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December 20, 2008

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Yes, yes, yes. All good news, and about time. Now, about that little Afghanistan war Obama's determined to "win".

Yes, yes, yes. All good news, and about time. Now, about Guantanamo Bay, the crimes of the previous administration, the global gag rule, improving health care, LGBT equality...

I have to admit that this is refreshing.

I did some database work with the genome project (with Merck) a few years ago. Those were some serious dudes. And really, really underappreciated for what they were doing. What they were tackling boggles the mind. I didn’t have a big part, but even thinking about it now gives me a headache. Man those dudes (and dudettes) were smart. I felt pretty humble just sitting in meetings (and keeping my mouth shut) with them.

So. Yay! I’ve been carping enough about Obama. Let me just say Yay and leave it at that!

Re. Afghanistan: Sarah Chayes interviewed by Leonard Lopate.

OCSteve, I hope you enjoyed your pony.

Thanks, Hilzoy, for your habit of including transcripts with embeded videos. It's a great bit of blogging etiquette that I wish were more widely practiced.

Let me agree about the transcripts. I hate embedded videos.

That said, ditch the creationist pastor!

I'm with janinsanfran, its hard to square the creationist homophobic pastor who maunders on incoherently about darwin and homosexuality with the selection of Harold varmus and eric lander on the science team. I mean, get real. These are twentieth and twenty-first century gentlemen scholars. warren is straight outta the fall of rome on his thinking--spiritually as well as scientifically.

aimai

Obama is probably capable of distinguishing the difference between people who will craft and influence policy and people chosen for symbolic value in an attempt to help knit disparate elements of the country together. it's startling how many progressives haven't yet caught on to the fact that Obama, the guy we elected, from time to time includes people he doesn't agree with in the discussion. this habit fits neatly into many themes of the man we chose to be our President including, no doubt, themes that many of us recognized and based our vote on. so grow up.

BA, I mostly agree with you, but perhaps you could consider whether the best way of interacting with people you disagree with is to tell them to "grow up".

"I'm with janinsanfran, its hard to square the creationist homophobic pastor who maunders on incoherently about darwin and homosexuality with the selection of Harold varmus and eric lander on the science team."

One of these things is not like the other. Specifically, on the one hand, we're talking about appointments to jobs that set policy, and on the other hand, we're talking about a guy who says some prayer once.

This is not to say that I agree with giving Warren the slot to say that prayer, because I don't. But the equivalency is false.

The excerpt is very reminiscent of a "West Wing" speech.

Jed Bartlet chats with Barack Obama.

Which reminds me, I guess it's past time for me to take the Obama campaign widgets out of my blog's sidebar. :-)

so grow up.

I hate to harsh on this very positive thread, but I'd like to make a reply to this.

I voted for Obama because his positions on policy are closer to mine than McCain's are, and because he just seemed, net/net, like a guy who would do a better job.

I haven't liked everything he's said and done up to now, and I don't expect to like everything he'll say and do from this day forward.

If I choose to take exception to something he says and does in a public forum like, frex, Obsidian Wings, it's not because I'm being a petulant child who didn't get the lollipop I thought I was promised.

It's because Obama has done or said something that I take exception to.

I think it's great that Obama engages people who think differently than him. He's not the President of the progressive wing of the Democratic party, he's the President of the United States. He has a responsibility to engage all points of view, and I'm happy to see him do it.

One of those points of view is mine, and I am highly likely to articulate that point of view during his Presidency.

I'm saying all to relieve you, and folks like you, of the need to offer helpful advice like "grow up" every time I, or folks like me, do so. I hope you consider yourself so relieved, because otherwise I'm going to have to tell you to f'ing piss off.

I just spent the last eight years telling people to f'ing piss off. It's a drag. I was, so very much, hoping it wouldn't be necessary to do so anymore.

So you'd be doing me a favor if you'd drop the "grow up" BS.

Back on topic, it's astounding to me how refreshing it is that the POTUS is appointing people to key technical and scientific positions because of their technical and scientific competence.

But, it is. And I'm damned grateful for it.

I don't know what the next 4 to 8 years are going to be like, exactly, but at least they won't be like the ones we just lived through.

Thanks -

russell, as usual agree with everything you wrote. I once told somebody that there is only one person in the US who would handle every policy decision the way I would like, but I probably would never get elected.

So yes, I am also going to disagree, somnetimes when he isn't doing enough and perhaps sometimes when he is doing too much.

But the mere fact that he is actually ahving people who have a working knowledge and understanding of what they are going to be doing is refreshing.

If nothing else, it tells me that, even when I disagree with him on some decision, I know that the decision will have been looked at from more than just an ideological or political perspective. (Not to say those won't come into play, because they always will.)

He signed off with "Happy Holidays," rather than "Merry Christmas."

That gives me a warm, fuzzy, post-War-on-Christmas glow.

But some pastor is going to make a speech nobody but his already- converted wingnuts will remember.

This negates everything Obama's administration will do in the next 8 years.

aimai: I'm with janinsanfran, its hard to square the creationist homophobic pastor who maunders on incoherently about darwin and homosexuality with the selection of Harold varmus and eric lander on the science team. I mean, get real. These are twentieth and twenty-first century gentlemen scholars. warren is straight outta the fall of rome on his thinking--spiritually as well as scientifically.

Actually, if all that was wrong with Rick Warren was that he's a creationist, I'd have no objection to make whatsoever to his being invited to deliver the Invocation at Obama's inaugeral. Creationism is a religious belief: the Invocation is a religious ceremony: what's the problem?

My issue with Warren is not that he believes God created the world in 6 days 6000 years ago, but that he's a scumbag bigot who says same-sex marriage is like paedophilia.

I propose that from now on any religious ceremonies involving the federal government are to be conducted by prayer-bot supported by the electric monk* ;-)

*but keep him away from the shotgun except in the presence of Cheney ;-)

Obama deserves great praise for these appointments. He also deserves criticism for the Rick Warren invitation and (more importantly) the many less good cabinet-level appointments he has made. "Adults" are able to see both the good and the bad in someone, praise the former and criticize the latter.

It really is time to put to bed the notion that most who've criticized, e.g., Obama's invitation to Warren or the reappointment of Gates are irrational perfectionists who will criticize everything Obama does.

Most of this criticism comes from progressives who voted for Obama enthusiastically (given the alternative) in November, but whose support was always critical. We never liked, e.g., his saber-rattling at AIPAC, promises to escalate the war on Afghanistan, FISA vote, or Clintonomic tendencies. We always liked, e.g., his commitment to science.

Both our support and our opposition to things that the Obama administration will do over the next four to eight years can make this a better presidency than it otherwise would be.

Thanks for John Miller and Ben Alpers for making more or less the same point I was going for, but without jumping ugly.

At some point I will learn to count to ten before posting. Many thanks for your forbearance.

Thanks -

It really is time to put to bed the notion that most who've criticized, e.g., Obama's invitation to Warren or the reappointment of Gates are irrational perfectionists who will criticize everything Obama does.

an irrational perfectionist is as an irrational perfectionist does.

as soon as they stop criticizing, they will stop being thought of as perfectionists.

as soon as they stop criticizing, they will stop being thought of as perfectionists.

With respect, you and I are going to be on opposite sides of this.

Noone is above criticism.

All of us have a stake in what our government does and how it is done. There's nothing irrational or perfectionist about voicing your point of view.

I am, personally, happier about Obama's election that I've been about any Presidential election in my lifetime. But the man has said and done things I've seriously disagreed with, and he no doubt will continue to do that.

He has my support, *and*, whenever he does something I think is wrong, I'm pretty sure I'll say so.

Come with the job.

Thanks -

Thank you Hilzoy for participating in yet another episode of Manufactured Consent, Blog Edition!

"Thank you Hilzoy for participating in yet another episode of Manufactured Consent, Blog Edition!"

Because good science appointees are an evil thing.

No, Gary Farber, because good bloggers in the era of Obama should look the other way while Obama's good science polices are killing NASA's space programme. Instead, good bloggers in the era of Obama are expected to go orgasmic over the potential that his science appointees signify.

"...while Obama's good science polices are killing NASA's space programme."

Oh, I see: we're supposed to be outraged over rumors. Might not we wait for actual developments?

And might we not piss on people because they're not treating rumors as facts, and not claiming that rumors are facts?

It's interesting, the title Manufactured Consent is a nod to Chomsky, but he's been someone who has looked at the US space program as less a way to explore and more a way to militarize space.

Bush wanted us to go to Mars, so I'm sure he meets with your approval.

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