Sometimes the stupidity that comes out of otherwise intelligent people’s mouths amazes me:

The media is reporting that former Sen. George Mitchell, who handled the Northern Ireland peace process, is being eyed by the Obama administration to be a top diplomatic envoy to the Middle East…

While Mitchell’s impending appointment is earning a great deal of praise, the Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman complains the diplomat is too fair and balanced for the post:

“Sen. Mitchell is fair. He’s been meticulously even-handed,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “But the fact is, American policy in the Middle East hasn’t been ‘even handed’ — it has been supportive of Israel when it felt Israel needed critical U.S. support.”

“So I’m concerned,” Foxman continued. “I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach in the Middle East.”

Share
Metavirus filed this under: , ,  

This strikes me as fairly outrageous. Republicans in the Senate are now obstructing the confirmation of Attorney General Eric Holder because he won’t pledge — in advance — to not prosecute anyone who tortured prisoners in American custody:

Senate Republicans hope to delay a vote on the confirmation of Eric Holder to become attorney general in order to pressure him to say whether he will prosecute intelligence agents for torture if they were following orders and acting within what they believed to be legal guidelines.

Holder told the Judiciary Committee last week that waterboarding is “torture” and therefore illegal. Susan J. Crawford, the top Bush administration official overseeing the trials of detainees, told the Washington Post that at least one individual held at the prison center at Guantanamo Bay was “tortured.”

The question Republicans want answered before Holder is confirmed: Will you prosecute those who took part in that torture?

Leaving aside the salient question of whether people should be prosecuted for torturing people, it is mind-boggling to me that sitting U.S. Senators are, in effect, asking for a blanket guarantee that anyone who committed such acts would not be subject to prosecution. All this before the designee even takes office!

The main idiot behind all this is Senator John Cornyn of Texas. Someone remind me, why didn’t we just let the South secede?

Share

Here is the video of Obama’s inauguration speech:

Update: As an added bonus, here’s the video of Obama taking the oath of office.

Update 2: Go here to read the full transcript of the speech.

Share
Metavirus filed this under: , ,  

The new Obama version of WhiteHouse.gov is up and running. Check out a prominent page detailing Obama’s stance on civil rights:

“While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.” — Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

Yep, we’ve elected a President that is committed to the recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people as full American citizens. What a breath of fresh air.

Share
Metavirus filed this under: ,  

As of a few minutes ago, we now have a new leader – President Barack Hussein Obama. You can watch live coverage of the continuing inauguration festivities here. I will post the video of Obama’s full speech once it’s out. Today truly is a glorious day.

Update: Here is the full transcript of Obama’s inauguration speech.

Update 2: I posted the video of Obama’s speech in a later post.

Share
Metavirus filed this under: ,  

Andrew Sullivan makes a good point:

A reminder of what so many forgot these past eight years: the executive branch’s first duty is to protect and defend the Constitution, not the territory, of the U.S. On that score, Bush and Cheney did not keep us safe. They did to the Constitution what Osama bin Laden could never have done.

I am so happy that we will soon have a President that looks at the Constitution as the law of the land rather than an impediment.

Share
Metavirus filed this under: , ,  

For those of you that can’t watch it on TV, here’s a streaming live feed of the Obama inauguration:

Update: I posted the archived video of Obama’s inauguration speech here.

Share
{ 1 comment }
Metavirus filed this under: ,  

Here’s is the video of openly gay Rev. Gene Robinson’s speech at Obama’s first day of inauguration ceremonies that HBO for some reason decided to not broadcast:

Share