A very recent pair of actions from a very busy White House strike me as hanging nicely together and certainly as worthy of a brief note.
One just generally underlines how continually grateful I am that the adults have taken over. It relates to the fact that this administration stands firmly against the politicization of science, will harness rather than hinder research, and will use bleeding edge findings to inform policy as opposed to filtration and editing that cynically forces results to appear to line up with an ideological agenda. Sea change kind of stuff. The specific matter relates to undoing the ban on funding of stem cell research–terribly important, and long overdue–and if you like your analysis to run a bit blue, check out the Rude Pundit’s brief discussion of the matter. Mad props for the take down of that snivelling little worm Charles Krauthammer therein.
Extra nice, on top of that, if you happened to catch it, was Nancy Reagan’s immediate and unequivocal statement of support for the decision. Eat that, science-fearing, anti-intellectual right wing clown-wanks.
A second development involves Obama’s selecting someone from right here in Oakland, CA to advise on matters he is uniquely suited to provide insight and leadership. I have elsewhere shared my sense of appreciation and amazement at the work and ideas of Van Jones (twice, no less!), and am simply delighted that Obama has asked Jones to advise his administration on matters relating to green jobs creation.
It’s one small but very important step toward killing the failed meme that environment and economy are at cross purposes, a deeply flawed construct that continues to govern so much of what we do and how we do it in spite of its being well past its freshness date.
The former US Senator and Northern Ireland envoy George Mitchell has been appointed as Middle East envoy by new US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
I’m a very biased, and very proud native central Mainer, but that aside, this is a fantastic choice. Obama’s rolling out the A team early—this is a very clear (and I suspect to be globally well-received) signal that the new administration is serious about diplomacy. This is adults taking over.
Now this: Lagunitas Brewing Company’s “Hairy Eyeball” has just made its seasonal return to local shelves.
So long as the universe is tossing out happy surprises today, I’d be thrilled if a mid-40′s vintage Conn 10M tenor would magically appear on my doorstep.
Or a peanut butter cookie would work just fine. No drama.
I’ve been deferential in my reactions to the various selections and trial balloons for the incoming administration. Some are less progressive than I’d like to see, but I’m willing to give benefit of doubt.
This, however, is too bitter a pill to swallow.
In the wake of Prop 8, this selection of Rick Warren to offer inaugural benediction is simply astonishing.
And frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass about who—Obama himself, or some inaugural committee, or both/all in concert—made the decision. It’s bafflingly and insultingly tone deaf, and serves to remind that the degree of importance of the LGBT community to the Democratic Party varies widely, depending on which side of election day we happen to be.
did i just earlier today post something about rarely posting about politics? um. never mind…
no big thoughts or insights to offer tonight. just a humble observation, having just finished watching obama’s half-hour primetime spot:
what a relief it will be should we indeed collectively decide that now is the time to let the adults step up and take charge for a spell.
Post Script–Why I Love the Rude Pundit, Part 11: Description of last night’s John McCain interview:
In his interview with Larry King yesterday, which was a little like watching the Cryptkeeper have a conversation with the grandpa from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on some kind of 24-hour zombie station broadcast from Hell …
That’s almost too devastatingly funny for me to safely deal with my coffee.
Courtesy of Americablog, I was directed to a pretty thoughtful article by Jonathan Martin that appears at Politico. I’d characterize it as an exploration of where a failed, panicking presidential campaign and a subset of the population dominated by the ancient, reptilian parts of their brain intersect. It’s a dynamic that we’ve seen play out in full view over the past very few days (and I have found it to be a very ugly and disconcerting series of displays).
Anyhow, here’s the money quote (emphasis mine):
John Weaver, McCain’s former top strategist, said top Republicans have a responsibility to temper this behavior.
“People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Sen. Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Sen. McCain,” Weaver said. “And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive.”
Can’t really add much to that, apart from a sense of sadness that there are so many so gripped by fear that they’re ripe picking for cynical assholes who’ll play them like chumps as they’re worked into frothy, lathery fits.
And also that I am really looking forward to adults being back in charge.