Monthly Archives: January 2009

New Repug Party chair is Obama clone — is anyone fooled by this cynicism?

Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele smiles after being elected ...

Associated Press photo

Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, pictured today, beams after having been elected as the first black Repugnican National Committee chairman in Washington. Lest you buy the ruse that the Repugnican Party is no longer racist, you should know that one of Steele’s stupid-white-male competitors for the party chairmanship had distributed a campaign CD containing the songs “Barack the Magic Negro” and “The Star-Spanglish Banner.”

Apparently we’re supposed to believe that the Repugnican Party no longer is racist because the Repugs just selected a black man as the chair of the Repugnican National Committee.

Uh, this is the very same political party for which a white guy who also ran for the chairmanship included on his CD promoting his campaign for the party chairmanship the songs “Barack the Magic Negro” and “The Star-Spanglish Banner.”

And because Sarah Palin-Quayle is a female, that doesn’t mean that the Repugnicans suddenly are feminists, either. (Palin-Quayle, among other things, such as being a “Christo”fascist and a global-warming denier, is anti-choice.)

The selection of Sarah “Heartbeat Away” Palin-Quayle was just a knee-jerk Repugnican response to Billary Clinton; apparently women voters were supposed to have just flocked to Repugnican John McCainosaurus in droves because Barack Obama rather than Billary had won the Democratic presidential nomination.  

Just as Palin-Quayle was only a reflexive response to Billary Clinton, so new Repugnican Party chair Michael Steele, former lieutenant governor of Maryland, is only a reflexive response of the Repugnican Party to the election of Democrat Barack Obama as president.

Both Steele and Palin-Quayle are stupid white men on the inside, regardless of the color of their skin and regardless of what’s between their legs.

I once heard (in person) Al Sharpton say of Condoleezza Rice (I paraphrase): “Condoleezza Rice is of my color, but she is not of my kind.”

I’m confident that Sharpton would say the same of Steele.

Steele’s selection is indicative of the Repugnican Party’s desperation, not of its sudden redemption.

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Assorted shit

Impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich talks to media as he ...

Associated Press photo

OK, so Rod “$enate $eat for $ale” Blahblahblahblah (pictured today above) by a unanimous vote of the Illinois state Senate is now the former governor of Illinois, but does anyone think that he’ll ever really go away?

That he’ll have a book published is a foregone conclusion; the punishment for wrongdoing in the United States of America is that you get to make big $$$ writing a book. (At least it will be legal for Blahblahblahblah to sell his book to the highest bidder…)

Let’s just hope that Blahblahblahblah doesn’t decide to go into porn

Ted Haggard, either…

The poor Repugnicans are struggling to define their core principles.

Gee, I can help them with that. I can condense the ’Pugs’ core principle into one simple word: treason.

They stole the 2000 presidential election (via Florida and via Ohio probably the 2004 election, too) and they started the bogus Vietraq War, which has resulted in the wholly unnecessary deaths of at least 4,236 of our military personnel — and in the looting of about $600 billion of American taxpayers’ dollars thus far, most of which has gone to the pockets of war profiteers like Dick Cheney’s Halliburton.

The Repugnicans are perfectly OK with hundreds of billions of Americans’ tax dollars going to war profiteers via a bogus war — after all, they can’t just loot the U.S. treasury directly — but the Repugnicans are against spending billions of American taxpayers’ own dollars on Americans.

And the Repugnicans want to make sure that the super-rich pay as little in taxes as possible, while the common American taxpayer takes it up the ass.

The Repugnicans sold out the nation to the super-rich and the Repugnicans want to prevent the nation’s recovery from that sellout.

Yup, in a word, treason.

There, I’ve done their work for them.

If they want to add a few more words to their core principles, plutocracy, racism, misogyny, “Christo”fascism, homophobia, xenophobia, nationalism/jingoism and hypocrisy all come to mind.

Residents of Tikrit in Iraq have erected a sort of shrine to the Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at former “President” George W. Bush at a press conference in Baghdad last month:

A statue built for Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who hurled ...

A statue built for Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who hurled ...

Reuters photos

I never get sick of the shoe thing.

And this is the first statue in honor of George W. Bush that I’m aware of…

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He didn’t inhale!

Updated January 27, 2009 (see below)

Ted Haggard answers questions during the HBO panel for the documentary ...

Reuters photo

Ted Haggard, pictured above earlier this month, says that his sexuality is complex. (Uh, it seems pretty simple to me…) And the young man with whom Haggard claims to have had a hands-free sexual relationship was not paid hush money, but was given “compassionate assistance.”

Um, is this something like pole smoking but not inhaling? I mean, this is the same guy who claimed that he bought meth but that he never used it…

From The Associated Press today:

DENVER – Fallen evangelical pastor Ted Haggard apologized [today] for his “inappropriate relationship” with a young male church volunteer, but said it did not involve physical contact.

The newly disclosed relationship added a chapter to Haggard’s dramatic fall, which began in November 2006 when a Denver male prostitute alleged a cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard.

Haggard confessed to undisclosed “sexual immorality” and resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of New Life Church, which he founded in his Colorado Springs basement in the 1980s.

In [today’s] statement, Haggard said he met with the man two years ago and asked him “forgiveness for our inappropriate relationship.” Haggard’s wife and a representative of New Life Church attended the meeting, Haggard said.

“Although there was no physical contact, I have regretted my irresponsibile (sic) behavior,” he said.

Haggard reiterated that he wanted to ask for the forgiveness of the man and the people of the church.

The young man, now 25, declined comment to The Associated Press. He was scheduled to speak later to a local television station.

Haggard’s successor at New Life Church, Brady Boyd, disclosed details of the relationship on Friday. He said then that evidence pointed to a long-running “inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship” between Haggard and the man, who was in his early 20s.

[Today] Boyd clarified that “sexual” didn’t necessarily mean physical contact. The church didn’t describe what made the relationship sexual but has emphasized that any sexual relations outside of marriage — whether heterosexual or homosexual — are wrong.

“Our hearts go out to everyone hurt by the inappropriate actions that took place under former Pastor Ted Haggard,” Boyd said in a statement. “After news of Mr. Haggard’s actions broke in late 2006, church leaders publicly announced that other allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior had been made. We had not at that time and still have not to this day received any reports of physical sexual contact between Mr. Haggard and any one other than a male escort who made the initial allegations against Mr. Haggard in 2006.”

Haggard, 52, is married and has five children. In an AP interview this month, he described his sexuality as complex, and something that can’t be put into “stereotypical boxes.”

Both Haggard and the church knew the episode could be revealed. The church struck a legal settlement with the man in 2007 that paid him for college tuition and counseling — as long as he did not speak publicly about the relationship, Boyd has said. He called it “compassionate assistance — certainly not hush money.”

He said the church would not take legal action for the man for breaking the agreement.

Boyd said the church went public about the relationship only because it was contacted by KRDO, the station scheduled to air the interview [tonight]. The station has reported on its website that the man says the relationship with Haggard was not consensual.

Boyd also suggested that the man would not have come forward if the HBO documentary were not airing, and said he warned Haggard of the potential consequences during a meeting in December.

[Yesterday] Boyd told his congregation, “I’m sorry that this wound has been reopened for many of you.”

Alexandra Pelosi, director of the HBO documentary, said [today] she was sorry if that was the case.

“But this is what happens when you don’t handle things properly at the time,” said Pelosi, a daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “If the church had been 100 percent full disclosure at the time, maybe this wouldn’t be a problem now.”

She added that her film was not about Haggard’s indiscretions themselves. “My film is about what happened to a man and his family after he fell from grace.”

I have a great idea for a film about men who have fallen from grace: maybe Haggard and Illinois Gov. Rod “$enate $eat for $ale” Blahblahblahblah can make a gay — er, sexually complex — porn movie together. Without any physical contact, of course.

Update (January 29, 2009):

This today from The Associated Press:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A young man who formerly attended New Life Church says that then-pastor Ted Haggard performed a sex act in front of him in a hotel room in 2006 and sent him explicit text messages.

His hidden relationship with Haggard, the man said, was followed by a period of isolation, struggles with drinking, drugs and suicide attempts.

Those latest allegations against Haggard, once an influential national evangelical leader, were reported [last] night by KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs, which interviewed the man, now 25.

In a statement earlier [yesterday], Haggard apologized for his “inappropriate relationship” with the former church volunteer, but said it did not involve physical contact.

The newly disclosed relationship added a chapter to Haggard’s dramatic fall, which began in November 2006 when a Denver male prostitute alleged a cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard.

Haggard confessed to undisclosed “sexual immorality” and resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of New Life Church.

The latest revelations involve Grant Haas, who told the TV station that he met Haggard in 2005 when he was 22. He said he told Haggard that he had been kicked out of a Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for his “struggles with homosexuality.”

“It seemed like at that moment his eyes lit up and his whole attitude towards me changed,” he told KRDO. Reached by text message [yesterday], Haas agreed to be identified by The Associated Press. Haggard’s statement also identified him.

“I’m like, ‘This must be God,'” said Haas, who described wanting to be a pastor himself. “Why would this big guy, this big evangelical leader, be taking such an interest in me?”

Haas told KRDO that one night in Cripple Creek, a casino town west of Colorado Springs, Haggard “asked me if we were going to be godly or bad that night.” He said he told Haggard that he wanted him just to be his friend and pastor — but Haggard masturbated in front of him.

Haas also said Haggard at certain times sent him between 1,000 and 2,000 text message a month, some describing his sexual experiences and drug use from the road.

After the Haggard scandal in November 2006, Haas said he contacted the church immediately.

The church has said it struck a legal settlement with the man — it has not named Haas — in 2007 that paid him for college tuition and counseling as long as he did not speak publicly about the relationship. Brady Boyd, Haggard’s successor as pastor at New Life, called it “compassionate assistance — certainly not hush money.”

According to documents Haas provided KRDO, he is to be paid $179,000 through 2009. Haas claimed the church didn’t follow through on promises to pay for counseling and medical treatment.

“Their main focus was, you know, cover it up, don’t say anything,” he said. “You’ll regret it if you come forward.”

Haggard, in his statement [yesterday], said he met with Haas two years ago — after the first allegations came to light — and asked him “forgiveness for our inappropriate relationship.” Haggard’s wife and a representative of New Life Church attended the meeting, Haggard said….

Haas maintains a website on which he acknowledges that many people are visiting the site to learn about his experiences with Haggard. On the site, Haas identifies himself as a recent graduate from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

His resume says he was an intern at New Life Church in 2005 — the church described him as a volunteer — and currently works as an investment company as a retail account manager.

“As far as my personality, I’m a fun outgoing guy with a great sense of humor,” he says on the site. “I don’t take myself too seriously and have learned from my past experiences to laugh and enjoy life.”

Haggard, 52, is married with five children.

I don’t think I’ve read a news story with such money shots in a long time. Such quotes as “It seemed like at that moment his eyes lit up” and he “asked me if we were going to be godly or bad that night” — priceless. Even gay porn isn’t that cheesy.

The problem with Haggard’s actions isn’t homosexuality. There’s nothing wrong with the physical expression of love between two men or two women.

But Haggard is a heterosexually married closet case, and that’s a problem, because that means that he lies to everyone he comes into contact with, that his life is one big fucking lie.

And to be in a position of trust and responsibility but to use, for your own sexual gratification, your position over a younger person who trusts you (whether there is any physical contact with him or her or not) — that’s a sick kind of power trip, nothing like love.

Let’s focus on Haggard’s real crimes, which have been his lies and his abuse of power.

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Why the messianic complex?

 

If President Obama isn’t the former one, he’s at least the latter one — right?

Why do even otherwise intelligent people regard Barack Obama as some kind of a messiah?

How do they find it so easy to dismiss those aspects of Obama’s words and actions that aren’t in line with the messiah storyline? How do even self-defined liberals or progressives continue to delude themselves into believing that Obama is a liberal or a progressive?

When facts don’t sway someone, it points to a deep psychological need to believe whatever one wishes to believe, regardless of the facts.

Oh, Barack Obama strikes me as a decent-enough man. He probably wants to live up to his rhetoric. But correctly identifying the goal doesn’t mean that you have attained the goal any more than correctly finding a place on a map means that you have traveled to that place.

Obama has demonstrated, time and again, such as with the same-sex marriage and religion issues, that he will say and do whatever he and his advisers believe he needs to say and do in order to win an election. “Team of rivals”? No, Obama surrounds himself with a team of political calculators.   

Part of me could argue that political calculation is a necessary evil if you want to win a huge election such as that for the presidency.

But another, larger part of me screams: “Sellout!”

Centrism, however necessary it might actually be to win big elections, is for sissies. It’s for those who don’t want to pick a side of an issue and who want to try to please everyone. Centrism — which comes under other names, too, such as “bipartisanship” — is touted as the level-headed response to extremism, when, in fact, it’s usually the product of mental and moral laziness, selfishness and intentional ignorance. It’s far easier to assert that nothing really matters or that it’s all the same anyway than to carefully examine an issue and then, after such careful examination, make a principled stand. As much as I detest the wingnuts, at least they are committed (and should be committed…).

Obama won the election because he appealed to enough centrists and because he fooled enough liberals and progressives that he’s one of them. The formula worked, and thus far, Obama appears to intend to stick to the tried-and-true formula.

Why the Obama-related messianic complex?

By “messianic complex” I refer, probably incorrectly, to the making of Barack Obama into some sort of a messiah by the American masses, not to Obama making himself into a messiah, although, of course, while he might eschew that he’s a messiah, were the subject brought up to him directly, Obama isn’t exactly trying to dissuade the masses from any grandiose ideas that they have about him.

He has, in fact, quite intentionally compared himself to Abraham Lincoln, if not to Jesus Christ.

So Obama gets the benefit of being thought of as a messiah while being able, at least in his own mind, to deny that he has done anything to foster such an image of him. It’s a lot like how people want to act like a bitch but don’t want to be thought of as a bitch.

Why the messianic complex, then?

One need look only at how the American masses put everything into George W. Bush after Sept. 11, 2001.

Many if not most Americans knew that invading Iraq in March 2003 out of some sort of retaliation for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was bullshit. I knew that it was bullshit just from listening to the news on NPR and reading the news on the Internet (The Associated Press and Reuters, I mean, not moonbats.com or the like); it was clear to me, as only a news consumer, that the unelected Bush regime was hellbent on invading Iraq no matter fucking what, and that the non-existent weapons of mass destruction or intention of Iraq to develop them was only a pretext. Which was why I attended a protest rally at the California State Capitol — one of several anti-war rallies across the nation — the month before the Bush regime launched its Vietraq War.

But Americans apparently figured that any karmic guilt that they might have over the bullshit invasion and occupation of Iraq could be put onto the Bush regime. Even though a sizeable majority of Americans supported the March 2003 invasion of Iraq — Wikipedia puts the American support of the invasion of Iraq around 60-something percent at the time right before and right after the invasion — now, 60-something percent of Americans call the invasion of Iraq a mistake, believe that the invasion wasn’t worth it. (It was worth it to Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp!)

Will Americans, as a nation, ever apologize to the world or to Iraq for having allowed the Bush regime first to steal a presidential election and then to launch the bogus Vietaq War?

Of course not; being an American means never having to say that you are sorry, and believing that if you simply never acknowledge your wrongdoings, then you never committed those wrongdoings in the first place. (If a tree falls in a forest…?)

Having elected Barack Obama, I suspect, is about as close to an apology from the American people that Iraq or the world is ever going to get.

And fuck, I could argue that Obama’s election wasn’t even anything even like an indirect national apology, but was the result only of the inarguably inescapable corruption and ineptitude of the Bush regime. I mean, after the Bush regime’s bungling of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, there was nothing to argue about anymore, and it was pretty fucking clear that we were just going to have to keep marking days off on the calendar until the Bush regime was termed out.

What I really want to get at is that Americans are like children who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions or inactions. They put everything on to a Santa Claus-like figure known as The President of the United States. Even though anyone who was paying attention knew that the Bush regime had no good reason to invade Iraq, Americans were hellbent on getting revenge for 9/11, even though 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia and not one of them was from Iraq. (Really, had we wanted revenge for 9/11, we’d much more logically have invaded and occupied Saudi Arabia, but we love Saudi Arabia because its monarchy oppresses the Saudi people so that Americans can continue to have a steady flow of oil. While we Americans assert how vital it is to democratize the Middle East, Saudi Arabia for some reason gets a pass from us.)

The Bush regime, which wanted to invade Iraq even before they stole office, knew that they could harness the national outrage over 9/11 into a “retaliatory” attack upon Iraq. They knew that they could lead the revenge-thirsty American sheeple off that cliff and they did so.

Americans, embarrassed that they got punk’d, that the mission in Iraq still has not been accomplished (well, the real mission — war profiteeringhas been accomplished), just want to forget that at one time about two-thirds of them supported the Iraq misadventure. And because the Vietraq War wasn’t exactly the cakewalk that the Bush regime had promised that it would be, Americans think that they can wash their hands of the blood of thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians by blaming it all on Bush — even though their support of Bush made it all possible. 

Of course, I could argue that had the Iraqis just rolled over and played dead and been “democratized” and “liberated” by the benificent Americans like good little sand monkeys should, the majority of Americans now would be saying that the Vietraq War was a swell idea, because there is no such thing as right or wrong, but there is only winning or losing, and if you win, of course you were right.

But the Iraqis proved to be like the Vietnamese; they fought back against the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked invasion and subsequent occupation of their nation. Who knew?

So the election of Barack Obama is the closest that we’re probably ever going to get from the American people to some sort of national “You know, that whole Iraq thing — my bad!”

And so now Americans, who were asleep at the wheel when the Bush regime first stole office and then launched the bogus Vietraq War, now want Barack Obama to pull our national car out of the ditch like Obama is Superman. Just plastering Obama’s visage and the slogans of “hope” and “change” everyfuckingwhere should be enough, right? That’s an awful lot easier than actually changing our ways and rolling up our sleeves, isn’t it, to expect one man to do it all for us? If Barack Obama isn’t actually a messiah or Santa Claus, he’s at least the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln.

And if things don’t magically get better under his watch without our collectively having lifted a finger, we can just blame it on him. We can claim that we got punk’d yet once again.

It’s long past time for the American people to grow up.

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The harpies are still harping

Alaska Governor and former Republican vice-presidential candidate ...

AFP photo

Someone please inform these two peas in a pod that the Democrats now control Washington because the American voters have rejected the Repugnican Party.

Talk about timing.

Repugnican Sarah Palin-Quayle — um, didn’t she just lose an election? Doesn’t that mean that she goes the fuck away now? — is whining again that she’s a victim of the media. Reports The Associated Press today:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is going on the offensive against news organizations and bloggers she says are perpetuating malicious gossip about her and her children. But political observers say the former Republican vice presidential candidate can’t have it both ways: trotting out the children to showcase her family values, then trying to shield them from scrutiny.

Palin’s criticism also raises questions about her motivations because she has said she is open to a presidential run in 2012.

“I think she’s positioning herself. She’s attacking the media as a way to generate support among a base she hopes will support her,” said Leonard Steinhorn, a professor of communications at American University in Washington and an expert on the presidency.

Palin shied away from interviews during the campaign, although her children often accompanied her on her travels, including her oldest daughter, Bristol, who was pregnant at the time.

But in recent weeks, she has personally reached out to media outlets such as People magazine and The Associated Press to complain about information she claimed is wrong.

She slammed reports that 18-year-old Bristol Palin and the teen’s fiance are high school dropouts. The governor insists the two are not dropouts because they enrolled in correspondence courses.

The couple last month had a son — the governor’s first grandchild.

The governor said she is speaking out to set the record straight, not because of any political aspirations.

“It’s all about the family,” she said. “I’m wired in a way that I can take the criticism. I can take the shots. But any mother would want to protect their children from lies and scandalous reporting.” …

[Palin’s] decision to strike back at news organizations seems to contradict the governor’s earlier statements on how politicians should respond to media coverage.

Months before she was named John McCain‘s running mate, Palin attended a leadership forum in Los Angeles and was asked her opinion on then-Sen. Hillary Clinton‘s allegations that she was being unfairly treated by the media during the primaries.

Palin said Clinton did herself a disservice to even mention it. The governor said it bothered her to hear Clinton “bring that attention to herself on that level.” …

Gee, what a fucking shock that Palin-Quayle essentially called Billary Clinton a whiner but then whines about supposed mistreatment by the media herself.

I personally could give a fuck about Palin-Quayle’s family, and I haven’t heard all of these alleged rumors about her family members because I don’t think that the vast majority of my fellow Americans really give a fuck about Palin-Quayle’s family any more than I do(n’t).

My problem with Palin-Quayle is that she is a dumbfuck wingnut and that should John Fossil Fool McCainosaurus have keeled over while president, she would have been president.

It’s pretty clear that Palin-Quayle is trying to position herself for another run for high political office.

She’s trying to divert the attention from her own staggering incompetence to supposed attacks on her family.

And she’s trying to get support by first getting dumbfucks, most of them in the red states, to identify with her, to make them believe that she’s one of them, and then, by extension, make her dumbfuck supporters believe that supposed attacks upon her and/or her family members are actually attacks upon them.

Actual attacks are great, but, a la 1984, attacks will be fabricated in order to try to stir up the base if there have been no actual attacks. 

Palin-Quayle is, in two words, playing victim.

So now we also have wingnut Ann Cunter out with a new book (its cover is shown above) whose central thesis, apparently, is the claim that liberals always claim to be the victims.

This is the wingnuts’ surreal new tactic (although I guess it really isn’t new for them): to claim that they are the true victims while claiming that their opponents falsely claim to be victims.*

And claiming victimhood is bad, you see — except when the wingnuts do it.

Of course, when you think about it, it’s rather heartening to see that the Repugnican Party has been reduced to having Ann Cunter and Sarah Palin-Quayle as its spokescunts.

*The proponents of the Proposition 8, which stripped same-sex California couples of their equal civil and human rights that the California Supreme Court had ruled belong to same-sex couples, have claimed victimhood because we gay men and lesbians have fought back. We were supposed to just take it, you see, like “good” little faggots and dykes “should.”

The pro-Prop 8 fascists struck first at us gay men and lesbians, who only want to enjoy the same life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that are the unalienable rights of all Americans, yet, they maintain, they aren’t the victimizers; we gay men and lesbians are the “victimizers” simply because we are fighting back to protect our equal human and civil rights.

Orwellian. 

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I do solemnly swear — take two

U.S. President Barack Obama smiles while standing next to the ...

Reuters photo

U.S. President Barack Obama (pictured above in Washington today) tonight had to take the presidential oath of office again because he didn’t recite it perfectly yesterday. The Associated Press notes that two other previous presidents, Calvin Coolidge and Chester A. Arthur, also had to repeat the oath “because of similar issues.”  

It’s sad that President Barack Obama had to take the oath of office again tonight because Repugnican Chief Justice John Roberts fucked it up yesterday.*

It’s enough for me that on Nov. 4 Obama won the popular vote by 53 percent to Repugnican John McCainosaurus’ 46 percent and won 365 electoral votes to McCain’s 173.

But plenty of wingnuts would have asserted that because Obama — because of Roberts — did not perfectly recite the 35 words of the presidential oath of office as contained in the U.S. Constitution, his presidency is not legitimate.

The U.S. Constitution, you see, must be followed to the letterwhen it suits the wingnuts.

Of course, these same wingnuts who would declare Obama’s presidency null and void on a tiny technicality had no problem whatsofuckingever with the fact that George W. Bush — who lost the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore in November 2000 (it was Gore, 48.4 percent, to Bush, 47.9 percent) — was installed in the White House after the five U.S. Supreme Court “justices” who had been appointed by Repugnican presidents stopped the recount in the state of Florida, which was delivered to George W. Bush by then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, a Repugnican who also had sat on Florida’s committee to elect George W. Bush as president, by an official count of fewer than 550 votes. (And, of course, Bush’s brother Jeb was governor of Florida at the time. It really helps to have friends in high places.)

Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig (whose parents are/were real comedians for having named him that) released this statement regarding the do-over tonight: “We believe the oath of office was administered effectively and that the president was sworn in appropriately yesterday. Yet the oath appears in the Constitution itself. And out of the abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath a second time.”

That’s just a diplomatic way of saying that the wingnuts, who have no intention of honoring the national vote on Nov. 4 — because they believe in democracy only when they win elections (and hell, they don’t even have to win elections; they’ll gladly steal elections) — are going to try to trip Obama up every step of the fucking way.

Which means that we’ll just have to bitch-slap them down every step of the way.

*News accounts of what happened seem to indicate to me that while both Roberts and Obama had a part in screwing it up, it was mainly Roberts’ fault. And he was the one who was administering the oath. You decide.

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Text of Bishop Gene Robinson’s inaugural invocation from Sunday

Rev. V. Gene Robinson (Ret.) gives the invocation during 'We ...

Associated Press photo

Openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson delivers the invocation for the kickoff of the inaugural events on Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

Via Salon.com:

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will bless us with tears — tears for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women in many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria and AIDS.

Bless this nation with anger — anger at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort at the easy, simplistic answers we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth about ourselves and our world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be fixed anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility, open to understanding that our own needs as a nation must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance, replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences.

Bless us with compassion and generosity, remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable.

And God, we give you thanks for your child, Barack, as he assumes the office of president of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, inspire him with President Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for all people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our ship of state needs a steady, calm captain.

Give him stirring words; we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking far too much of this one. We implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand, that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity, and peace.

Amen.

Barack Obama is not a messiah?

Oh, man — now you tell me!

But seriously, as invocations go (I am not a fan of organized religion), I like it.

I don’t agree with all of it — I’m not ready to make nice with the haters who reside within the red states, and to me to say that there are no red states and blue states is to miss obvious facts and truths, or to lie (or to be incredibly optimistically simplistic at best) — but I love the invocations to “bless this nation with anger” and with “discomfort.”

The Repugnicans and the wingnuts have made anger taboo — because anger potentially brings about change, jeopardizes the status quo — and we Americans are so much about comfort (not just physical comfort, but emotional and psychological comfort as well) that we are comforting ourselves to death.

I think that we Americans finally have some humility — the Bush regime has brought the American empire to the brink of ruin to the point that even the worst of the wingnuts aren’t really beating their chests over how we supposedly still are No. 1 — so I don’t know that the bishop had to ask God for that…

I like the idea of “freedom from mere tolerance, replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences,” and clearly the openly gay Episcopal bishop’s invocation for God to “Help [Obama] remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims,” was intended to remind Obama that gay is the new black, that there’s still one more historically oppressed minority group that still does not have equal civil and human rights in all 50 states.

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