Wednesday, January 07, 2009

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GLAAD's Worst Anti-Gay Voices Of 2008

I don't know yet if this list is in reaction to the list issued by the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission. Links go to more detailed GLAAD pages on each item. Note that some names have multiple links. In alphabetical order, here are the biggest haters according to GLAAD.

Bill O'Reilly (Host, The O'Reilly Factor, FOX News Channel)

Bill O'Reilly, who frequently appears on GLAAD's monthly "Best and Worst of National News," led a one-sided and inaccurate discussion of marriage equality on May 15 with Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly, who compared marriage for same-sex couples with polygamy and incest. Earlier this year, O'Reilly said Americans don't want to see "homosexual behavior legitimized" in reference to Whoopi Goldberg briefly kissing Katy Perry on The View on July 31, and he criticized Heinz for a TV commercial that included a kiss between two men on June 20. Most recently on December 10, he referred to the staff of the Los Angeles Times as "pinheads" for endorsing the Day Without a Gay protest against Proposition 8.

California's Yes on Proposition 8 Campaign

The Yes on Proposition 8 campaign filled the airwaves with deliberately misleading commercials about Proposition 8, which eliminated the right to marry for loving and committed same-sex couples in California. The ads relied on scare tactics and spread inflammatory lies, including that the defeat of Proposition 8 would mean changes in schools and churches. These ads used misinformation to shape public opinion and helped sway voters to pass the discriminatory ban, in spite of various legal experts and mainstream media outlets uniformly denouncing the dishonest approach.

Greg Gutfeld (Host, Red Eye, FOX News Channel)

FOX News Channel's late-night show Red Eye continued to feature sophomoric jabs at LGBT people. On May 20, host Greg Gutfeld and his guests grossly misrepresented serious medical concerns faced by transgender youth and laughed as one of his guests referred to transition as "turning a hole into a pole." Then Gutfeld criticized Ellen DeGeneres for announcing her upcoming wedding, saying Ellen should "shut the hell up about it." In his September 17 blog, Gutfeld ranted about diplomats saying, "These bloated bureaucrats would learn more in two days ducking for cover in Liberia, than two weeks trying to pick up transvestite hookers in Times Square."

James Dobson (Founder, Focus on the Family)

A national media platform gave airtime to an anti-gay activist when James Dobson, founder of anti-gay organization Focus on the Family, appeared on an episode of CNN Headline News and made false claims about Proposition 8, including that if the proposition failed, there would be a "spate of lawsuit against churches" and "all textbooks would have to be republished" and "everything in schools will change." The Museum of Broadcast Communications chose to honor Dobson by inducting Focus on the Family into the Radio Hall of Fame, despite his history of anti-gay rhetoric and lies. GLAAD produced a viral video to raise awareness of Dobson's attacks on the LGBT community and released a Call to Action against the Museum for honoring Dobson's lies and distortions aimed to hurt and marginalize LGBT people.

Jim Quinn (Host, The War Room With Quinn & Rose, Clear Channel)

During the November 6 broadcast of the nationally syndicated radio program The War Room with Quinn & Rose, co-host Jim Quinn made highly offensive and ignorant statements including "[G]ay marriage doesn't produce anything that the state has an interest in. Gay sex produces AIDS, which the state doesn't have – or should have an interest in. They should charge homosexuals more for their health insurance than they charge the rest of us." Despite numerous complaints from GLAAD's Call to Action, Clear Channel refused to issue an apology and has not disciplined Quinn for his disgusting and unacceptable remarks.

John Gibson (Host, The John Gibson Show, FOX News Radio)

Fox News Radio Host John Gibson was responsible for making made several tasteless, juvenile anti-gay jokes on his program. GLAAD first issued a Call to Action after he mocked the passing of actor Heath Ledger by making anti-gay jokes about his role in Brokeback Mountain on Fox News Radio's The John Gibson Show. As a result of the response by GLAAD's members, Gibson apologized for these remarks, but continued using anti-gay jokes on May 2. During a clip of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who is openly gay, Gibson cut to an audio clip of someone saying, "Oh, lesbians! Yummy!"

Laura Ingraham (Host, The Laura Ingraham Show)

Transgender people were repeatedly used as punching bags by Fox News Channel and guest Laura Ingraham, even as violence and harassment against transgender people continued with disturbing frequency throughout 2008. While guest hosting Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor on February 8, Ingraham interrupted a guest by saying that a transgender conference was "killing the culture." Earlier this year on The O'Reilly Factor, she questioned how parents of a transgender youth "aren't embarrassed" by their child, and most recently, on December 11, she alluded that being gay is a "bad choice" when discussing a Newsweek feature on marriage for same-sex couples.

New York Post

In 2008, the New York Post continued its long history of sensationalistic treatment of LGBT people and issues with two highly problematic headlines. On January 25, the tabloid printed the headline "Evil Lesbian Mom Left Toddler to Die Slow Death: DA," despite the fact that such a gratuitous description would not have been used were the subject straight. Additionally, on February 7, the Post dehumanized the transgender community by publishing the egregious headline "Axis of She-Vil" and sub-headline, "Death to Gays But Free Ops For Irani Trannies."

Pastor Rick Warren

Rick Warren has a history of using the media as a platform to spread divisive anti-gay rhetoric. Warren spread inaccuracies about Proposition 8, saying that it would "prevent him from getting up on the pulpit and speaking out against same-sex marriage" on Dateline. He also participated in a video interview with The Wall Street Journal on December 18 where he said that marriage for gay and lesbian couples was the equivalent of "having a brother and sister be together," "an older guy marrying a child" and "one guy having multiple wives." After President-elect Obama chose Warren to lead the invocation at the Presidential inauguration, GLAAD distributed instances of Warren's anti-gay defamation on glaadBLOG as a resource for journalists and bloggers.

Representative Sally Kern (R-OK)

Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern made headlines in March after telling a group of supporters that "the homosexual agenda is destroying our nation" in a gathering of Republicans outside the Capitol. She went on to say that the gay community is "the death knell in this country" and "the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism." GLAAD provided media training and media outreach support to local Oklahoma groups to ensure that LGBT advocates were included in local media coverage and balanced the harmful effects of such hateful remarks from an elected official.

Sean Delonas (Cartoonist, New York Post)

The New York Post and cartoonist Sean Delonas, who has been the subject of three GLAAD Calls to Action, continued juvenile treatments of LGBT issues in an editorial cartoon that ran after openly gay actor George Takei announced his upcoming marriage to his partner in California. Delonas drew crew members from Star Trek, which Takei appeared on as Sulu, looking on in disbelief as Takei exchanged nuptials with a man. One character was drawn saying "Totally Illogical, Captain." GLAAD placed a Call to Action to demand that the New York Post stop printing such immature items on their editorial pages.

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Via Slog, the top 500 worst passwords. The chart below is a starter...

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Caption This

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Malcolm Smith Elected Majority Leader Of New York Senate

One of the most contentious, embarrassing, and ridiculous sagas in the history of the New York Democratic party (and that's saying something) is over.
Democrats have taken control of New York's Senate for the first time in 43 years after whittling away the Republicans' last stronghold in state government over the last decade and then fending off a challenge from within their own party. Hours after the Democrats shored up a 32-30 majority won in the November elections, they chose Sen. Malcolm Smith of Queens as their majority leader on Wednesday. The action gave Democrats control of the Senate, Assembly and governor's office for the first time since the 1930s. Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, is expected to be the minority leader.
After all the anti-gay bullshit from the Gang of Three, the dissident dumbos supported Smith in return for leadership concessions much smaller than they originally demanded.

The Empire State Pride Agenda responds to Smith's election:
LGBT New Yorkers and our allies should be proud today. We now not only have a Senate Majority Leader who supports our issues, but one that has stated a number of times that he will help us find the support needed to pass crucial bills like marriage equality, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act and the Dignity for All Students Act. We should also be proud that our community helped to make this happen by working hard during the November 4 elections to replace two anti-LGBT State Senators with two new, pro-LGBT State Senators.

Our community now has more work to do. Today we know that we have supportive leadership, but we also know that we do not yet have the votes that we need to pass some of our most important bills. In the months to come, join us as we work in districts across the state to build the support that will allow us to bring these bills to the Senate floor to be passed. It will take hard work—none of our victories have ever been easy—but together we can do it.
Jeff Campagna, leader of the Facebook-based group, The Power, who campaigned vigorously against the Gang of Three in support of Malcolm Smith, reacts:
I congratulate Malcolm Smith on his election as Senate Majority Leader after forty years of Republican control of that chamber. The people of New York can be proud that they came together and sent a clear message to our elected leaders that they will not tolerate the use of the LGBT civil rights as a political bargaining chip. The Democrats are to be commended for hearing that message. Malcolm Smith's election means that LGBT people have a chance to achieve marriage equality, where under the Republicans we had none. That said, if the last two months have taught us anything, it's that even within the Democratic Party, there are enemies of equality and others who have yet to join our cause. So this is just the beginning of our fight. We must continue to organize and speak out. But have no doubt, we will prevail.

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Gay SF Supervisor Bevan Dufty Introduces Resolution Condemning Church Vandalism

Yesterday openly gay San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty introduced a resolution that condemns the vandalism of the Most Holy Redeemer Church.
WHEREAS, Most Holy Redeemer Church, a Catholic community established in 1900 and located within the heart of San Francisco's Castro District, is widely known as a Gay-friendly parish; and

WHEREAS, For over 20 years the community of Most Holy Redeemer Church has sustained an active AIDS support group providing direct care to persons with HIV disease and assistance to those who love and care for them; and

WHEREAS, Most Holy Redeemer Church established a Peace and Social Justice Group to reflect upon and address issues of justice both inside and outside the church, particularly in response to sexism, homophobia, racism, and the willful failure to protect the poor and underserved; and

WHEREAS, The Community Life Committee of Most Holy Redeemer is made up of various organizations in the parish that form the faith and build a deeper sense of community for all ages and interest groups in the parish and the extended local community regardless of religious affiliation; therefore, now be it

RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco does hereby condemn the recent intimidation of Most Holy Redeemer Church and its parishoners through acts of vandalism, specifically the defacing of its exterior with spray-painted graffiti that included the names of church leaders and the depictions of swastikas; and therefore, be

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco commends the significant accomplishments and contributions made by the faith community of Most Holy Redeemer Church to the City of St. Francis.
Hey Catholic League, hey Bill Donahue, looky here! Gay leadership in the city government IS condemning acts of vandalism against the church. Will you notice and acknowledge Bevan Dufty's action?

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The Truth About Rick Warren's AIDS Work

Apologists for Obama's selection of Rick Warren continually point to his work in fighting AIDS in Africa. OH, but hang on a motherfucking minute. In exhaustive piece at Daily Beast, Max Blumenthal rips the fucking lid off the real job Warren is doing in Africa with his right-hand man Martin Ssempe.
[S]ince the Warren inauguration controversy erupted, the nature of work against AIDS in Africa has gone unexamined. Warren has not been particularly forthcoming to those who have attempted to look into it. His website contains scant information about the results of his program. However, an investigation into Warren’s involvement in Africa reveals a web of alliances with right-wing clergymen who have sidelined science-based approaches to combating AIDS in favor of abstinence-only education. More disturbingly, Warren’s allies have rolled back key elements of one of the continent’s most successful initiative, the so-called ABC program in Uganda. Stephen Lewis, the United Nations’ special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, told the New York Times their activism is “resulting in great damage and undoubtedly will cause significant numbers of infections which should never have occurred.”

Warren’s man in Uganda is a charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa. The head of the Makerere Community Church, a rapidly growing congregation, Ssempe enjoys close ties to his country’s First Lady, Janet Museveni, and is a favorite of the Bush White House. In the capitol of Kampala, Ssempa is known for his boisterous crusading. Ssempa’s stunts have included burning condoms in the name of Jesus and arranging the publication of names of homosexuals in cooperative local newspapers while lobbying for criminal penalties to imprison them.


With safe sex advocates on the run, Warren and Ssempa trained their sights on another social evil. In August 2007, Ssempa led hundreds of his followers through the streets of Kampala to demand that the government mete out harsh punishments against gays. “Arrest all homos,” read placards. And: “A man cannot marry a man.” Ssempa continued his crusade online, publishing the names of Ugandan gay rights activists on a website he created, along with photos and home addresses. “Homosexual promoters,” he called them, suggesting they intended to seduce Uganda’s children into their lifestyle. Soon afterwards, two of President Yoweri Museveni’s top officials demanded the arrest of the gay activists named by Ssempa. Terrified, the activists immediately into hiding.
Got that Melissa Etheridge? Rick Warren is causing MORE AIDS in Africa and is directly funding the persecutions and arrests of homosexuals. Please read Max Blumenthal's piece in its entirety.

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Olbermann On Coulter

Attack dog Keith Olbermann really went after Ann Coulter on Monday. Fabulousness.

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New Task Force Study On Prop 8 Vote

The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force has released a new study (PDF) which shows that support for Proposition 8 was driven more by party affiliation and frequency of church attendance than by race, as has been previously speculated.
An in-depth analysis of the Proposition 8 vote released today shows that party affiliation, political ideology, frequency of attending worship services and age were the driving forces behind the measure’s passage on Nov. 4. The study finds that after taking into account the effect of religious service attendance, support for Proposition 8 among African Americans and Latinos was not significantly different than other groups. Through a precinct-by-precinct analysis and review of multiple other sources of data, the study also puts African-American support for Proposition 8 at no more than 59 percent, nowhere close to the 70 percent reported the night of the election. Finally, the study shows how support for marriage equality has grown substantially across almost all California demographic groups — except Republicans.

The study was written by Patrick J. Egan, Ph.D., assistant professor of politics and public policy at New York University, and Kenneth Sherrill, Ph.D., professor of political science at Hunter College, CUNY. Egan and Sherrill reviewed pre- and post-election polls, and precinct-level voting data from five California counties with the highest number of African-American voters. The study was commissioned by the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund in San Francisco, and released under the auspices of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute.
Another excerpt from the press release:
Since the passage of Proposition 8, much has been said about the supposed dramatic opposition to marriage equality among African Americans, fueled by National Election Pool (NEP) figures based on sampling in only a few precincts that erroneously indicated 70 percent of California’s African Americans supported Proposition 8. The study found that when religious service attendance was factored out, however, there was no significant difference between African Americans and other groups. In other words, people of all races and ethnicities who worship at least once a week overwhelmingly supported Proposition 8, with support among white, Asian and Latino frequent churchgoers actually being greater than among African Americans.

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De Facto Gay Marriage For New York

An appellate court in Brooklyn has upheld a lower court's ruling that Westchester County did not violate the New York constitution when it offered marriage benefits to same-sex couples. The ruling has led a senior attorney with Lambda Legal to declare: "Marriage has come to New York for same-sex couples."
A state appeals court has upheld an unflinching ruling by a lower court that Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano did not violate the state constitution or earlier court rulings when he ordered county departments to recognize gay marriages legally performed in other states and countries. Spano's 2006 executive order had little practical impact because the county bestows only a handful of minor rights on married couples, including the right to buy family passes to county parks. But advocates say the two rulings upholding Spano's order multiplied its limited impact by affirming that localities are free to recognize gay couples who marry in Connecticut and Massachusetts and the handful of nations that allow gay couples to wed, including Canada.

The unanimous ruling by the Appellate Division in Brooklyn is the second in a year to include gay couples in the state's tradition of recognizing marriages performed elsewhere even if the marriages could not be legally performed here. In February, an appeals court in Rochester ruled that Monroe County must provide health benefits to the woman, a female county worker married in Canada. "Marriage has come to New York for same-sex couples," said Susan Sommer, senior counsel with Lambda Legal, a gay rights group in New York City that defended Spano's order against the four Westchester residents who filed it. She said the next step is for the state "to allow same sex couples to marry here at home instead of having to travel to a foreign country or another state."
RELATED: Today we may finally see the leadership issue in the New York Senate resolved.

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Hackers Take Down Pam's House Blend And Other Liberal Blogs

Someone claiming to be from the Asta La Vista hacking group has taken down Pam House's Blend and several other liberal blogs. Via Pam: "I just found out, the service that hosts many of the state blogs, has been hacked. Pam's House Blend,, American Liberalism, are some of the sites affected. I haven't gone down the whole Soapblox blogroll yet, so far it seems the state blogs were not affected; I assume the hack is restricted to only one server."

Soapblox is also the host for 50 state Democratic activist blogs such as Blue Jersey and Blue Hampshire.

Anybody know anything about Asta La Vista?

UPDATE: It gets much worse. According to this Daily Kos diary, the hack may have permanently closed Soapblox.

(+) SoapBlox is Dead
by: pacified
January 07, 2009 at 08:15:46 MST
It was a good ride, but it's over.

Thanks for all the fish.

All these hackers messing with our stuff, and we here at SoapBlox have no clue what to do. We don't have enough knowledge, time, money, or care to fix it.

So I hope the Hackers are happy.

If you want the data from your blog, we will get it. But we are not going to try and restore anything.

Consider this the "We're Out of Business" post.

Most of the servers have been taken off line because they were being used to hack and exploit other websites. The hackers install this crap on servers after they get in. SoapBlox's ISP then takes the servers off line.

We do not know when they will come back online.

We do not know if they will come back online.

Fucking hell. Let's hope Pam Spaulding can restore her five years of content.

UPDATE II: Pam is back up at the moment, but she doesn't know for how long. She's trying to transfer all her content to another platform, but doesn't have FTP access to Soapblox yet. What a mess. That message from Soapblox has a lot of progressive bloggers pulling their hair out right now.

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Terrorist Threat At 11 Seattle Gay Bars

Via Dan Savage:

Eleven gay bars in Seattle received letters today addressed to the "Owner/Manager" from someone claiming to be in the possession of ricin, a deadly poison. "Your establishment has been targeted," the letter begins. "I have in my possession approximately 67 grams of ricin with which I will indiscriminately target at least five of your clients."

"I felt sick when I read it," said Carla, the owner/manager of Re-bar. "It's so vile. It's just hatred. It made me worry for all the other bars, and for my bartenders, and our clientele."

According to the CDC's website, someone who has ingested "a significant amount" will develop vomiting and diarrhea within the first 6-12 hours; other symptoms of ricin poisoning include hallucinations, seizures, and blood in the urine. There is no antidote for ricin but ricin exposure is not invariably fatal.

"I just had the police come pick [the letter] up," said Keith Christensen, the manager of the Eagle, when reached by phone. Christensen had already heard about the letter from other bar owners and managers, and so he didn't open it. "It's probably nothing," Christensen added, "but the economy is really screwing all the bars right now, and the last thing we need is something ramping up the not-go-out mode people seem to be in right now. It's really freaky that someone would do something like this at a time like this."

Christensen says he's posted signs at the Eagle advising patrons not to leave their drinks unattended. "The police have already come and gone," said Roland, the manager at Madison Pub. "They collected the letter and that's about it. I don't think it's anything to worry about it." Roland admitted to being unnerved by the letter at first. "But after the initial 'what?', it's like whatever."

A letter also arrived in The Stranger's offices, addressed to the attention of "Obituaries." The letter's author said the paper should "be prepared to announce the deaths of approximately 55 individuals all of whom were patrons of the following establishments on a Saturday in January." The listed bars are: the Elite, Neighbours, Wild Rose, the Cuff, Purr, the Eagle, R Place, Re-bar, CC's, Madison Pub, and the Crescent. "I could take this moment to launch into a diatribe about my indignation towards the gay community," the letter concludes, "however, I think the deaths will speak for themselves."

Alison, Luying, and Tippett, local promoters and DJs who do nights at various bars around town, came up with the idea of organizing a pub crawl for this Friday night to show support for the bars that were threatened. Carla at Re-bar added that, as distressing as the letter was, she was pleased with the response from the community. "Everyone is calling each other, everyone's got each other's backs."

According to the Seattle Times, the FBI is investigating.

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#1 This Week In 1985

Working a bassline ripped from Michael Jackson's Billie Jean, 1984's Like A Virgin became the first of Madonna's twelve #1 singles. Her performance of the song on that year's MTV Awards, during which she dry-humped the stage to hestitant applause from a stunned audience, is considered by some to be one of the most memorable moments in pop music history. It also marked Madonna's entry into superstardom. The single and album of the same name was produced by Chic's Nile Rodgers. His instantly identifiable big spacey productions were also responsible for massive early-mid 80's hits for Diana Ross, David Bowie, INXS, Debbie Harry, Duran Duran and many others. Back then, half the stuff you heard at the clubs had the Nile Rodgers sound. Kind of like the last ten years of Timbaland.

TRIVIA: With Like A Virgin, Madonna became the first female artist in Billboard chart history to top the pop singles and pop album charts simultaneously. The single had six weeks at #1 and was her first Top Ten on the R&B chart.

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Morning View - L Train Platform

The famously hipster-laden L train is the only line in NYC that has arrival time boards, but as you can see, the service isn't so speedy sometimes. The MTA is experimenting with flat-panel displays at one of the L train stations on the Brooklyn side so passengers can see every train on the line in real time. Which won't speed the trains either, but whatevs.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

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Sanjay Gupta To Be Surgeon General

Barack Obama has asked CNN medical reporter Sanjay Gupta to be Surgeon General.
Gupta has told administration officials that he wants the job, and the final vetting process is under way. He has asked for a few days to figure out the financial and logistical details of moving his family from Atlanta to Washington but is expected to accept the offer. When reached for comment today, Gupta did not deny the account but declined to comment. The offer followed a two-hour Chicago meeting in November with Obama, who said that Gupta could be the highest-profile surgeon general in history and would have an expanded role in providing health policy advice, the sources said. Gupta later spoke with Tom Daschle, Obama's White House health czar and nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, and other advisers to the president-elect.
Next on the list will be Oprah for Secretary of Self-Help. I kid, I kid. I love Sanjay Gupta.

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ACLU Wins Arabic T-Shirt Case

In July 2007, I told you about Raed Jaffar, who was thrown off a JetBlue flight at JKF because his t-shirt said "We Will Not Be Silent" in both Arabic and English, which made the passengers and crew uneasy. One TSA official likened Jaffar's wearing the shirt to a bank robber who walked into a bank wearing a "I Am A Bank Robber" shirt. There was a lot of discussion here about who was in the wrong, but no consensus seemed to be found.

With the help of the ACLU, today Jaffar won a $240,000 joint settlement from the TSA and JetBlue.
"The outcome of this case is a victory for free speech and a blow to the discriminatory practice of racial profiling," said Aden Fine, senior staff attorney with the ACLU First Amendment Working Group and lead attorney on the case. "This settlement should send a clear message to all TSA officials and airlines that they cannot discriminate against passengers based on their race or the ethnic content of their speech."
Jaffar has a blog about his experience on the ACLU site.

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Swag Tuesday

Today's Swag Tuesday prize is the new book, Where's My Fifteen Minutes?, by openly gay publicist-to-the-stars and LGBT/HIV activist Howard Bragman. Bragman has made hundreds of appearances on network television to discuss popular culture and his representation of stars such as Cameron Diaz and Paula Abdul.
Media attention can boost careers, generate millions of dollars, and make dreams come true. It can also destroy reputations and derail carefully laid business plans. All publicity is not good publicity.

No one knows this better than Howard Bragman. For more than thirty years he has helped prominent people—movie stars, business leaders, philanthropists their messages out, in good times and bad.

His book won't make anyone famous overnight, but it will help readers understand the changing world of today's PR. It will also guide readers through the thought process of PR, defining their key messages and purpose to the media and public at large. If your public's perception doesn't match reality -- if you are a better person, offer a better product, or stand for a better cause than anyone realizes—you need help.
Where's My Fifteen Minutes? goes on sale nationwide today. Enter to win your copy by commenting on this post. Only enter once and please remember to leave an email address that you check frequently. Entries close at midnight Wednesday PST. Publicists: If you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

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The Anti-Christian Top Ten For 2008

The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has released their "Top Ten Instances Of Christian Bashing In 2008" list. Guess who's #1? Keep in mind that some of these items did not quite happen the way that CAC-head Dr. Gary Cass sees them, but then again the Christianist right has never been bothered by trifling little details like "truth" or "accuracy" or the need to tell the full story.

10. Jack Black Musical Video
9. Bill Maher Gratuitously Attacks Pope
8. ESPN Anchor Dana Jacobson's "F--- Jesus" Remark
7. Minnesota University Professor Desecrates Communion
6. Religulous the Movie
5. Chaplains Fired for Praying in Jesus' Name
4. Colorado Law Criminalizes the Bible
3. Barack Obama Defames Christianity
2. Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin Is Attacked
1. Radical Homosexuals Assault Prop 8 Marriage Supporters in California - "During and after the November campaign stories flooded in of pro-Prop 8 signs being taken, people verbally and physically assaulted, church property and private automobiles vandalized, and person's jobs and pastor's lives threatened simply for exercising their right to campaign and vote in support of traditional marriage."

Shortly after this list was released, Dr. Cass was arrested by the Apostrophe Anti-Defamation Commission.

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RuPaul - Cover Girl

RuPaul reaches back for some of that Supermodel vibe in Cover Girl, which contains bits of her new LOGO series, RuPaul's Drag Race, which debuts February 2nd.

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Burris Turned Away At Senate Swearing In

Roland Burris, former Attorney General for Illinois and disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pick to replace Barack Obama in the Senate, was turned away today from his Senate swearing in ceremony.
Senate officials this morning rejected Roland Burris's effort to be seated as the successor to President-elect Barack Obama, telling the former Illinois attorney general that he lacked the requisite approval of state officials to be sworn in with the rest of the class of 2008 in today's launch of the 111th Congress. With a stand-off remaining among Illinois officials over Gov. Rod Blagojevich's effort to appoint Burris to Obama's seat, Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson instructed Burris in a closed-door meeting that he would not be seated.

Placing himself at the center of a nationally televised spectacle, Burris arrived at the Capitol in a steady rain with an entourage of aides and lawyers, followed by dozens of journalists, including some broadcasting the procession into the Capitol and up to the third floor on hand-held digital cameras and cell phones. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and a bipartisan group of leaders have rejected Burris's appointment on the grounds that the criminal charges against Blagojevich, including one that he tried to sell the appointment in exchange for financial gain, make it impossible for him to pick a successor to Obama without tarnishing the decision.

It looks to have been quite the spectacle - I'll try to get some video up later today. Also: I told you this would get interesting.

UPDATE: Here's Burris' press conference after he was turned away.

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Catholic League On Church Defacing

The Catholic League (famously dissed by Kathy Griffin as "one guy with a computer") has issued a reaction to yesterday's defacing of a Catholic church in the Castro.
Part of the blame for the latest attack goes to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Both Newsom and the Board have shown nothing but contempt for the First Amendment rights of Catholics. When crucifixes are sold as sex toys and Catholic sensibilities are assaulted by naked men in the street at the annual Folsom Street Fair, they say nothing. When gay men dressed as nuns show up at Mass—at the same church—they say nothing. But the Board was quite vocal about condemning the Catholic Church in 2006, something which led to a lawsuit triggered by the Catholic League and the Thomas More Law Center. For those who love to write about ‘root causes,’ let them ponder the guilt of these public officials. Moreover, leaders in the gay community show no leadership when it comes to denouncing incivility committed in the name of gay rights. This has got to end.
The interesting question raised here is whether LGBT orgs should create any link between themselves and these incidents by acknowledging/denouncing them. Maybe they're too busy reacting every day to the murders, rapes, and assaults of LGBT people all over the country to worry about a few paint strokes on a building.

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The Beginning Of The End Of Ann Coulter

You probably heard the fun news that NBC canceled Ann Coulter's appearance on the Today Show yesterday, probably in response to her repulsive attacks on single mothers in her new book. This morning Coulter got it from both barrels from Harry Smith on CBS' Morning Show with Smith calling her "sophomoric' and "goofy" among other things. Extra Idiocy: Today Coulter says that Barack Obama shouldn't worry so much about assassination because would-be presidential murderers are "part of his base."

UPDATE: The Today Show has relented and will have Coulter on tomorrow. I guess they couldn't stand all the press Harry Smith is getting today.

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The Bush Legacy

Via Pew's Then And Now poll.

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The Maple Syrup Smell Is Back

That bizarre maple syrup smell wafted over Gotham again yesterday.
The mysterious sweet smell that swept over parts of the city more than three years ago returned on Monday night. The city’s 311 information line was flooded with callers reporting the smell of maple syrup, or something like it, wafting across several neighborhoods, a spokesman for the Office of Emergency Management said. Nearly all of the calls — 35 in just a few hours — came from areas in Manhattan, the spokesman said, although one caller reported smelling the sweet scent across the East River in Queens.

Department of Environmental Protection agency investigators were searching for the source of the smell late Monday night and early Tuesday morning, the agency’s spokesman said. The strange, syrupy scent has descended on parts of New York City and New Jersey at least three times before. Beginning in the fall of 2005, people in various areas of the city and nearby New Jersey reported the scent. Some have theorized that the smell came from New Jersey. Others theorized that it was generated by a candy factory in Manhattan. There were also fears that the odor was linked to an act of terrorism. Officials ruled the odor harmless but never solved the mystery of its origin.
Gothamist reports that this is at least the sixth time that the city has smelled like Mrs. Butterworth's. Last time it was so strong, everybody in my office was convinced it was a failed biological weapon. For realz.

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What's The "One More Thing"?


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DOMA Author Says End DOMA

Former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr, the architect of the Defense of Marriage Act, has written an editorial in the Los Angeles Times calling for its repeal.
I've wrestled with this issue for the last several years and come to the conclusion that DOMA is not working out as planned. In testifying before Congress against a federal marriage amendment, and more recently while making my case to skeptical Libertarians as to why I was worthy of their support as their party's presidential nominee, I have concluded that DOMA is neither meeting the principles of federalism it was supposed to, nor is its impact limited to federal law.

In effect, DOMA's language reflects one-way federalism: It protects only those states that don't want to accept a same-sex marriage granted by another state. Moreover, the heterosexual definition of marriage for purposes of federal laws -- including, immigration, Social Security survivor rights and veteran's benefits -- has become a de facto club used to limit, if not thwart, the ability of a state to choose to recognize same-sex unions.

Even more so now than in 1996, I believe we need to reduce federal power over the lives of the citizenry and over the prerogatives of the states. It truly is time to get the federal government out of the marriage business. In law and policy, such decisions should be left to the people themselves.

In 2006, when then-Sen. Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, he said, "Decisions about marriage should be left to the states." He was right then; and as I have come to realize, he is right now in concluding that DOMA has to go. If one truly believes in federalism and the primacy of state government over the federal, DOMA is simply incompatible with those notions.
Barr ran for president last year as a Libertarian.

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Obama Appoints Gay Man To Head Office Of Management And Administration

It's not a Cabinet-level position, but Barack Obama has appointed another openly gay person to head up one of the departments in his administration.
Brad Kiley has been named as the director of the Office of Management and Administration by President-elect Barack Obama. Kiley, who is openly gay, is currently the director of operations for the Obama-Biden Transition Project and was a former vice president at the Center for American Progress. In this role he will oversee all aspects of administrative services to all entities of the Executive Office of the President (EOP), including direct support services to the President of the United States. These services include financial management, human resources management and research assistance. He will represent the EOP before congressional funding panels.
Score this as another win for the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute, Kiley was recommended to Obama through their Presidential Appointments Project.

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HomoQuotable - Daniel O'Donnell

I ran into NY Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell this weekend and he gave me this quote about his interview with Gov. Paterson for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat:
"I am honored to be considered for any appointment by Governor Paterson. I am especially flattered to be mentioned among individuals who could replace the singular Senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a seat once held by Robert F. Kennedy and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. If the recent election taught us one lesson, it should be that our country is ready for boundaries to be shattered. Now, more than ever, Governor Paterson has an opportunity to nominate the most talented replacement for Senator Clinton without the need to consider gender, race, or sexual orientation as a possible hindrance to that individual's success in the post."
O'Donnell may be a long shot, but I can't think of anybody I'd like more to be my U.S. Senator.

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God Reveals His FY09 Plan To Pat Robertson, Powerpoint To Follow In Breakout Rooms

Pat Robertson has had his annual sit-down with God this week and here's what he said the FSM whispered in his ear about 2009.

-Obama will lead the nation into socialism and we'll be happy to follow.
-The world will condemn Israel, but they'll survive. (A safe bet.)
-The economy will recover, but there will be hyperinflation, the dollar will dive "dramatically", oil will go to $300/barrel and gold will go to $1900/ounce. (How does that work, exactly?)

Apparently God had nothing to say to Pat about homos this year. For once.

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#1 This Week In 1972

Melanie's 1972 novelty smash Brand New Key was banned by some radio stations for its sexual innuendo and coded reference to masturbation: I do OK alone, but you got something I need. I know most of you are too young to know was a skate key was, but you can still grok the whole key-into-lock Freudian shebang, not to mention her brag that she's been all "around the world."

TRIVIA: Melanie logged a total of six singles in the Top 40, including Lay Down (Candles In The Rain) (#6), and The Nickel Song (#35), but my favorite Melanie track Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma was never a single. I believe that when the New Seekers took their version to #14 in 1970 is when I began torturing my pedantic mother by making up my own words for the French portions of pop songs. Maybe that was the Beatles' Michelle. Michelle, my bell, funky monkey bow banana shell.

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Morning View - Subway Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein's 1994 Times Square Mural in the 42nd Street station is too long to get into one shot, but this center panel with the flying train is my favorite bit.
A 6-foot-high, 53-foot-long panel that revisits the history of New York transportation, the first panel shows a portion of an arch rendered to resemble tile and masonry, the materials of the 1904 subway. The next arch metamorphoses into a steel girder, distilling the Machine Age of the 1930's, when metal gained popularity as a symbol of modernism. Streaking through the arches is a winged spaceship, suavely streamlined in the period manner."
Over 500,000 people a day go through the Times Square station, making Lichtenstein's piece one of the most-viewed pieces of art in the world.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

The 2008 Weblog Awards

This here website thingy is one of the finalists in 2008 Weblog Awards in the Best LGBT Blog category, which JMG won last year. My humblest thanks to those folks that submitted nominations. Voting begins today and you can vote for the blog of your choice once every 24 hours in the week-long (or so) voting period. There are some great choices this year and I recommend you check them all out. Here's the list of nominees with direct links to each.

Best LGBT Blog
The Bilerico Project
Pam's House Blend
Susie Bright's Journal
Tammy Bruce
This Girl Called Automatic Win
Gay Patriot

Congrats to all the nominees!

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The Day Of Hilarious Twitter Hacks

HuffPo has the story. Damn kids!

UPDATE: Twitter explains how the hackers did it. Oldest trick in the book.

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Prop 8 Summit To Restrict Media

As has been documented here and on many other LGBT blogs, the decision making of the No On 8 campaign was largely done behind closed doors, much to the concern of many donors who questioned several critical strategies of the operation.

Later this month there will be a postmortem summit of No On 8 organizers and again, media access will be restricted. Unsurprisingly, some people are pretty pissed about that. Veteran reporter Rex Wockner sends us this report:
A Jan. 24 summit in Los Angeles to strategize about "winning back marriage rights" in California will be only partially open to media -- a decision that has led to the resignation of one member of the organizing committee and to complaints from California gay media figures.

The Equality Summit apparently will bring together some 150 activists to organize and strategize in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8, the Nov. 4 ballot measure with which voters amended the state constitution to re-ban same-sex marriage.

But according to summit coordinator Anne Marks of Equality California, "the planning committee decided that at some portions of the summit where sensitive strategy discussions were to take place, it could only be advantageous to our opposition if those discussions and plans were
made public, so limiting press, or making these sessions off-the-record, would make sense."

That decision isn't sitting well with some folks, especially given that the failed No on 8 campaign, in which Equality California was the biggest force, has been widely criticized for its insularity.

"I resigned from the planning committee of the Equality Summit because I felt that the press should be allowed into the entire conference," said longtime activist Robin Tyler (pictured), who was a plaintiff in the California same-sex marriage case and, with her partner, Diane Olson, half of the first same-sex couple to marry in Southern California after the state Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage took effect June 16.

"This issue was discussed on a telephone call last week, and by a majority vote, the organizing committee decided not to let the press into the entire conference," Tyler said in a Dec. 30 e-mail to reporters. "After the call, I ... felt very uncomfortable with this decision. I asked for it to be brought up again, as I think total media access is an extremely important issue. When I was told that the newly elected 'Executive Committee' had decided not to bring the issue up again, I resigned. ... It felt like the same old 'secretive' process that had happened during the No on 8 campaign."
Wockner quotes Frontiers editor Karen Ocamb: "Responsible journalists have a long history of respecting legitimate requests to go off the record when discussions turn to strategy or issues of a politically sensitive nature," Ocamb said. "LGBT journalists... represent the thousands of individuals who contributed to and volunteered for the No on Prop 8 campaign and if people are going to be asked to be engaged again, they have a right to know what happened, who will lead them, and (to have) at least a sense of what's coming next. And at this stage, that can only happen through us."

There's an interesting discussion on this issue going on in the comments at Pam's House Blend, including statements from folks that voted to bar media from some of the meetings. Some of them aren't too happy with Robin Tyler right now.

(Photo by Rex Wockner)

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NJ Marriage Equality Close (But Also, Far)

All the right people are on board for marriage equality to happen right now in New Jersey, but feet are being dragged due to 2009 being an election year for state legislators.
The governor promised to sign marriage-equality legislation when it reaches his desk. The question is whether state lawmakers will present him with the opportunity. “Politics will play a role in whether it actually gets posted to a committee,” said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Democrat from Princeton and the deputy majority leader, who sponsored a gay marriage bill. “With the Assembly up this November, there will be a lot of members unlikely to get involved with such a polarizing issue.”

Opponents of gay marriage have pledged to make it an issue in the 2009 election. Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, said his organization believed that some New Jerseyans might support same-sex marriage but that a majority do not want to see marriage redefined in the process. Some veteran political strategists say lawmakers are reluctant to have voters think they have taken their eyes off the state’s grave fiscal situation. With residents losing jobs and facing foreclosure and the prospect of higher property taxes, they do not want to appear sidetracked. “There could be a backlash,” said Harold Hodes, a Democratic strategist. “There are other issues that are more pressing at this time.”
Last month New Jersey's Civil Union Review Commission issued a report declaring civil unions to be an unsuccessful compromise.

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Afternoon View- Bootleggers

The DVD bootleggers are all over the Union Square subway station today. If you embiggen, you'll notice that they have everything currently playing the theaters, including Milk. $5 each, no returns. I imagine that taking their picture is a good way to get stabbed, so I snapped this shot from the safety of the upper level.

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#1 This Week In 1976

Scottish boy band Bay City Rollers got their name by throwing a dart at a map of the United States. The first shot landed on Arkansas, but they didn't care for "Arkansas Rollers". Their second shot landed on Bay City, Michigan. During the height of "Rollermania", the band played arenas worldwide which were filled with screaming teenage girls waving the band's trademark tartan scarves. Saturday Night is one of the few songs to top the charts in which the title (or a portion in this case) is spelled out in the lyrics. R-e-s-p-e-c-t, y'all.

TRIVIA: Although they're often cited as a one-hit wonder, the Rollers actually landed six singles in the American Top 40, including Money Honey (#9), You Made Me Believe In Magic (#10), and their cover of Dusty Springfield's I Only Wanna Be With You (#12).

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$8M For Laura Bush Memoir?

Insiders speculate that Laura Bush will get an advance for her First Lady memoir that will match or better the $8M that Hillary got for hers.
First lady Laura Bush has sealed a deal worth millions with Scribner to publish a memoir that will encompass her recollections of personal and historical moments, including her eight years in the White House. The publishing house, in announcing the agreement on Monday, said the memoir is expected to be released in 2010. Sally McDonough, first lady Laura Bush's press secretary, declined to say how much Bush is being paid for the book but past deals involving first ladies have carried multimillion-dollar payouts. McDonough said the first lady would work with a collaborator though one hasn't been selected yet. "As a rare witness to the private moments of one of our country's most consequential presidencies, and as a first lady who has maintained a notable level of discretion, her memoir will provide a candid and personal perspective, and an enduring record, of the years that have already determined the course of the 21st century," said Susan Moldow, executive vice president and publisher of Scribner.
Enter your title suggestions, please.

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If you follow the tech blogs, you'll know that for weeks they've been buzzing about Apple head Steve Job's health and that he won't appear at this year's MacWorld, which begins tomorrow. Apple's PR flacks have been insisting that Jobs is fine, but Apple stock has suffered from the speculation. Today Jobs came out with the truth.
As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority. Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause—a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis. The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, just like I didn’t lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery.
Strangely enough, Apple's market value soared over $2B today on the news. Via Valleywag:
Investors are, perversely, happier knowing Jobs is unwell. Which means it's time for him to go. He has done incredible things for Apple in the past decade, rescuing a company that the industry viewed as certainly moribund. But the lack of clarity about his future has become an albatross for the company. The stock market hates risk. So the possibility that Apple might lose Jobs's services through death and illness gets discounted; as far as investors are concerned, Jobs is already dead to them. Which is the real reason why we're seeing Apple marketing executive Phil Schiller, Jobs's jokey demo sidekick, give Jobs's keynote speech tomorrow. Jobs may be better by the spring. But it's time for his company to act like he's gone.

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NYC: Thousands Rally Against Gaza War

Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters jammed Times Square this weekend to decry the Israeli/Hamas conflict.
Chanting "Free Palestine," thousands of Palestinian supporters demonstrated in Times Square Saturday to protest Israel's punishing military offensive in Gaza. The wave of protesters stretched across three blocks, dwarfing the dozens of boisterous supporters of Israel assembled across Seventh Ave. "What's happening in Gaza is something that shouldn't be tolerated anywhere in the world," said Bassal Omar, 29, an American-born Palestinian from the Bronx. "It's a humanitarian crisis, and it's just going to get worse." Cathie Bell held a sign reading "Palestinians are freedom fighters" as she rallied on 42nd St. "I'm here in solidarity with the people who are being murdered in Palestine," Bell, 59, of Chelsea, said. "I think it's a horrendous, horrific assault over there, and something should be done."
Today French president Sarkozy and a group of foreign mediators headed to Israel to attempt to broker a ceasefire.

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HomoQuotable - Melissa Etheridge

"I believe I understand Obama's choice here. I believe that Barack Obama wants to be the President of the entire United States. Pastor Rick Warren reached out to him, brought him into his church during the campaign, which outraged many members of his church. Yet he reaches across and I think this is Obama reaching back and going, 'I think we can disagree on things, yet we can still all move forward. We need to get past our differences.'

"And I just want to make sure that as the liberals and progressives and Democrats or whatever you want to call us are moving into this new time with this new president do not say that they, the evangelicals who say such horrible things about gays, they have to stay over here and we're not going to let them in. That makes us no better than the last administration."

"Just because he [compares gays to incest or polygamy] does not mean I have to not speak to him, or don't ever want to be in his company. We had a crazy experience at the Muslim Public Affairs Council conference...We met, we spoke. He's a fine person...He said he was trying to make the definition of marriage not change, not necessarily saying that gays are pedophiles or any of that stuff. One can draw whatever they want from that. This is what he told me." - Rocker/activist Melissa Etheridge, speaking to NPR on Saturday. Audio file here.

(Transcript via Towleroad)

UPDATE: Jeremy at Good As You has snipped the audio file for us.

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GOP Tries To Block Slasher Senator

The litany of woes for New York Senate Democrats continue. After his arrest last month for slashing his girlfriend with a broken glass, a resolution is being circulated to prevent Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens) from taking office this week.
Hiram Monserrate's first day in the state Senate this week is shaping up to be a nasty one, with political opponents already hurling sharp personal barbs. "He's a ticking time bomb and he'll go eventually," said Sen. Martin Golden, a Brooklyn Republican who is circulating a resolution to block the newly elected Queens Dem from taking office. "He's got a rage in him that's pretty crazy."

Monserrate, 41, resigned his City Council seat last week and took an oath as a new senator despite felony charges accusing him of slashing girlfriend Karla Giraldo with broken glass. Giraldo initially told police that Monserrate had cut her, then changed her story to say it was an accident. Monserrate supporters - including Senate Democrats who need his vote in a contentious leadership fight - are talking up the second version of events. A written statement she made to police the day she received 20 stitches "clearly states that it was an accident," a source familiar with the statement said.
Monserrate now claims he was walking towards his girlfriend with a glass of water in his hand and tripped. The original story was that he was furious because he found the business card of a cop in his girlfriend's purse. (Monserrate is a former cop.) The Dems are supporting the new version of events because they desperately need every vote in the fight for Senate Majority Leader, a position that will be critical in the fight for marriage equality in New York.

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Castro Catholic Church Vandalized

Playing right into the hands of wingnuts nationwide, some idiot vandalized the gay-friendly Most Holy Redeemer Church in the Castro.
Vandals spray-painted swastikas on a Catholic church in San Francisco's Castro District Saturday night. It appears the vandals are upset about the Catholic church's support of Proposition 8, which made same-sex marriage illegal in California. But, the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church on Diamond Street is gay-friendly. Many parishioners voted against Prop 8 and they are upset their church was targeted. "We're very disturbed by the hierarchy's support of the Yes on Eight Campaign. We've been in conversation with the bishop, which is the way I think we need to handle it. I think Catholic teaching shows us we're all a community and we all need to talk to one another about it even if we have disagreements," said Rob Hopckey. San Francisco Police are investigating the vandalism.
Add this incident to the list of examples (Styrofoam Cross Lady, etc) that the right will bleat about all year as proof of how gays plan to stifle religious dissent. You can bet that Limbaugh and Malkin will be all over this today.

(Photo by JMG reader Francisco.)

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Al Franken Declared Winner

It looks like the long count/recount may be finally over as today Al Franken is scheduled to be formally declared the winner of his bitter Senate fight with Norm Coleman.
Democrat Al Franken will be declared the winner of the tight U.S. Senate contest in Minnesota, emerging from a ballot recount with a slim margin over Republican Norm Coleman, state officials said on Sunday. But Coleman, the incumbent, has asked Minnesota's supreme court to require that a few hundred additional absentee ballots be included in the recount -- and he could then ask the court to investigate the contest all over again. "At the moment, Franken has a 225-vote lead," after the weekend counting of what were deemed the last uncounted absentee ballots, said Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a Democrat who oversaw the process. Ritchie said unless the supreme court acts on Coleman's request and orders more ballots to be counted, he will reconvene the state's Canvassing Board on Monday to certify Franken as the winner of the November 4 contest.
Coleman is expected to continue to challenge the results.

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Morning View - Advance Notice

The MTA is letting people on the 6 train know that overcrowding will be abated in a mere six years when the Second Avenue line begins to run. The city's most used line, daily ridership on the 6 train exceeds the daily ridership of the entire rail transit systems of San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago combined. However those of us on the UES are well aware that the Second Avenue line has been started and stopped several times going back to 1929. Every time there's a financial crisis, work halts for a couple decades or so. So we'll see. Anyway, if they ever do finish it, it may be the first line in NYC to have screened-off platforms to prevent people from throwing themselves under the train.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Alaska Cops: Palin Campaign Meddled In Johnston Arrest

Geez, this is a shocker. The Alaska State Troopers' union says that "political meddling" delayed their arrest warrant against Sarah Palin's co-grandma, Sherry Oxycontin Johnston, until after the November election. Palin's office denies it all, of course.

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Richardson Withdraws From Obama Cabinet Over Investigation

Citing the unfolding investigation of a company that had business dealings with his New Mexico administration, Gov. Bill Richardson has withdrawn his name as Barack Obama's Secretary of Commerce.
"Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact," he said Sunday in a report by NBC News' Andrea Mitchell. "But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process."

He said he plans to continue in his role as governor. "I appreciate the confidence President-elect Obama has shown in me, and value our friendship and working partnership. I told him that I am eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful. And like all Americans, I pray for his success and the success of our beloved country."
Obama has accepted Richardson's withdrawal with "deep regret." Now the speculation about Richardson's replacement begins, as well as a chorus of "ah HAH" from the right.

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