensure that no federal money goes to pay for abortions under the current plan.

(A)ny health insurance plan that does cover abortion — whether government-run or private — would be required to segregate its government subsidies from its patients’ premium payments so that no taxpayer money would pay for the procedure. And all patients would have the choice of plans that do and do not cover it.

While I suppose this is simply a political reality of the times, it’s pretty fucking outrageous.  I don’t get to steer my taxpayer money away from programs that I find immoral (like say the torture of CIA detainees).  Why make an exception for this particular medical procedure?  It’s maddening.  Nevertheless, it’s insufficient for some in the Catholic church, who will only support legislation that specifically prohibits coverage of abortions under any circumstances.

Bishop Nickless then delivers his coup de grâce:

“The Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care… Any legislation that undermines the vitality of the private sector is suspect.”

So Christ was a laissez-faire capitalist! Thanks for clearing that up – though could you provide some documentation?

Seriously, it makes me wish I believed in Hell, if only to take some comfort from knowing that’s where this jackass would wind up.  I mean seriously, can you just see this a-hole at the pearly gates, explaining to St. Peter that he worked to prevent 50 million people in the U.S. from gaining access to health care because he was concerned about the “vitality of the private sector”?  I can hear the angels all laughing their asses off…

Teddy, We Knew Ye Well…

“The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.” -Edward M. Kennedy

ted-kennedyMuch will be written about Ted Kennedy (here’s a pretty good warts-and-all assessment from Gawker) by folks far more talented, erudite and knowledgeable than I.  But here’s my two-cents: our biggest loss, besides an old school liberal who fought the good fight for nearly half a century, is that of an accomplished legislator.  And I mean that as a high compliment.

Look at the Senate today, filled with grandstanding buffoons, focused primarily in self-promotion, ideological purity and their own petty interests.  Despite a Democratic majority, we have the craven Harry Reid leading the party, always with a quick answer as to why he can’t pursue the agenda of his own party (he’s been doing this since GWBush was in office, and continues to do so, despite a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate); DINOs like Dianne Feinstein (who won’t meet with constituents to discuss health care and, who I’ve heard from a reliable source who worked in the Senate, is rather a dim bulb); insane wingnuts like Tom Coburn (who wants abortion to be outlawed under any circumstance) and Sam Brownback (who doesn’t believe in evolution.  “Ew!  Too sciencey.”)

Senator Kennedy, despite whatever personal flaws he may have had (I’d rather have a functional alcoholic senator than a non-functional sober one), was able to shepherd bill after bill after bill through the Senate.  Some highlights:

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the National Cancer Act of 1971, the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1974, the COBRA Act of 1985, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Ryan White AIDS Care Act in 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the Mental Health Parity Act in 1996 and 2008, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997, the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009.

He fought for the poor, the oppressed, those who our society had overlooked or passed by.  And he was able to work with Republicans in order to reach consensus and get laws passed – and how better to measure the effectiveness of a member of the Senate?  A senator who is able to legislate…  Imagine all that could be achieved if we had just a handful of current senators (of either party) who were even half as effective at deliberating and passing legislation.  And look how much we achieved having just one Ted Kennedy…

As JFK said, “To whom much is given, much is required.”  Ted Kennedy was given much and gave us much more in return.

I’ve solved health care reform.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph – have you seen the crazies at the town hall meetings to “discuss” (i.e. shout down any discussion of) health care reform?  Now, while I may disagree with those who oppose making any changes to our current system to deliver health care (to those lucky enough to have insurance), I think that some opponents have legitimate concerns about the current plan.  But not these people…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

video lifted from this post on Gawker

I love the Fox news reader referring to these fucktards as “informed and articulate”…  That is rich.

For example, the first dame going on about the 74-year old man with cancer who will have healthcare withheld – presumably by the “Death Panels” (I assume they’ll also be in charge of the mandatory baby-killing that is also a major part of the current reform plan) that the astroturfers are shreeing about.

Actually, I think it’s really sad that we can’t have a public discourse about end-of-life health care.  Today, that 74-year-old man with cancer will receive extraordinary levels of care and treatment to extend his life – in the hospital, surrounded by strangers, hooked up to machines and undergoing painful and invasive procedures.  And this might extend his life by only several weeks.

But what if he were given other options?  The option to forgo treatments?  To stay in his own home?  To have his family by his side?  No one is suggesting that one course of treatment is the “right” choice – only that patients should have the facts to make the decision that is right for them…

Of course, regardless of this hypothetical dude’s decision, the new “Death Panels” will just swoop in and kill him proactively, so I guess the point is moot.

At any rate, back to my solution: those who oppose health care reform may opt out.  We’ll throw them a bone or something (maybe a $500 annual tax credit), so they can be assured that none of their hard-earned dollars are going to provide health care to brown people, murdering fetuses or euthanizing old white people.

But once you opt out, that’s it. You don’t get to change your mind. Ever. You lost your insurance?  Too bad – you’ll need to pay for any doctor or hospital visit before any services are rendered.  Can’t afford it?  Oh well – looks like your decision to opt out was a bit shortsighted, wasn’t it?

And no exceptions either.  You show up bleeding at the ER, you’d better have insurance or one of those large sacks with a “$” on the side stuffed with cash.  Otherwise you get no treatment – not even a Band-Aid.  And the triage nurse will escort you out while saying, “Nyah, nyah, nyah.”

Then, as you lie on the sidewalk, trying but slowly failing to keep pressure on your peskily spurting artery, you think to yourself, “Gee, maybe I was wrong.  Maybe it would be a good thing if everyone in this country had access to decent health care.  Maybe the ideas enshrined in the Declaration of Independence – that ‘all men are created equal’ and that ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ are inalienable rights – really are worthy and noble and that the government should be doing all it can to preserve, protect and defend those ideas.  And maybe, if I can just stanch the flow of blood from my arm, I’ll turn over a new leaf.  I’ll work to make real reforms in the way our country works – rather than just blindly following the latest shouting points provided by Rush Limbaugh.  And isn’t Rush Limbaugh enormously wealthy?  Maybe his interests aren’t the same as my own.  Maybe I’ll start thinking independently, and reading and studying so I can have an informed opinion on issues that are important to me.  And maybe…”

And then you die.

Oh, and when you die, that’s it.  No angels, no harps, no smiling Jesus high-fiving you for your intolerance-disguised-as-piety, no tunnel with a bright light at the end with long-dead relatives and Santa Claus beckoning you forward…  You’re just dead and all is oblivion. The end.

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Sorry, I have to vent… Fuck you Governor Schwarzenegger and California Legislature

NoNuditySignI don’t know why I torture myself by watching the news in the morning.  Today, for example, I had to see and hear Republican members of the state legislature crowing about what a bang-up job they did protecting the people of California – this after a budget was finally passed – by holding the line against any new taxes.  This is a budget that slashes funding for health care and education; a budget shaped by Governor Schwarzenegger’s pledge to veto any budget that included any tax increase – because the last thing the state needs now is any enhancement to its revenue stream… And these fuckers – who’ve thrown a wrench into every compromise, who’ve refused to negotiate, who’ve acted like six-year-olds, unwilling to share their toys – are the same fuckers who start screaming about “the will of the people” when it comes to same-sex marriage.  “How dare the courts try to countermand the WILL OF THE PEOPLE!”  Well, you know what?  Your crackpot ideas on taxation do not represent the will of the people, so how about you step aside?

And let’s not forget, this is same governor who just recently implemented a state sales tax increase…  But that tax increase doesn’t count, apparently, since it is borne disproportionately by the poor and middle class.  Of course, the Republicans never met a regressive tax they didn’t like – as long as people with the greatest ability to pay taxes aren’t required to do so, then their job is done.

Not that the Democrats are doing much better.  “We did not eliminate or completely shred the safety net in the state,” says Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.  God love ya – really looking out for us little people, aren’t you?  How about calling the governor on his unwillingness to negotiate in good faith? How about addressing this problem as if your constituents weren’t complete dullards – you know, explaining to them that the governor’s untenable “no taxes” position is the crux of the problem?  How about simply growing a pair?  You have majorities in both houses and you still allow a couple of Republicans to hold the entire state hostage.  Why not go after them – make examples of them, get on the news, paint them as the scoundrels they are? And can we please get started on convening a constitutional convention?

I’m so sick and tired of the omnipresent myopia that seems to affect everyone with a finger in this shit pie.  When will people finally connect the dots?  Shitty schools means more people with shittier jobs – which means they’re paying less in taxes.  Taking away access to routine health care means no preventive care – so the uninsured wait until they’re really ill and show up in emergency room.  Instead of treating a minor illness with a handful of antibiotics, we see someone seriously ill, requiring thousands of dollars worth of care.  We pay now or we pay later – but we pay in either case.  There’s no free ride – though certainly the proactive “pay now” ride is a helluva lot cheaper than “pay later”.

I grew up here, getting a fantastic education in the San Francisco public school system and going on to graduate from the University of California.  And I remember when our state was a beacon – the state that blazed the path for the nation, beckoning all with its limitless opportunities, great public school system and robust infrastructure.  Then Prop 13 was passed – and so began the state’s slow but inexorable slide into insolvency and ungovernability.

At any rate, I have to stop – steam is literally (and by “literally” I mean “figuratively” as is the fashion these days) shooting out of my ears.  Though I will finish up by pointing out what really set me off this morning.  It was while one of those sanctimonious Republican fucktards was blithering that I saw the news crawl across the bottom of my TV: “California Given OK to Crack Down On Nude Beaches.” Because that clearly is the real problem facing our once-great state: nude beaches.  Priorities, people! It’s all about priorities…

Could I just squeeze by you? I need to climb up onto my soapbox…

bigpot6A friend on Facebook recently updated her status to indicate she was flirting with vegetarianism.  And she got lots of responses, mostly reasonable (along the lines of “I did it and feel great – and lost 10 lbs!”) and some a little snarky (“Guess we won’t be having you over for dinner’) – but all pretty light…  Save for this:

alot (sic) happens to the meat before it hits the stores/restaurants…that whole process grosses me out…i think if you meet your meat and know your farmer it’s another story but 99.99% of what people eat has been tortured and slimmed by a disgusting industrial system…not to mention the chemicals used to fatten them up

it’s easy to eat salads and veggies out and most people don’t feel bad if you don’t make a big deal out of it…I find more and more people are saying no to meat.

Now, I have no issues with choosing vegetarianism or veganism – they probably are healthier (well, to be honest, I have some doubts about veganism – seems a bit extreme and just a tad culty…  And, with a few notable exceptions, the vegans I’ve met don’t seem to be paragons of healthfulness… But I digress…).   I am not, however, a fan of proselytizing (except my own of course, since I’m right – duh).  But, you know, whatever – it’s Facebook, who cares, right?

At any rate, I had just recently happened to read a quote from Anthony Bourdain, who described vegetarianism as “like going to the Louvre and only looking at the color blue.” Amusant, non? So I added this to the Facebook conversation.  To which the proselytizer responded:

veggies have way more colors than meat 🙂 The Louvre is over-rated, too. Been there numerous times.

Really?  That’s your comeback?  The Louvre is over-rated?  And the coup de grâce – “been there numerous times.” You know because she’s such a very sophisticated jet-setter (though she missed a golden opportunity to further show off her sophistication – she should’ve written “colours”) – so much so that she finds the Louvre just a big bore…

And, really, who could argue with that?  Vermeer? Played out…  Da Vinci? Dilettante…  Rembrandt?  Derivative…  Michelangelo? Yawn…  And don’t get me started on those tiresome Etruscans.  Yes, the Louvre is just one hack artist after another…  Plus, after you’ve been there a couple of times, you’ve really seen absolutely everything there is to possibly see, what with it being so provincial and the collection so tiny.

But what chaps my hide even more is the sanctimonious, holier-than-thou-because-I-don’t-eat-meat perspective.  Yes, factory farming of animals is not good – I do what I can to purchase meat from retailers who support more humane methods of raising animals for food; and I have the good fortune to be able to afford this choice.  But I don’t hear any concerns from vegetarian-a-rella about working conditions or wages for the farm workers picking all that kale and zucchini she’s piously eating.  And what about dairy cows?  They don’t exactly lead the life of Reilly – but I’m guessing she doesn’t eschew cheese or lattes…

Clearly, this whole little tempest got under my skin.  I guess the point I’m trying to make is, cut it out with the preaching.  None of us are perfect – and we all choose to do different things in an attempt to better ourselves and the world we live in.  Sanctimony doesn’t help on either count…

Domestic Terrorism

What can I really say about this?  It’s horrifying…  and, sadly enough, effective – the ongoing campaign of terror by anti-choice extremists is working.  Abortion remains legal – yet few doctors are willing to risk being murdered to provide medically necessary care to women.

One thing you can do to help: donate to Medical Students for Choice.  They are working to ensure doctors are trained to provide women with comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion.

from The Awl

No Marriage for You, Homos!

The California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Proposition 8 was obviously disappointing to me – but not really unexpected. I guess I’m having a difficult time getting into a lather about it for several reasons… I suppose this is largely because the decision did not really come as a surprise, especially given the nature of the questions the justices asked when the case was argued (they apparently view the people as sovereign – even when the people amend the constitution in such a way as to violate  Article I, Section 7(b) of said document).

And then there’s the complete weirdness and inconsistency of the two decisions: yes, it’s OK to exclude a class of people from getting married; but members of that class who got married during it’s brief window of legality may remain married – despite the fact that the very fact of their being married violates the state’s constitution. Huh? How did the justices manage to wrap their brains around this disconnect? Not that I disagree with the decision – but I don’t see how we can logically have one without the other.

But ultimately, I think I’m OK because this won’t stand. It might take a year or two – but I will eventually have the right to marry my partner here in California. I don’t like waiting – but considering it was something that just a few years ago seemed doubtful that I’d see in my lifetime, I can continue to have some patience.

For some reason, this photo from SFist really struck me. Yes, we gays still have a ways to go before we are guaranteed fair and equal treatment under the law – but look how far we’ve come… Quite a different police response than the one 30 years ago during the “White Night” riots.

Gay Marriage

San Francisco police officer Len Broberg, right, hugs Doug Mezzacapo, left, a married gay man, in front of San Francisco City Hall.

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Do Ask, Do Tell – And Call the White House Today

danchoiLieutenant Daniel Choi, a founding member of Knights Out, an organization of out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) West Point Alumni, received a letter from the Department of the Army on April 23, discharging him from the Army due to his sexual orientation.  Today, he published an open letter to President Obama and to all members of Congress, which reads in part:

I have personally served for a decade under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: an immoral law and policy that forces American soldiers to deceive and lie about their sexual orientation. Worse, it forces others to tolerate deception and lying. These values are completely opposed to anything I learned at West Point. Deception and lies poison a unit and cripple a fighting force.

As an infantry officer, an Iraq combat veteran and a West Point graduate with a degree in Arabic, I refuse to lie to my commanders. I refuse to lie to my peers. I refuse to lie to my subordinates. I demand honesty and courage from my soldiers. They should demand the same from me.

It frankly boggles the mind that as the United States is in the midst of fighting two wars, highly qualified individuals are being booted from the military.  Dan Choi is both a combat veteran and an Arab linguist  – exactly the type of soldier we need in the Army.

I hope you’ll join me today in calling the White House switchboard at 202-456-1111 and urging President Obama not to fire Lt. Dan Choi; and to keep his promise to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

from CNN via Towleroad

Seriously, it’s true…

I can totally vouch for Anderson Cooper… It is difficult…

And David Shuster is having a field day with this – and why not, I say?  I think the Republicans have really muffed this issue – they are getting licked in the polls, as 69% of people disagree with the thrust of their position.  Indeed, it seems likely that GOP will have some difficulty getting out from under the taint of this delusional tax “revolt” – they’ve really blown it.

Storm’s a-brewin’… The gayest storm you’ve ever seen…

I suppose you’ve all seen this by now, but it’s worth putting up again.  Seriously, this commercial is so ridiculous, so riddled with lies, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Mostly though, I’m laughing, thanks in part to the sad audition tapes. UPDATE: The video of the audition tapes that I linked to originally  got pulled from YouTube after after the “National Organization for Marriage” (a.k.a. NOM…  om, nom, nom, nom) yelled copyright infringement.

Oh and then there’s this:

gaymap

This map shows the year in which voters of a particular state are likely to defeat existing bans on gay marriage, based on several key indicators – though my reading of it is basically gay marriage for all, once the old bigots die.  Hooray for the youngs!

Of course, we gays are already discussing at the meetings when we should start implementation of the next phase of our gay agenda: mandatory gay marriage for all.  But this should be easy enough to achieve, since we’re surpassing our goals for recruitment of children…

from FiveThirtyEight via Gawker

Governor Kenneth

OK, here I am saying I’m too busy to blog and I’m blogging again – but this was too good to pass up…

I missed most of both the SOTU and the Republican response (due to our dinner at A16 mentioned in the previous post), but saw some of the analysis after the fact.  And Rachel Maddow’s response to Bobby “Kenneth the Page” Jindal here is priceless…

UPDATE:  Had to add this.  As Gawker pointed out, Chris Matthews was “annoyed preemptively” by Jindal’s speech…

Mrs. Potato Head To Run for Governor

So, that headline is a dig at Meg Whitman’s job prior to heading up eBay – which was at Hasbro, overseeing global management and marketing of the Mr. Potato Head brand – seriously…  But the fact that her head is, in fact, somewhat potato-shaped and, more distressingly, quite similar to a potato in both texture and color is justice of some kind – either comic or poetic…

meg potato

When I first saw this photo of Ms. Whitman on Gawker’s Valleywag, I thought to myself, “Leave it to Gawker to find a really hideously unflattering photo of someone they’re posting about…”  Imagine my surprise when I found that this is the picture from her campaign website!  Really?  This is the best “vote for me” photo you could come up with?

As an aspiring rich person myself (i.e. I buy lottery tickets), I am offended by wealthy people who aren’t attractive.  I mean, come on – if you just don’t care how you look or have bad taste, then hire a stylist, find a decent hairdresser and check into a spa (regular or “extra-strength”, if you know what I mean…) every now and again.  It’s just common courtesy — like saying “excuse me” after you fart.

As for political decision-making, her track record isn’t exactly confidence-inspiring…  She was finance co-chair for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign…  When that fizzled, she signed on to John “Walnuts!” McCain’s campaign as national co-chair.   (Note to self: don’t visit the race track with Meg Whitman).

Oh, and she did come out swinging in favor of Proposition 8, earning her the enmity of pretty much every one of her former employees at eBay and most of the movers-and-shakers in Silicon Valley.  And from the looks of that ‘do, she also really pissed off her hairdresser…

Put a Ring On It, Mr. President

Apparently, Barack Obama picked up a move from the Beyoncé video – which just makes me like him all the more.  I mean, honestly – not only does he actually know who Beyoncé is, he’s clearly familiar with the “Single Ladies” video.   He even knows about the Justin Timberlake parody of “Single Ladies” from SNL…  And he can pronounce nuclear!

Of course, my real reason for posting this is to say how moved I was (especially as a gay man) that he went out of his way to greet Barney Frank right at the start of this clip…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

from Vibe via Jezebel

What a difference a day makes…

Dennis C. Blair at his confirmation hearing.

Dennis C. Blair at his confirmation hearing.

I have been brimming with hope and enthusiasm for our new president and his administration.  Yet, there always that little voice in the back of my head, reminding me of how many times I’ve been disappointed by a candidate I’ve supported (cough*Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell*cough).  But here we are on Day 2 of the Obama administration and I read news stories like this…

Dennis C. Blair, the retired admiral and sixth-generation naval officer nominated by President Obama to be Director of National Intelligence, during his confirmation hearing:

called torture “not moral, legal or effective” and said any interrogation program would have to comply with the Geneva Conventions, the Convention against Torture and the Constitution.

And:

“I do not and will not support any surveillance activities that circumvent established processes for their lawful authorization,” he said in the testimony. “I believe in the importance of independent monitoring, including by Congress, to prevent abuses and protect civil liberties.”

In a way, it’s really depressing that the Bush administration’s contempt for the law and the Constitution was so great that a statement like Blair’s feels like such a giant leap forward.

And I suppose it is, comparatively. I’ve become so used to artful phrasing and wishy-washy non-answers that hearing a straightforward and unequivocal repudiation of torture is pretty goddamn refreshing…  Which, in and of itself, is a sad testament to the nightmare of these last eight years of lawlessness.

Keep it up, Hopey…  You’re making me proud to be an American.

from NYTimes

Lego Inauguration

This is just brilliant… More pics here.

building-the-inauguration-fp

from Gizmodo

President Barack Obama

Wow…

44612562

And, sorry, but it can’t be left unsaid – our long national nightmare is finally over…  Now if only Bush, Cheney and their cronies were to be prosecuted and imprisoned.  Not likely – so I guess I’ll just have to keep rootin’ for Hopey…