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January 20, 2009

Reasons to be cheerful
Posted by Patrick at 12:00 AM * 78 comments

Comments on Reasons to be cheerful:
#1 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:07 AM:

The Stupid, it burns usssss!

#2 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:33 AM:

Really Patrick, its just insulting to his evil genius to be comparing Sauron to that lunkhead ...

I'm thinking a picture of the fall of the stay puft marshmallow man from ghostbusters would be a more appropriate visual ...

#3 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:36 AM:

... and here I was hoping for another of the non-election threads, talking about reasons to be cheerfull :)

#4 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:46 AM:

For the record, the Lee at #2 is not me.

It's a nice image. But I won't feel that it's truly accurate unless and until I see some criminal charges for upper-level BushCo officials.

#5 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:49 AM:

There are twelve hours left in the Bush administration as I type this (counting from noon when Obama will be sworn in).

I am writing on Jan. 20, 2009. I want to write to my past self and tell her that yes, it will happen, this day will come.

Even though I agree with Lee @#4 that we ain't out of the woods yet by a long shot.

Rev. Gene Robinson's invocation is very much what I'd like to ask for.

#6 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:49 AM:

Reasons to be cheerful:

I have a kitty! Okay, same kitty as always, but I still have her, and she is still fuzzy and adorable.

It is no longer completely freezing outside, which means everyone is much colder than before. "Not as cold as last week" is not the same as "I don't need the good gloves".

My downstairs neighbor has a dog! We have subverted our no-pets landlords completely.

The hospital down the street plows its sidewalks all the way to the street, and then some. I didn't realize how much I disliked the snowplow alps until I didn't have to clamber over them. Gold star for the hospital snow-removal crew.

The dog at the animal shelter that my friends and I adore based solely on her pictures has been adopted. We've wanted her to be adopted for more than a year now. Red brindle pit bull, obedience and agility classes, fostered, lovely happy smiling dog. And now she has a home with a big fence and a yard to romp in.

#7 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:50 AM:

"Ding dong, the witch is dead." - as interpreted by Fame's cast.

#8 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:54 AM:

I keep wanting to drop a word in the ear of anyone who might want to pull a John Wilkes Booth, pointing out that Barack Obama is the strongest advocate for mercy for the criminals who've been given free rein these last eight years.

#10 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 01:57 AM:

Thinking about something else crashing down in flames: "Oh, the inhumanity!"

#11 ::: Arthur D. ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 01:58 AM:

It took me a minute to get it. I'm disappointed in myself. Where do I turn in my geek card?

#12 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 02:09 AM:

Reasons to be cheerful, part three:

The Schadenfreude Pie is in the oven. I scraped the bowl, natch. Man, that's going to be good.

#13 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 02:27 AM:

The pie is bubbling and heaving like the black volcanic crust of Orodruin.

#14 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 02:43 AM:

Round about 2004, it seemed to be the consensus here that with four more years in the White House, the Republicans were going to be able to dismantle democracy entirely. ("225 years is a pretty good run for a republic, historically speaking.") I can recall at least one pretty plainly-worded call for nothing less than armed insurrection.

And yet the elections of 2006 and 2008 seem to have been conducted more or less freely. There was no "October surprise". The people in this administration who were acting like they were never going to lose power...turn out to have been simply arrogant and foolish. The "nutbar conspiracy theorists" turn out to have in fact been at least a little bit actually paranoid.

#15 ::: ginmar ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 03:10 AM:

I wept on Election Night, and I'm crying now. Snivel, snivel, snivel. My girls will inherit a better world, I hope.

I hope.

I don't think I've said that word in eight years. It feels unfamiliar to the tongue.

Reportedly, there are hosts of whistle blowers waiting till January 21st to make those phone calls.

#16 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 03:11 AM:

David, #14: Respectfully, I have to disagree with you on two points:

1) There was an "October Surprise" of sorts -- but it happened a little early, and it wasn't the one the Republicans had planned. When Lehman Bros. went down and it was no longer possible to pretend that there was nothing wrong with the economy, they were hosed. It would have taken another 9/11-level terrorist attack to have pulled the election out once the house of cards started falling.

2) Believe it or not, we in the reality-based community owe a certain amount of thanks to GWB. If the Republicans had installed either a reasonably competent President, or the pliable puppet they thought they were getting when they ran him, we would in fact be well on the road to a neocon coup by now, with no hope of ever recovering. It was Bush's own behavior -- that combination of incredible, impossible-to-ignore incompetence and the determination to ignore his advisers and make every policy decision by "his gut feelings," with the complete and serene assurance that he was absolutely right at every turn -- which peeled the scales from the eyes of the moderates and disgusted the traditional conservatives to the point where they couldn't bring themselves to vote for a candidate who promised more of the same.

The narrowness of our escape still amazes me.

#17 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 03:22 AM:

The tower is falling, the orcs are fleeing. Now, if we can just convince Aragorn to permit a full investigation of Saruman's deal with Sauron...

#18 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 03:31 AM:

Lee at #16, you also have to factor in complete and utter shamelessness, as shown by his willingness to publicly admit to -- even take pride in! -- things over the past few weeks that would, if there were any justice in the world, get him sent for a loooong stretch in prison.

#19 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 03:55 AM:

David Goldfarb --

As a nation, we have tortured. We have wiretapped civilians with no warrant. The civil service has been politicized. We have chipped away at and eroded liberty and democracy in a myriad of ways in the past eight years with increasing speed.

Yes, we had elections. Yes, there is hope that we will soon be on our way to recovering our democratic ideals -- at least to the extent that we ever have.

But there was a reason some of us have been afraid. The things that the administration freely crows about now once would have been anathema for an American at least to admit to publicly, even if our ideals outstripped our performance at times. If someone had told me ten years ago that a sitting President would boast of having committed torture, I would have stated that democracy was dying in America.

Tomorrow I plan to watch its renaissance.

#20 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 05:53 AM:

@Xeger #3 This isn't an election related thread. It's an inauguration related thread.

If the two actions seem synonymous to you, it's an civics education related thread.

#21 ::: Ken Brown ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 05:59 AM:

David Goldfarb: "Round about 2004, it seemed to be the consensus here that with four more years in the White House, the Republicans were going to be able to dismantle democracy entirely."

The right wing have never really liked democracy and choice and freedom of expression but in the USA "conservatice" has to mean "pro-Constitution" and your Constitution mandates those things, so they have to say they are in favour of freedom and democracy in general.

Or did until recently. Maybe they are coming out of the woodwork now. Like the scary posters on a paranoid conspircy theorist "pro life" website who think Krispy Kreme donuts are an Evil Liberal Plot (mercilessly dissected on Language Log) and wrote :

"The unfortunate reality of a post Roe v. Wade America is that "choice" is synonymous with abortion access and celebration of 'freedom of choice' is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand"

and

"To a majority of Americans,the words ['freedom of choice'] do not connote liberty, or 'tasty goodies' or patriotism at all.  These words are synonymous with the painful tragedy of abortion."

Or if they are too fringe to worry aboutm there was the the even scarier interview with Andy Card on the BBC last night where the long-ago sacked one told us outright that Bush was right to invade Iraq and Bush was right about Guantanamo Bay and everyone else was wrong because Bush KNEW MORE than the people did because he had access to secret intelligence reports that the people couldn't be allowed to see and so only he could make the decisions. In other words "shut up and do what you are told, minions!" The people no longer have a right even to an opinion on the doings of their elders and betters.

I sort of exploded and said something like "even if I had never heard of those guys in my life those two sentences would persuade me never to vote for them" (except with more bad words). My daughter said something like "that sounds really bad on TV. I bet if this was The West Wing CJ would be having words with him when he got in to work tomorrow" and I realised that they wouldn't be going to work in the White House tommorrow, not him or his replacement or any of them because it is over. They have had their day. They pack up their bags and they don;t get to go back. And no-one cares a dam what they say any more.

Which was a good thought.


#22 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 06:43 AM:

Scott @20:
Do not be snide.

During the time you haven't been commenting here, we've had a fairly emotionally difficult time with the election. To counteract that, I ran a bunch of non-election threads where political comments were specifically excluded. Xeger, who has been around and contributing, was referring to them.

#23 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 07:28 AM:

The people no longer have a right even to an opinion on the doings of their elders and betters.

I prefer "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Or "Any who act as if freedom’s defenses are to be found in suppression and suspicion and fear confess a doctrine that is alien to America."

Why can't we have that kind of Republican again? (T.Roosevelt and Eisenhower, respectively.) There really was a time in American politics when not all disagreements ended in accusations of treason. But when I say that now, I sound like I'm describing Neverland.

Oh well. The Republicans we *do* have are on the way out, because "It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error." Our correction goes into effect in about four and a half hours...

#24 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 08:41 AM:

And it snowed last night! And it's still snowing now! Inauguration Snow Day!

And unfortunately I think Keith is going in to work anyway. I trust his ability to drive in snow, but I worry about all the others out there.

I just hope he can come back tonight, rather than having to check into a hotel near work. I'm making chili and we'll toast with champagne (not while eating the chili).

#25 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 09:25 AM:

Chris @ 23

You go to work with the Republicans you have, not the Republicans you want.

#26 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 09:29 AM:

Wine with chili? Well, I suppose you could have a red wine spritzer and pretend it was champagne. heh.

I researched some chili and wine combinations, but the most detailed review I found had the flaw of lapsing into Californiac Chili Heresy (sour cream and avacados!) Twarn't even proper guacamole, as a side dish, but mixed in. (shudder)

#27 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 10:16 AM:

24: joining you on the chilli this evening - will need to try to find some decent American beer to drink with it...

#28 ::: Christopher Kastensmidt ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 10:54 AM:

Ha! Awesome post!

#29 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 11:10 AM:

And a new day dawns... at noon.

PS: The Change.gov site may have pointed to ABC, but they seem to be running miscellaneous videos, while CBS has an simulcast on the Web.

#30 ::: Scott Janssens ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 11:32 AM:

Analogy doesn't work for me. Sauron may be gone but the eye remains intact.

#31 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 11:33 AM:

Oh ghods, the look on the Shrub's face...

#32 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 11:40 AM:

You know, they really should have gotten James Earl Jones as announcer for this thing.
Oh, ghods, the look on Obama's face....

#33 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:13 PM:

I just got out my flags, which have been folded away since the news of Abu Ghraib.

I can't stop crying. It's a grand moment.

#34 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:17 PM:

Dang, that quartet was the best music I've ever heard on a solemn civic occasion.

Jacque, I also cherish the look on Bill Clinton's face when Dubya paused to say a word.

#35 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:17 PM:

"We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals."

W00T!

#36 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:20 PM:

Earl Cooley, yeah, we won't have wine with chili. If we weren't snowed in we'd go get beer. Wine will be before or after, but not with.

#37 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:22 PM:

I need to put the flag out,. I can't put it where the hardware is, since that building currently sits behind a stack of brush twice its size. Things will be juggled, and I'll drop and drape it on the front deck, I guess. Put some of the IKEA star lights shining on it, for a day or two.

Random thought: John Paul Stevens may well be the second happiest person in DC today- the first, on appearances, being Malia Obama- since it is now safe for him to retire.


#38 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:48 PM:

#6 ::: Diatryma

We're looking at getting a rescue dog this summer. What is "agility training"? I suspect it's not the "doggie-yoga" which is where my brain first went with the term. Is this tricks, like jumping through hoops, or is it a functional training, like companion dogs have?

xeger I thought so too, til I saw the graphic. No reason we can't mine this thread with non-political happiness, though.

We've got lots of snow, and I managed to score a Shakespeare seminar for my last class for my masters (yay me!)


Or, of course, the other way:

Cheney on the way out and Bush having kittens
A bright future rising as Obama is sworn in
The truth that reveals the lies of the right-wing
These are a few of my happiest things


#17 ::: Madeleine Robins
The tower is falling, the orcs are fleeing. Now, if we can just convince Aragorn to permit a full investigation of Saruman's deal with Sauron...

Unfortunately, Wormtongue has succeeded in maintaing her hold on the Shire, and is prepared to raze the shire for timber and oil

#39 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 12:53 PM:

Teresa, I was driving to work on CA-99 during the inauguration with a towel in my lap so I could mop my face down every mile or so.

Crying is good and fitting today.

(Well, as long as I can keep it off my shirt until after staff meeting this morning.)

#40 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 01:13 PM:

JESR @ 37: Is it just me or was he positively beaming when he swore Joe the Vice-President in?

Speculation on Mr Stevens' successor may now commence, I suppose. I'm hoping for Laurence Tribe.

#41 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 01:23 PM:

Beautiful, beautiful day. That was a really great speech, and a lovely benediction afterwards.

And notice: Shrub left without pardoning everybody. Not even Scooter Libby.

#42 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 01:29 PM:

Diatryma - Agility training is tricks, in a way. They have competitions where dogs will run through hoops, over teeter-totters, through tunnels,weave back and forth through poles, and all sorts of other tricks. It's a good way to keep a really intelligent dog busy and exercised, and can be really fun to watch.

#43 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 01:57 PM:

Bruce #41- isn't that a bit odd? No pardons?

And even I, cynical scot with very few illusions, could feel a little prickle in my eyes when I heard him speaking.

#44 ::: Sara E ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 02:31 PM:

I don't think any words that I can write will do justice to what is in my heart right now. I am so hopeful, even with the huge mess that is our world and our nation right now.

#45 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 02:45 PM:

Waitaminnit -- NPR just said Obama voted against John Roberts. Wasn't part of a brouhaha that Obama had defended those Dems who *did* vote for him?

#46 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 02:52 PM:

But, to reiterate #41:

No pardons.

FOR ANYONE.

They probably are praying for a Red alert, or more anthrax, to keep Congress afraid and captive to evil.

#47 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 03:02 PM:

Agility is fun. Flyball is even better.

(try searching for "dog agility" or "dog flyball" on youtube.com)

#48 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 03:23 PM:

Bush commuted the sentences of two former Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

#49 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 03:54 PM:

There were few sights more pleasant than the marine helicopter taking the Bushes away. At last.

#50 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 04:47 PM:

The news report I saw said that he'd issued a total of 189 pardons and 11 commutations during his Presidency, and only those 2 commutations were last minute. None for his recent officials or cronies AFAIK, other than the previous Libby commutation.

I noticed an editorial from the Village Voice which suggested that if Obama does decide not to proceed with an actual investigation and/or prosecution of war crimes by Bush and Cheney - as he's indicated he's inclined - then he should officially pardon them for war crimes and torture, so as to tar them with official recognition of it.

#51 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 04:49 PM:

David Goldfarb, #14: Not "paranoid". Paranoia is not "fear of something that doesn't come to pass." Paranoia is fear without reason.

The people you are referring to were afraid. And they had reason.

#52 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 06:35 PM:

@ #14

Do you have any idea how much work leftist activists have done in the last 8 years to keep 2000 from happening again? How much they uncovered of plans and dirty dealing? How much of the campaign war chest Obama's organization spent on organzing challenges to voter repression and illegal voter removals? Paying all those attorneys and lawyers? And how much volunteer work and energy and time, expertise and just plain slogging went into keeping this election honest? Do you? Do you?

When I think of what the people I know who have worked all these years to get today to happen, and how many YEARS they've worked, on their own dime, well, I get a little emotional.

That's all.

Love, C.

#53 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 06:46 PM:

Teresa @ 34: Dang, that quartet was the best music I've ever heard on a solemn civic occasion.

As they announced it, I made some mildly snarky comment about John Williams.

By the end, I was teary-eyed, and had yelled at the radio announcer to shut up when she started whispering over it.

Well done, sir.

#54 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 07:48 PM:

Also, David Goldfarb, #14: What Constance said in #52.

#55 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 08:38 PM:

Circulating on the interwubs (sorry, don't have a linkable copy):

Photo of the helicopter removing the Bushes, captioned "Mission Accomplished."

A chuckle if not a LOL. (Am I babbling today? If I am, so be it.)

#56 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 08:55 PM:

David Goldfarb: Emmet spent the last months of 1999 frantically updating code that had Y2K problems, working eighteen and twenty hour days to get it done on time. When computers didn't fail and civilization didn't collapse, people said it was paranoia to have worried about it. It wasn't. It was lots of hard work that "paranoid" people put in that prevented it. Same with this.

I was one of the people calling for armed insurrection after the 2000 election. "Isn't this what you said you needed the Second Amendment for?" I asked on rasseff, and got called unAmerican for it. (Well, I'm not American.) When I said that I quite honestly wans't expecting the next eight years to be anything like as bad as they turned out. I wasn't expecting 9/11, or for the US and UK to wage an aggressive war without a UN resolution or a shred of justification, or what happened to those poor people after Katrina, or torture being legalised, or extraordinary rendition, or even to be routinely fingerprinted myself every time I go into the US. I wasn't expecting to see my American friends develop the little reflex twitch of looking around to see who's listening and leaning forward before saying something subversive that my Greek friends used to have.

No, naively enough I was only expecting the collapse of the economy and the environmental problems and more stolen elections. (I still don't know if the 2004 election was an election of just the accidents of an election.)

I don't think it's reasonable, or even possible, to say that it wasn't all that bad because look, a peaceful transition. It was that bad. And a lot of people, some of them right here, have put phenomenal amounts of effort in to ensuring that today could happen.

It remains to be seen what happens tomorrow.

#57 ::: Bob Rossney ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 10:03 PM:

I don't think it was at all paranoid to think that the Bush administration might try to subvert the transfer of power.

It was maybe a little unrealistic to continue thinking that we were in jeopardy knowing as much about them as we presently do: that these folks were the political equivalent of the 1962 Mets, only not lovable.

By the way, I cannot tell you how happy I am that I'm able to say "these folks were" up there.

#58 ::: sara_k ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 10:47 PM:

Not last minute but over the last 2 monthes he pardoned a few. I remember hearing that he pardoned one man and then took it back because it turned out the man's father had donated something Bush or Republican related.

#59 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 10:54 PM:

Bob Rossney @#57:

Agreed, but I'm not sure it was even unrealistic to worry -- consider that time after time, we thought they couldn't get any nastier or stupider -- and over and over, they managed to do just that.

As far as "paranoid" -- it's not paranoia when they really are out to get you! (Or at least, to screw you over....)

#60 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 11:44 PM:

Jo Walton @ 56... Emmet spent the last months of 1999 frantically updating code that had Y2K problems, working eighteen and twenty hour days to get it done on time. When computers didn't fail and civilization didn't collapse, people said it was paranoia to have worried about it. It wasn't. It was lots of hard work that "paranoid" people put in that prevented it.

Does THAT bring back fond memories.

#61 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 01:59 AM:

Bob Rossney #57: I don't think it was at all paranoid to think that the Bush administration might try to subvert the transfer of power.

It will still be worthwhile to be vigilant over the actions of those people who survived the transition of power: both people with lifetime appointments (partisan Rethuglican judges in particular) and those who were chosen to continue in their administrative posts in spite of the opportunity for the new administration to remove them.

#62 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 03:38 AM:

Jo (#56), Serge (#60) I've grumbled before about this issue, partly my own experience with Y2k, but in reference to other issues too: "Having worked so hard to stop difficulties happening, it gets quite galling to hear people who don't see the feet paddling away under the smoothly-gliding swan say 'Well, we didn't have any difficulties, so it mustn't have been a problem after all'."

#63 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 07:18 AM:

Constance@52 (and others similarly): That's an excellent point. I'm not sure if there's anything further I can say that would be useful, so I'll shut up.

#64 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 12:10 PM:

To expand, a little, on the hard work unappreciated thing: my old friend was the programmer who was assigned the task of keeping the WA Dept. of Licensing computer system functioning in the face of the dual hit of Y2K and the repeal of the vehicle excise tax. The computer system had accreted around UNIVAC card sorters (rather like V GER) and included hundreds of remote sales locations manned by independant contractors. Adding to the fun was the fact that many people had delayed buying their tabs from the time of the election until the first business day in January, so the transaction load was more than twice the normal number.

The system went down twice, for less than an hour each time. People complained.

I present this as a cautionary tale for the new administration: against all reasonable expectations, or repeated life experience, some people assume anything short of perfection is a failure.

#65 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 01:58 PM:

Constance #52- I for one would like to hear about the various struggles to keep the polls cleaner than before. Over here in the UK, and even with the internet, I have found little mention of the problems and corruption.

#66 ::: mdh ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 05:54 PM:

I prefer to think of Saruman traped in his tower, surrounded by angry ents and a couple of wasted hobbits.

#67 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 08:08 PM:

Lee wrote: "It's a nice image. But I won't feel that it's truly accurate unless and until I see some criminal charges for upper-level BushCo officials. "

That would be splendid. I'm wondering how we could block Bush admin retreads from turning up in the next GOP administration. The lower-level mid-career hacks of today will be the ones carrying the rot for the next 30 years, ready to pop up in an appointment and say "Why, when I was in the DOJ in 2004, we did it this way...".

#68 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 08:15 PM:

"As they announced it, I made some mildly snarky comment about John Williams."

Since they went with Wiliams, at a minimum they could have had Cheney chased by a giant stone ball.

#69 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 09:18 PM:

I've recently been enjoying some classic John Williams on my mp3 player: an selection of themes from Lost in Space.

#70 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 09:27 PM:

#65 ::: guthrie

Guess you weren't paying attention.

You have google, yes? You can check the digital archives of various newsapapers and magazines, yes? You can access your library catalogs of books that document all this, yes? You can do many things with your internets, yes?

So why are you thinking I should take an enormous amount of my reliving the battles that have been fought with great effort and loss of private time and monies, when we have more battles to fight to bring back public and private monies, as just one example of what needs to be done right now?

The Lady Research. She is everybody's best friend. She is available to all, no elite whore she, going only with those with the most money.

Sorry, if this sounds snarky, but really. Or as one radio program puts it in a Q&A segment" "Ask Dr. Maddow, Who Answers the Questions You're Just Too Lazy to Google Yourself."

Love, C.

#71 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 09:32 PM:

guthrie, Google "US Voter ID laws". That ought to get you started on the research project Constance suggests.

#72 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 09:44 PM:

Jon H @ 68... I'd rather dragged Dick dragged underground by red ants.

#73 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 09:48 PM:

Rob Rusick @ 69... I'm rather partial to his Time Tunnel theme.

#74 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 09:59 PM:

On the unappreciated hard work sub-thread, there are a few biographies of Nancy Wake (aka the White Mouse) out (auto, Russell Braddon, Peter Fitzsimons). She was an Australian sent by the SOE to work with the French Resistance (or insurgents) against the Occupation.

Details of all the work done and preparations needed over time to help the success of the Allied invasion was fascinating; eye-opening. We hear of odd heroics, &c, but not the bulk of it. Useful to remember.

#75 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2009, 11:24 PM:

Jon, #67: Since Bush didn't issue that bushel of last-minute pardons, my suggestion would be that the new administration start with those low-level hacks and work their way up the food chain. Some of them will doubtless be more than happy to throw the big bosses to the wolves in exchange for a lesser sentence, since said big bosses left them twisting in the wind.

#76 ::: Allen Baum ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2009, 12:03 PM:

In yet another bit of surreality: we watched the inauguration live from our cheap little hotel room in Bijapur, India.

Many people ask us "from what place are you" or words to that effect. When we say "America", they often reply "President Obama!".

When we ask them who their president is on the other hand, they don't know.

#77 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2009, 05:16 PM:

Reason to be Cheerful #77:

I woke up in this morning in a country with vice president whose passage by farms does not cause cows' milk to curdle in their udders, and whose tread on city streets does not cause rats in the sewers below to spontaneously abort their litters.

#78 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2009, 06:51 PM:

Allen @76, Happy Republic Day to the Indians for 26th January!
Another thing we share with the largest subcontinental country, it also being Australia Day (foundation of first white settlement, 1788). The Indian President is probably as well known as the Aussie Governor-General. Do more know their Prime Minister?

Belated Happy Burns' Birthday to the Scots.

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