Some of my favorite people
Margaret Cho: She's hilariously funny and is a great friend to the gay community. She shoots her mouth off, sometimes unwisely but always in the right cause. Go Margaret.
Richard Dawkins: This guy always knows how to answer those smarmy you-atheists-think-you're-so-smart questions, as well as the questions that are more honestly intended. He comes off as a dick, it's true, but that's because he feels free to call foolishness by its name. Would that more of us shared that predilection.
Sister Helen Prejean: This lady's a great mixture of compassion, common sense perspective and a tart Lousiana wit. You might know her as the nun who wrote "Dead Man Walking", but if you've ever heard her speak you'll probably join me in wishing she'd run for president, or at the very least the U.S. Senate. The highest praise I can say is that the first time I heard her speak in person I went away thinking, "Ahh...so this is why my friends are Catholic!"
Thomas Frank: He's a long-time political junkie and writer, and a few years back released a book entitled, "What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America." That book strongly influenced my view of politics, and I strongly recommend it. He's a great speaker, combining a sharp political insight with a healthy sense of humor.
*This list does not include folks I know personally, many of whom are also among my favorite people.