Friday, September 05, 2008

"Obama Ist Best! Very Good OK!"

Pretty much every person we've met here immediately wants to talk about Sarah Palin thanks to my Obama cap, which only a hour finally elicted the above quote from a shopper at Checkpoint Charlie. The consensus on Palin is completely horrible, of course. One very tall Finn told me last night that she's become a national joke for his countrymen. Oh, us too, honey!

Our apartment here in Berlin is near Viktoria-Louise Platz, about a ten-minute walk from the heart of the Schoeneberg gayborhood. Last night we barhopped for a few hours, hitting Prinzknecht, Mutschmanns, and Scheune. Berlin is packed with tourists for Folsom Europe of course, so we've met more Brits and Italians than locals, so far. Tons of NY'ers here too.This morning six of us hit Ka-De-We, the ginmorous fancy department store near Kurfurstendamm, where we had a fancy brunch in their sprawling "food court" which must have two dozen themed cafes. Then we took a fantastic three hour bus tour which was put together by Folsom Europe organizers. It was quite amusing to watch the reactions of our fellow tourists when a hundred leathermen poured out of the bus at every stop. The tour was filmed by a local documentarian and somehow Chris, Aaron, Little Tom and I got into about every scene, maybe because we were American, maybe because we were the only ones not in leather. More photos later, hopefully. Our apartment doesn't have wireless and I'm finding it a chore to lug the laptop around. Hey look, gas is like, $9 a gallon!

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Morgen Blick - Ich Bin Ein Berliner

Aaron, Little Tom, Chris and I are in Berlin until next week, posting will be light except for some touristy photo stuff from the occasional cafe. Now we get to see what good three years of high school German does me, thirty years later. I'm betting, nicht viel.

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Open Thread Thursday

What's on your DVR/Tivo right now?


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I'd Tap That

Last week New York City won a statewide contest for best tasting tap water, something Gotham has long been known for. Now somebody is bottling NYC tap water and selling it.
The Tap'dNY strategy doesn't hide the fact that they "purify and bottle New York City's famous tap water, leaving out the malarkey and far journey included in other bottled waters." Instead, it wants to be an "honest and local alternative for all New Yorkers"--perhaps a nod to how some bottled water marketers haven't always said their water was from humble taps--and even points out that refills are free at faucets in the city (after a few refills, you recycle the bottle).
Since many bottled waters are merely tap water cloaked in fancy artwork, I think this is great. Tap'd NY for me.

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The Politics Of Mortality

Politico goes to the actuaries for the hard numbers.
It’s a macabre point to raise on the night when Palin will speak to the convention here — but a look at the actuarial tables insurance companies use to evaluate customers shows that it’s not an irrelevant one. According to these statistics, there is a roughly 1 in 3 chance that a 72-year-old man will not reach the age of 80, which is how old McCain would be at the end of a second presidential term. And that doesn’t factor in individual medical history, such as McCain’s battles with potentially lethal skin cancer.

“For a man, that’s above the expected lifetime at the present,” said Michael Powers, a professor of risk management and insurance at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

The odds of a 72-year-old man living four more years, or one full White House term, are better. But for a man who has lived 72 years and 67 days (McCain’s age on Election Day this year), there is between a 14.2 and 15.1 percent chance of dying before Inauguration Day 2013, according to the Social Security Administration’s 2004 actuarial tables and the authoritative 2001 mortality statistics assembled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Going by the Social Security Administration’s tables, that’s nearly ten times the likelihood that a man aged 47 years and 92 days (Barack Obama’s age on Election Day this year) will die before Jan. 20, 2013.
Obama's lifelong smoking habit raises his odds of dying younger than normal, a factor not noted in the above expectancy tables. McCain has never smoked, but has had two bouts of skin cancer, which negatively effects his expectancy as well.

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Chrome Is Shiny

Because I am a complete Google whore, I had to immediately download the test version of Chrome, the companay's first-ever browser, when it came out yesterday. Super clean interface (as minimalistic as the page) and super, super fast. So far anyway. That sucker just drew the NY Times homepage in less a second. It's more like Firefox than IE (and that's a good thing) and there aren't a lot of add-ons yet, but so far I'm impressed. Doesn't eat nearly as much memory as Firefox either.

Gizmodo agrees:
Our first impression of Chrome is that it's nice and fast. There's very little lag opening pages and the entire interface feels very streamlined. Dragging tabs in and out of windows is awesome, with a transparent version of the page pulling away with your mouse. The fact that you can pull tabs out of windows as well as combine windows is a great touch. Everything involving the tabs feels very, very smooth.
Google, Gmail, Blogger, YouTube, Picasa, Chrome...what am I leaving out of my slavish devotion to this company?

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Sally Kern Meets Michelangelo Signorile

You should all be following along with Michelangelo Signorile either on his blog or on SiriusXM where he has gone into "Republican drag" at the convention to meet our enemies. This gem was posted today.
Well, the Republican drag worked! I ran into wacko theocrat Oklahoma state lawmaker Sally Kern over at the Oklahoma delegation, and she didn't realize it was me, even though I introduced myself by name. She even mentioned at the end of our interview, while I took a picture with her, that she had a bad experience on Sirius, with "whatshisname, Michael Siganorelli or something like that." Wait until you hear the interview. I'll post some of it too, and I'm definitely posting the Roberta McCain audio -- we've got to get that far and wide!
I freekin' love it.

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De-Dyking Rachel Maddow

Yesterday Page 6 leaked a rumor that the powers that be at MSNBC are unhappy with new anchor Rachel Maddow's mannish appearance.
MSNBC loves the chatter of liberal pundit Rachel Maddow, but not her look. Maddow, who's getting her own show, is being subjected to a network makeover. A source says an entire "glam squad" has been hired for the openly gay Maddow, and she has been asked not to wear her Drew Carey-esque glasses again. There's even talk of "putting her in a skirt." We're sure that'll do the trick.
I bet Maddow puts up a fight.

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HomoQuotable - Camille Paglia

"We may be seeing the first woman president. As a Democrat, I am reeling. That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails.” - Camille Paglia, responding to Sarah Palin's first speech after she was introduced by John McCain in Dayton, Ohio.

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ABC: Obama Has Two Dads

Via Ben Smith at Politico, who calls it one of the "all-time great TV news goofs."

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Patrick Sammon Defends McCain On CNN

Log Cabin Republicans head Patrick Sammon was just on CNN defending John McCain. Sammon says that while he disagrees with the anti-gay planks in the Republican platform, "The platform is largely symbolic and is forgotten the day after the convention." Sammon added, "I'd rather have a candidate that agrees with me than a platform."

Again Sammon stressed that McCain opposes a federal ban on gay marriage, but conveniently forgot to mention that McCain wants gay marriage overturned in California and supported a ban in his home state of Arizona. According to Sammon, the "rank and file of the Republican party is much more supportive of gay rights that one might suspect." Oh, Patrick.

UPDATE: Here's the clip.

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Good Luck Palin Death Race

Now playing in Wasilla, Alaska.

(Via - Band Of Thebes via Andrew Sullivan)

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Gay Chelsea Teen Killed By Street Dealer

Pace University student Jason Pravia, 19, was murdered in his Chelsea apartment on Saturday morning after he left a downtown party. According to reports, Pravia left the party extremely drunk and went to Union Square to score drugs. There he met Jeromie Cancel, 22, an occasional dealer and former mental patient who accompanied Pravia back to his apartment. After Pravia fell asleep, Cancel suffocated him with a plastic bag.
Cancel confessed to punching the sleeping student, fastening an electrical cord around his neck, stuffing a plastic bag down his throat and smothering him with a pillow, the police sources said. He told cops he did not engage in any sexual activity with Pravia and used the victim's TV to watch "Saw," a gorefest in which a serial killer finds ways to make his victims murder each other, the sources said.

"He's a monster," said a police source. "He smothers a guy and watches a ...horror movie ...before he leaves." Cancel grabbed the honor student's laptop, cell phone and iPod before leaving the apartment about 11 a.m. He told investigators he sold the laptop on the street and the cell phone at a nearby store.

Investigators have recovered the cell phone, police said. Cancel has been arrested four times in Florida, including for drug possession and for stealing a car, officials said. He was charged with murder and manslaughter in Pravia's death. Although previously estranged from his father, Cancel showed up at Soto's Ridgewood home in June and moved in with him. Cancel told his father he drifted between Pennsylvania and Florida and spent time in a New York mental institution.

Just weeks later, Cancel robbed his father, cleaning out the apartment of its PlayStation, video games, digital camera and other electronics, Soto said. Cancel disappeared, only to return Tuesday at 1 a.m., Soto said. "He has to be on some kind of medication or something. ...He kept repeating stuff," said Soto, his voice trailing off.

Pravia, who was gay, was known as a hard partyer who dated a lot of men and would sometimes use drugs in social settings, sources said. He and Madonna, friends from Massachusetts, had moved into the Chelsea building just two weeks ago.

Madonna, who had been out of town for several days, received several worried text messages from Pravia's mother, who had not heard from her son since Friday. Madonna found the body when she returned home.
According to police, Cancel has expressed no remorse for the killing and when asked why did it, responded, "Because I wanted to. You got a problem with that?"

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Lieberman Still Thinks He's A Democrat

Joe Lieberman at the convention last night: "And that brings me directly to why I am here tonight. What, after all, is a Democrat like me doing at a Republican convention like this?"

Selling out the people who originally put him in office? Going to the highest bidder? Looking for new ways to fuck the country?

Lieberman answers his own question: "The answer is simple. I'm here to support John McCain because country matters more than party. I'm here tonight because John McCain is the best choice to bring our country together and lead our country forward. I'm here because John McCain's whole life testifies to a great truth: being a Democrat or a Republican is important. But it is not more important than being an American.

Both presidential candidates this year talk about changing the culture of Washington, about breaking through the partisan gridlock and special interests that are poisoning our politics. But only one of them has actually done it. Only one leader has shown the courage and the capability to rise above the smallness of our politics to get big things done for our country and our people. And that leader is John McCain!"

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Us Weekly: Babies, Lies & Scandals

Well, this isn't going to help McCain pull in those women.
"Within hours of McCain’s surprise introduction of the little-known, charismatic mother of five as his running mate, the scandals began to emerge as quickly as flies at a Labor Day picnic.

“While putting to rest one scandal, Palin appeared to have opened another of even greater significance. Staunchly antiabortion (even in cases of rape) and opposed to sex-education classes (she believes in abstinence instruction for teens), questions began to arise about not just her judgment, but that of McCain’s as well.”
Us Weekly reaches 12 million women weekly, many of which are probably fairly far removed from day-to-day political discussions. It should be noted that the magazine's owner is the openly gay Jann Wenner, a huge Obama supporter.

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Rev. Wright Redux

"The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government and I won't be buried under their damn flag. I'll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home." - Alaskan Independence Party founder Joe Vogler, speaking in 1991.

McCain's campaign has proven that Sarah Palin did not belong to the AIP although she attended their 1994 and 2000 conventions and reached out to them this year with a recorded message of support. On the other hand, Todd Palin WAS a member of the AIP from 1995-2002.

Can you imagine the outcry, the outrage, the hysterical call to arms if Michelle Obama had ever even shaken hands with rabid secessionist, much less been an active member of such a group for years and years? The Palins have their own Rev. Wright strapped to their backs. His name is Joe Vogler.

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Cognitive Dissonance

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NY Gov Wins Gay Marriage Challenge

Round One, Gov. David Paterson.
A New York state judge has thrown out the first direct legal challenge to the governor's move to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Judge Lucy Billings says in her ruling Tuesday that the policy is a "permissible" step toward equality for gays and lesbians.

Thousands of New Yorkers are expected to take advantage of a new Massachusetts law letting them wed there. California is the only other state to legalize gay marriage. A Christian legal group in Arizona had sued in New York, saying the issue should be decided by that state's Legislature. The organization and the office of Gov. David Paterson had no immediate response to the ruling.
Earlier this year, Paterson ordered all New York state agencies to recognize same sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions.

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Morning View - Christopher PATH Station

On weekend evenings, the Port Authority Trans-Hudson station on Christopher Street disgorges hundreds of mostly underage, mostly poor, black and Latino gay kids from New Jersey who are often escaping horrific home situations to experience just a few hours of exuberantly open queerness. The PATH train into the West Village serves these kids as a literal and spiritual Underground Railroad, even if it must return many of them to a less happy world at the end of the night. This year is the 100th anniversary of the PATH train and passing this entrance one can only wonder how many countless gay lives were begun only when a foot was finally placed on that top step.


The Levi & Bristol Show

The Republicans will be trotting out Levi Johnston at the convention.
The boyfriend of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's unwed, pregnant daughter will join the family of the Republican vice presidential candidate at the GOP convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Levi Johnston's mother said her 18-year-old son left Alaska on Tuesday morning to join the Palin family at the convention where Sen. John McCain will officially receive the Republican nomination for president. The boy's mother, Sherry Johnston, said there had been no pressure put on her son to marry 17-year-old Bristol Palin and the two teens had made plans to wed before it was known she was pregnant.

"This is just a bonus," Johnston said.

The young man's presence could set off a media frenzy around the young couple as photographers and cameramen scramble for pictures of the two teenagers. On Monday, Palin and her husband, Todd, said their 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, planned to have the baby and wed a young man identified only as Levi. The family asked the media to respect the young couple's privacy as has been the tradition with children of candidates.
What happened to "leave this kids alone"?

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Obama Hits 50% For First Time

Convention bounce? Palin anti-bounce? Great news for now, but let's see how the numbers are after the RNC ends.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has reached the 50 percent milestone in the latest Gallup Poll, the first time he has hit the threshold considered to be a safe number for victory. According to Gallup’s Daily Tracking Poll, the Democratic presidential nominee now maintains an 8-point lead over Republican John McCain, 50 percent to 42 percent.

McCain, despite enjoying the media spotlight at this week’s Republican National Convention, is “well below” his 48 percent top support level, recorded in late April/early May, in a hypothetical match-up against Obama, said Gallup pollster Lydia Saad. He is “just slightly better” than the 40 percent he was getting during the Democratic convention last week.

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Log Cabins Endorse McCain

Not surprising, but here's the press release.
Log Cabin Republicans today announced its endorsement of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for President of the United States. Log Cabin's national board of directors voted 12-2 to endorse the Republican nominees for President and Vice President. Log Cabin announced the decision at its "Big Tent Event" during the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.

"On the most important issue that LGBT Americans faced in the last decade-the federal marriage amendment-Sen. John McCain stood with us. Now we stand with him," said Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Sammon. "Sen. McCain is an inclusive Republican who is focusing the GOP on unifying core principles that appeal to independent voters."

"Sen. McCain showed courage by bucking his own party's leadership and the president-twice voting against the amendment. He gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, calling the amendment 'antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans.' He paid a political price for his vote," said Sammon.

"Log Cabin Republicans is a grassroots organization and our membership overwhelmingly supports endorsing Sen. McCain," said Log Cabin Board Chairman Pete Kingma. "Our board and staff members have spent recent months getting input and feedback from our members. The consensus among our members is strongly in favor of an endorsement because of his inclusive record. Our members also support him because he's a maverick; a trait most recently on display with his decision to select Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate."

"In recent years, too many Republican politicians have used divisive social issues in an effort to win elections. Sen. McCain is a different kind of Republican. He understands the GOP lost its majority in Congress in 2006 largely because the Party focused on divisive social issues. Sen. McCain knows the politics of fear and division will damage our Party and our nation so he's focusing the GOP on unifying core principles such as limited government, fiscal responsibility, and a strong national defense," said Sammon.

"We have honest disagreements with Sen. McCain on a number of gay rights issues. Log Cabin will continue our conversation with him and other Republican leaders about issues affecting gay and lesbian Americans. We will speak out when there's disagreement-either during the upcoming campaign or when John McCain is President," said Sammon

Sen. McCain has had a long and friendly association with Log Cabin Republicans, dating back to the organization's opening of a national office in the mid-1990s.

"Sen. McCain has always shown a willingness to reach out and engage in dialogue with Log Cabin, while considering all sides of an issue," said Sammon. "We know that will continue when he is President."

"Progress in the fight for LGBT equality requires support from both Republicans and Democrats," said Sammon. "Log Cabin's endorsement of Sen. McCain will ensure our community has a strong voice making the case for gay rights to John McCain when he is President."


"I expect Sen. McCain will receive strong support from gay and lesbian Americans," said Sammon. "LGBT people are not single-issue voters. Gay rights issues are a critical part of the equation, but so are many other issues impacting our daily lives-foreign policy, the economy, jobs, energy policy, health care reform, and taxes. Gay and lesbian Republicans believe Sen. John McCain is the most qualified person to lead our country."
According to LCR bylaws, they can only endorse a Republican candidate. They endorsed Dubya in 2000, but withheld their endorsement in 2004 over his support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

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Newt Gingrich, Defender Of His Three Adulterous Marriages

It's so incredibly laughable to have thrice-married adulterer and deadbeat dad Newt Gingrich shilling for the sanctity of marriage. Via Pam's House Blend: "Newt dumped cancer-stricken 1st wife. When his pastor criticized him for not supporting his two kids, he left the church. Newt dumped 2nd wife after cheating on her with the Congressional aide who is now his 3rd wife. The scandal sidelined Newt in 2008."

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Sarah Palin To Alaskan Secessionists:
Keep Up The Good Work!

Here's Sarah Palin's message to the Alaskan Independence Party's 2008 convention. Prior to becoming a Republican, Palin belonged to the AIP which calls for a state vote on seceding from the United States. In this clip, the current VP of the AIP describes Palin as still "very sympathetic" to their movement. It was scrubbed from the AIP's site yesterday, but here's a quote from their founder: “I’m an Alaskan, not an American. I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions.” Why does Sarah Palin hate America?

(Via - Dan Savage)

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GOP Enshrines Hate In 2008 Platform

From the GOP's approved 2008 convention platform: "We consider discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin to be immoral." Who's missing from that list? Oh, right, we are. The GOP says it right there: discrimination against gays IS NOT IMMORAL.

Personnel policies

The all-volunteer force has been a success. We oppose reinstituting the draft, whether directly or through compulsory national service. We support the advancement of women in the military and their exemption from ground combat units. Military priorities and mission must determine personnel policies. Esprit and cohesion are necessary for military effectiveness and success on the battlefield. To protect our servicemen and women and ensure that America's Armed Forces remain the best in the world, we affirm the timelessness of those values, the benefits of traditional military culture, and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service.
On marriage equality:
Preserving Traditional Marriage

Because our children's future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives.

Republicans have been at the forefront of protecting traditional marriage laws, both in the states and in Congress. A Republican Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of states not to recognize same-sex "marriages" licensed in other states. Unbelievably, the Democratic Party has now pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which would subject every state to the redefinition of marriage by a judge without ever allowing the people to vote on the matter. We also urge Congress to use its Article III, Section 2 power to prevent activist federal judges from imposing upon the rest of the nation the judicial activism in Massachusetts and California. We also encourage states to review their marriage and divorce laws in order to strengthen marriage. As the family is our basic unit of society, we oppose initiatives to erode parental rights.
In their platform, the Democrats called for a repeal of DADT and DOMA.

(Via - Pam's House Blend)

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Hairless Twinks In Demand At GOP Convention

Via Wonkette, this latest in a string of Craigslist Twin Cities M4M ads:
Discretion Required - m4mm (Upscale Hotel)

ATTN: discretion is mandatory. must be willing to submit to background check and strip searches. absolutely no recording devices or wireless communication devices allowed. you will be examined and scrutinized by security before you make contact.

50yo Male looking for VERY discrete four-hour party at local hotel involving more than one male with a
maximum age of twenty. hairless preferred. food, drinks, and toys will be provided as necessary.
Strip search! Kinky! Heh, 50 year-old Republican dude seeking "more than one male with a maximum age of twenty." Cheap bastard, if you're in an "upscale hotel", you can afford a few rentboys. This one is more like it.
Seeking Pig Bottom Republican for a Good Pounding - 33 (St. Paul)

Welcome to the Twin Cities, GOP!

After 8 years of taking a hard pounding from you guys in Washington, it’s time to return the favor! I’m looking for a Republican delegate to take for a ride like Bush & Co. have been doing to our country since they took office.

Here’s the scene: I come to your hotel room, you’re wearing nothing but your convention credentials. You blow me while I berate you for ruining our economy. Then I flip you over and slam your ass like Hurricane Gustav is gonna do to your news coverage. Then I pull out and cum on your face and you learn the real meaning of Trickle Down Theory.

ME: 6′4″, 220, Blonde & Blue, hairy, with a 9″ uncut viking cock YOU: Pig Bottom Republican

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More Palin Lies?

It seems that much of Sarah Palin's pre-political background may be fabricated, including her claim that she was Miss Congeniality in the 1984 Miss Wasilla pageant.
Amy Gwin, 43, of University City, grew up in Alaska and competed in the Miss Wasilla, Alaska, competition in 1984 against GOP vice presidential choice Sarah Palin. Gwin said Friday that she won the Miss Congeniality award in the competition, although Palin's Wikipedia entry says she won the contest — and the Miss Congeniality award. Gwin was a year behind Palin, now 44, at Wasilla High School, which had about 800 students. Gwin said Palin was "a high school star in a good way," a beauty who got good grades and excelled at athletics. Gwin, who was president of her class, does not recall Palin holding school office. The Wikipedia entry on Palin said she was head of the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes and captain of the basketball team. Gwin said she was not surprised when Palin became the governor of Alaska, but is astonished that she got the GOP nod for vice president. Asked whether she would support Palin because she knows her, Gwin said: "I wouldn't support her if she was my very best friend. I support Obama and don't share any of her (Palin's) politics. She's very shallow."
Why lie about something that hundreds of people would surely know is untrue?

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Caption This


Do Not Pass Go

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HomoQuotable - Scott Tucker

"Well, we hit the ground in Minneapolis and, as you can imagine, it’s been quite hectic. The McCain campaign did a brilliant job today of quickly stealing back the spotlight after Sen. Obama’s successful speech in Denver. Sen. McCain’s choice for Vice President, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is a smart choice on many levels. She unifies the GOP across the spectrum. Plus, Gov. Palin will help appeal to disaffected Hillary supporters. Also, so-called “pro-family” groups love her because she’s solidly pro-life. These same groups worried McCain would choose Gov. Ridge or, worse, Sen. Joe Lieberman (gasp!)

"Social conservatives are happy neither of them were picked. But, let’s remember one thing: pro-life doesn’t equal anti-gay. Her record on gay issues is unclear, but it’s not anti-gay and news reports say she has expressed sympathy for gays who face discrimination. In 2006, she said she’s “not out to judge anyone and has good friends who are gay.” Her record doesn’t necessarily mean she’s going to support pro-gay issues, but it indicates she’s an inclusive leader who isn’t a bigot. Of course, that won’t stop many gay Democrats from calling her a bigot. Many already have. (Then again, for some of them, that’s all they know how to do.)" - Log Cabin Republicans communications director Scott Tucker.

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The Unconvention

The Unconvention is a "non-partisan collaboration for creative public participation in civic dialog."
Make An Effort is a campaign for The UnConvention designed by Campbell Mithun to encourage Twin Cities residents to find their own unconventional ways to welcome the visitors who will be arriving for the Republican National Convention. The campaign does not ignore the undeniable irony of the Republicans’ choice to hold the convention here in Minnesota, and the entire tone of the campaign captures the unique brand of intelligent, rewarding creativity that Minnesota is justifiably world famous for.
Here's an amusing clip from the campaign in which gay couples straightify for passing conventioneers.

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Oh So NOW They're Vetting Her

John McCain's campaign said today that they "have a team on the ground in Alaska" to look more thoroughly into Sarah Palin's background. Barn door wide open, horse seen accepting nomination.

The New York Times reports that not only had McCain only met Palin once prior to asking her to join the ticket, he'd been holding out until the last minute for Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge.
Up until midweek last week, some 48 to 72 hours before Mr. McCain introduced Ms. Palin at a Friday rally in Dayton, Ohio, Mr. McCain was still holding out the hope that he could choose a good friend, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, a Republican close to the campaign said. Mr. McCain had also been interested in another favorite, former Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania.

But both men favor abortion rights, anathema to the Christian conservatives who make up a crucial base of the Republican Party. As word leaked out that Mr. McCain was seriously considering the men, the campaign was bombarded by outrage from influential conservatives who predicted an explosive floor fight at the convention and vowed rejection of Mr. Ridge or Mr. Lieberman by the delegates.
McCain clearly knew little to nothing about this woman.

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John McCain's Wandering Eyes

And notice how he fidgets with and then removes his wedding ring. In poker, that's called a "tell."

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Muslims Demand End To Bosnia Pride

Bosnian Muslims are demanding that this month's first-ever gay pride events be canceled because they occur during Ramadan.
Opposition to gay pride has been fueled by the Islamic magazine Saff. Columnist Ezher Beganovic has called for the government to cancel the festival. Calling the four day event a “festival of homosexuality” that is an affront to Islam, Beganovic warned in a column that if pride went ahead it would prompt an angry reaction from believers.

Pride organizers say they did not intend to offend Muslims, but that the date was set a year ago. “It coincided with Ramadan unintentionally,” Q Association leader Svetlana Djurkovic told the Reuters news service. “This is the festival of arts and culture and there are many believers in our population as well,” said Djurkovic. She added that conservative Muslims would have been offended no matter when the festival was held.

Throughout the countries of the former Yugoslavia LGBT people have few rights and discrimination is rampant. Slovenia is the only republic that has a registry for same-sex couples, although it provides few benefits.
Hatred of Bosnian gays has created odd bedfellows as the local Muslim majority is joined by Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics in decrying "unnatural, sick and deviant behavior." The one thing these religions can agree on is how they'd all like us dead. Remember when Sarajevo was touted as an oasis of multi-culti hipness?

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Palin Withdrawal Watch

Wonkette has started a "Sarah Palin Early Withdrawal Watch."
In 1972 George McGovern's vice presidential nominee, Sen. Thomas Eagleton (D-MO), withdrew from the ticket two weeks after the convention when it was revealed that he'd undergone three hospitalizations for mental illness and had received electroshock therapy. McGovern was heavily criticized for not thoroughly vetting Eagleton (sound familiar?) after being turned down by Ted Kennedy, Edmund Muskie and other "big name" Senators who didn't want to face an "unbeatable" Richard Nixon. Sargeant Shriver replaced Eagleton on the ticket, who went on to two more terms in the Senate.

I wouldn't at all be surprised if Palin doesn't even last an Eagletonian two weeks.

UPDATE: Daily Kos is running a poll: "Will Sarah Palin Remain John McCain's Running Mate Until Election Day?" With 30,000 votes at this writing, it's currently 50-50.

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Morning View - FDNY Fireboat

The FDNY operates three fireboats, this one is the John McKean. On 9/11 the decommissioned fireboat John J. Harvey was famously brought back into service when the downtown water mains failed.


Bristol Palin's Baby Daddy

The New York Post got to Levi Johnston's MySpace page before it went private: "I'm a fuckin' redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes. But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some shit and just fuckin' chillin' I guess. Ya fuck with me I'll kick ass." Status: "In a relationship." Children: "I don't want kids." The 17 year-old Johnston is a senior at Wasilla High School where he plays hockey, shoots shit, and wrecks presidential campaigns.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Bristol Palin Pregnant - Right Now

I haven't said anything about the whisper campaign that Sarah Palin's 17 year-old daughter Bristol (above right) actually gave birth to her Downs Syndrome baby because it just seemed ridiculous and cruel. Even over at Daily Kos, many commenters demanded that posts on the subject be taken down. And yet the story continued to grow and entered the MSM.

Today the McCain campaign addressed the rumors by revealing that Bristol Palin could not have possibly had that baby four months ago, because she's five months pregnant right now. Oh my. So much for all that born again abstinence.
Bristol Palin, one of Palin's five children with her husband, Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, the Palins said in a statement released by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said.

"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us," the Palins' statement said. "Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support," the Palins said. The Palins asked the news media to respect the young couple's privacy.

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media, respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates," the statement concluded.

Senior McCain campaign officials said McCain knew of the daughter's pregnancy when he selected Palin last week as his vice presidential running mate, deciding that it did not disqualify the 44-year-old governor in any way.
So the secret pregnancy story is dead but now we have a new one. What does this mean to the campaign? Sarah Palin is a good mother because her daughter won't kill her baby or Sarah Palin is a shitty mother because her underage unmarried daughter got knocked up? The Freepers have already made their judgment: "Obama wants to kill babies and raise taxes. Palin wants to kill taxes and raise babies."
UPDATE: Gov. Abstinence's own words come back to haunt her. In 2006 the Christianist/pro-life group Eagle Forum gave all candidates for governor a questionnaire which included the issues of abortion and sex education.
Question: Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?

Sarah Palin: Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.

Question: Will you support the right of parents to opt out their children from curricula, books, classes, or surveys, which parents consider privacy-invading or offensive to their religion or conscience?

Sarah Palin:
Yes. Parents should have the ultimate control over what their children are taught.
Among her other answers, Palin pledged that same sex partners of state employees would not get health benefits and that she would oppose any expansion of hate crimes laws. Oh, and she also promised to she would "fight" to keep "under God" in the Pledge Of Allegiance.

UPDATE II: Obama says "leave the kid alone."
I have heard some of the news on this and so let me be as clear as possible. I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people's families are off limits, and people's children are especially off limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics, it has no relevance to Governor Palin's performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know my mother had me when she was 18. And how family deals with issues and teenage children that shouldn't be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that is off limits.

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Sarah Palin Fights The Entrenched Special Interests Of The PTA

People Magazine asks John McCain what drew him to Sarah Palin.
Obviously, I found her to be very intelligent and very well-versed on the issues. But I think the important thing was that she's a reformer. She's taken on special interests since she ran for the PTA and the city council and mayor. The courage, I guess, is what most impressed me.
Because the PTA totally prepares you to rule the most powerful nation in the world. You cannot fucking make it up, people.

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Matt Foreman Marries In San Francisco

Two more of my friends have made it official. Former National Gay & Lesbian Task Force executive director Matt Foreman has married his partner Frank De Leon in San Francisco. The couple has been together for 18 years. From the New York Times:
Mr. De León, 46, is the owner and president of FADesign, a graphic design firm in New York. He graduated from the University of Houston. He is a son of Josefina De León and Francisco A. De León of Houston.

Mr. Foreman, 53, is the director of gay and immigrant rights programs at the Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund in San Francisco. From 2003 to 2008, he worked in New York as the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and from 1997 to 2003, he served as the executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, also in New York. He graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College and received a law degree from New York University. He is the son of Virginia A. Foreman and James H. Foreman of Ten Sleep, Wyo.
Officiated by Shannon Minter, the legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the ceremony took place on Saturday at San Francisco's Clarke Mansion with both grooms' parents in attendance. Matt and Frank are honeymooning in Mykonos. [Note: I took the above photo earlier this year at Matt's going away party here in NYC. When he and Frank get back from Greece, I'll see if I can get a shot of the wedding.]

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