Monday, June 30, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Iraq War veteran Darren Manzella, who I've written about before, has been discharged from the Army for being gay. SGT Manzella personally came out to his command after receiving emails warning him to "turn down the flame." There was an investigation into his "alleged homosexuality" and Manzella fully cooperated. Despite all that, the investigation absurdly found no evidence he was gay. The fact that Manzella was a medic during wartime may just have had something to do with that. Manzella went public, including a segment on 60 Minutes, and has been campaigning for the repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell. The Army, no doubt embarrassed that it's gay policy has, once again, been revealed as bankrupt, has finally discharged him.
An American Hero.
Michelle Obama spoke to the Democratic National Committee's Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council about civil rights struggles "from Selma to Stonewall." She spoke about her husband's record on gay issues and was reportedly a hit with the crowd.
If I may be allowed a shallow moment, you gotta know a woman with this kind of fashion sense is cool with the 'mos and probably has her own gay posse. Also on the bill? Michelle Patterson, wife of NY governor David Patterson. That's a lot of fierceness in one room. Too bad it was too hot for the fur.
Read more at Joe.My.God.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Look who's back in the news, just in time for the Republican Summer of Love in Minneapolis, it's totally hetero Ted Haggard! You know Ted, who resigned as pastor of the 14 gazillion member New Life Church in Colorado Springs after revelations that he patronized a male prostitute and bought meth. Ted has now completed his "spiritual restoration (translation: he's been shoved so deep in the closet he'll never see light again). New Life pastor Brady Boyd said that Haggard's severance deal with the church has now expired and he "is now free to live where he wanted, " so he and his wife have moved back into their $700,000 + home.
"He's now free to live where he wanted." Is this a church or the mob?
Actually, I was hoping Haggard would fight through his years of poisonous fundamentalism and come to terms with himself and his demons. I feel sorry for the guy.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Remember this guy? I wrote about him a while back. He's Efraim E. Diveroli, the 22 year president of AEY, Inc, the Miami Beach company that got a $300,000,000 contract to provide ammo to the Afghan army. Efraim and his 25 year old massage therapist buddy David Packouz were the "primary munitions supplier for Afghan security forces in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban." Let that one sink in a minute. These two slacker dudes played a key role in the war against terrorism. It turns out the ammo they provided was supposed to be primo stuff from Albania when in fact it was 40 year old shit from China.
Guess what else? It seems they're still performing under the contract and shipping crap to Afghanistan.
The incompetence and cronyism of the Bush years is just beginning to come to light, and to think people voted for Bush because he was going to keep us safe.
The comic actress has died at the age of 93. She's probably best known as the principal's assistant, goofing it up on the PA system in Grease. She made countless TV and film appearances but got her start in the chorus of many legendary Broadway shows of the 40s and 50s including Wonderful Town.
Yesterday, I posted about McCain's computer illiteracy and his campaign's reassuring message that he's "aware of the internet." Today, Crooks and Liars reminded us that, 2 months ago when McCain was on his "forgotten places" tour, he told folks in Inez, KY that the path out of poverty is selling on Ebay! That's right unemployed miners, just fire up your Mac and sell your valuable excess on Ebay for fun and profit! Never mind that 37% of the population of Inez live below the poverty line and probably don't have lots of recreational access to computers, Senator 8-houses has their back. Oh yeah, did you know that former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is one of McCain's senior advisers? Of course she is.
So John "aware of the internet" McCain is following in the footsteps of George H.W. "Grocery scanner! Golly!" Bush and George "I click around on the Google when I'm on the internets" Bush.
The Dem who doesn't bash gays holds a big lead in moral values over the so-called "honor" candidate. I'd call that progress.
Monday, June 23, 2008
--Mark SooHoo, John McCain's Deputy E-Campaign Manager making excuses for the candidate's self-professed computer illiteracy. Earlier, McCain was unable to answer the question "Are you a Mac or PC guy" because he doesn't know the difference. Seriously.
via Ezra Klein
Friday, June 20, 2008
The latest Newsweek poll shows Obama with a 15 point lead over McCain. That's 51% supporting Obama vs. 36% for McCain. Could have something to do with the fact that only 14% of Americans think we're heading in the right direction.
Via Talking Points Memo.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
McCain's biggest problem is his connection with the most unpopular president in history, George W. Bush. McCain seems to be aware of it, yet at the same time he continues to do everything in his power to make Bush happy. Case in point, McCain has flip flopped again on what passes for his energy policy by endorsing opening up new areas off our coastlines for offshore drilling. That's right, folks, we can drill our way out of this crisis. So long, Ft. Myers, buh bye Virginia Beach, it's been nice knowing you, but we've got to keep our Hummers going. Of course, consumers won't see any benefit until 2030 or so and by then gas will be $20 a gallon and we'll all be driving electric motor scooters, but no matter, McCain's got the answers. Then, as if on cue, Dubya held a Rose Garden press conference to announce his support of offshore drilling and hilariously gave Congress 2 weeks to act, or else. Or else what, big boy? You're going to use the weight of your 25% popularity to force Congress' hand? Once again, Dubya and McCain are joined at the hip.
Of course, the unspoken punchline of all this is the oil companies probably won't even drill on these leases, they just want to get everything they can out of BushCo before their buddies leave office. Exxon, et. al. already hold leases to millions of potentially oil-rich acres in the Gulf and Alaska that they're not exploring. You see, they like high prices. The leases are for the future when everything else is tapped out. For now, they're not interested in finding new oil and increasing supply. Naturally, not a single reporter has asked McCain or Bush to explain the economic incentive for the oil companies to start drilling on these proposed new leases. There is no incentive and they're not going to do it. McCain can look like he's got answers and blame it on those darned environmentalists who get in the way of drilling for good ol' 'mrican oil, but he's really got no answers at all.
None of this will solve our energy problems, but it does help solve our McCain problem. It's a gift to Obama in the form of more evidence that McCain is nothing more than Dubya's third term. Considering how unpopular Dubya is, it's a winning strategy. What's McCain's counter argument? That Obama is the second coming of Jimmy Carter. Is he kidding with that shit? Bush is still in office pissing people off and he thinks people are still angry at Carter? Most people only know Jimmy Carter as that nice man who builds houses for poor people and couldn't tell you one thing that happened during his presidency which, by the way was 30 years ago. The McCain campaign is truly bankrupt.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
While I was on vacation, the California Supreme Court's decision allowing gays to marry went into effect at one minute past 5 on the 16th. Most clerks' offices were closed then, so couples lined up the next day to celebrate their new found status as first class citizens. What was missing was protesters. There were just a smattering of lunatics here and there, hoping for plagues of frogs or whatever, but for the most part, there was only celebration. A last minute attempt by some grisly "pro-family" group to get a court order staying the weddings was rejected, just like several others in the past few weeks.
These are sad days indeed for the anti-gay crusaders. First, the Republican elected California Supreme Court had the temerity to grant rights to gay citizens, then a string of legal attempts to stop the decision from going into effect were all defeated, then a poll showed a majority of Californians actually favor same sex marriage, and now the whole world is watching while loving adults commit themselves to each other. The sky hasn't fallen, there have been no earthquakes, locusts, or rivers of blood. Just happy people in love while the Dobsons, Perkins, Brownbacks and Bushes of this world howl at the incoming tide.
This is Focus on the Family and Family Research Counsel's worst nightmare - normal people in love getting married, proving to the world that there's nothing to fear from marriage equality and killing one of the radical right's prime cash cow issues. What do the "pro-family" groups have to counter the happy images from California? All the sad, repressed people, pushed into the closet by a corruption of religion. After all, who would you rather be, one of these folks...
Or one of these...
I believe we've reached a tipping point on this issue and that it won't resonate this election year as it has in the past. Most people under 40 don't care if 2 guys want to get married, and fewer and fewer people over 40 have issues with it. With $5.00 gas, an endless war, and a toxic president, gay marriage seems sooo 2004. I'm sure the Republicans will trot it out since they have nothing else to offer, but it will just illustrate how out of touch and bankrupt they've become. I believe the damndable constitutional amendment will be defeated in California in the fall and the biggest state in the union will have marriage equality permanently. It may take a while to sweep across the country, the one day freedom will ring even in Texas.
Pictures from SFGate.
This button was actually for sale at the Texas Republican convention in Dallas. In 2008. I'm not making this up. A booth calling itself Republicanmarket offered this and other racist filth for sale to God's Own Party.
Every time I think I'm inured to the Texas Republican Party's obscene stupidity they find a new way to shock me.
Update: Texas GOP political director Hans Klingler said that party leaders did not know about the button. If they had, they would not have allowed it to be sold. Hmmm. Imagine a setting where this button doesn't stand out. You've just pictured a Republican convention.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The rest of you might just enjoy it too.
When the California Supreme Court ruling regarding marriage equality takes effect, the first couple to be married in San Francisco will long time activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. Mayor Gavin Newsom will officiate at their ceremony at one minute past 5:00 PM on June 16, the first moment they can be legally married. The couple has been together for more than 50 years and were also married by Mayor Newsom in 2004 when he ordered issuance of marriage licenses for same sex couples. Those marriages were all declared invalid, but this time it's signed, sealed and delivered.
Here's to 50 more years Ladies!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
According to the New York Times today, heterosexual couples can learn a lot from gay couples. Some key quotes:
"Most studies show surprisingly few differences between committed gay couples and committed straight couples."
"same-sex relationships, whether between men or women, were far more egalitarian than heterosexual ones."
"While the gay and lesbian couples had about the same rate of conflict as the heterosexual ones, they appeared to have more relationship satisfaction, suggesting that the inequality of opposite-sex relationships can take a toll."
No wonder they don't want us to get married. We're too good at it.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Now that he's the nominee, Obama is reaching out to the gays. He has released an open letter to the LGBT community:
***OBAMA'S LETTER TO THE LGBT COMMUNITY***
I’m running for President to build an America that lives up to our founding promise of equality for all – a promise that extends to our gay brothers and sisters. It’s wrong to have millions of Americans living as second-class citizens in this nation. And I ask for your support in this election so that together we can bring about real change for all LGBT Americans.
Equality is a moral imperative. That’s why throughout my career, I have fought to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans. In Illinois, I cosponsored a fully inclusive bill that prohibited discrimination on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity, extending protection to the workplace, housing, and places of public accommodation. In the U.S. Senate, I have cosponsored bills that would equalize tax treatment for same-sex couples and provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees. And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non- Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat samesex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples -whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage. I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does. I have also called for us to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I have worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act so we can afford same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married couples in our immigration system.
The next president must also address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. When it comes to prevention, we do not have to choose between values and science. While abstinence education should be part of any strategy, we also need to use common sense. We should have age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception. We should pass the JUSTICE Act to combat infection within our prison population. And we should lift the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. In addition, local governments can protect public health by distributing contraceptives.
We also need a president who’s willing to confront the stigma - too often tied to homophobia - that continues to surround HIV/AIDS. I confronted this stigma directly in a speech to evangelicals at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, and will continue to speak out as president.
That is where I stand on the major issues of the day. But having the right positions on the issues is only half the battle. The other half is to win broad support for those positions. And winning broad support will require stepping outside our comfort zone. If we want to repeal DOMA, repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and implement fully inclusive laws outlawing hate crimes and discrimination in the workplace, we need to bring the message of LGBT equality to skeptical audiences as well as friendly ones - and that’s what I’ve done throughout my career. I brought this message of inclusiveness to all of America in my keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention. I talked about the need to fight homophobia when I announced my candidacy for President, and I have been talking about LGBT equality to a number of groups during this campaign - from local LGBT activists to rural farmers to parishioners at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Dr. Martin Luther King once preached.
Just as important, I have been listening to what all Americans have to say. I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans. But neither will I close my ears to the voices of those who still need to be convinced. That is the work we must do to move forward together. It is difficult. It is challenging. And it is necessary.
Americans are yearning for leadership that can empower us to reach for what we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. Join with me, and I will provide that leadership. Together, we will achieve real equality for all Americans, gay and straight alike.
The new Tori Spelling movie Kiss the Bride, which I wrote about recently, never made it to Dallas, but it's currently on Here! TV so I watched it last night. It's a light, breezy comedy that's definitely worth seeing, in no small measure because of the exceptionally cute Phillip Karner, who plays one corner of the love triangle.
This very current movie is already dated, but in a good way. In one scene, Karner's character, a San Francisco gay magazine editor, is talking to his assistant about the deluge of same-sex wedding invitations he's getting. She corrects him by saying they're "commitment ceremonies." Not in California anymore. When people say wedding today, they really mean wedding.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I just got an email from Hillary sent to all her supporters and it says the following:
I wanted you to be one of the first to know: on Saturday, I will hold an event in Washington D.C. to thank everyone who has supported my campaign. Over the course of the last 16 months, I have been privileged and touched to witness the incredible dedication and sacrifice of so many people working for our campaign. Every minute you put into helping us win, every dollar you gave to keep up the fight meant more to me than I can ever possibly tell you.
On Saturday, I will extend my congratulations to Senator Obama and my support for his candidacy. This has been a long and hard-fought campaign, but as I have always said, my differences with Senator Obama are small compared to the differences we have with and the Republicans.
I have said throughout the campaign that I would strongly support Senator Obama if he were the Democratic Party's nominee, and I intend to deliver on that promise.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Obama has appointed a team of 3 to search for his running mate, including Caroline Kennedy. None of the 3 are connected to the Clintons and the Obama campaign says the search will be "rigorous." This should tamp down speculation that he'll choose Hillary any time soon, or at all, for that matter.
Dick Cheney did this for Dubya and choose himself. Caroline Kennedy has too much class for that.
The California Supreme Court has denied petitions filed by tight-ass Republican hacks to stay implementation of their marriage equality decision until after the November vote on a proposed constitutional amendment. This means that marriages will commence in California on June 17 and George Bush and Focus on the Family can suck it! A petition for stay was filed by a group of baldly political GOP attorneys general from around the country who are apparently crapping their collective pants over the spectre of gay citizens of say, South Carolina going to California, getting hitched and then returning home and demanding equal treatment under the law. Equality in South Carolina! Heaven forbid! Adult, tax paying citizens falling in love and committing themselves to each other? Quel horror! What will they demand next? Joint tax filing status? It's the end of the world!
Of course, what these faux-religious, immoral sycophants really want is to maximize the chances of the Constitutional amendment passing in California. They know they have to get all the damnable amendments in place ASAP because public opinion is turning quickly. This issue has no legs and they want to make it as difficult as possible for us uppity homos to have the same rights they enjoy. We have reached a tipping point on this issue, however, and they're howling at the incoming tide. In 20 years, they'll all be sitting in some Republican old folks home pining for the good old days when fags knew their place.
Now the voters of California will have to decide to take rights away from hundreds or thousands of their fellow citizens who have married. They will have seen that gay weddings aren't followed by plagues of locusts and frogs and all the dire predictions of the end of society are just so much hot air. This helps our case greatly.
I've got to say, whatever you think of Hillary's speech last night, and I believe she should have conceded, Chelsea looked spectacular. This campaign has shown her to be whip-smart, articulate and passionate. It will be interesting to see what lies in her future.
Senator Barak Obama made history last night. He has enough delegates to clinch the nomination and he gave a brilliant speech in St. Paul. He had lavish praise for Hillary and then zeroed in on McCain, making clear that the November general election will pit fresh new ideas and energy against the same old tired policies of the Bush administration.
Hillary did not concede, in fact, Terry McAuliffe introduced her as "the next president of the United States." Has he not been watching CNN? Hillary said she would be considering her options over the next few days and sent out emails asking her supporters for advice. I got one and I sent a message saying how proud I was to be a Hillary Clinton supporter who voted for her and caucused for her in Texas and gave the campaign money, but Obama now has enough delegates for the nomination and it's time to unite the party for a Democratic victory in November. It's time for her to concede and endorse Obama, and I hope she didn't miss a golden opportunity last night. I would love to see her become the VP nominee because, even though I would have preferred Clinton/Obama, I believe that an Obama/Clinton ticket will be unbeatable. Without Hillary, he is very vulnerable. We cannot risk a McCain presidency.
As much as I love Hillary, I am in awe of the fact that this son of a Kenyan immigrant and a white woman from Kansas has become the nominee of a major party for the Presidency. It's astounding.
Oh yeah, McCain gave a speech last night and sounded old and bumbling. That is all.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Today is the very last day of the Democratic Primary. Everybody take a deep breath. South Dakota and Montana vote today and the AP is already reporting that Obama has clinched the nomination. Meanwhile, Hillary has actually said that she would be "open" to the Veep slot.
It's time to rally around Obama/Clinton '08!
Monday, June 2, 2008
In South Dakota today, Bill Clinton said:
Groundbreaking couturier Yves Saint Laurent has died in Paris at the age of 71. Read about his ground breaking career in the New York Times obit here. At the young age of 21 he was selected to replace christian Dior following Dior's death, and maintained his position at the top of the fashion industry until his retirement in 2002.
I recall watching a television interview he gave in the 70s at the time when conspicuous designer labels were first in vogue and YSL tee shirts were popping up everywhere. The interviewer actually asked him if he "liked women," obviously trolling for some shocking homosexual admission. He replied that he loved women because of their mystery and I'm not sure he understood the not-so-subtle subtext of her question. The whole situation was absurd - this very feminine fashion designer who lived with his lover quite openly being asked such a question from some clueless American reporter so Ma and Pa Kettle could stare in titillated shock at the exotic homosexual. The picture above was taken in the 70s and yet people actually wondered if he could possibly be gay. Didn't Johnny Carson ask Richard Simmons the same question? We were a nation of innocents.
Photos are from Jesse on the Brink