I could do this on Twitter, but screw it. Here goes.
(No, I'm not actually going to be in the DC area around Halloween, although that would be fun.)
Here's my sign slogans, written in support of that salt-and-peppery paragon of logic, Jon Stewart, and his Rally to Restore Sanity:
I really hope you'll forgive me for doing this. You see, I don't want to write what I'm about to write.
Everyone's already sounded off on the Cordoba-House-Non-Mosque-Community-Center-Now-Called-Park-51-but-still-isn't-technically-a-mosque-bu
t-is-still-Muslim-even-though-its-kinda-not-really-in-the-same-area-as-Ground-Zero by now.
And indeed a lot of the stuff I'm about to say is stuff I've already either said or wrote or thought loudly about since this thing first made headlines.
But there's just something about it that really presses my patriotism buttons, I guess. I mean, Sept. 11 was a turning point for me as a person. It helped turn me from a radical conservative into a radical liberal -- and later into the friendlier, more optimistic kind of liberal.
So here goes. Here's some reasons why this thing should be built. I'm going to count up how many good reasons I have when I'm done and put it in the headline for your convenience. Could be something between five and 25, but we'll see where we end up.
Donate to Brittany Novotny and help stomp homophobia flat
Maybe you remember Sally Kern. Those of us living in Oklahoma certainly do because we're still living with her.
You who live elsewhere may have been treated to her comments before. She's the Oklahoma State Representative who has produced the pearl of wisdom:
"Studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades. So it's the death knell of this country. I honestly think it's the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam — which I think is a big threat, okay? Cause what's happening now is they are going after, in schools, two-year olds...And this stuff is deadly, and it's spreading, and it will destroy our young people, it will destroy this nation"
Now, this quote is the old news. But the thing about Sally Kern is, she's the gift that keeps on hating.
When I heard what Robert Gibbs said, I wasn't offended. I wasn't offended because I was fairly sure the comment wasn't meant for me. While I do have some serious disagreements (and a few petty ones too) with the Obama administration, those are buried under a thick layer of gratitude.
I'm glad to have him working for me every day, and not just for me, either. He's also working for the people who never gave him a fair shake -- on the right and the left.
As much as I wish more were possible, I know how historically lucky we are to have him working for us. But working against long odds for people who don't appreciate you, day after day, can't help but take a toll. A lot of us know this from our own workplace. Ever do the same kind of work for two different bosses, one who appreciated you and one who didn't? It makes all the difference in the world.
I may not show up much these days, but I have been around the block a few times. And the beatings... oh, the beatings. But I did learn a few things.
I learned that when you're writing for a DKos Institution, such as Mojo Friday (which I've done), or Top Comments (which I haven't done) or How to Hollow Out a Rare Javan Rhino and Sleep in it For Warmth (which doesn't actually exist, but which I would readily write for), you've got to take it for granted that people aren't going to read what you wrote, and will immediately speed toward the comments to get their mojo, socializing, or carcass-scooping instructions.
But I have a remedy, and that is brevity. And brevity is closest to godliness.
So here's three categories of easily digestible material for you to read:
My 2-year-old son, who is smart and beautiful, loves animals. When he's reading a book about animals or seeing a nature show on TV or playing with his little plastic monkeys, cows and zebras, animals get his full attention. If an animal is extinct, like the dinosaurs he loves so much, he doesn't hold that against them.
Last night I had trouble getting him to bed because we'd just read "Yurtle the Turtle" and he wanted to pretend he was a turtle by snapping his lips together and pulling his pajama shirt halfway over his head.
When he saw footage of oil-bathed pelicans on the news, his verdict was to the point. "Mommy, poor animals!" It was both an exclamation and a question. It was alarming to see an animal so clearly in distress, and the note of question in his small voice seemed to ask, "Why and how did this happen?"
It would be tough to imagine a worse month for fossil fuels than April was. Coal mines collapsed and killed miners. An oil rig sank and is still leaking. Events like these make us angry. We demand answers. We cry out for our apparent lack of progress on the energy front.
No matter what is in tomorrow's headlines, this country and the world is going to have to take a hard look at where our energy comes from, in our cars and at our light switches.
It's amazing to me how little even the most well-educated people among us think about energy. We don't think about electricity until the utility bill arrives, or when there's an outage. Many of us don't think about the true cost of our gasoline unless the car just hit "E" and we pull into a station.
The title may strike you as a funny thing for a liberal to say -- and I am a liberal. All the classical liberal principles just fit me like a glove, and I've never apologized for the word itself. I'm not a "progressive" or anything else. Just liberal.
But one word I never really applied to myself was "environmentalist." It's not that I didn't care about the earth. It was just a more philosophical thing than anything else.
For one thing, I didn't want to be a giant hypocrite. I didn't do any active harm to the planet. I wasn't pouring motor oil into storm drains or anything. But I knew I had a long way to go before I could ever hope to live up to the label. So I never really thought of myself as an environmentalist and I never made a conscious decision to be one.
Then one day as I was driving my Prius to the recycling center to drop off some glass bottles that used to be filled with locally sourced beer, it hit me. Holy crap, I'm an environmentalist.
Today free market fetishist and Central American jet-setter Rush Limbaugh made a Garrison Keilloresque ultimatum. The right-wing talker's gambit? That he would leave the country and move to Costa Rica if the United States adopts the much-talked-about health care reform.
When a caller asked the host about the possibility of health care reform passing in the U.S., he said the following:
I don't know. I'll just tell you this, if this passes and it's five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented -- I am leaving the country. I'll go to Costa Rica.
Video is here.
Now, when you talk all day long, sometimes you go off the cuff and say something maybe that wasn't thought out completely. But let's take the man seriously and give him the benefit of the doubt. Let's see what kind of health care Rush would enjoy in beautiful Costa Rica.
I can't shake the feeling: It's 2010, and nothing works the way it's supposed to.
Things break all the time, and when they do, you're on the phone with someone who apparently just got out of the weekly "How Can We Help People Less?" brainstorming meeting.
This feeling I have is summed up in a catchphrase I learned from a family member who was having a bunch of people over to his house to watch a pay-per-view event that wasn't working.
Jim Bunning has broken my heart. I'd always consider myself able to out-dick at least an average Dick walking around town. Not that I'm a dick constantly, mind you. But it's good to know you can be the bigger dick if the need arises.
But the Kentucky Republican has raised the bar for us all, leaving the rest of us to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Every last one of us is going to have to step up and bring out our A-material if we're gonna measure up to one of the biggest dicks American politics has ever seen.