Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Wingnut Frenzy

The day after President Obama's inauguration, I joked with a friend who asked me what I thought and I and said, "Hey, it's 24 hours later and we haven't been hit by a nuclear attack. So far, so good..." Little did I know that some crazies in America are actually thinking that way. Let me rephrase that: I knew that some nutballs would think that way, I just didn't know that they all worked for Fox News.

It's now Day Four of the Obama administration and the frothy mouthed zaniness from the right hasn't even slowed enough to down a few Prozac with a tequila chaser. The Freakazoids at Fox apparently didn't realize that the Republicans lost last November 4th. Big time. And instead of attempting to make adjustments to deal with their new found insignificance, they wasted the last eleven weeks huddled in a fetal position called "Denial," hoping that something bad, something catastrophic would happen so former President Bush could invoke his hairbrained Executive Directive 51 and remain in power. Hell, even I was holding my breath until January 20th. But it never happened. The other shoe never dropped; rather it was thrown, and the CEO of BushCo. took his last governmental helicopter ride to the sounds of a familiar song.

But it didn't take long for the MENSA members at Fox to start with the fear-mongering and casting doubt to the legitimacy of the Presidency of Barack Obama in the early hours of his first day as President, as this Daily Show clip will illustrate:

It's pretty incredible that the same morons who were crying "Treason!" at the dissenting voices opposed to Bush administration policies would now call opposing the Obama administration "protest." To those voices I say, "Suck it! Time for the grown ups to take over."

Must Reads

Glenn Greenwald: The newest fear-mongering campaign from the Right and the media

Christopher Hayes: 'I Saw My People'

Bob Herbert: More Than Charisma

The Rude Pundit: Bipartisanship For Dummies & They're Losing Their Fucking Minds, Part 1

Obama's Weekly Address - Jan. 24, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

"at the desk, in the chair"

guest-posted by Armadillo Joe

Howdy, Blog-O-Maniacs! Armadillo Joe here again with a website recommendation you should add to your regular surfing, at least weekly if not more frequently. Its called BAGnewsNotes and I first saw it on the sidebar over at Digby’s Hullabaloo (which you should also read daily).

The proprietor is named Michael Shaw. He’s a clinical psychologist who uses his background and training to analyze news photographs. I always learn something when I click there or see something in a new and enlightening way. In our image-drenched culture, we need more people like Michael and his contributors to deconstruct the barrage of images we are often force-fed on daily basis by our pervasive media culture, to unpack all the implications embedded in a photograph by the taker of the picture and the publisher of it when each inject any particular image into our mass media, whenever they simply go about doing their jobs. Photographs seem spontaneous, but the process of taking, culling, selecting and presenting them for consumption can often hide a deeper agenda. Being savvy about them makes us better consumers of media output.

As he puts it on his info page:

"The BAG" offers a daily semiotic analysis of news and political images from a political, cultural or psychological point of view, and is also a platform for original social photography and photojournalism.
Its all heady and informative stuff. I think what he does is pretty brilliant generally, but the analysis excerpted below moved me in a way I can’t fully explain. Though I can't really quantify it, I give credit here mostly because it did move me to create a blog post about the process itself, rather than the subject. So here it is:

I should note that, within days, this photo is going to look completely mundane. For the moment, though, it's profound to the eye as the first White House photo of Obama officially at the desk, in the chair.

Unfortunately, it will probably take me a few viewings to shake off the echo of "W" (who actually rarely sat at that desk -- except for photo ops, which typically revealed a surface as uncluttered as we see here). For the moment, I still see him sitting in that striped chair, far right, with that adolescent grin on his face and a couple of boom mikes over his head, yukking it up with whomever of the steady stream of dignitaries happened to be parked beside him.

One other note about the picture and the handiwork of new WH photographer Pete Souza, by the way. Whereas Bush and Rove were obsessed with framing "W" with "the other George," notice how Souza's angle insures that Obama -- in his first photo from the Oval Office -- is introduced, in the sweep of the scene, by Lincoln.
Again, I can't explain it, but something in all of that deeply moves me. Maybe its the feeling that the grownups are once again in charge and that their being in-charge connects in the most powerful office in the world (both figuratively and literally) to a long line of great Americans and somewhere in those previous generations, in the painted gaze of men long dead who faced down graver threats than those we face today and triumphed, I can find some reason to not completely give in to all of my apocalyptic nightmares of boot-stomping American corporate fascism, "The Road"-style environmental degradation and a Road Warrior post-petroleum future that now all seem to have been part of a horrific eight-year fever-dream, a fever that broke this past Tuesday around 12 noon Eastern.

What is that sensation? That urge...? That feeling...? Its so new and yet old, somehow. Familiar but still fresh and exciting. What is it?

Oh yeah!

It's spelled H-O-P-E.

More Morning Joke™ Hijinks (Another in a seemingly never ending series)

My e-mail to Morning Joke™:

Hi Morning Joe Team,

During your interview with Rudy Giuliani, he mentioned that a released Guantanamo prisoner was discovered killing people the day after President Obama order Gitmo to be closed. (He said it with some unfortunate laughter.)

I have two questions:

1 - Why didn't anyone respond to Giuliani with the fact that Obama isn't talking about releasing those in Gitmo, but transferring them to other prisons. He respects the rule of law and habeas corpus.

2 - Since President Obama has only been sworn in since Tuesday, who was it that released these 30 or 40 prisoners that Giuliani talked about? Oh, right. It was the Bush Administration. God forbid you should mention those facts to America's Mayor.

Adding - After further review of the video, Giuliani acknowledged that "Obviously, even the Bush administration made mistakes in releasing these people." (2:40 mark) But he still insists that that is the reason we can't "let them go."

If anyone has been paying attention, we're not letting them go. If Rudy was paying attention, his suggestion of reviewing Gitmo prisoners on a case by case basis is exactly the reason there was a 120 day suspension of the legal proceedings at Gitmo.

Guantanamo is shutting down because it's an illegal operation. And the reason the Bush administration had to "release these people," is because evidence was flimsy, and any coerced confession was deemed inadmissible even according to the military tribunal system that they devised! If they had gone about using the legal system and incarcerating those they thought were the enemy without denying them habeas corpus and kept them in a legally state run prison, chances are they would have gotten a better conviction rate. All they did was to infuriate some of these people (not all, but some) to the point of becoming terrorists after their release. The same people that Giuliani's complaining about.

I also think it's asinine for Senators with an 'R' after their name to be outraged at the possibility of transferring current Gitmo detainees to prisons in their home states. What are they going to do? Do these alleged terrorists have special terrorist super powers that allows them to break out of maximum security prisons that serial killers and rapists don't? Are they worried that the prison walls will crumble around a Gitmo detainee once he's inside? The cowardice of these Republican Senators is astonishing.

(H/T Bob Cesca)

Roberts Screwed The Oath Pooch Because He's A Stickler For Grammar

It seems that Chief Justice John Roberts is such a grammar stickler and a know-it-all, that he felt the instinctual need to grammatically correct a 220 year old oath specifically written in the Constitution because of a split-verb myth.

...How could a famous stickler for grammar have bungled that 35-word passage, among the best-known words in the Constitution? Conspiracy theorists and connoisseurs of Freudian slips have surmised that it was unconscious retaliation for Senator Obama’s vote against the chief justice’s confirmation in 2005. But a simpler explanation is that the wayward adverb in the passage is blowback from Chief Justice Roberts’s habit of grammatical niggling.

...In his legal opinions, Chief Justice Roberts has altered quotations to conform to his notions of grammaticality, as when he excised the “ain’t” from Bob Dylan’s line “When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.” On Tuesday his inner copy editor overrode any instincts toward strict constructionism and unilaterally amended the Constitution by moving the adverb “faithfully” away from the verb.

President Obama, whose attention to language is obvious in his speeches and writings, smiled at the chief justice’s hypercorrection, then gamely repeated it. Let’s hope that during the next four years he will always challenge dogma and boldly lead the nation in new directions.

Now he will be forever known as the Chief Justice that screwed up the Presidential Oath of Office. Heckuva job, Johnny.

Music Break! Bob Dylan

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Digital Kid In An Analog World

We've all heard about President Obama and his Blackberry™ obsession. But this was a bit of a shock to read.

Two years after launching the most technologically savvy presidential campaign in history, Obama officials ran smack into the constraints of the federal bureaucracy yesterday, encountering a jumble of disconnected phone lines, old computer software, and security regulations forbidding outside e-mail accounts.

What does that mean in 21st-century terms? No Facebook to communicate with supporters. No outside e-mail log-ins. No instant messaging. Hard adjustments for a staff that helped sweep Obama to power through, among other things, relentless online social networking.

"It is kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said of his new digs.
And we wonder why the Bush administration never caught Osama bin Laden or never spoke with Middle Eastern leaders. They couldn't even get an outside line! Here's a hint: Dial 9.

Caroline Kennedy Bows Out Of NY Senate Race

Reports are confirming that Caroline Kennedy has withdrawn her name from consideration for the New York Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

What a rigamarole. First she was the favorite, then she wasn't, then Governor David Patterson said he'd make a decision the week after the inauguration. Last night there was rumor that Kennedy bowed out due to concerns of Sen. Ted Kennedy's health; those rumors were refuted by Kennedy. And now this afternoon comes word that Kennedy, who cited "personal reasons," would have had trouble with tax and housekeeper issues according to MSNBC.

I really didn't have any issues regarding Kennedy, either pro or con. But after all this craziness, whether media driven or self inflicted, it's best to let this whole thing drop and let her walk away. There seems to be way too much crap going on with these gubernatorial appointments.

Governor Patterson now says he'll name the new junior senator from New York tomorrow. Although NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo seems to be a favorite, there is word that Patterson is under pressure to appoint a woman to the seat.

Douchebag of the Week: Traitor Rush Limbaugh

Why does Rush Limbaugh hate America?

LIMBAUGH: I got a request here from a major American print publication. "Dear Rush: For the Obama [Immaculate] Inauguration we are asking a handful of very prominent politicians, statesmen, scholars, businessmen, commentators, and economists to write 400 words on their hope for the Obama presidency. We would love to include you. If you could send us 400 words on your hope for the Obama presidency, we need it by Monday night, that would be ideal." Now, we're caught in this trap again. The premise is, what is your "hope." My hope, and please understand me when I say this. I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, "Well, I hope he succeeds. We've got to give him a chance." Why? They didn't give Bush a chance in 2000. Before he was inaugurated the search-and-destroy mission had begun. I'm not talking about search-and-destroy, but I've been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don't want them to succeed.

... So I'm thinking of replying to the guy, "Okay, I'll send you a response, but I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails."
Thanks to the last eight years of the Bush Deregulation Machine, the United States is on the brink of economic catastrophe, we're in the midst record home foreclosures, we are teetering on double digit unemployment, our banking and auto industries are falling apart and even before Barack Obama takes the Oath of Office from an incompetent, Bush appointed Chief Justice who lacked the intelligence to understand the gravity of an historical Inauguration and thought he could wing it, the biggest gasbag of all conservative talk show wingnuts hopes that Obama will fail. In essence, he is hoping for the country to fail just so he can say "I told you so."

He proved as much when he called for riots in the streets during the Democratic National Convention in Denver that he dubbed Operation Chaos. He wanted riots in the streets akin to the Chicago riots of 1968 just to cause havoc in the Democratic choice for nominee in hopes that it would give McCain momentum to win the White House and further erode our Constitutional liberties and complete the destruction of the country that George W. Bush began.

It shows Limbaugh's complete disregard for public safety not to mention the safety of law enforcement officials. He really couldn't care less. As long as he's tucked away in the safety of his studio, squeezed into his desk chair, smoking a cigar and downing a few Oxycontin, making fun of the ill and spewing garbage to the misinformed simpletons who listen to his absurdity, life is good in Limbaugh World. Nero can fiddle and down some pain killers while Rome burns.

So I think I'll pull a page out of the Ann Coulter playbook* and call Rush Limbaugh a traitor. From now on, he'll be known on this blog as "Traitor Rush Limbaugh."

Using their way of thinking, I know it's a braincramper but stay with me for a moment, disagreeing with Bush or his policies or anything the neocons would vomit out for the last eight years was tantamount to treason in Coulter's little pea brain. It wasn't dissent. It wasn't protest. It wasn't civil disobedience. It was treason. So using that as a gauge, when Limbaugh hopes President Obama (and get used to saying "President Obama," Rush) fails in his attempt to advert the brick wall that the Bush administration has driven this country towards, that equates treason. By Coulter's own, ridiculous standard that she chooses to apply, Rush Limbaugh is a traitorous, dangerous, shall we say "enemy combatant"?

Douchebag of the Week: Traitor Rush Limbaugh

* - No, not the playbook where she tells us the secret of fellating five GOP politicians at once.

National Leader's Vacation

(Click on image for full size.)

What would you say to an employer who hired you, put you up in a mansion and told you you had 18 weeks of vacation a year?

The numbers are out. George W. Bush's reign of stupidity ends with 1,020 days of vacation. 1,020 out of 2,920 days as President. That's almost 35% of the time spent in office. About 18 weeks per year. 4½ fucking months a year x 8 years = 3 full years on vacation.

The breakdown: 149 trips to Camp David for a total of 487 days. 77 trips to his Crawford ranch for a total of 490 days. 11 trips to Kennebunkport for a total of 43 days.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

La Cosa Nostra

guest-posted by Armadillo Joe

Please allow me to introduce myself.

My nom de plume is Armadillo Joe. My old blog was (is?) called Expatriate Thoughts ...from a Texan living in New York City because, well, because Texans and New Yorkers each think they've got it all figured out, have outsized egos about their own importance and no qualms about telling everyone else what they think. I guess I thought if I could combine the reflected glory of my heart's two homes, I could reach out and change some minds and, well, make a difference.



After three and a half years of blogging, about three weeks ago, I shuttered that blog with fewer cumulative hits than driftglass gets on an average weekday afternoon. With no audience, I really had to ask myself what I was doing when I realized that my readership was limited to people I could actually call but more probably would just poke individually on Facebook. Who was my audience?

Frankly, I had hoped it could be my dad. My Nixon-hating, Vietnam War-opposing, gun control-supporting, tree & greenery-loving, Navy vet dad. My Reagan Democrat dad. My Clinton-hating, Limbaugh & Hannity-worshipping, Fox News-watching dad. My Texas Republican dad. Who lives in Dallas. Where the most recent ex-President is calling home. Where our last great president died. He chose well, Mr. Bush, as Dallas is an intellectual cesspool swimming with brain-washed Fox News zombies who will loudly and proudly and with guns defend their man should the nation turn on him and demand retribution for any of his crimes, from looting the treasury to authorizing war crimes. My dad would man the barricades with them. And I thought he'd somehow read my measly little blog and get his mind changed.


So, not so much. As I learned about a month before the election. More to come on the fine-grained details of that topic.

But it was such a glorious plan, though, really. Because it seemed to me, and to all us bloggers madly clacking away on our keyboards at every outrage emanating from the putrid soul of Nixon's GOP, that in George W. Bush's America, that post-9/11 Märchenland of metasisizing corporate feudalism and billowing pollution with visions of torture and death and drowning amid waking authoritarian nightmares where sons turn their fathers in, it seemed to a few of us that perhaps arranging electrons on a glowing screen into black squiggle-marks expressing thoughts and ideas in a new variation of the ancient Art of Writing in service of our own Résistance française -- our own Radio Free America -- broadcasting it out there into the vast and nebulous inter-webs in an attempt to express our inner anguish, hoping to find like-minded souls from the safety of our homes and apartments (better than a street corner -- beset as they were by GOP brownshirts -- or the Tee-Vee -- infested as it was with bootlicking opinion enforcers), somehow trusting that it all was connecting to someone, somehow, somewhere...

...and trusting that it all mattered.

The seeming futility of it all, at first. When John "Glass-Jaw" Kerry went down in 2004 with $15 million in the bank (some of those were my dollars, BTW) and barely a whimper, I know that I retreated in anger from the internet and almost all other news sources beyond weather and sports for almost six months and it never occured to me to actually post my thoughts on anything like a blog. When I emerged in mid-2005, I read and read and finally had to start writing. And writing. At LiveJournal, here. Then I switched to Blogger, here.

Such grand plans we all had, eh? Well, by the fall of 2006, yes. We helped to turn the tide. And 2008 belongs to us, too. The hard work isn't done, but it is all starting to seem worth it, just a little.

I never changed my dad's mind and I think I may have hardened him in the other direction. Alas, a new day dawns in America without him. I'm with Fraulein here in enjoying how much Barack Hussein Obama drives the racists, and my dad, nuts just by being who he is: post-racial, erudite, urban, intelligent, worldly, classy, urbane and, well, black. Beautifully, dashingly, unambiguously black.

He inspires me.

I'm guest-posting here at Broadway Carl's invitation, because if Billmon can return from the dead, I guess I can too.

Thanks for reading.

One of the many awesome things about having a "President Obama"

Posted by Fraulein (My first guest exciting!)

I'm watching the coverage of the various Inaugural balls now and it occurs to me that Obama's triumph must stick in the collective craw of our country's hoardes of racist Republicans (and just plain racists) to no end. Can you imagine how much it must kill these people to see all these BLACK people in positions of power? A BLACK First Couple, being serenaded by quite a few talented, attractive, BLACK celebrities? And not only that, but as you looked out over the Mall earlier today, you could see all those white people mixing in freely with everybody else of every other color, united in celebration of our common victory over the right-wing forces of darkness.

Man, they must hate this. It's going to be a tough four (well, hopefully eight) years for the racists.
Cross-posted from Purple Ink

(Photo credit Huffington Post)

New Contributors

Blogging is a hard thing. I initially started writing to get things off my chest when my wife refused to listen to what I had to say for fear of being blinded by my rant spittle. It was an outlet; a place where I could relieve my blood pressure.

As time went on, I realized that some people came across my blog, liked what I had to say and started returning on a regular basis. Now there was this added pressure of keeping things fresh. Returning customers are the lifeblood of any establishment, and if patrons stop by for a drink, they're more likely to make their new found watering hole a regular stop as long as my doors are open and I haven't put a "Gone Fishin'" sign in the window every few days.

Over the past two years I have also become accustomed to stopping by for a shot and beer at a couple of sites and have been inspired by the talented barkeeps. Sometimes I got the urge to mix a variation of the drink I had at their place, but they've made the best possible concoction, so there's no need to mess with the ingredients. That is why I've decided to invite a couple of these word mixologists over to my place and serve up a drink or two on occasion. If you like what I serve, I'm sure you'll like what they have to offer.

Look for them soon. But please, no karaoke. That's where I draw the line.

Retake The Oath? Seriously? - UPDATED

After Chief Justice John Roberts royally fucked up what was probably the most important moment of his career in the spotlight by blowing the 35-word Presidential Oath of Office, some Constitutional scholars are suggesting that President Obama retake the oath... you know, just in case.

A do-over "would take him 30 seconds, he can do it in private, it's not a big deal, and he ought to do it just to be safe," said Boston University constitutional scholar and Supreme Court watcher Jack Beermann. "It's an open question whether he's president until he takes the proper oath."

..."The Constitution says what he's supposed to say," Beermann said. "... It's kind of surprising the chief justice couldn't get it right."

You hear that, Drudge? The Chief Justice couldn't get it right. Not Obama, the CHIEF JUSTICE. Can he be put in the stockade for something like that (he says with fingers crossed and hope in his voice)? But I have to agree with Jonathan Turley, constitutional law professor at George Washington University, just to stuff a sock down the naysayers' throats.

"He should probably go ahead and take the oath again," Turley said. "If he doesn't, there are going to be people who for the next four years are going to argue that he didn't meet the constitutional standard. I don't think it's necessary, and it's not a constitutional crisis. This is the chief justice's version of a wardrobe malfunction."
One reason not to retake the oath argues Beermann, is to save Roberts some embarrassment, but if that's the case, I say make him do it on national television... maybe during the Super Bowl halftime show.

UPDATE (9:45pm): Barack Obama retook the Oath of Office today. You know... just in case.
...the scene was the White House Map Room in front of a small group of reporters, not the Capitol platform before the whole watching world.

"We decided that because it was so much fun ...," Obama joked to reporters who followed press secretary Robert Gibbs into the room. No TV camera crews or news photographers were allowed in. A few of Obama's closest aides were there, along with a White House photographer.
Roberts put on his black robe.

"Are you ready to take the oath?" he said.

"Yes, I am," Obama said. "And we're going to do it very slowly."

Obama Closing Gitmo - UPDATED

CNN reports that Barack Obama has issued a draft order to close Guantanamo Bay within a year. More to follow.

UPDATE (12:40pm):

Associated Press: A draft executive order has been readied for President Obama that would close Guantanamo Bay detention center within a year, the Associated Reports.

The AP, which says it has obtained a copy of the draft order, says it would also declare a halt to all trials currently under way at the facility, where roughly 800 detainees.

UPDATE (1/22/09 4:30pm):

PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer: Obama closing Guantanamo as he reshapes US policy

Obama's First Orders: Reverse Bush Policies

AP: One of President Barack Obama's first acts is to order federal agencies to halt all pending regulations until his administration can review them.
The order went out Tuesday afternoon, shortly after Obama was inaugurated president, in a memorandum signed by new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The notice of the action was contained in the first press release sent out by Obama's White House, and it came from deputy press secretary Bill Burton.
The waning days of former President Bush's administration featured much debate over what rules and regulations he would seek to enact before he left office.

Washington Post: ...the Obama administration instructed military prosecutors late Tuesday to seek a 120-day suspension of legal proceedings involving detainees at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- a clear break with the approach of the outgoing Bush administration.

STOP EVERYTHING! Let's check this shit out first. If Bush touched it, you know there's something wrong with it.

Talk About Perfect Timing!

A few days into the Israeli invasion of Gaza and after calls from the UN to stop the violence went unheeded, I turned to a friend (who follows my blog so he can verify) and said, "I bet they'll call a cease-fire and be done by January 21st."

Talk about timing:

NY TIMES: After more than three weeks of fighting, Israeli troops completed their withdrawal from Gaza early on Wednesday, the military said, but residents reported the continued sound of what they said was naval gunfire in the waters off the Mediterranean coastline here.

The troops did not go far: they were redeployed on the perimeter of the war-battered enclave, where more than 1,300 Palestinians died in the Israeli campaign against Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza. Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, also died during the 22-day offensive, according to military officials.

We all knew that Israel was getting in last its licks before the Obama administration took over, but could they at least hide it and pretend like one thing had nothing to do with the other?

Barack Obama's Inauguration and Address

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Celebrating South Park Style!

Ted Kennedy Collapses at Luncheon

Reports on NBC confirm that Senator Ted Kennedy suffered a seizure during the luncheon after the inauguration and was rushed away on a stretcher and taken into an ambulance. Kennedy has been fighting a brain tumor first revealed in May, 2008.

Sen. Orrin Hatch just said that Kennedy appeared to be in pain as he and Sen. John Kerry followed him out of the building but looked better as he was put in the ambulance and although he's not a doctor, thinks he may get through this latest episode.

The Roberts Oath - UPDATED

I don't want to dwell on something like this on such a momentous day, but watching Chief Justice John Roberts screw up a 35 word oath that he could have read was a little disheartening.

The oath reads, "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Watch the video and listen to Roberts juxtapose the word, "faithfully" to the end of the first part of the sentence. He looked more nervous than Obama. The President started and then paused while Roberts corected himself, they both stumbled, then moved on.

Now we'll get wingnuts say how Obama "botched" the oath, like Drudge (I won't dignify his site with a link) but we all know the truth and can smile as they wallow in their misery while watching the Inaugural events of the day and the 44th President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama.

Suck it, Drudge.

UPDATE (4:30pm):

Josh Marshall: Now hearing that Roberts tried to get through the oath from memory without the text in front of him.


President Barack Hussein Obama

In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Full inauguration speech here.

Na-Na-Nah-Nah! Na-Na-Nah-Nah! Hey! Hey! Hey! GOODBYE!

Photo: Reuters

The Darkness Is Finally Over

"I hope you leave here and walk out and say, 'What did he say?'"

- Beaverton, Oregon, 2004

Olbermann's Special Comment: Bush Guilty Of Torture

There is nothing but to agree with the assessment that at the very least, investigations must take place into the interrogation activities under George Bush's watch. It must also be an independent investigation to dissuade Republican cries of a partisan witch hunt. There must be accountability. Bush has said time and time again, "The United States does not torture." It's time for him to back that up.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Cheney Wheelchair Coverup

Okay, so the official story seems to be that Dick Cheney hurt his back while moving some boxes into his new home and therefore will be sitting in a wheelchair for tomorrow's historic inauguration, to which I say, "C'MON!"

It's a coverup. There is no way I will ever believe that Cheney was moving his own shit. Doesn't he have help for that? The only thing he probably moved himself were the incriminating documents he was taking to the shredder. Here are my theories:

1 - He can't bring himself to stand in honor of the new President, and this is his cheap excuse to remain seated.

2 - No longer having special privileges in the transportation department after noon tomorrow, he's going to play this up to finagle a handicapped parking permit.

3 - He really does care about his pathetic approval ratings and is hoping for some final "Pity Factor" bump.

My inital reaction to hearing this news was, "I'd rather see him in a casket, but this is a start" until a relative reminded me that he sleeps in a casket every night.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

T Minus 1 Day

"This business about graceful exit just simply has no realism to it at all."

-Amman, Jordan, November 30, 2006

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Will Ferrell On Broadway

(Click on logo for a Will Ferrell video)

We just purchased our tickets to go! And although I'm glad the wifey and I are going, I'm kind of pissed off about the ticket buying procedure.

She found tickets online available for February 2nd in the balcony. We didn't want to spend a fortune for a 90 minute show, so we opted for balcony seats - it's not like there's going to be some magnificent set we'd be missing sitting toward the side of the balcony. So they were $61.50 each.

$123.00, right? Wrong. They tacked on these mysterious ticket fees, which unfortunately is expected from the thieves at Telecharge. But I guess the middle man has to make a buck, right? A Service Fee of $7 per ticket and (this is the kicker) and Handling Charge of $2.50. But they give you the option of printing your tickets at home... for a fee of $2.50. Or you can pick them up at Will Call... for a fee of $2.50. WHAT. THE. FUCK?!

In any case, we get to see a show that I'm hoping will be a laugh riot.

Two Days Left? Why Follow The Law Now?

Given the fact that this administration has abused their power and broken laws at will, it comes as no surprise that after claiming they've found the supposedly millions of missing e-mails thought lost, they still have no intention of preserving them for archival purposes. Why preserve something that can find you culpable of crimes?

The Bush administration is aggressively pushing back against a federal court order instructing the most important offices in the White House to preserve all of their e-mail.
In court papers late Friday, the administration argued that a federal court has no authority to impose such a requirement on the offices of President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the National Security Council.
...The issue arose Wednesday after U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy directed the White House to issue a notice to all employees to surrender any e-mails from March 2003 to October 2005.
Justice Department lawyers argued that the order applied only to White House offices subject to the Federal Records Act, prompting a quick response from U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola, who is working with Kennedy on the case. Facciola said that all White House offices must be searched for e-mail.

Fucking criminals to the end.

(H/T C&L)

T Minus 2 Days

"And the second way to defeat the terrorists is to spread freedom. You see, the best way to defeat a society that is - doesn't have hope, a society where people become so angry they're willing to become suiciders, is to spread freedom, is to spread democracy."

- Washington, DC, 2005