President Obama issues four executive orders, including one ordering Guantanamo Bay prison camp closed within a year.

I just watched it live on CNN, and wow. It feels a bit like waking up from a long, crazy nightmare, and realizing that the world really is a sensible place. For example, one of the orders Obama just signed ensures that the US will abide by the terms of the Geneva Convention. Finally.

I put my American flag out on the morning of the Inauguration, for the first time in at least 6 years. I haven't flown it since the day the US invaded Iraq, but now I'm just so hopeful for my country again. :-)
A lot of people know about this already, but just in case: Join the Impact is a nationwide, grassroots, simultaneous protest against California's Prop 8 and all anti-marriage amendments. Everyone is meeting at 1:30 pm EST this Saturday, November 15, to start marching. Here in Austin, we're meeting at City Hall at 12:30. You can find out where to meet up in your city by going here.

Carter and I will be meeting up with friends to march in support of GLBTQ friends and family, in the hope that they will one day be able to enjoy the same rights Doug and I do as a married couple. Doug will be on his way back from New York at the time and so can't attend, but he will be there with us in spirit.

Fight the H8 in Your State

There was a bit of a line even on a Friday afternoon at 3:30, to our surprise. I stood there after voting and stared down at my summary before pressing the button to cast my vote, and thought about the fact that my son was born into a time when a black man just might be elected president of the US. That was something I hoped I'd see in my lifetime, but I wasn't sure I would. Amazing. :-)
jenn_unplugged: (Resistance is futile)
The Democrats are poised on the brink of victory. And they cannot stand it. The news is too good. Something has to go wrong.

OMG, yes. Exactly. As hopeful as I am, I can't shake the feeling that it could all go horribly wrong in the next 12 or so days.

*buries face in hands*

From [ profile] ontd_political.
So who is this Joe the Plumber guy anyway? Apparently not really a licensed plumber. Oh, and he's in the infamous Keating family. He even did time for his part in the Keating S&L scandal. And he's given a heck of a lot of money to the Republicans over the years.

Undecided voter, my ass. Slimy politics, much?

Dude, I think I need to take a bath now. *shudder*

Credit to various folks on [ profile] obama_2008 for those links.

Edit to clarify: After some initial confusion, those last two links actually refer to Joe's father, Robert. There is some chatter that he may have been a McCain campaign plant, and I'm almost cynical enough to believe it. At any rate, if you saw him on CNN tonight, he sure sounded like a neocon.
This is really cool: The Truth-o-meter at It's a non-partisan site that fact-checks the candidates' various claims. Interesting!
Jesus was a Community Organizer. Pontius Pilate was a Governor.

Edit: Sweet!
But this? Is downright disgusting.

Ad on Sex Education Distorts Obama Policy

Escalating its efforts to portray Senator Barack Obama as a candidate whose values fall outside the mainstream, the campaign of Senator John McCain on Tuesday unveiled a new television advertisement claiming that Mr. Obama, the Democratic nominee, favors “comprehensive sex education” for kindergarten students.

Full text here )

I mean, please. Is the McCain campaign really that sleazy?

Edit: Planned Parenthood has a response ad:


Sep. 4th, 2008 09:32 pm
[ profile] obama_2008 is a really fun community to watch. :-D

Edit to add: One of the things that's come out of the RNC that's really baffling me is the scorn and outright mockery of community organizers. I mean, seriously? Mocking people who devote their time and energy to helping people make their lives better? Missionaries often serve as community organizers in the places they serve and work. The idea that Republicans would stoop to mocking that kind of work is just... I have no words.

Here is more information on how community organizers are fighting bck:
From Yahoo news: here.

Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer Wed Sep 3, 11:48 PM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.

Full text here )
Carter really likes watching the speeches. I think he probably just likes to watch the faces on the big screen, but it's still very cool to see my son's face light up when Al Gore speaks. :-D

Oh, and [ profile] lolobama, hee!
The Hillary video made me cry.

I could have flipped a coin between Obama and Clinton all along, but I don't think I realized until right now how much the possibility of a female president meant to me. And now that it's no longer a possibility, it makes me really sad. :-(
Okay, seriously, WTF??? Is Elizabeth Dole really this stupid?

A plan by Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) to rename the current AIDS relief bill after the late conservative Jesse Helms has caused an uproar.

Among those offended by Dole's proposition are Tom Viola, the Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and Philip S. Birsh, the President and Publisher of Playbill, who also serves as the BC/EFA Treasurer.

Helms was a long-time opponent to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and research. In fact, the blog Joe.My.God has recalled many of Helms' AIDS-related comments:

• Jesse Helms, the man who in 1987 described AIDS prevention literature as "so obscene, so revolting, I may throw up."

• Jesse Helms, the man who in 1988 vigorously opposed the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS research bill, saying, "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy."

• Jesse Helms, the man who in 1995 said (in opposition to refunding the Ryan White Act) that the government should spend less on people with AIDS because they got sick due to their "deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct."

And she wants to name the bill after him, really? This is so disgusting, I have no words.

Article here.

Update: Okay, the date of the press release from Equity Fights AIDS must have been screwed up, because the bill was just passed last Thursday, WITHOUT Dole's proposed amendment to change the name. So, crisis averted. But still? Not cool, Lizzie. So not cool.
I missed this when it aired, but OMG so funny! There's little I appreciate more than someone who can poke fun at themselves. :-)

jenn_unplugged: (teacher)
This was reported in the NY Times, incidentally. It's big news in Austin: Chris Comer, the director of Science Education at the Texas Education Agency, was forced apparently to resign after forwarding an email to her colleagues about a talk on evolution vs. creationism/"intelligent design". I know I shouldn't be surprised, because this is Texas, after all, but it's just stunning to me that someone would be punished for arguing that we should teach actual science in science classes, and not religion. I mean, seriously -- is it any wonder our kids are falling behind compared to the rest of the world in math and science? There are no other industrialized countries in which teaching kids science is controversial.

Someone forwarded this link to me today which I think sums up the issue very nicely. (A satire, in case it isn't obvious.) An excerpt:

In an effort to make math “more relevant to today’s third-graders — the future of our great country,” the recently adopted textbook questions the “old wives’ tale” that 2 + 2 = 4.

“Many families are uncomfortable with such rigid, formuliac thinking,” said the book’s publisher, Tatiana Rococo, CEO, COO and Secretary/Treasurer of Hot Off the Press, an Ardmore, Oklahoma-based textbook consortium that vows it “wants to keep its mind open when it comes to math and out of the gutter when it comes to everything else.”

“People like to say 2 + 2 = 4 — like it was a proven fact,” said Ms. Rococo, an Ardmore native who says she dabbles in mathematical pursuits such as astrology, bingo and paint-by-numbers works of art that decorate her sunken living room in her suburban home. “But that’s so not true! Not every mathematician agrees. In fact, there’s lots of controversy about that so-called ‘fact.’

If it weren't so close to the truth, it would be a lot funnier. :-P
I just watched CNN's live coverage of Speaker Pelosi's swearing in, along with the swearing in of the new congress. It was really cool to hear people addressing her as Madame Speaker! It's amazing to me, though, that's it's taken until 2007 for a woman to rise to that position. She talked about "breaking the marble ceiling" in her speech, which I thought was really cool.

In other news, still sick. :-P This one's going to linger, I'm afraid.
Just received this urgent public health warning from my aunt in an email:

The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new and virulent strain of Sexually Transmitted Disease. The disease is contracted through dangerous and high-risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim and pronounced "gonna re-elect him" Many victims contracted it in 2004, after having been screwed for the past four years. Naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed at how this destructive disease originated only a few years ago from a bush found in Texas.

The sad thing is that we have four candidates on the ballot for governor in Texas, and while the Republican candidate has about a third of the vote according to the polls, the rest of the vote is split almost equally between the other three candidates. I'm not sure whether a majority is required to elect a governor here or if a plurality will do, but it's sad to think that two-thirds of the voters don't want to vote for the guy who will likely win. In what universe is that really democracy?
It annoys me to no end when people cherrypick verses from the Bible to justify their own hatred and bigotry, while conveniently ignoring all the stuff Jesus said about loving other people. So this site is cracking me up'

A quote: Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination. Why stop at protesting gay marriage? Bring all of God's law unto the heathens and the sodomites. We call upon all Christians to join the crusade against Long John Silver's and Red Lobster. Yea, even Popeye's shall be cleansed. The name of Bubba shall be anathema. We must stop the unbelievers from destroying the sanctity of our restaurants.

On a related note, I attended a vigil at the Capitol last night to encourage people to vote NO on Prop 2. I need to go pick up some yard signs this weekend...

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