Buh-Bye, Blago

State Senate to Blagojavich: “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass:”

Rod Blagojevich spoke at some length to the Illinois Senate today, imploring state lawmakers not to remove him from office. He was not, apparently, persuasive.

The Illinois State Senate on Thursday convicted Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich on a sprawling article of impeachment that charged him with abusing his power. The vote prompted the governor’s immediate and permanent ouster, and ended nearly two months of political spectacle in which he sought unsuccessfully to salvage his reputation and career here and across the country. […]


The senators voted 59 to zero in favor of removing him after a four-day trial; a dramatic, 45-minute speech by Mr. Blagojevich in which he declared his innocence; and about two hours of deliberation.

Blagojevich was also barred from ever running for any public office in Illinois. Democrat Pat Quinn, up until a couple of hours ago the lieutenant governor, has already been sworn in as Illinois’ new governor.

And so, the sun sets on an era of political surrealistic entertainment.

You know, I’ll almost miss him. He was nearly as bountiful in his dumbfuckery as the Cons.

One More Night

Nightwish best expresses my sentiments tonight:

One more night to bear this nightmare.
What more do I have to say?

Ocean Soul – Nightwish

You know what nightmare I’m talking about.

Let no locked doors thwart George W. Bush as he gets the hell out of our White House. In fact, let’s make sure there’s doorkeepers standing by, just in case.

Thank you, President Obama, for ending the nightmare. Come on in.

You can laugh a lot
And bring out that smile

For now we’re hanging in
Even though we’re blessed with sin
You make my heart…
You make my tired heart sing

Tender Trip on Earth – Tristania

As ridiculous as it sounds, you do indeed make my tired heart sing. And judging from the evidence, I’m not the only one.

Update on Bill Gwatney Shooting

Police have identified the man who shot the chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party Bill Gwatney. Timothy Dale Johnson, 50, had been fired from his job at a Target store early Wednesday morning for writing graffiti on a wall. You’ll die of shock to learn he’s been described as an unmarried loner who was quiet but creepy.

No one’s got any word on a motive yet, but I imagine we’ll discover a man with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. He’ll have some personal narrative blaming the Democrats for his woes, although it could just be politicians in general and the Democratic Party headquarters the nearest target when he snapped. His house will likely be full of ammo and guns. He’ll have spent the past few years getting weirder, more isolated, and more paranoid. About the only interesting thing to discover will be why he drove over to the Arkansas State Baptist Convention and aimed a gun at the building manager after killing Gwatney. The rest of it’s going to follow a depressing, predictable trajectory.

We’ve got a lot of very, very broken people in this world.

Someone emailed Michelle Malkin, right wing hatemonger extraordinaire, to tell her she’s responsible. That’s jumping the gun a bit. The man had a wide variety of deranged, hate-filled, kill-’em-all columnists, bloggers, radio hosts, and organizations to chose from. People who like to celebrate violence, dehumanize their enemies, and then play the outraged innocent when someone takes them seriously. We see most of it on the right, but there’s a smattering of it on the radical left as well, so let’s not go blaming the first vitriolic right-wing blogger that comes to mind until we discover who was on this loser’s reading list.

The Arkansas Republican Party’s showing a wonderful streak of humanity in all of this. They’ve responded with empathy and heartfelt kind words for Chairman Gwatney, which gives me a bit o’ hope that partisan acrimony hasn’t completely rotted the entirety of our political system. There’s even a wreath featuring a donkey and an elephant propped outside the Democratic party headquarters. This is the kind of spirit I want to see: the realization that even though we may not be able to stand each others’ political views, we’re all in this world together, and we can care for each other no matter how much we may disagree.

They’ve shown genuine class and decency. I hope others can follow their lead.

My thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of Bill Gwatney tonight. They’ve lost a great person, and things are never going to be the same for them. I extend my deepest sympathies, and the hope that memories of all that was wise and wonderful about Bill will eventually overshadow the way he died.

Another Good One Gone

Let’s raise our glasses to a man magnificent in his dissent:

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who has died at the age of 89, played a significant role in ending communism. His novels were beautifully crafted, damning indictments of the repressive Soviet regime.

The Russian novelists like Solzhenitsyn were tremendously courageous and inspired a generation to change their world. They broke the chains of tyranny. I hope others will take their example to heart.

Salud, Solzhenitsyn. Muchos gracias.

Update: I don’t ordinarily link to the AP anymore due to their recent fuckery, but this piece by Douglas Birch is worth breaking the rules for.

Another Good One Gone, Legacy Lives On

Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon professor who delivered the stunning Last Lecture “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” died yesterday of pancreatic cancer.

And no, the world is not just. It’s not fair. It doesn’t care that a tremendous professor, a truly incredible human being, a husband and father died far too young. So let’s not focus on that. Randy wouldn’t.

People who live to be 100 don’t live as much as he did. It’s not the length of your life that matters so much as what you do with it. Randy proves that more than anyone else I’ve encountered.

I remember stumbling across his video several months ago, and not wanting to watch it. How morbid, the idea of a dying man giving a “Last Lecture.” I hit play thinking I’d shut it down after a few moments, because of course it would get saccharine and maudlin and have about the same profundity of a Hallmark greeting card.

It’s not the first time I’ve been wrong, not by far, but it’s certainly one of the more dramatic examples.

I didn’t expect to come away with sides aching from laughter. I never expected to come away renewed and inspired. Randy performed a vanishing on the last lingering fear of death I had. He was one of those extraordinary people who permeates every aspect of your being and makes you feel as if you’re exploding with potential. He made me want to be more and do more, but it wasn’t pressure – it was excitement.

I felt it again this morning, when I leaned over my coworker’s shoulder and read the news of his death. Right there beside the sadness and shock was the echo of that feeling that anything at all was possible. Life is a grand adventure, a gorgeous journey, even if we encounter a few bumps in the road: have fun. Courage, a sense of humor, and a sense of adventure are all you need to make life extraordinary.

Those lessons I’ll never forget. I doubt anyone who’s seen his Last Lecture ever will.

Muchos gracias, Randy. Salud.