Sunday, May 31, 2009

quote of the day

"I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence."
– President Barack Obama

Saturday, May 30, 2009

fast-forward huckabee: idol hee-haw

i'm watching huckabee, the fox news program starring jim nabors as a former arkansas politician named gomer huckabee.

i swear i just heard gomer say the show was "coming to you from new york city," but he's a dern liar! this show is taped in harrisonville, arkansas, i just know it.

now it's time for the "audience asks carol questions about why she tugs her ear" segment!

the first comma-less question comes from a nice white man in a smart red polo who says, "with the phenomenal conservative movement that we're seeing across the country through the tea party a lot of people are being introduced to the political arena for the first time hoping to keep this movement strong and robust what advice would you give to an individual that was thinking of running for political office for the first time?"

"don't do it!"
gomer chortles, slapping his knee in delight! and with that, roy clark and buck owens pop up through some corn stalks and sing a funny hillbilly song!


gomer is in the "hot seat" now, with a kinda mean-lookin' dame named jamie, and tammy, a lesbian who owns a gun. these two are gonna to take gomer on, and i may have to turn this off.

jamie begins by performing a pre-written question about maria sonia sotomayor. tammy jumps in and gets tough about how important it is to find out about sonia's sexual identity politics.

now the tamster brings up the gays gettin' hitched. gomer says "ya can't go changing marriage because of someone's lifestyle choice." then he sticks a corn-cob pipe in his mouth, takes a swig off a jug of triple-x moonshine, and goes "yee-haw!" tamster gets feisty, saying "hey jethro, we're not changing marriage, we're adding to it!" you know, it's usually the bow-hunks who protest the most that end up being...naw.


time for american idol winner kris allen. gomer gives kris a big man hug, maybe a little smooch and a pat on the rump. (i know what you're thinking - "wouldn't these two would make a cute couple?!" yeah, but – gomer's nambla card is expired. man-boy fail!)

apparently you're not the only one thinking about a hook-up: gomer, licking his lips, is now looking at little kris like he's a pork chop (i'm not kidding about that.) you can tell he wants to ask the big question. he's dying to ask the question. instead, he asks about simon cowell.

"you were a viola player in high school," gomer says, cocking his head to the side and twirling a lock of his comb-over with a finger. he's really pouring it on thick, but kris isn't going for it. now gomer says "you worked in a church, didn't you? you were a church music leader. church-church-church-church." (this is something they'll have in common, gomer thinks. kris wants to talk about something else.)

going to commercial, gomer shoots kris a playful glance. "when we come back, we're gonna go over to the music area," gomer tells kris. he says "music area" like he's asking a twelve-year old girl to visit alladin's castle. kris looks nervous.

back from commercial now. gomer has his big electric bass guitar strapped on – "we're all strapped up and ready to go!" – but he still wants to chat. "tell me about your wife," gomer says, "you do have a wife, don't you? where is she right now kris? did she come with you, or is she back at the hotel or what?"

gomer has a patriotic american flag shoulder strap for his bass guitar. this has made me nostalgic for the american flag poncho i used to wear in the 5th grade. (only for special events, mind you.)

now kris and gomer are playing yesterday by the beatles because gomer didn't know any kanye.

kris is facing the audience, as one does when performing. but gomer is standing sideways, facing kris. staring at kris. staring intently at kris. this has to be one of the most awkward, uncomfortable things i've ever, ever seen on television and that includes hugh jackman hosting last year's oscars. i'm going to add video of it to this post as soon as it's available.

they're done now, and the audience of white people seemed to enjoy it.

i have to go now.


UPDATE 5/30/09 – i couldn't find video of gomer and kris allen, but here's gomer and neil sedaka. i wrote neil a fan letter a few years ago and the bitch never wrote me back. now that he's singing "lunch will keep us together" i don't feel quite so bad:

maggie's scare tactics

overlooking the specious, misleading soundbites found in this national organization for marriage ad currently running in new york (those san francisco first graders who were forced to watch their giant, hairy lezbo teacher have mouth-sex with her butch, fonzie-impersonator girlfriend after gaywad gavin newsom pronounced them "spouses for life" all had permission slips from their homo parents, okay?) notice which minority group appears most often throughout, i.e. who do you think maggie gallagher is trying hardest to scare the bejebbus out of?

was nom thinking of all those darn black people who voted against prop 8 when they hired al freeman, jr. to do this scary voice-over? and why are there more black people to be found in these 30 seconds than in four days of republican national convention?

it's all grover's fault

that bitch grover from sesame street is the one who led me astray, i knew it. he never told me it had to be a man and a woman.

(hat tip michael stiver)

race to the supreme court

sonia sotomayor, the racist, activist judge: in the midst of the really fun and funny arguments spewing forth from non-elected republican leaders (and seriously, are there any of the elected kind?) tom goldstein at scotusblog has done something new and remarkable: he's read and reviewed every single race-related case on which sotomayor sat on the second circuit.

as you might guess, his findings are astonishing:
In an eleven-year career on the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor has participated in roughly 100 panel decisions involving questions of race and has disagreed with her colleagues in those cases (a fair measure of whether she is an outlier) a total of 4 times.

Only one case (Gant) in that entire eleven years actually involved the question whether race discrimination may have occurred. (In another case (Pappas) she dissented to favor a white bigot.) She particulated in two other panels rejecting district court rulings agreeing with race-based jury-selection claims.

Given that record, it seems absurd to say that Judge Sotomayor allows race to infect her decisionmaking.
but newt? rush? tancredo? don't let facts stop you. please.

owning a car in manhattan, pt. 1

(photograph by naftels)

Friday, May 29, 2009

quote of the day

“I think it’s despicable. What he put the Packers through last year is not good. Here’s an organization that was loyal to him for 17, 18 years, provided stability of organization, provided players. It just wasn’t about Brett Favre.

But you know, in this day and time, we have glorified the Brett Favre’s of the world so much, they think it’s about them. He goes to New York and bombs. He’s 39 years old. How would you like Ray Nitschke in his last year (playing for) the Vikings, or I retire, and go play for the Packers. I kind of hope it happens, so he can fail.”

fran tarkenton
on brett favre's potential return to the nfl with the minnesota vikings


the republican party continues to eat itself alive over the nomination of sonia sotomayor to the supreme court.

but today,
john cornyn, the most conservative republican in the universe, said something sorta smart to all the the non-elected blowhards the majority of the american public view as the leaders of the party: stfu you imbeciles.

here's a few examples of why he wants them to, ur, pipe down:
"Let's hope that the key conferences aren't when she's menstruating or something, or just before she's going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then."
– g. gordon liddy

"She brings a form of bigotry or racism to the court. How can a president nominate such a candidate? And how can a party get behind such a candidate? That's what would be asked if somebody were foolish enough to nominate David Duke or pick somebody even less offensive."
– rush limbaugh

"If you belong to an organization called La Raza, in this case, which is, from my point of view anyway, nothing more than...a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses."
- tom tancredo

and the winer winner is...

13-year-old kavya shivashankar won the 2009 scripps national spelling bee thursday by correctly spelling her own name.

laurin kills my idol crush some more

further evidence that my crush is history.

the gays can make arrangements

this is exactly the kind of bullshit that the far-right, fundamentalist, and anti-marriage equality folks love. liz cheney, who's sister is a lesbian, begins this interview by saying "look, my family and i have been very clear on this," referring to her position on same-sex marriage. but before the interview ends, even though she is pressed, cheney cannot bring herself to say that yes, yes she supports full and equal rights for gay and lesbian people in this country. instead, she attempts to shift the discussion to opposing obama's supreme court pick sonia sotomayor.

eventually, she offers this: "partners ought to be able to make arrangements." she then ends the discussion with a suggestion that she is against discrimination based on sexual preference, considered by many to be coded language normally reserved for christian fundamentalist websites.

i don't want an arrangement, liz. unless it involves you, a board on an incline, some straps, and a pitcher or two of water. then we'll see how you feel about your sister's civil rights.

these people are despicable.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

still obsessed

sorry i get like this.

"...and every indecency."

“The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it."
so says major general antonio taguba, the former army officer who conducted the 2004 inquiry into the prison at abu ghraib. taguba retired in january 2007 and says he supports president barack obama's decision to not release the additional photos.

taguba is correct. the descriptions alone are horrendous.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

quote of the day

"sean hannity called me and said it's still not torture. i said sean – he's a friend of mine – it's torture."
erich "mancow" muller
conservative chicago radio host
muller voluntarily underwent waterboarding to prove it wasn't torture.

mid-week diversion

a man and his goat.

a wolf in gay sheep's clothing?

msnbc's david shuster, twittered this morning:
With Olson and Boies teaming up to argue due process/14th amendment, the legal argument for gay marriage is a slam dunk. Huge development.
here's what david's talking about, via marc ambinder:
Combatants in the first politico-cultural drama of the 21st century, lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies are now allies in another: today, they're filing a federal court challenge to California's Proposition 8, hoping that a federal judge will issue an injunction against the same-sex marriage ban and immediately reinstate marriage rights for gay couples. The California Supreme Court upheld the proposition yesterday. Funding for the case is provided by the Equal Rights Foundation.

Olson, who has argued Bush v. Gore and 54 other cases before SCOTUS, was solicitor general from 2001 to 2004, and Boies, a corporate law expert who served as Al Gore's lead co-counsel in 2000, famously helped the Justice Department prosecute Microsoft's anti-trust case.
but there's a bit of skepticism out there, with conspiracies looming about olson's possible ulterior motive. from hot air:
A federal court might find that a violation of the equal-protection clause and overturn Proposition 8, or at least the ruling. The danger here for Olson is that a federal court might take action that invalidates those existing marriages rather than forcing California to recognize gay marriage altogether.
some believe it's not only california marriages that would be in danger. a dailykos reader, more to the point:
The whole goal of this lawsuit is to take the marriage issue in front of the current supreme court and get a ruling AGAINST same-sex marriage. Anyone who seriously believes that this lawsuit is good for our community is completely missing the point.
from the l.a. times:
Legal scholars have observed that proponents of gay marriage have avoided taking the issue to federal court so far because of the dominance of conservative judges and justices on the federal bench after the eight-year tenure of President George W. Bush.

The U.S. Supreme Court has what usually results in a 5-4 majority against extending rights to gays by recognizing sexual orientation as a vulnerable class of citizens in need of protection.

And all but one of the 13 federal appeals circuits has a reliable conservative majority. Even the exception, the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, experienced a curtailing of its liberal orientation with Bush’s seven appointments.
so is olsen a savior? or a wolf in sheep's clothing? could a decision in a conservative circuit court set a federal precedent ending the battle for gay marriage for years to come? and is that exactly what olsen is hoping for?

my tendency is to trust. but i admit, i do have some reservation about this whole development. i also wonder what effect a possible march to the u.s. supreme court for gay civil rights could have on sonia sotomayor's confirmation hearings for that same court.

and what about boies? if this movement is not on the up-and-up, why would he be involved? ultimately, i'm more willing to believe that a conservative republican would come out in support of marriage equality (see steve schmidt) than a democrat would unknowingly support such sinister ulterior motives.


The Republican National Committee (RNC) has apparently inadvertently released its list of talking points on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

Included on the released list were a few hundred influential Republicans who were the intended recipients of the talking points. Unfortunately for the RNC, so were members of the media.
get your rnc talking points here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

quote of the day

"Never underestimate the Republicans' capacity for taking big political risks that turn out badly. Remember Sarah Palin?"
robert reich
on whether republicans will vilify sonia sotomayor

hardcore idol-geeks only

for those of you jonesin' for some type of idol fix because, you know, it's tuesday: danny gokey interviewed by two 12-year old milwaukee girls.

(hat tip tim cuprisin)

time to celebrate!

apparently, it's been a blockbuster day for gay civil rights.

from the daily dish:
The decision leaves intact the holding of the Marriage Cases that gays have the fundamental "right to marry" under the California constitution, now and in the future; but unless and until the California constitution is again amended to the contrary, such unions cannot be called marriage.
and from john culhan:
The deprivation of rights isn’t that big a deal, really, because all that’s been removed by Prop 8 is the word “marriage” rather than the rights that go with it.
so: seperate but equal. a civil union is not a marriage. i fail to see anything to celebrate about. however, this perspective does make the decision slightly less overwhelming considering it's about the word.

(hat tip andrew sullivan)

at the corner of 8th and sonia

how do the two major news stories of the day (sonia sotomayor's nomination to the supreme court and the california ruling on proposition 8) intersect? the family research council's tony perkins lets it slip:
"The [California Supreme] Court [ignored] the meaning of the law it upheld [Proposition 8] by recognizing the 18,000 same-sex ‘marriages’ performed last year. By grandfathering in these ‘marriages,’ the justices are seeding the ground for a possible legal battle in the U.S. Supreme Court."
how 'bout that.

you'll never be one of us

politico's roger simon sums up why sotomayor is a brilliant political pick:
"[Barack Obama] would be delighted if the Republican party further crashes it's ship on the shoals of this nomination.

You heard Pat Buchanan today denounce this as an 'affirmative action' choice, right? So if you're an Hispanic voter, the Republican party is saying, 'No matter how hard you work, no matter how high you rise, no matter what sacrifices you make in your life – you'll never be one of us. We'll never accept you 'cause you're just affirmative action.'

If you're an Hispanic voter in Texas, or Arizona, come 2010 - 2012, why would you vote for Republicans?"

18,000 little problems

as has already been noted in the comments section of this post, the california supreme court today, as expected, upheld proposition 8 banning gay marriages in the state. at the same time, however, the court ruled that existing same-sex marriages, performed prior to prop 8's narrow passage last year, will be legally recognized.

so, california. you've got roughly 18,000 gays and lesbians who are legally married to their husbands/wifes. and a whole bunch of other gays and lesbians who will be denied that civil right.

how do you think that's gonna work out for you?

how do you solve a problem like...

...sonia? huckabee speaks up early, and makes an idiot of himself.

sharpening up their noes

friends on the right have their noes sharpened and are ready for a fight over barack obama's nomination of sonia sotomayor to the u.s. supreme court.

judicial confirmation network:
"Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important that the law as written. She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one's sex, race, and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench."
judicial watch:
"If Judge Sotomayor shares Obama's activist judicial philosophy, U.S. Senators who want to protect the Constitution will have no choice but to oppose her nomination.

Americans want the Supreme Court to make decisions based on the Constitution and not on some lawless standard that puts identity politics before the law. There is no room on the Supreme Court for someone who will put her feeling and politics above the rule of law."

mike huckabee:
“Sotomayor comes from the far left. The notion that appellate court decisions are to be interpreted by the ‘feelings’ of the judge is a direct affront of the basic premise of our judicial system that is supposed to apply the law without personal emotion. If she is confirmed, then we need to take the blindfold off Lady Justice.

general dynamics

look who's backing barack obama on torture and gitmo now.

three steps forward, two steps...

the lgbt community has two possible "setbacks" coming up. without diminishing their importance, neither should be viewed as major losses, but as minor stumbling blocks.

the california supreme court is all but expected to rule today to uphold proposition 8 banning gay marriage. the bigger story will be how the court deals with the nearly 18,000 gay marriages performed last year in the legal window between that court's original ruling in may – protecting a fundamental "right to marry" that extended to same-sex couples – and the passage of prop 8 in november, stripping that right from those and other couples.

second, the new york state senate will vote by june 22nd on the marriage equality bill introduced earlier this year by governor david patterson and passed recently by the house. there was initial skepticism that proponents had enough votes to pass the legislation, but with assemblyman daniel o'donnell and senator tom duane on the case things may be shifting.

a no on both will certainly appear to slow the remarkable momentum the civil rights issue has been enjoying since iowa legalized same-sex marriage in april. but neither ruling will actually be as devastating as they appear. california will undoubtedly revisit the issue through ballot referendum in 2010. and in new york, although the issue would likely be tabled for two years, it will inevitably be reintroduced after elections in 2010.

the old saying "the difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them," seems perfectly relevant today.
UPDATE 2:58 pm – the california supreme court decision is in: yea on upholding prop 8, nay on nixing those previous marriages. more on today's decision here. my personal reaction to new york's recent rally for marriage equality here.

have a bump red bull and a smile

red bull really is the new coke.

Monday, May 25, 2009

happy memorial day

"Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody."Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Four things support the world: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the good, and the valor of the brave”Muhammad

"So long as there are men there will be wars." – Albert Einstein

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." – John F. Kennedy

"When we say 'War is over if you want it,' we mean that if everyone demanded peace instead of another TV set, we'd have peace." – John Lennon

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." – Abraham Lincoln

"It's hard to look at Americans and not say, 'You are fat, lazy and have no idea what you have.' The very first time I go into McDonald's and hear someone complaining that there isn't enough ice in their Coke, I'm going to punch them in the face." – Army Spec. Ernesto Haibi

"Some people didn't say anything, and it just grew and grew inside of them. I wanted to let it out. Even now that I'm back home, and I look at the pictures of the guys, it's hard to keep from crying."Army National Guard Sgt. Sinque Swales

Sunday, May 24, 2009

susan boyle does it again

uh, sort of.

the 48-year-old scottish woman who became an internet sensation when video of her singing "i dreamed a dream" on "britain's got talent" received some 60 millions hits has been put through to the semi-finals of the british television show.

but the performance that put her over the top pales in comparison to her first, partly because the surprise is over, partly because she struggles a bit with a few notes, and mostly because she's lit as though she's a haloed creature arriving from the heavens to deliver the good news.

quote of the day

"Wal-Mart's become the biggest retail outlet in the country, but they won't carry our record [21st Century Breakdown] because they wanted us to censor it.

There's nothing dirty about our record. They want artists to censor their records in order to be carried in there. We just said no. We've never done it before. You feel like you're in 1953 or something."

If you think about bands that are struggling ...what does that say to a young kid who's trying to speak his mind making a record for the first time? It's like a game that you have to play. You have to refuse to play it."
–billy joe armstrong
lead singer, guitarist and lyricist for green day

tasteless politico

nearly as tasteless as the pussy galore rnc video that went up saturday showing speaker-of-the-house nancy pelosi in the sights of a gun (ala james bond opening credits) and juxtaposing her name with the image of bond villianess pussy galore, is the right-leaning website politico's seeming fascination with the story, featuring it as headline news yesterday and still including it on it's main page today.

the politico story discusses the steady stream of right-wing attacks on the speaker based solely on her gender – certainly a topic worthy of discussion. but politico appears to be nearly as proud of their tasteless headline as they are of the story itself, making them as pathetic as the culprits they are reporting on.

here's politico's headline for the story, comparing pelosi to pussy:

"i know a change is gonna come"

frank rich makes the argument that the gay rights movement hasn't seen enough, well, movement on critical issues like repealing don't ask, don't tell and the defense of marriage act not because of the influence of "the cultural warriors of the religious right and its political host, the republican party," but because of a shameful lack of courageous allies in washington, and the desperate need for "a towering national figure to make the moral case” for full gay civil rights.

and who might there be to fill that role, asks rich?
(hint: his name starts with 0 and ends with bama.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

laurin kills my idol crush

okay, not really. but she did forward this video, and together we pose a burning question: how come danny gokey was played up all season as the church music leader, and not lil' kris allen?

and if you actually made it through that, you're gonna love this: lil' blondy glambert singing at his high school graduation. warning: this video is only suitable for real american idol wack jobs.

republicans paint pelosi as pussy

when even right-leaning politico is calling you out, you must be in trouble. in an article entitled rnc's below-the-belt shot at pelosi, politico's andie coller is not thrilled with the new rnc video attacking nancy pelosi. the video begins with familiar james bond images and music, and pelosi's head appearing in the end of a gun sight. it ends with winking comparisons to the bond villainess pussy galore.
The wisdom of equating the first woman speaker of the House with a character whose first name also happens to be among the most vulgar terms for a part of the female anatomy might be debated – if the RNC were willing to do so, which it was not.
in the past weeks, pelosi has been referred to as... “this bitch," "that hag out there twisting in the wind,” and someone incapable of "human facial expression" due to alleged plastic surgery.

that's your republican party – keepin' it classy.

then of course, there's phil singer's theory that republican attacks on pelosi actually help her, and democrats. singer dealt with such issues as a spokesman for hillary clinton.
“As the degree of viciousness escalates and increases, I think women – and most people living in the modern era, including men – are more likely to rally to Pelosi’s cause,” [Singer] says.
that's your republican party – workin' hard to keep democrats in power.

i wasn't kidding

you may already know that i have a touch of the ocd, but have i mentioned that i still can't stop listening to this?

the new leader of the republican party?

excerpted from an editorial in friday's new york daily news:
Gays and lesbians are a vital part of our communities. They are doctors, teachers, firefighters, emergency personnel and neighbors.

In this way, marriage equality is also about supporting good citizens and strengthening our communities. When a committed gay couple seeks to declare their love for one another and get married, the whole community benefits from the added stability and strength of that family.

On top of that, we don't give up anything by sharing responsibilities and protections with those whom we love.
which republican said it?

read megan mccain's open letter to the new york republicans here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

if they asked me...

the real reason we're seeing so much of dick cheney lately?

the bitter little idol

all those 13-year olds dreaming about a duet between a former american idol runner-up and the current american idol runner-up are soon gonna be hackin' at their little wrists with meat knives 'cause it just ain't gonna happen, trick.

despite his success since coming in second to reuben studdard in 2003, clay aiken still sounds like a bitter non-winner, especially when he's dissing adam lambert. from the ultimate membership portion of clay aiken's subscriber only blog (a $29.95 annual fee that, believe me, i did not pay):
"This year, I happened to turn [American Idol] on during the minute that Adam Lambert was singing "Ring of Fire" and, at that moment, thought my ears would bleed. Contrived, awful, and slightly frightening! I wasn't really a fan and found myself surprised whenever folks told me that they liked him."
clame-oh has obviously had a change of heart since earlier in the season when he showed up unannounced on the idol set hoping to talk glambert into an album of duets and maybe a concert tour but was ushered off the set by the idol higher-ups: "everyone knows -- certainly clay knows -- he's persona non grata around here.''

what was tuesdays take on lambert's "ring of fire" ?
"this is soooooo gay. indulgent. i would say that this is really, really brave if he hadn't already done tons of stuff like this before. but this is who he is, it's nothing new. i'm not a fan tonight."
i don't, however, recall my ears bleeding.
UPDATE 5/24/09 – gaiken takes it all back, even though, in his words, "Lambert probably doesn't care about what I said."

mancow-ard gets "water on his face"

conservative chicago shock jock erich "mancow" muller gets waterboarded to prove that waterboarding isn't torture. "i wanted to prove it wasn't torture," muller said. "they cut off our heads, we put water on their face... i really thought 'i'm going to laugh this off.'"

whatever you think of muller, he gets credit for actually going through with this, unlike a certain fox news personality.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

sure-fire hiccups cure

they say a good scare can cure a person of the hiccups. see if this works:

defending the speaker

as newt gingrich flounces from fox news show to fox news show and continues his call for nancy pelosi's head, one by one, democrats – albeit slowly – have stepped up to the plate to defend her: former senator bob graham, majority leader steny hoyer, wisconsin's david obey, california's dianne feinstein.

now, a brand new democrat has spoken up in defense of the speaker:
"The CIA has a very bad record when it comes to — I was about to say 'candid'; that's too mild — to honesty.

Director [Leon] Panetta says the agency does not make it a habit to misinform Congress. I believe that is true. It is not the policy of the Central Intelligence Agency to misinform Congress.

But that doesn't mean that they're all giving out the information."
that's from your new democratic senator from the great state of pennsylvania, the honorable arlen spector.

quote of the day

"When you have a majority of Americans, seventy-something percent, saying we shouldn't torture, then I'm not sure it helps for the Vice President to go out and continue to espouse that position. But look, he's free to talk. He's a former Vice President of the United States. I just don't see where it helps.

[Cheney] believes that waterboarding doesn't fall under the Geneva Conventions and that it's not a form of torture. But you know, it goes back to the Spanish Inquisition."

– senator john mccain
commenting on dick cheney's speech
today at the american enterprise institute

is dick cheney running for president?

who knew there was a debate today?

in the national archives building, standing in front of the the constitution of the united states of america, president barack obama today gave an impassioned speech about national security, terrorism, the prison at guantanamo bay, and more. and in doing so, enlisted both the words of john mccain and lindsey graham.

then, in a backroom somewhere at a holiday inn and in front of a crowd of tens, dick cheney appeared, dick cheney: hunched, nasal, bitter, selling fear and waterboarding. whatever you think of this man's views, cheney looks increasingly desperate. like an bloated kitty thrown into the deep end of the pool, forced to feverishly tread water.

andrew sullivan interrupted his vacation to post some early thoughts on obama's speech.

now who's the leader of the club?

some sad news for fans of the iconic mouse:
Wayne Allwine, who served as the voice of Mickey Mouse for 32 years, died Monday of complications from diabetes, according to the Walt Disney Company. He was 62.
allwine, whose wife russi taylor is the current voice of minnie mouse, was only the third actor in disney's history to voice mickey, preceeded by his mentor jim macdonald ("just remember kid, you're only filling in for the boss") and the original voice of mickey – walt disney himself.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

f-fwd idol wrap: two gays guys

during the filming of this foggy, dramatic opening, with adam and kris standing alone on stage, the audience apparently stayed silent for a while, but then began chanting "adam... adam... adam."

randy jackson trades in the used car salesman look for the giant ten year-old boy look. if newbie-wanna-moley called me sweetie i'd kick her. especially after that turd she layed last night. paula has trouble with big words, yes.

BLINDY!! still my beating heart. blindy returns for what appears to be the white party. i liked this number much better on glee last night. (did you watch?)

david cook. not so good. david, i'm living in hell right now. this song is taking forever to get started. i've changed the station by now. i'm rustling through a desk drawer looking for my copy of the watchtower. i'm flossing. i'm doing my taxes. i'm doing my friend's taxes. hold on, this is what we waited for? you yelling on pitch for a really long time? if i wanted that i coulda just listened to idina menzel's album. that was a good three minutes i will never get back.

oh. great. it was about his dead brother. and we're gonna donate money to fight cancer. i feel like an idiot now. i still didn't like it. and i coulda spent those three minutes fighting cancer.

does anyone else think nick mitchell is the next paul lynde/alan seuss/charles nelson reilly/rip taylor? this lil rounds/queen latifah song is a hot pitchy mess, but lil's booty actually looks just kinda big next to latifah's. (maybe that was the idea.) here's the real deal: jason mraz. does jason have a lazy eye? blindy! look at blindy snappin! ahhh...memories. could next season be a "no loungy final chords" zone?

seriously. kris allen. sweet.

keith urban is truly one of the most handsome men i've ever seen. (right hewitt?) what if kris allen and keith urban smooched a bit during this song? just a little, nothing sloppy.

fergie. peas!! this is fun. WOW! there was a censored lyric for ya. smooth, fox. hey, remember the days when, during the final measures of "my way" frank sinatra would say "frank sinatra! 1969! my new album drops next month, baby!"

wow. seacrest eyes bikini girl's new front chassis and says "i was gonna ask 'what's new,' but i think i know." keep it classy, peehead.

okay. i'm sort of shell shocked here. nwm comes out to sing with bikini girl, and it turns ugly. really, really ugly. bikini girl is obviously perturbed, and nwm looks like a bitter johnny-come-lately.

ladies and gentlemen, cyndi lauper and the crotch shot heard round the world. now we know where she keeps her auto-harp.

is kris allens's dad a minister? (is kris allen's dad gay?)

danny gokey sings with lionel ritchie, who looks like he just came from impacted wisdom teeth surgery. or he's storing nuts for the winter.

okay, this adam lambert birdcage costume is it. would he have worn this during the competition? beth. he sounds amazing. he's gonna perform with kiss: f*cking fantastic. this is exactly what he should be singing, what he should be doing, what we have to look forward to from adam lambert, i hope: show, glam, pomp and circumstance. the rebirth of david bowie, elton john, iggy pop, alice cooper. this is a concert i would go to.

so, if adam is bowie/elton/alice, is kris kenny loggins/dan fogelberg/james taylor?

moley becomes scoopy, and no farewell appearance for the mole. show choir santana. where's blindy!? there's still time for him to walk off the stage! steve martin on american idol: how did this happen? listen to chubs sing steve martin's song: there's so much phony technique he can't sing a simple melody. slipping and sliding in and around every note. dude, pick a note and sing it.

danny gokey has not sounded good tonight. please bring out rod stewert. and soon. 16 ounces anyone? oh wow. rod is wasted. or is he just old? no, wasted. or has he had a stroke? no, wasted. good for you rod, the seventies are not over, no matter what elton tells you. the twelve year old running sound doesn't knows there's a guitar solo here.

janice dickenson is a scary, scary slop of skin and bones and lips. i'm gonna have bad dreams.

we couldn't possibly make it through the end of the season without this annoying, crying, laughing joke named tatiana. do they realize all the encouragement they're giving to the tatianas of the world?

wow. it's a 70's-off. queen. seriously, this is the duet song they choose when kris allen is one of the finalists? what are they trying to tell us? (and him?) who in their right mind decided to have those back up singers wave their arms like that?

kris allen is a midget. he's smaller than seacrust.

kris wins.

wow. that's pretty much the upset of the season. kris didn't even expect it. "adam deserves this." but kris needed to win more than adam did. think he's overwhelmed? this makes me happy. i like a good underdog story, don't you?

adam is free, kris gets a recording contract.
the best of all possible worlds.


i thought there wasn't anything more disgusting that the idea of a pulled pork sandwich from white castle until i saw the ad for the white castle pulled pork sandwich where the giant furvert pig gets soaked with barbecue sauce.

simple beauty

from new york city's riverside park.

harry reid's catch and release

senate democrats voted with republicans overwhelmingly today to deny the president funds to close the prison camp at guantanamo bay, until he provides a specific plan for the transfer of detainees.

politicians have run around the country in an attempt to convince people it's worse to have a suspected terrorist in the supermax detention facility down the block than it is to have a convicted child rapist and murderer ('cause, you know, those folks are already there.)

trying to explain this logic, especially when you're shy little harry reid, is when it gets truly pathetic:
REID: I’m saying that the United States Senate, Democrats and Republicans, do not want terrorists to be released in the United States. That’s very clear.

QUESTION: No one’s talking about releasing them. We’re talking about putting them in prison somewhere in the United States.

REID: Can’t put them in prison unless you release them.

QUESTION: Sir, are you going to clarify that a little bit? …

REID: I can’t make it any more clear than the statement I have given to you. We will never allow terrorists to be released in the United States.

QUESTION: But Senator, Senator, it’s not that you’re not being clear when you say you don’t want them released. But could you say — would you be all right with them being transferred to an American prison?

REID: Not in the United States.
with democrats like this, who needs republicans?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

quote of the day

"This change, my friends, is being delivered in a teabag.
And that's a wonderful thing."

– rnc chairman michael steele

fast-forward idol: two gays guys

i'm nervous, aren't you!? (my voice just shot up two octaves.)

peecrust has a big silver penis microphone! they're in the ginormous, scary nokia cave tonight: hey fellas, on the last night, let's really change it up and put you in front of 7000 people, whaddya think? gee, which one of these guys is used to that? (hint: "look at her, she's wicked!")

it's acoustic vs. glam, conway vs. california, guy-next-door vs. guyliner, david vs. goliath, pat boone vs. elvis, the christian vs. the abomination. randy-in-a-tie wants to sell you a used nissan sentra, a little rust, low mileage. paula got attacked by the killer tanning bed. or she sat in a bathtub of beef bullion cubes overnight.

kris and adam. adam strolls out pointing at people in the audience like he's hillary clinton. (both strong women.) three songs each: their favorite, producer's pick, and newbie wanna moley song which will inevitably be poop-on-a-stick. (what happened to letting some random geek fan in frog jump, tennessee write the last song?)

for all you fans just now setting your tivo as the program starts, ryan sounds the alert that they plan to run long. thanks for that, douchebag – people dvr-ing the show are at at star trek or their kids stupid dance recital. or selling t-shirts in the lobby of a tacky broadway show.


• adam 1. it's mom and dad glamberace! dad: "well, he was a screamer as a kid!" sure papalambert, but did he wear mom's eyeliner? mad world. oh look, hydraulics and fog. hmm, no screeching yet. i remember that screechy part being much screechier the first time around. was that great? maybe, but only because we know about the crazy flamboyant screechfest coming up later. judges: randy – since i'm dressed like a sixth grade teacher, i'm gonna give you a grade: A+! no...A for adam! nwm – i knew you were gonna win. paula – i knew you were gonna win first. simon – overly theatrical, phantom of the opera. (more christine, i'd say.)

shouldn't kris just go home now? get caught up on grey's?

• kris 1. i'm cashing in my kris music coupon later this week. ain't no sunshine when she's flat! (that note was "gone," babe.) further into the song, he opens up and it's great. not sure i would have picked this tune. judges: randy – plugs the lakers. nice. randy, do you think anyone watching this show knows anything about baseball? nwm – you create an intimate bond with everyone in the audience including my friend cooch mccoocherson the mayoress of coochtown u.s. of cooch. paula – you awaken the spirit in all of us by simonizing allenizing us. simon – simon say nice things, make kris cry. sweet.

ryan makes simon pick the winner of round one and has little conniption fit while he's at it: "ding-ding-ding!" he says. "ding! ding!" yeah, buttcrust, ding-a-ling.


• adam 2. change is gonna come. this is pretty remarkable. the fascinating thing about this voice, to me, is that it never seems strained. there is angst here, but not in creating the sound. judges: randy – you just sang your face off and i'm not talking your covergirl queen foundation natural hue. nwm"best ever." paula – i'll see your "best ever" and add a conniption. "i know with every fiber of my being you will be iconic." simon – you're back in the saddle game.

what will adam lambert do when he's free of these idol trappings?


• kris 2. what's going on. this is his deal, right? guitar, low-key. he feels it. i would much rather listen to a concert of kris, look at kris for two hours, than adam lambert, i think. sorry'd have better costume changes. judges: randy – a little light for me. nwm – you are true to yourself. you're an artist, artist, artist. paula – i know what's goin' on, 'cause i'm layin' off the sauce and i'm halfway to lucid. simon – that was like three friends in my bedroom telling me i'm a big old gay strumming along to marvin gaye.

• adam 3. nwm song. (whatever the hell it's called.) this is pretty horrid. the song and the performance. if this is what adam leaves us with, kris has a shot. the song is...god. i know twenty people who could write a better song for american idol and one of them is erik nelson's newborn baby. this is adam's worst performance to date. judges: will anyone tell the truth about the song? maybe simon... randy – dude, you can sing the phone book. pitchy! randy said pitchy! somebody drink! nwm – i wrote that. did everyone know i wrote that song? i wrote it, and sang it. paula – paula talks for a full minute without saying anything about what just happened (exactly what it would be like after sex with her.) simon – says, "i'm not gonna judge that song," thereby judging that song. simon then congratulates adam for winning the competition before kris has finished. wait. did ryan just kiss adam lambert? is ryan seacrest gay?

randy was the only judge to tell adam honestly that this performance was ultrabone.

• kris 3. singing the piece of crap that nwm pulled from her underside and they are now forcing him to sing. besides that, it's the same, lame arrangement. and he's flat too. it's the monitors – they couldn't both be that off. i think he sounds better singing this turd of a song than adam did. really, horrible, horrible song. judges: randy – you should be very proud – even though you were flat – because you're gonna lose. nwm – i think that song was too high, but i wrote it for you after listening to you sing week, after week, after week. paula – you are gonna lose. simon – simon makes kris cry again, but for the wrong reason. "you deserve to be standing on this stage tonight, and you will deserve to be there tomorrow night too, when we announce that adam won."

how terribly unfortunate that one of the best groups of idol singers i can remember end the competition having to sing one of the worst idol songs i've ever heard. kara should be working in the produce department at gristedes (but not in my neighborhood.)

ready for this?

winner: kris
runner-up: adam

spreading the good news


remember swine flu?

at home in a crowd of thousands

last sunday afternoon, as i stood among the thousands of people corralled into the closed-down southbound lane of 6th avenue between 45th and 47th at new york city's rally for marriage equality, i glanced around and realized i was experiencing an emotion i hadn't felt so strongly since i first walked into a gay bar back in the early 1980s. and i'm not talking about an overwhelming sense that my hairstyle is five years out of date.

that first gay bar was actually in san francisco, california. clich̩? maybe. but for a small town wisconsin boy, fresh out of high school, that was going some. my good friend kevin and i had finally taken that long-planned trip to california Р(was it late 1979?) Рsomething we'd been dreaming about for years. like millions of other kids, we'd told ourselves we would drive across the country in a beat-up volkswagen van, making pit stops along the way to camp-out. as with most "drive a van to california" schemes, reality eventually set in (where were we gonna get camping gear, much less a beat-up volkswagen van?) and we opted to fly.

we stayed with a friend who'd moved to the west coast from southeastern wisconsin the day after his high school graduation, a couple of years prior. after a long day of travel and a quick dinner, we dropped our bags and our california buddy, eager to show us the town, looked us in the eye and said, "now: do you really want to see san francisco?"

somewhere deep down i knew what he meant. i'm not sure kevin did.

we walked a couple of blocks to a corner bar – nothing special. far from seedy, but certainly not fancy. neighborhoody, like the kind of place my dad hung out after a ballgame. (go ah
ead, make that leap.) fifteen or so minutes and a beer and a half later, kevin leaned in to me and whispered, "shit tony, i don't think there are any girls in here." and he was right. scanning the bar, we sort of giggled to ourselves, finished our beers, and moved on to "safer environs." kevin was uncomfortable. i pretended to be.

before we left the bar, however, i'd taken notice of a late 20-something year-old man playing a game of pool. by himself. he was dressed modestly – worn-out blue jeans, work boots, a brown hooded sweatshirt – and had an intense, but warm, open face. no one spoke to him, no one approached him, yet he was anything but alone. there was a solace, a confidence. i caught his eye at one point, and something subtle passed between us. nothing sexual, but a welcome, if you will. as if he knew something i didn't, and was telling me everything was going to be okay. at the time i wasn't sure what it was, but i remember it vividly to this day.

after his pool game he perched in a corner, still by himself, and pulled out a small, silver harmonica. a harmonica. what a fantastical place this san francisco is, i thought. no one seemed to care or even notice when he began to play. the tune was sweet and simple, but it was a bluesy, haunted sound that filled the echoy openness of that quiet barroom, interrupted only by the muffled whistles and dings of a lone pinball machine in a back room somewhere. and eventually the jukebox playing the stones' "miss you".

it wasn't the absence of straight folk that i found intriguing about that neighborhood bar, or even the mysterious harmonica player in the corner. it was the stunning sense of freedom. of being at home. it's not something you feel as a gay person growing up in a small, rural town. it's not something you know enough to miss, either. without realizing it, you carry with you a sense of staying hidden, keeping quiet, no matter who you're with or where you are. you must never let your guard down, not for a moment, for fear of not only the shame it could cause your family, your friends, you, but of the physical harm that might follow. even in this bar, thousands of miles from home, that new taste of freedom – palpable as it was – wasn't quite complete because my friend kevin was always present. i couldn't completely embrace it, savor it. as much as i loved kevin and was enjoying our trip together, i longed desperately for him to leave for a hour or two so i could be completely unencumbered by any fear of judgement or ridicule. not so anything could happen, just so i

sunday, at the rally, i looked around and took in some of the people near me – three couples in particular. two older men, probably mid-70's, standing side by side, one gently rubbing the other's neck. every so often they would share a look that i don't ever remember seeing between my parents.

behind me were two women standing one in front of the other in an easy, casual embrace. now and again the woman behind would rub her nose in the other woman's hair, and they would both smile a gentle, peaceful smile.

the third couple was my partner rob and me. look at us, i thought. we are so strong. happy. together. a team.

and then there was a young man, 17 maybe, standing with friends. he glanced at me, our eyes met briefly, and i smiled. he did too. everything's gonna be okay, i said.

i had to force myself to think, for a moment, about how uncomfortable this scene might make some people feel. to me, we were all beautiful human beings, loving each other, supporting each other, caring for each other. the mystery, the solace, the confidence. it was all quite wonderful.

kevin would still probably be uncomfortable, i thought to myself. thank god i don't need to pretend to be anymore. we don't need to pretend.

we are at home.
we are free

Monday, May 18, 2009

sarah, can you spare a dime?

greta van susteren's husband tries to convince sarah palin to help pay down hillary clinton's campaign debt. no kidding.

the end of an era

don pardo, the voice of saturday night live, retires.

gays pump up mass

why gay marriage? it's good for the economy:
A study says the over 12,000 same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts since 2004 have pumped over $111 million into the state's economy. Allowing gay couples to marry has helped businesses in tough economic times.
(hat tip markhurst)

jackson, nixon, and pierce

as in cheyenne, cynthia, and david hyde. images from sunday's rally for marriage equality near rockefeller center in new york city.

an idea.

cheyenne jackson.

the crowd.

new york governor david patterson

a family.

assemblyman daniel j. o'donnell.

the cast of the broadway revival of "hair".

mayor michael bloomberg


david hyde pierce and brian hargrove, his partner of 25 years.

audra mcdonald.

a concept.

cynthia nixon.


if you live in new york state, have friends who live in new york state, or know someone who has friends who live in new york state...please ask them to call, write or email their state senator in support of marriage equality. visit:

to find easy steps on how to contact your state senator, or use this list to find senators who have not yet publicly taken a position on marriage equality in new york. the current legislative session ends june 20th, so time is of the essence.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

quote of the day

"In this world of competing claims about what is right and what is true, have confidence in the values with which you’ve been raised and educated. Be unafraid to speak your mind when those values are at stake. Hold firm to your faith and allow it to guide you on your journey. Stand as a lighthouse.

But remember too that the ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt. It is the belief in things not seen. It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.

This doubt should not push us away from our faith. But it should humble us. It should temper our passions, and cause us to be wary of self-righteousness. It should compel us to remain open, and curious, and eager to continue the moral and spiritual debate that began for so many of you within the walls of Notre Dame.

And within our vast democracy, this doubt should remind us to persuade through reason, through an appeal whenever we can to universal rather than parochial principles, and most of all through an abiding example of good works, charity, kindness, and service that moves hearts and minds."
– president barack obama
in his nortre dame university commencement speech