Friday, October 31, 2008

Today: Double Your Donation To Prop 8 With The Help Of Tim Gill

Tim Gill, the founder of software giant Quark and gay social network Connextion, has made a $100K matching donation to No On 8.
Gill said “Proposition 8 needs all of our support to be defeated and protect marriage for gays and lesbians not just in California, but across the country. This amendment would eliminate the equal treatment of all Californians and write discrimination into the state constitution.”
Gill will match dollar for dollar all donations made by midnight tonight via the Connextion giving link.

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Bill Clinton Says No On 8

Via Equality California:
In a telephone call to California voters, President Clinton delivers the following message regarding the unfairness of Proposition 8:

"This is Bill Clinton calling to ask you to vote NO on Proposition 8 on Tuesday, November 4th. Proposition 8 would use state law to single out one group of Californians to be treated differently -- discriminating against members of our family, our friends and our co-workers.

"If I know one thing about California, I know that is not what you're about. That is not what America is about. Please vote NO on 8. It's unfair and it's wrong. Thank you."

The calls from President Clinton went to millions of registered California voters overnight.
UPDATE: From Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California:
The latest Field Poll, released this morning, shows that our campaign ads are working. Now that we are finally up on the air equal with the other side, we have turned our deficit in the polls into a very narrow lead with 49% indicating they plan to vote no and 44% saying they intend to vote yes.

Unfortunately, the same poll found that 22 percent of those surveyed had already voted -- and that this group voted "yes" on Proposition 8, 50 to 44 percent. That's why it is so critical that over the weekend we convince any undecided voters to vote NO on Tuesday. We need your contribution NOW!

This will be an extremely close race that will be decided by the 7 to 10% of voters still up for grabs. We must continue to stay on the air equal with the other side in order to convince these voters to vote NO.

Our new hard hitting television ad, narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, reminds voters of the history of discrimination starting with the internment of Japanese Americans during World War 2. Watch our new ad.

We need to raise a minimum of $1.5 million today to keep this ad on the air over the weekend and on Monday. Donate Now!

With your help we will defeat this attempt to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry the person they love and strip away our dignity. Please continue your support with a donation and ask the people who care for you to do the same keep this new ad on the air.

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New From Republicans Against 8

Republicans Against 8 reference an anti-gay proposition opposed by Ronald Reagan, then close with the clip of the Governator telling the LCR that he opposes Prop 8. Does anyone know if this has been seen anywhere besides YouTube?

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Barricade Your Houses!
The Homos Are Coming!

Photo caption from the Orange County Register:
Peggy and Terence Carey adjust wind-blown signs after placing 54 'Yes on 8' signs on their front lawns. The Fullerton couple were motivated after vandals first began stealing the 2 signs they put up initially. They now take them all in at night. They are now more than ever determined to exercise their rights they say.
Sign stealing on both sides has become the official state sport in California.

(Via - Towleroad)

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NYPD Entrapping Gay Men At Adult Shops

Duncan Osbourne at Gay City News reports on the NYPD's entrapment of gay men patronizing NYC's adult bookstores. One example of how their trap works:
Robert Pinter was looking for a DVD and perhaps a good time when he visited Blue Door Video on First Avenue in the East Village. He was approached by an attractive young Asian-American man. "He is smiling, he's really a cute guy, very friendly," said Pinter, 52. "He initiated the conversation and drove the whole conversation."

Pinter said they agreed to have sex and the young man, who told Pinter he was 29, suggested they leave the shop and go to his car, which was parked outside. As they were exiting, the young man, who never told Pinter his name, mentioned money for the first time.

"He sort of threw in 'Oh, I want to pay you $50 to suck your dick,'" Pinter said. "When he offered me the money my first thought was he wanted me to pay him the money. When I realized that it wasn't that way, I thought it wasn't logical." Pinter said nothing in response and continued walking with the young man. Once outside, they were surrounded by a group of men who Pinter soon learned were police.

"At first I thought it was a gang because they didn't say anything, they didn't identify themselves as police," Pinter said. "They took my bag, started going through my possessions. I must have asked them four or five times, 'Why are you putting me under arrest?'"

Pinter, who has no prior arrests, was charged with prostitution. He was held handcuffed in a van for hours while officers made additional arrests around Manhattan, then photographed and fingerprinted at a Lower East Side police precinct, and finally arraigned on October 11, roughly 24 hours after his arrest, in the criminal courts downtown.
According to Osbourne, police have arrested numerous men at adult bookstores by claiming they were engaging in prostitution. Most of the men have pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in order to make the charges go away. So basically, all you have to do is agree to leave with someone and the police can make up anything they want.

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Broadway Friday

- The revival of David Mamet's American Buffalo begins previews tonight at the Belasco Theater. Leads: John Leguizamo and Cedric The Entertainer.

-It's her party. Leslie Gore performs tonight at Metropolitan Museum in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. Tickets $50.

-Addams Family: The Musical will stage its world premier in Chicago in the fall of 2009 before its Broadway debut. Music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa.

-Full casting for the revival of West Side Story has been announced: "The cast of 37 will star Matt Cavenaugh (A Catered Affair, Grey Gardens) as "Tony," Karen Olivo (In the Heights) as "Anita," Cody Green (Movin' Out) as "Riff" and George Akram (The Farrelly's Stuck on You) as "Bernardo." The role of "Maria" will be played by Broadway newcomer Josefina Scaglione." Previews begin March 24th at the Palace Theater.

-Yet another revival: "A Broadway revival of Ketti Frings' 1957 play Look Homeward, Angel, featuring a new adaptation by Pulitzer Prize winner David Auburn, will bow on Broadway in Fall 2009, according to Variety. Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan will direct the production. No casting has been announced. The play, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is based on the autobiographical, coming-of-age 1929 novel by Thomas Wolfe. Auburn is best known for Proof, which Sullivan directed."

-TIME's Richard Zoglin on the revival glut: "Theater critics love to complain about the glut of revivals on Broadway, but what would we do without them? For one thing, they keep the theaters filled — something that a handful of new musicals (and an even smaller handful of straight plays) each season could never do on their own. For another, they let critics show off their taste and theatrical erudition: doling out ritual praise to the classics of the canon, comparing and contrasting the new production with the Definitive 1975 Version That I Saw But You Didn't. And they give stars a chance to demonstrate their acting chops, stretch their talents — and, of course, keep working."

-Rosie O'Donnell's live variety show for NBC will take place on Broadway at the Shubert Theater.

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Prop 8: The Final Poll

Here's a graphic of the Field Poll results I posted early this morning.

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Tomorrow: 70,000 Wingnuts To Descend On San Diego To Battle Gay Marriage

Man, that is one scary voice. From the Mercury-News:
For Proposition 8 supporters who feel the ballot measure is a line in the sand defending "traditional marriage" as being only between a man and a woman, the stakes are just as high.

"This vote on whether we stop the gay-marriage juggernaut in California is Armageddon," Charles Colson, the former Nixon administration official turned evangelical leader, said in a video that is being quoted by pastors around the state. On Saturday some of the nation's best-known evangelical leaders are hoping to fill Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego for a rally on behalf of the proposed ban.

Lou Engle — the charismatic founder of TheCall, an evangelical 12-hour gathering of prayer and fasting with a strong following among young people — will be one of the evangelical leaders at the rally, along with James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

That combination of leaders is "extraordinary. It just tells about the significance of the moment and the real need to pray," Engle, whose ministry is based in Kansas City, said in an interview Wednesday. "I spoke recently with a man from a Muslim country, who said to me, 'Lou, we're praying for you all over the world, for what you're doing, because if same-sex marriage stands in California, it will sweep all over the world.'"
From the website of TheCall:
Recently the Supreme Court of California disregarded the votes of the people and legalized homosexual marriage. The entire world listened attentively as the mayor of San Francisco boasted, “As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation. Its inevitable, this door is wide open. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. This is the future, and its now.” The world is looking to California for moral leadership while California finds herself caught in the snare of idolatry and self-worship. Recently I received an urgent call on behalf of hundreds of pastors admitting that California wouldn’t be saved simply political petitioning and confessed the reality of an ongoing spiritual battle within the state and the need to mobilize for mass fasting and prayer. They asked us to bring TheCall to San Diego, not knowing that we received several powerful directives from the Lord a year ago that TheCall was going to go to the stadium in San Diego.
Intrepid gay reporter Rex Wockner will be attending and I'll have his report here this weekend.

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Don't Touch

6 Train, Thursday, 7pm

A five year-old boy is swinging from the grab pole in the middle of the train.

Mom: Don't touch the pole. It has germs on it.
Kid: You say that about everything.
Mom: Everything has germs. Don't touch anything.
: What about people?
Mom: People have the most germs. Don't touch people.
Kid: Fine. I won't touch you either.
Mom: I'm used to that. Ask your father.

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McCain To Appear On SNL

This Saturday:
John McCain is set to appear on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" just three days before the presidential election. Aides say the Republican presidential candidate will make a detour from battleground states to the late-night weekend show that has been a must-watch for many during the political season.

Earlier this month, McCain running mate Sarah Palin and her impersonator, Tina Fey, earned "Saturday Night Live" its best ratings in 14 years. Palin's guest shot had been widely anticipated since Fey began imitating her a month ago. McCain last appeared on the show in May, after clinching the nomination and while the Democratic primary continued. McCain hosted "SNL" in 2002.
It may seem risky for McCain to appear on SNL just three days before the election, but his previous appearances have been well-received.

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R Is For Rename

On Tuesday, San Franciscans get to vote on Prop R - the renaming of a local sewage treatment plant after George W. Bush. Proponents will hold an Election Night party at City Hall hosted by drag impresario Peaches Christ. Yes On R!

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Closures Rock Magazine World

So many magazines have folded or cut back on frequency in the last week that it's impossible to keep up. Gawker ticks off a few casualties:
The publishing landscape is so bloodied right now that it's hard to keep track of all the corpses. This month has seen the end of Radar, Men's Vogue, CosmoGirl, 02138, Culture + Travel plus cuts at Time Inc., Portfolio, Niche Media, and Doubleday. Wow. Two casualties have gone largely unnoticed. A tipster informs us that Town And Country Travel closed a few weeks ago to little fanfare. Meanwhile, the New York offices of London-based travel book series Rough Guides are said to have closed, presumably doomed by declining travel, a declining pound — and perhaps a Gotham too depressing to visit. (Publishers, we know things are rough, but do allow us to give all your titles proper burials.)
Damn, I liked the Rough Guides.

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Hitting Back At Elizabeth Dole

Now it's a "I'M more Christian than YOU are!" contest.

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The Scariest House On The Block

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Rachel Maddow Interviews Obama

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Samuel Jackson Says No On 8

An excellent new clip from Samuel L. Jackson appeals to black voters.

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Latest Poll: Yes On 8 Down By 5

The latest Field Poll, released last night:
Over the past six weeks, a proposed constitutional amendment that would end same-sex marriage in California has gained substantial ground but still trails by a five-point margin heading into Tuesday's election.

A new Field Poll shows Proposition 8, one of the most closely watched state ballot measures in years, is supported by 44 percent of likely voters. Forty-nine percent oppose it, and 7 percent are undecided.

In the last Field Poll, released Sept. 18, the measure was behind by 17 points.

"It's certainly closer than it was before the advertising campaign hit," said Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo. "A lot of that has to do with the campaigning on the Yes (on 8) side."
The battle for Prop 8 is now the most expensive social referendum fight ever waged, and is the second-most expensive campaign this year behind the presidential race.
According to outside estimates, the campaigns for and against Proposition 8 have raised more than $60 million in donations, setting a new record nationally for a social policy initiative—and trumping every other race in the country this year in spending except the presidential contest.

By comparison, the second-highest campaign spending numbers in the country can be found in Minnesota's Senate race between the Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and comedian Al Franken, where the sides have raised about $35 million combined. Similar initiatives to ban same-sex marriage in Arizona and Florida have raised just over $11 million combined.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

NYC Election Night LGBT Party

I imagine a few of us would relish an opportunity to speak to Christine Quinn about a couple things. But hey, why ruin a great night?

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Ashley Todd Gets Off With Probation

Ashley Todd, the 20 year-old McCain campaign worker who falsely claimed she'd been attacked by a black mugger/Obama supporter, has struck a deal in which she will be on probation for one year, provided she gets mental counseling.
Under the agreement, her criminal record will be expunged after if she stays out of trouble and gets mental treatment on probation. Most people spend a year on probation in the program, which is for first-time, nonviolent offenders. "Our focus was really, 'This is somebody who appeared to have some mental issues,'" said prosecutor Chris Avetta. "And we wanted to make sure she doesn't hurt herself or anybody else." Todd's public defender, Emily McNally, declined to comment.
Unbelievable. I know she's out of her gourd, but what Todd did seems worthy of more than this slap on the wrist. I'm also not crazy about how the McCain campaign manager who called the media to trump up the story is also coming out of this unscathed. Race baiting: standard operating procedure for the McCain campaign.

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Do You Believe In Life After Bush?

Cher Barack'd the vote on the Today Show this morning, saying she could never vote for a Republican. Video here.

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Silicon Valley Stands Up For Equality

A broad coalition of Silicon Valley tech companies have formed "Silicon Valley Leaders Says No On Proposition 8" and will publish a full-page ad in tomorrow's San Jose Mercury-News urging opposition to Prop 8.
The honorary co-chairs of “Silicon Valley Leaders Say NO on Proposition 8″ include: Brin; Bill Campbell, Chairman, Intuit; David Filo, Founder, Yahoo; Chuck Geschke, Founder and Chairman, Adobe Systems; John Morgridge, Former CEO and Chairman, Cisco Systems; Pierre Omidyar, Founder and Chairman, eBay; Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook; Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google; and Jerry Yang, Founder, Yahoo.

In a statement in a press release set to go out this morning, Yang said: “Silicon Valley has always been an example for the rest of the country of how diversity and openness help to drive innovation and value creation. This divisive measure is the antithesis of those values that make Silicon Valley so unique.”
Embiggen the image for a complete list of the dozens of tech firms on board.

RELATED: Yesterday the chancellor of UC Berkeley warned of a creative class brain-drain to more friendly locales if Prop 8 passes.
"Inclusion provides the rich diversity of intellectual life and creative learning that are at the heart of this great university. Inclusiveness is a specific strategic advantage that allows us to attract and retain talented people who could easily choose to move to other parts of the country. For example, in Massachusetts, home to Harvard and MIT, who are among our greatest competitors for faculty, same-sex marriage has been legal for some years. It is recognized in states such as New York, home to Columbia and Cornell, who are also major rivals for top faculty. The constitutional right to marry in the State of California enhances UC Berkeley's ability to attract and retain the very best students, staff and faculty, with the promise of equal treatment under the laws of our state. Social theorist Richard Florida has shown that the economic success of American cities is based on their ability to attract a "creative class" of "talented people who seek an environment open to differences." Proposition 8 will harm the social conditions in our state that promote creativity, justice, and prosperity."

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Who Would Jeebus Hack? Cyber Attack On No On 8 Fundraising Site Continues

Last night's cyber-attack on No On 8's site is continuing.
The denial-of-service (DoS) attack on that started last night continues. When you attempt to go to the URL, it either will time out or, perhaps, eventually load after a long delay.

How does this happen?

In one common DoS scenario, it would be this:

Botnets of infected Windows computers under the control of cyber criminals have been instructed to hit with more requests for its main page than the servers can handle.

Why does this matter?

The Web page is how the folks fighting Prop 8 are raising the money they need to put ads on TV to try to win on Nov. 4.
The Christianists have shrewdly waited until the precise moment when funds are most desperately needed. Who would Jeebus hack?

UPDATE: This just in from No On 8:
The NO on Prop 8 Web site was hit by a massive cyber invasion called a distributed denial of service attack (DoS) that took down the site for several hours last night, with the assault originating not just in-state, but from Texas, New Jersey and Georgia.

The NO on Prop 8 campaign's Web site attack started late yesterday afternoon when the Web team was alerted by higher-than-normal traffic. The traffic escalated over the next several hours, slowing the system and by 10 pm, a small team of engineers concluded that that NO on 8 website was under a full cyber attack.

"I'm sure we'll hear a lot of denials today from the Prop 8 campaign, but this is clearly an orchestrated attempt to tear down what has become one of the largest grassroots movements in California electoral history," said Patrick Guerriero, NO on Prop 8 Campaign Director. "We have reported this to the FBI and other federal authorities and we have secured our site in ways we never thought would be necessary. But make no mistake - this was an attack against individual rights, not just a Web site."

From what the NO on Prop 8 campaign knows, the DoS attack started yesterday from a small number of individuals. It is believed the attacks, which occurred throughout the night, came from California, Texas, New Jersey and Georgia. The attacks to the site increased from a small number of hosts to dozens. As IP addresses of attackers were blacklisted, new IP addresses emerged and attacked. The NO on Prop 8 campaign has reported the DoS to the FBI and the Secret Service, which has jurisdiction over such attacks to prevent breaks in the national financial networks.

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Election Stress? Me?

If the election has you stressed, Shelley suggests kicking back in a big ol' pile of laundry at the bottom of the closet.

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Vote North Carolina

Funny, funny, funny. As a native Tarheel, I endorse this clip.

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Shhhh! Governator Says No On 8

Without any accompanying commentary or fanfare, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has released a position paper on all of that state's referenda. He's for high-speed rail. He's for for children's health care. Oh, and by the way, he's against Prop 8.

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Gay Marriage = Hitler

"There was another time in history when people, when the bell tolled. And the question was whether or not they were going to hear it. The time was during Nazi Germany with Adolf Hitler. You see he brought crowds of clergy together to assure them that he was going to look after the church.

"And one of the members, bold and courageous, Reverend Niemand (sp?) made his way to the front and (inaudible) said "Hitler, we are not concerned about the church. Jesus Christ will take care of the church. We are concerned about the soul of Germany." Embarrassed and chagrined, his peers quickly shuffled him to the back.And as they did Adolf Hitler said, "The soul of Germany, you can leave that to me."

"And they did, and because they did bombs did not only fall upon the nation of Germany, but also upon the church and their testimony to this very day. Let us not make that mistake folks. Let us hear the bell! Vote on Proposition 8!" - Yes On 8 spokesman Brad Dacus.

(Via - Pam's House Blend)

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Ms. Helen Philpot Speaks

The interwebs are buzzing over whether Margaret and Helen, the hilarious pro-Obama blog purportedly written by two 80-something women, is real or not. No conclusions yet, but check out this post from one of the authors, Helen Philpot.
I am surprised that some of you are up in arms about my calling Sarah Palin a bitch, or John McCain an ass or even George Bush a jackass. I read your comments about how I should be more respectable and not call Sarah Palin a bitch. Some of you are actually praying for me because I called John McCain an ass. In particular I am struck by the comments that suggest the problem with our country is that we can’t have an intelligent conversation to solve our problems without resorting to name calling like when I called George Bush a jackass.

Well this old broad is hurt. Clearly I didn’t start this blog to call Sarah Palin a bitch…or John McCain an ass… or even George Bush a jackass. I am so sorry if I have offended any of you. What was I thinking when I called Sarah Palin a bitch?

New rules:

I will stop calling George Bush a jackass when he stops calling me a terrorist: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

I will stop calling John McCain an ass when he stops calling Barack Obama a socialist at every dog and pony show on the Straight Talk Express tour.

I will stop calling Sarah Palin a bitch when she stops calling Obama a terrorist sympathizer. And I will stop calling Sarah Palin a bitch when she stops calling the parts of the country where I don’t live more Pro-American than the part of the country where I do live. And I will definitely stop calling Sarah Palin a bitch when she stops acting like a bitch.

I’m old enough to remember the Republican party of Barry Goldwater - when the party stood for fiscal responsibility, small government and personal freedoms. I remember when I could talk with friends about politics and just agree to disagree. And then religious nut cases decided that if you didn’t agree with them you were immoral. So they went and elected George Bush President so he could take the Republican Party from being a party full of respectable people to a party filled with asses, jackasses and yes - bitches like Sarah Palin.

I am tired of Rush Limbaugh suggesting that feminism is a dirty word. How hard did he fight to gain the right to vote? Or own property in his own name? Or get equal pay for equal work?

And I am tired of Sean Hannity suggesting I am un-American because I don’t think that war is the answer to everything. How many bullets has he taken defending his country in battle?

And I am tired that Sarah Palin can decide what she wants to do with her body but other women can’t make that decision for themselves.

NEW, New Rules:

If you are not for me, you are against me. I’ll get over it. Now kindly return the favor.

Oh…and one last thing. Elisabeth Hasselbeck is still a moron. There is just no way around that, Folks.

So. Real or not real? The rest of the blog is just as good.

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Hackers Attack Gay Marriage Sites

The No On 8 and Say No 2 sites were the apparent victims of a cyber attack last night. Via press release:
Today the NO on Prop 8 campaign's Web site was the victim of what appears to be a coordinated attack designed to bring the system down. According to , the denial-of-service attack (DoS) on the NO on Prop 8 website occurred before 11:30pm, Wednesday, October 29th and coincides with a similar attack on Florida's NO on 2 campaign, the Constitutional Amendment Against Marriage Equality.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, an attacker attempts to prevent legitimate users from accessing information or services. By targeting a computer and its network connection, or the computers and network of the sites, an attacker may be able to prevent someone from accessing email, web sites, online accounts (banking, etc.), or other services that rely on the affected computer. The most common and obvious type of DoS attack occurs when an attacker "floods" a network with information. The NO on Prop 8 campaign will provide additional details as they become available.
Both sites are are back up at the moment. I'll add more details to this story if they become available.

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More Lovely McCain Supporters

If Obama wins, these people will completely lose the tiny remaining shreds of their shriveled flaccid brains.

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Homo Haters To Be Barred From UK

The British government has announced new rules that will bar those spreading "extremism, hatred, and violence" from entering the UK, including religious leaders and musicians who preach hatred against homosexuals. The new measures include a "name and shame" tactic of sharing the list of those banned with other countries.
Under the new system, any foreign citizen whose arrival here is deemed to be undesirable will be barred from entering unless they can demonstrate why it would be safe to allow them into the country. Those excluded will be placed on an official list of banned individuals which will be published and updated every three months and their details will also be circulated to other countries.

One of the main targets of the crackdown will be militant Muslim extremists, such as the radical preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed who is already banned from returning to Britain under existing rules. The curbs could also apply to extremists from other religions as well as neo-Nazis, animal rights activists and those with virulently anti-homosexual views whose inflammatory words might incite violence.

Opposition politicians warned that the plans were inadequate because they do not cover those using the internet to spread hate or militants who are already living in the UK. Ms Smith will insist today, however, that the tougher rules which replace a previous system whose legal rules made it more difficult for the Government to justify a barring order would be a valuable step forward towards curbing the spread of dangerous extremist ideas. One official added: "Coming to the UK is a privilege. We don't want people abusing that by stirring up tensions."
I imagine that Peter Tatchell already has a long list of dancehall, reggae and rap stars to submit to the list. Could something like this ever be implemented in U.S.? It seems doubtful. Like many European countries and Canada, Britain restricts hate speech much more aggressively than we do.

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Palin Talks 2012

Yesterday Sarah Palin shocked her own handlers when she said that she was already thinking about her 2012 campaign.
CNN's Dana Bash told cohort Wolf Blitzer that a senior McCain advisor was rendered "speechless" by Palin's comment. "There was a long pause, and then I just heard a 'Huh.' on the other end of the phone. I mean, this is certainly not a surprise to anybody who has watched Sarah Palin that she is interested in potentially...a future national run. Certainly she is being urged to by a lot of people inside the Republican Party if they do lose." Gov. Palin has already been called a "diva" and "rogue" by people within the McCain campaign who see her straying from prescribed narrative in her speeches, having "lost confidence in most of the people on the plane."
It's rather unprecedented for someone in Palin's position to make the slightest acknowledgment of a potential loss at this stage of the campaign.

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Jeff Kent Gives $15K To Yes On 8

The Los Angeles Dodger's second baseman, Jeff Kent, has donated $15K to Yes On 8.
Jeff Kent, 40, who played second base for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, has stepped into the emotional world of same-sex marriage, giving $15,000 to backers of the California proposition on Tuesday's ballot that would ban it. In a disclosure filed with the California secretary of state, Kent listed his occupation as professional baseball player for the Dodgers and his address as Austin, Texas. He gave the $15,000 in a transaction dated Monday but which only now is public.
Kent, who is a Hall of Fame shoo-in, was my favorite player when he played for San Francisco. He's expected to announce his retirement at any moment, so I guess he feels safe to make such a controversial gesture. I don't think we've heard of any other professional athletes donating to Yes On 8, have we?

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Lesbian Huffington Post Columnist Dead In Florida Murder-Suicide

Carol Anne Burger, 57, an openly lesbian columnist for the Huffington Post, murdered her ex-partner by stabbing her 222 times with a screwdriver and then committed suicide by shooting herself in the head on Friday. The murder occurred two days earlier and it was initially presumed that had Burger killed herself out of sorrow, but yesterday Florida police concluded that she had committed the attack on her ex-partner.
Carol Anne Burger killed her former lover by stabbing her 222 times with a Phillips-head screwdriver and then took pains to hide her crime, police said Wednesday. Jessica Kalish, who shared a house with Burger despite breaking up with her more than a year ago, was found last Thursday stuffed in the backseat of her gun-metal BMW sedan, abandoned behind a medical office at 2300 S. Congress Avenue. Her blood was splashed around the rear end and undercarriage of the car, as if her killer had tried to load her into the trunk. The driver-side window was shattered.

Examining the body, detectives absorbed what had been done to her. Stab wounds were clustered around the back of her head and stitched across her back and arms and face. Most were between an inch and an inch-and-a-half deep. A blow to Kalish's neck probably killed her, investigators determined. At a news conference Wednesday, police laid out what they'd learned during a week of investigation. They said the evidence pointed to one conclusion: Burger killed Kalish, a 56-year-old software executive whom friends described as worldly and intelligent, and then tried to throw investigators off her trail.
On Friday the Huffington Post published a tribute to Burger before it became known that she'd committed the murder.
Carol Anne, an award-winning photojournalist and former editor, was an OffTheBus Election Correspondent. She used her background in journalism to bring us ground reports from her home state of Florida - and was very excited to be writing about the presidential election and filed multiple stories a week. She covered a wide range of stories including early voting in Florida, a summit on green jobs with Barack Obama and swing-state governors and a Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation event. Her high energy and curiosity kept OffTheBus editors on our toes. Vermonter Christian Avard - who worked with Carol Anne on her final dispatch - wrote that she was "always fun to work with, cheerful, and always very supportive. We are all very lucky to have Carol Anne be a part of the Off the Bus family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of Carol Anne Burger and Jessica Kalish."
The story is getting major play in the Christianist and right-wing blogosphere, including at World Net Daily and Free Republic, where forum members are making exulting comments like "Two less votes for Barack Obama!"

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It's Make Or Break Time On Prop 8

Reportedly, internal polling at Equality California shows Prop 8 at a dead heat right now. But this just in from executive director Geoff Kors:
On Tuesday, the other side reported donations of $2.2 million, dwarfing the $255,650 we reported, and called on their donors to contribute another $3 million. With this enormous sum of money they are buying every available ad space on TV in California to blast even more of their hateful lies and prevent our messages from being seen. Unless we raise $3 million in the next three days we will likely lose.
Donate to save marriage equality in California here.

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Open Thread Thursday

How has the economic crisis affected you personally? Is your job or business in danger? Have you put off buying a car, a house, or taking a vacation?

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Obama Show

Here's tonight's 30-minute infomercial from Obama. Slick, smooth, but no new ground was broken.

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Worshipping The Golden Calf

Christianists love money as much as Jeebus, so much so that some of them gathered at the Wall Street bull statue today at the behest of Prosperity Gospeletta, aka Cindy Jacobs.
Cindy is calling for a Day of Prayer for the World’s Economies on Wednesday, October 29, 2008. They are calling for prayer for the stock markets, banks, and financial institutions of the world on the date the stock market crashed in 1929. They are meeting at the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Bank, and its 12 principal branches around the US that day.

“We are going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the 'Lion’s Market,' or God’s control over the economic systems,” she said. “While we do not have the full revelation of all this will entail, we do know that without intercession, economies will crumble.” Cindy is encouraging prayer groups to intercede for banks and financial institutions in your area. Cindy says each of us has to be accountable to the Lord.
No other gods before them? Graven images? Bah!

(Via - Wonkette)

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No On 8 To Air YouTube Clips

Via press release:
In a first for an American political campaign, the NO on Prop 8 campaign will pay to air two spots that were originally produced and uploaded to YouTube by supporters completely independent of the campaign.

"We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of talent and creativity that has just exploded on the Internet," said Patrick Guerriero, NO on 8 campaign director. "People just can't believe how unfair and wrong this initiative is and they're creating innovative Web-based viral spots to get the word out to vote NO on Prop 8. We thank everyone who has put their talent and time in spreading the word about the importance of opposing Prop 8."

The independently produced spots have been a huge hit on the Web. There have been more than 3 million views of videos that appear on the campaign's YouTube channel. Several spots in the channel have been ranked as "#1 Most Viewed" and "#1 Most Discussed" in the Nonprofits and Activism Category. The channel has consistently been ranked in the top 100 Most Watched Channels.

"The power of all of these YouTube videos is that they represent a chorus of voices, a community of people who may never have met or spoken but share the same passion that discrimination is wrong. They have immediate credibility," said Chris Maliwat, the campaign's web strategy director.

Late last week, the NO on Prop 8 campaign approached the producers of two of the spots and asked them to pare down their Web videos into 30-second commercials. The ads, entitled "Constitution" and "Moms," will begin running statewide tomorrow. During the summer, in a completely organic and grassroots fashion, people independently produced their own messages and uploaded to YouTube.
Here are the two clips, both of which I've posted in longer form in recent weeks.

RELATED: Rex Wockner called for this move earlier in the month.

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Wingnut Offers $150K For Tape Of Obama With Palestinian Activist

After the Los Angeles Times refused to release a copy of a tape it claims to have of Barack Obama appearing at a 2003 dinner with Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi, wingnut zillionaire Aston Grimaldi has offered $150,000 to anybody who gives him the tape.

John McCain and Sarah Palin are blasting the Times for withholding the tape.
"Apparently this is a tape with a dinner that Mr. Ayers, the former, and now still, unrepentant terrorist, who was at, and also the, one of the leading spokespersons for the PLO. Now, why that should not be made public is beyond me," McCain told La Kalle radio.

"I guarantee you, if there was a tape with me and Sarah Palin and some neo-Nazi or one of those, you think that that tape wouldn't be made public? Of course, Americans need to know, particularly about Ayers, and also about the PLO. So hopefully there will be enough pressure on the L.A. Times that it'll come out, but its really unfortunate that we have to go through this," McCain continued.

Palin too lambasted the newspaper for its inaction. "If there's a Pulitzer Prize category for excelling in cow-towing, then the LA Times, you're winning," she said. The LA Times told that it won't reveal how it obtained the tape of Khalidi's farewell party, nor will the newspaper release it. Spokeswoman Nancy Sullivan said the paper is not interested in revisiting the story. "As far as we're concerned, the story speaks for itself," she said.
But uh-oh, whoopsie - McCain himself donated to Khalidi's organization.
During the 1990s, while he served as chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI), McCain distributed several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi, including one worth half a million dollars. A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi's Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank.

The relationship extends back as far as 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as chairman in January. Foreign Affairs noted in September of that year that IRI had helped fund several extensive studies in Palestine run by Khalidi's group, including over 30 public opinion polls and a study of "sociopolitical attitudes." Of course, there's seemingly nothing objectionable with McCain's organization helping a Palestinian group conduct research in the West Bank or Gaza. But it does suggest that McCain could have some of his own explaining to do as he tries to make hay out of Khalidi's ties to Obama.
It will be a pleasure watching this one blow up in McCain's face.

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More Lies From Elizabeth Dole

From Huffington Post:
Falling behind in her reelection race, Sen. Elizabeth Dole has uncorked one hell of a charge: The Democrat running against me is godless. Dole's 30-second ad, which is running on television in North Carolina but has not (understandably) been promoted by the GOP, uses a September fundraiser co-hosted by 40 people, including a representative of the Godless America PAC, to falsely accuse Democrat Kay Hagan of being an atheist herself. The end of the ad features a picture of Hagan with a female voice yelling "there is no God!" -- the clear implication is that the voice is Hagan's. In fact, the Democratic candidate is a Sunday School teacher and an elder at her Presbyterian church.

Of all the Republicans I desperately want to see fall, Elizabeth Dole is at the top of the list.

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Yes On 8 Gets Another Prime Opportunity

Oy. The "think about the children!" people are having another field day in California.
A Bay Area elementary school got caught in the crossfire of a ballot initiative seeking to outlaw same-sex marriage in California on Tuesday after a kindergarten teacher asked her pupils to sign pledge cards promising not to use anti-gay slurs., the coalition of social and religious conservative groups sponsoring Proposition 8, offered the episode at Faith Ringgold Elementary School in Hayward as proof for its claim that the measure is needed to prevent public schools from discussing gay unions with students.

"Since the words 'between a man and a woman' have been taken out of the California laws, it has created a can opener for gay activists to take this kind of curriculum into our elementary schools—not 9th grade, not 12th grade, but kindergarten," said campaign spokeswoman Sonya Eddings Brown.

Produced by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, the cards were given to the children as part of Faith Ringgold elementary's commemoration of National Ally Week, an event sponsored by the network and designed to discourage harassment of gay teenagers.

"I am taking a stand for a safe and harassment-free school for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression," read the pledges. "As an ally, I pledge to not use anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language or slurs."
Seriously. This couldn't have waited ONE week?

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McCain In His Own Words

Love the shot of Palin at the end. Burn!

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My Ballot

Unlike those of you burdened with page after page of confusing referenda, New York only has one item about disabled veterans seeking civil service jobs. My Congressperson, Carolyn Mahoney, should coast to an easy win, as should my state Senator Liz Krueger and state Assemblyman Micah Kellner. I'd say it's a straight Dem ticket for me this time, except that Kellner is bisexual. Yuk, yuk.

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Vote Flipping Caught On Tape

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Early Birds For Obama

From the Washington Post:
More than twelve million voters have already cast ballots in the presidential contest, according to one estimate, and new data from the Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll shows these voters breaking Democratic by a wide margin. Among those who said they have already voted at an early voting location or sent in an absentee ballot, Barack Obama picked up 60 percent of the vote in the new poll to John McCain's 39 percent. These voters make up 9 percent of "likely" voters in the track.

The senator from Illinois has a similar lead, 58 to 39 percent, among those who plan to vote early but have not yet. (Those who plan to vote on Election Day also go for Obama, but by a narrower, 51 to 45 percent.) These early voting numbers are a near mirror-image of those from the last two elections: A paper using the National Annenberg Election Study reports that George W. Bush scored 62 percent of early voters in 2000 and 60 percent of them in 2004.
Have you voted already? I'm all for early voting, but I really enjoy the thrill of election day - the lines, the chatter, the sense of optimism. My polling place is less than a hundred feet from my front door, so I'm might just sit on my stoop and enjoy the atmosphere for a while.

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Do Not Want

(Via - JMG reader Chris)

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Don't Let Up

The Obama campaign goes funny in their plea that we not get overconfident.

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Conn. Marriage Equality Begins Nov.10th

Same-sex marriage begins in Connecticut on November 10th.
Same-sex couples will be able to pick up marriage licence applications in the US state of Connecticut from November 10th. The Supreme Court of Connecticut overturned a ban on gay marriage earlier this month, ruling that by stopping same sex partners from marrying was a violation of their constitutional rights. The court is to decide the exact date on which gay marriages can be conducted. There have been more than 2,000 civil unions in ths state since they were legalized in 2005. "I would bet that the majority of those people would change the civil unions to marriage," said Anne Stanback, president of gay rights group Love Makes a Family. "I think that you have people who've waited to get married and have not had civil unions."
What's the legal process for changing from a civil union to a marriage?

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Hollywood Says No On 8

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GOP Senate Candidate Scares Voters With Robocalls From Fake Gay Group

The GOP has reached a new low in South Carolina. Check this shit out:
Sources say Republican Senate candidate and current state Rep. Mick Mulvaney is reportedly behind the most underhanded phone call in South Carolina since John McCain didn't father a black child out of wedlock in 2000. The call purportedly comes from "The Alliance for the Advancement of Gays and Lesbians" and touts Mulvaney's opponent Mandy Powers Norrell's support for "homosexual unions and abortion rights."

Here's the audio and a transcript:

"Hi, this is Allison calling from the Alliance for the Advancement of Gays and Lesbians. We are a pro-gay rights, pro-choice grassroots organization. I am calling to let you know that we are supporting Mandy Powers Norrell in the state Senate. A proven Democrat, Mandy Powers Norrell supports homosexual unions and abortion rights. We can count on Mandy Powers Norrell to promote a progressive agenda in the state Senate and to fight the right wing fringe at every turn. Again, this is Allison with the Alliance for the Advancement of Gays and Lesbians asking you to vote for Democrat Mandy Powers Norrell on Tuesday, November 4. Thank you."
She's a PROVEN Democrat! Here's the audio of the clip:

If you'd like to tell Rep. Mulvaney what you think about his garbage:
Representative J. Michael "Mick" Mulvaney
District 45 - Lancaster & York Cos.
Contact Address:
(H) 518 Ralph Hood Rd., Indian Land, 29707
Cell (803) 246-1001
(C) 308A Blatt Bldg., Columbia, 29201
E-Mail Address:

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Milk Premieres In SF

Gus Van Zant's Harvey Milk biopic premiered to a star-studded audience at San Francisco's Castro Theater last night. For red carpets pics, visit Towleroad. Anybody see it yet?

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Synchronized Debating

Man, this is freaky. Check out how both candidates repeated the exact same lines with the same exact cadence at all three debates.

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Gavin Newsom Goes For It

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has laid low in the marriage equality fight ever since the Yes On 8 side scored big with their "Like It Or Not" ad. But yesterday he launched a new round of fundraisers and media appearances in a last minute bid to turn the polling around.
In the last week of what could be one of the most important political fights of his career, Mayor Gavin Newsom is campaigning heavily against Proposition 8, turning to his supporters with pleas to vote and convince their friends and relatives to oppose the same-sex marriage ban.

The mayor is hosting a private fundraiser at his Russian Hill home tonight and has already picked up $125,000 in contributions from those attending the event. This afternoon, he's holding a forum with employees at Google, and over the next several days he'll be hitting nearly every major Bay Area radio station and staging rallies around the city.

Newsom says he owes it to his constituents in San Francisco to do everything in his power to fight the initiative. But political analysts note that the outcome of Tuesday's election could weigh heavily on Newsom's future in politics, and specifically his potential bid for governor.

At a No on 8 rally at UC Santa Cruz on Tuesday, Newsom told students that he recognized that the outcome of the election could hurt his career - but he wasn't losing sleep over it. "The biggest problem in politics today is that we're risk-adverse. We're afraid of tomorrow's headlines," Newsom said. "I couldn't care less if the rest of my life I'm only known as the ex-mayor of San Francisco. I will regret nothing about standing up on this issue. I get to go to sleep at night having done the right thing."

Newsom released this clip on Friday.

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Morning View - Lexington & East 70th

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Charlie Crist Blows Florida

Florida Gov. Charlie "Closet Case" Crist must be really pissed that he went through all the trouble of getting engaged to a Vajayjay-American, only to not get picked as McCain's VP.
Florida Governor Charlie Crist, to the shock and dismay of Florida Republicans, just moved to extend early voting hours, a move likely to widen the Democrats' lead under a program on which the Obama campaign has intensely focused. "He just blew Florida for John McCain," one plugged in Florida Republican just told me.
Aw, come on. Crist has been blowing Florida for decades.

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Sen. Diane Feinstein Says No On 8

No On 8 notes:
The ad's placement on statewide television happens to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the murder of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk. Feinstein, who was President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors 30 years ago, immediately became the city's mayor at a time of great unrest and anguish. Re-elected twice, she became the first California woman elected to the United States Senate.

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NY Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith Won't Talk About Marriage Equality

You may recall that in September I worried about NY Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith's tepid enthusiasm for marriage equality. If the Democrats seize the majority next week, it will incumbent upon Smith as the new Majority Leader to finally put the issue before the Senate, potentially the final step for approval as the Democrat-dominated Assembly has already approved the issue once. (And we already know that Gov. Paterson will sign on in a heartbeat.) But watch this clip from yesterday in which Smith evades repeated questions on marriage equality, ignoring the reporter and talking instead about the economy.

If the Dems take the Senate majority on Tuesday, some think that marriage equality will be a done deal for New York. It would certainly be difficult for Smith to withstand the enormous pressure for him to bring it to the Senate floor. But I remain very suspicious of his intentions. I'll be delighted for Sen. Smith to prove me wrong - as will a few of my dear friends who've put their weddings on hold, hoping for Central Park in June.

(Clip via - Towleroad)

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McCain & Palin Call For Stevens To Quit

Today John McCain and Sarah Palin issued separate calls for convicted Alaska Senator Ted Stevens to resign.
Sarah Palin has told CNBC's Maria Bartiromo that she believes Stevens "needs to step aside and allow our state to elect someone who will be supportive of those ideals of America." On Tuesday morning, John McCain called for Sen. Ted Stevens to step down after the Alaska lawmaker was found guilty on seven counts of corruption charges, while a campaign aide suggested on television that Sarah Palin would not vote for the embattled legislator in his tight reelection race.

"Yesterday, Senator Ted Stevens was found guilty of corruption. It is a sign of the health of our democracy that the people continue to hold their representatives to account for improper or illegal conduct, but this verdict is also a sign of the corruption and insider-dealing that has become so pervasive in our nation's capital," McCain said, adding: "It is clear that Senator Stevens has broken his trust with the people and that he should now step down. I hope that my colleagues in the Senate will be spurred by these events to redouble their efforts to end this kind of corruption once and for all."
Stevens has vowed to appeal his corruption conviction and stay in the race. If he wins, he may be expelled by his fellow Senators for misconduct. If that happens or if he resigns, Palin can appoint an interim Senator until a special election is called. In 2004 Alaska changed the rules on replacing members of Congress. The new rule:
When a vacancy occurs in the office of United States senator or United States representative, the governor shall, by proclamation, call a special election to be held on a date not less than 60, nor more than 90, days after the date the vacancy occurs. However, if the vacancy occurs on a date that is less than 60 days before or is on or after the date of the primary election in the general election year during which a candidate to fill the office is regularly elected, the governor may not call a special election.
The new replacement rule may face a constitutional challenge in Alaska.

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More Lies From Lying Liars At Fox

Obama spokesman Bill Burton tangles with Fox anchor Megyn Kelly over Fox's "fair and balanced" coverage. Burton is made of the awesome. Check out Kelly lying about a recent Rasmussen poll when she claims that a majority of Americans feel that Fox is the least biased network. The poll actually said that a majority of Republicans felt that way. Uh, slight difference.

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Response From WFTV

WFTV-ABC in Orlando responded to my letter of complaint about Barbara West's treatment of Joe Biden.
Dear Viewer:

Thank you for taking time to contact us regarding Barbara West's recent interview with democratic Vice Presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden. The Obama campaign contacted us last week offering Senator Biden, via satellite, for a short interview. Barbara West, one of our most experienced anchors, was asked to interview Senator Biden, just as she had been on previous occasions.

It is our goal at Eyewitness News when interviewing any political candidate or public official to ask them a direct question about an issue currently in the public debate. Last week, when much of the political discourse centered on Senator Obama's statement to 'Joe the Plumber' that he thought 'sharing the wealth' was a good idea, Barbara decided to ask Senator Biden just how far an Obama-Biden administration would go in 'sharing the wealth'. What followed was very pointed, provocative question. We allowed Senator Biden to answer, fully unedited.

We tell our reporters and news anchors to ask the questions that one of our viewers might ask. For example, when Senator Obama visited Lakeland recently, Barbara (knowing her time with a presidential candidate would be limited) asked Senator Obama two questions: first, about drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico; and, second, about his position on the space program. The Senator's answers dominated the news cycle for the next day.

You can see all of Barbara's interviews with political candidates at including one she just did Monday with Senator John McCain. Perhaps more than any other presidential election in recent memory, this current election has stirred passions - some of them quite partisan - in many people. Through it all, we believe our mission is to address vital issues that we will face together, regardless of our own personal views with thorough, even handed reporting.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact us.
Bullshit. That Marxism line of questioning was wingnut propaganda and they know it.

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Today's Electoral Map

Some interesting changes since last week. Improvements in Indiana, Georgia, South Dakota, Montana, Arizona and Ohio.

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Dirty Tricks: Fake Flyer Tells Virginia Democrats To Vote On November 5th

A phony Board of Elections flier being circulated in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia announces that Republicans must vote on November 4th, Democrats on November 5th.
The somewhat official-looking flier - it features the state board logo and the state seal - is dated Oct. 24 and indicates that "an emergency session of the General Assembly has adopted the follwing (sic) emergency regulations to ease the load on local electorial (sic) precincts and ensure a fair electorial process."

The four-paragraph flier concludes with: "We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but felt this was the only way to ensure fairness to the complete electorial process." No emergency action has been taken by the General Assembly. It is not in session and lacks the authority to change the date of a federal election.

State Board of Election officials today said they are aware of the flier but disavowed any connection to it. "It's not even on our letterhead; they just copied the logo from our Web site," said agency staffer Ryan Enright, noting the flier has been forwarded to State Police for investigation as a possible incident of voter intimidation.
You know shit like this is going on all over the place.

(Tipped by JMG reader Tom)

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Irony Overload: Hottie Reality Show Contestant Complains About Sexism

The Irony Meter flashed into "You've GOT To Be Kidding Me" territory when a certain reality show contestant complained about the sexist treatment of Sarah Palin by the media. Because reality shows never cast model-perfect young women to cavort nearly naked around the Australian outback. Elizabeth Hasselbeck is only on that stage because she worked the sexist system that she now complains about. People in glass tube tops shouldn't throw coconuts. Or whatever it is that falls out the trees in Australia.

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NYC Cuts All Funding For LGBT Homeless Youth Shelter

The Ali Forney Center's drop-in location for homeless LGBT youth is facing a crisis.
A leading provider of services for New York City's homeless queer youth may have to close its Chelsea drop-in location. The city health department told the agency that the $600,000 contract that funds the location will be ended in June of 2009.

"For the homeless LGBT youth of our city, the Ali Forney Center has been the difference between acceptance and rejection, frankly, between life and death," said Carl Siciliano, executive director of the Ali Forney Center (AFC), at an October 14 press conference. "I do not believe that the city would consciously disrespect the LGBT community by turning its back on our most vulnerable kids."

The drop-in location, which opened in 2005, is funded under the federal Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS program (HOPWA). The funds are administered by the health department and, after increasing the dollars from $300,000 to $600,000 in 2007, that agency told AFC six weeks ago that the dollars would be eliminated entirely. The $600,00 is the entire budget for the drop-in center.

In 2007, the drop-in location had more than 500 clients, placed 200 in emergency housing, served 10,000 meals, performed 250 HIV tests, and placed 50 HIV-positive clients into care and housing, Siciliano said. AFC has 12 service or administrative sites in the city, including the drop-in location, and has an annual budget of $3.3 million. The drop-in location is its sole intake site, and all AFC clients first come through there.
Several members of the state Assembly and NYC Council have co-signed a letter to Mayor Bloomberg pleading for a reversal of the spending cut. Donate to the Ali Forney Center here.

(Via - Duncan Osbourne @ Gay City News)

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FBI: Anti-Gay Crime Rate Rising

Hate crimes against gays increased in 2007, up 6% from 2006 even though the overall number of hate crimes dropped slightly, the FBI reported Monday. There were 7,624 hate crimes reported in 2007, down 1% from 2006. Crimes based on sexual orientation — 1,265 in 2007 — have been rising since 2005. A hate crime is one motivated by bias against a person's race, religion, sexual orientation or other status. "Until we make laws that make it clear these attacks are not OK, the nation will continue to be scarred," says Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. In 19 states, hate crime laws don't cover sexual orientation.
Is it naive to hope that anti-gay crimes are up because of the widening of hate crimes statutes?

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NCTE Fifth Anniversary: Dec.2nd

The National Center for Transgender Equality is celebrating their fifth anniversary with a fundraising gala in Washington DC on December 2nd.
We are celebrating NCTE's Five Year Anniversary with a Benefit hosted by Kate Bornstein, noted transgender author, playwright, performance artist and gender theorist. For the past five years, NCTE has been working for transgender equality in Washington, DC. We have made such progress with a consistent voice advocating on a national level on behalf of transgender people ... and now it's time to celebrate.

Please join us, our members, our allies, friends, and board members at the Woolly Mammoth Theater for a fun evening to celebrate and replenish. By purchasing a ticket you can show your support for NCTE's five years of fighting against transgender discrimination in Washington, DC and help us prepare for the future of transgender rights. You can also become a sponsor of the event, buy an ad in the program book, or donate items to the silent auction.

DATE: Tuesday, December 2, 2008
TIME: 6:00 p.m., VIP Reception
7:00 - 9:00 p.m., Anniversary Celebration
LOCATION: Woolly Mammoth Theater,
641 D Street NW, Washington, DC
to find more information and purchase tickets online
Tickets are $100 - $350. Purchase online here.

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Obama Assassination Plot Foiled

Another Obama assassination plot has been foiled.
Two white supremacists allegedly plotted to go on a national killing spree, shooting and decapitating black people and ultimately targeting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, federal authorities said Monday.

In all, the two men whom officials described as neo-Nazi skinheads planned to kill 88 people - 14 by beheading, according to documents unsealed in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Tenn. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

The spree, which initially targeted an unidentified predominantly African-American school, was to end with the two men driving toward Obama, "shooting at him from the windows," the documents show. "Both individuals stated they would dress in all-white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt," the court complaint states. "Both individuals further stated they knew they would and were willing to die during this attempt."
The number 88 is used by neo-Nazis to represent the words "Heil Hitler" as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. The number 14 refers to David Lane's 14-word quote: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

And of course, the wingnuts are already screaming that these arrests are phony and the timing of yesterday's announcement was meant to bolster Obama at the polls. "Bets on how long it takes to expose this as a fraud? I will place a bet of whatever, that the media will not report it when it is exposed."

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Job Satisfaction

A poll reveals that one in five Brits have had sex at the office. But one in four believes that gay sex should be illegal.
One in five Brits has had sex at work, according to a survey which brings a whole new meaning to the term "job satisfaction". The poll of more than 1,000 UK adults went several steps further in demolishing the image of the traditional repressed Brit. It found that one in five people did not believe that monogamy was desirable, while three out of 10 did not even think it was natural. However people remained socially conservative on some issues, with 45% of Britons feeling that gay couples should not be allowed to get married.

Surprisingly, the survey found that almost one in four Britons (24%) believed homosexual sex should be made illegal, a 1% increase in the proportion of people who believed this since 2002. Yet a third of those polled said they would consider selling their bodies for money, and 25% of men - though only 10% of women - were prepared to sleep with someone to advance their career, according to the specially commissioned ICM poll for The Observer.
So, do Americans screw at work more than the Brits do? We await your responses.

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