Thursday, April 30, 2009

Deeeeelicous!!!!

Hey, remember when NOM went all copyright on everybody's ass because of those Gathering Storm audition tapes? Check out what you see now when you try to play their new clip featuring Perez Hilton aka Mario Lavandeira.
BWA HA HA HA. Never thought I'd say THIS, but Perez Hilton FTMFW!

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Q&A With Carrie Prejean At The Washington Press Club


Washington Blade's Rebecca Armendariz:
[Maggie] Gallagher introduced Carrie and was very careful in choosing her words. She said that she understands that the "attacks" on Miss Cali don't reflect the views of most gay people, and remained civil, and a little emotional, about the need to preserve traditional marriage. I'm sure she's also really proud of the soundbite she brought out for the occasion - that Carrie "chose the truth over the tiara."
"No comment" on the boobs question!

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Marriage Bill Begins Journey Through New York Legislature

The New York Assembly has moved openly gay rep Daniel O'Donnell's marriage equality bill through committee and may vote on the bill as early as next week. Empire State Pride Agenda urges New Yorkers to contact their Assembly rep and request their support.

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White House Shrinks LGBT Rights Commitments List On Official Site

UPDATE II: There have been two important developments in the story. First. Second.

Hey, President Obama! Where did that famous list of commitments to LGBT rights go on your website? Within five minutes of Obama's swearing-in, a heavily detailed list of eight promises to us were posted: repeal DADT, support ENDA, expand adoption rights, etc. There's no mention of DADT or adoption rights or HIV prevention anymore, here's the two sentences that remain:
President Obama also continues to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. He supports full civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples and opposes a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Compare what's there now with what was there on Inauguration Day.

UPDATE: The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force has responded to my email.
Hi Joe,

I wanted to let you know that Rea Carey contacted the White House directly about the issue today after you alerted us to your post. Rea was told that they are changing the White House Web site to turn it into a more governance-focused site to reflect progress, as opposed to a campaign and transition site. They said they have taken out many such points throughout the site (not just on LGBT policy issues) as part of this changeover, and are apparently modifying the site over the next few weeks. We will be keeping an eye on it, but if you see changes before we do (or a lack thereof), please let us know. And thank you for calling this to our attention.

Warm regards,

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

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The Two Best Rebuttals In Yesterday's House Hate Crimes Debate

Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) rips the GOP position that the hate crimes bill criminalizes thought. "That's like saying that anti-lynching laws criminalized knot-tying!" Some real zingers there. But DO watch Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) tear into the Repubs who numerous times evoked the "Philadelphia 11", a group of anti-gay protesters who were arrested in 2004 for preaching at a gay pride event. Best speech of the day and classic Barney Frank.

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34 Senate Co-Sponsors Of Hate Crimes Act

A whopping 34 U.S. Senators have already signed on as co-sponsors of Ted Kennedy's hate crimes bill. This bodes very well.
Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI], Sen Bayh, Evan [IN], Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM], Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA], Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH], Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA], Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD], Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA], Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME], Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT], Sen Durbin, Richard [IL], Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA], Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY], Sen Harkin, Tom [IA], Sen Johnson, Tim [SD], Sen Kerry, John F. [MA], Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN], Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA], Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ], Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [VT], Sen Levin, Carl [MI], Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [CT] , Sen Merkley, Jeff [OR], Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD], Sen Murray, Patty [WA], Sen Nelson, Bill [FL], Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE] ,Sen Reed, Jack [RI] , Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY], Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH], Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME], Sen Specter, Arlen [PA], Sen Udall, Mark [CO] , Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI]
The Senate Judiciary Committee may consider the bill as early as next week. Upon approval, they will send it to the full Senate for a vote.

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Victory For Marriage In Maine Senate

The wins are coming every day now. This just in:
The Maine Senate this morning passed a bill that would allow same-sex marriage in Maine. The Senate voted 20-15 in favor of the measure. Supporters say it would end discrimination against gays and lesbians and opponents say the proposal is an attack against the institution of marriage. This morning’s vote means the bill has cleared its first hurdle in the Legislature. However, it still needs to pass through the House of the Representatives
Downside: Senators are discussing an amendment to the bill which would send the issue to the voters. A poll taken last week shows voters split almost evenly on the issue.

UPDATE: The amendment to send the issue to the voters has FAILED.

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Rep. Foxx Says She's Getting Death Threats Over Matthew Shepard Remarks

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) says she has gotten death threats since yesterday's House hate crimes debate during which she called the murder of Matthew Shepard a hoax. Foxx is now backing off her statement.
A spokesperson for the congresswoman said Foxx's office has received hate mail over the past 24 hours, including death threats. Foxx later said her comments didn't convey what she meant to say. "The term 'hoax' was a poor choice of words used in the discussion of the hate-crimes bill," Foxx said in a statement. "Mr. Shepard's death was nothing less than a tragedy, and those responsible for his death certainly deserved the punishment they received." Foxx said in her statement that she relied on two news reports for her comments about robbery being a motive for the slaying. "Referencing these media accounts may have been a mistake, but if so, it was a mistake based on what I believed were reliable accounts," she said.
A Facebook group has already sprung up calling for Foxx's resignation.

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Tramp Stamp Barbie

Some parents aren't too pleased about Tattoo Stamper Barbie.

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Kelly McGillis Comes Out

I would have sworn this was old news, but apparently Top Gun and The L Word actress Kelly McGillis never came out officially until now.
Fifty-one-year young Kelly McGillis is starting her "life in a whole different phase," she told rocker and SheWired vlogger Jennifer Corday -- ostensibly coming out as a lesbian. Corday, in her Girl Rock video blog, asks the Top Gun and The Accused star, that since she is single, is she looking for a man or woman, or both? In no uncertain terms McGillis responded that what she is looking for is "definitely a woman." McGillis, a long-rumored lesbian who starred on The L Word as a closeted Army Colonel trying a Don't Ask Don't Tell case added that she is "done with the man thing." She said she is "done with that, and needs to move on in life, and that's another part of being true to yourself." It has been a challenge personally for her, she added. McGillis said that realizing her sexuality has been an ongoing process for her since she was 12 years old, but through her life faced getting over being convinced that God was punishing her for being gay.
She Wired has video of the coming out interview. Now, Kelly...about your Top Gun co-star....

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Bankruptcy For Chrysler

Today the Obama administration will announce that Chrysler will enter into bankruptcy in order to force a debt reduction with their partner Fiat.
With the UAW late Wednesday ratifying cost cuts in its contract and cuts in the money due its retiree health-care trust fund, President Barack Obama will announce a Chrysler-Fiat deal and the government’s “surgical” bankruptcy plan later today. The administration "was willing to give the holdout creditors a final opportunity to do the right thing," an administration official said. But "the agreement of all other key stakeholders ensured that no hedge fund could have a veto over Chrysler's future success."
In 1979 Jimmy Carter famously bailed out Chrysler in a deal that included the government buying thousands of Dodge trucks for military use.

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Daily Grumble

So I couldn't sleep the other night and this show popped up on my channel guide. "Internal cleansing has swept across America." Really? Has it? Blech. The pitchman was the most ghoulish looking creature, reminding me of the repulsive Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, who pitched their "life extension" crapola on Merv Griffin every other week for about a decade. Why are these floggers of health gimmickry so sickly looking?

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Oh, It's Broughten

Now that Carrie Prejean has officially signed on with NOM, the Miss California pageant is taking the gloves off.
Shanna Moakler, Co-Executive Director of the Miss California Organization, has confirmed the group behind the pageant paid for Miss California Carrie Prejean’s breast implants, weeks before she competed in Miss USA. In a new interview with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, Shanna confirmed the news. “Did you guys pay for it?” Billy asked Shanna directly. “Yes,” Shanna said. “We did.” The organization paid for Carrie’s breast enhancement prior to her competing in the Miss USA pageant, which was held in Las Vegas, almost two weeks ago.
Pageant officials say Prejean has been avoiding them and they are considering stripping her of her title.

(Via Wayne @ World Of Wonder)

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SF Police To Crackdown On Dore Alley Fair

San Francisco police have met with the organizers of the Up Your Alley Fair (better known to some as Dore Alley) to warn they will will not tolerate public sex at this year's July event. The fair is considered the smaller, more local version of the famed Folsom Street Fair. Via Bay Area Reporter:
The stepped up enforcement against lewd behavior at the South of Market street party, officially known as the Up Your Alley Fair, comes after two individuals filed numerous complaints with the city's Office of Citizen Complaints against the 14 police officers assigned to patrol the 2008 event for not addressing the acts of public indecency. Police also point to the Web site Zombie Time (NSFW) that documented numerous photos of men performing oral sex, urinating in public, and masturbating from second floor windows overlooking the fair as another reason for their increased vigilance. The site, created by an anonymous local photographer, also questions why the police took no action against the public nudity and sexual behavior at the fair.
Police say that if the event's promoters do not rein in illegal behavior, they will not approve an application for the 2010 fair. Fair organizers were caught by surprise.
The department's stance caught off guard officials with Folsom Street Events, the nonprofit producer of both the Up Your Alley Fair and Folsom Street Fair. Executive Director Demetri Moshoyannis said the first time he learned about the complaints stemming from the 2008 event came during last week's meeting before a panel of city staffers charged with approving street closure requests. At the hearing, Greely said that the "public sex last year was very blatant" at Up Your Alley and that people sent the police photos that "were very demented." The hearing grew testy when Moshoyannis said he had not been apprised of the problems and Greely jokingly asked how he could not know of the sex occurring, eliciting laughter from those present. "I don't think this is funny at all," shot back a visibly annoyed Moshoyannis, who asked "SFPD to address us within 30 days of the event if there are problems." He added that if brought to his attention earlier, "We can help you do your jobs."
Without a doubt, those complaining about fairgoers' behavior are doing so at the behest of Peter LaBarbera, who routinely posts diatribes about SF's leather events, including photos of unsuspecting attendees. Last fall LaBarbera's complaint campaign successfully ended a leather/sex event that was to occur during Washington DC's Mid-Atlantic Leather.

(Via Matthew S. Bajko @ Bay Area Reporter)

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Maine Senate Vote Imminent

Maine's Senate votes on marriage this morning. Watch the proceedings live here.
The Maine Senate is expected to take its first vote today on a bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry in Maine. On Tuesday, the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee voted 11-2-1 in support of the bill. Eleven members of the committee voted ought to pass, two voted ought not to pass and one voted to send the question to voters. Opponents said they are prepared to present lawmakers with more than 10,000 signatures in opposition to the bill. Marc Mutty, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, called it “an avalanche of opposition,” in a news release.
The Maine House is not expected to vote on the bill until next week.

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The Worst Sin In Advertising...

...is to be boring. NOM's highly anticipated new ad with Carrie Prejean is just a bunch of recycled old clips. BORING. Nothing parody-worthy in this instantly forgotten message. At least Gathering Storm was memorable.

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ABC Poll Shows Marriage Approval At 49%

A new poll from ABC News shows approval of same-sex marriage to be a record 49% nationwide, even higher than the 42% reported by CBS on Tuesday.
Gay marriage, legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut and now Iowa, with Vermont coming aboard in September. At its low, in 2004, just 32 percent of Americans favored gay marriage, with 62 percent opposed. Now 49 percent support it versus 46 percent opposed -- the first time in ABC/Post polls that supporters have outnumbered opponents. More than half, moreover -- 53 percent -- say gay marriages held legally in another state should be recognized as legal in their states. The surprise is that the shift has occurred across ideological groups. While conservatives are least apt to favor gay marriage, they've gone from 10 percent support in 2004 to 19 percent in 2006 and 30 percent now -- overall a 20-point, threefold increase, alongside a 13-point gain among liberals and 14 points among moderates. (Politically, support for gay marriage has risen sharply among Democrats and independents alike, while far more slightly among Republicans.)
Up, up and up. Of course, according to the Freepers these polls are all faked by media homo insiders.

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Audio: Howard Stern Tells Listeners To Support Same-Sex Marriage


Yesterday Howard Stern told his typically less-than-progressive audience that they should support marriage equality and then he made fun of anti-gay activists. Audio NSFW.

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Interesting Question

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Olbermann: Rep. Virginia Foxx Is The Worst Person In The World

Olbermann delivers a blistering condemnation of Rep. Virginia Foxx for calling Matthew Shepard's murder a hoax. And in a two-fer, he leads with a classic rip on dumb bunny Rep. Michelle Bachmann.

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Maine Governor Calls Calls Blogger To Discuss Support Of Marriage Bill

In a surprising move, Maine Gov. John Baldacci called the home of Pam's House Blend blogger Louise yesterday to say he was reconsidering his position about signing the marriage equality bill should it reach his desk. Baldacci has been saying he was undecided for several weeks. On Tuesday the Maine Judiciary Committee strongly endorsed the bill and sent it on the state House and Senate who will consider it next week.

Baldacci was calling Louise to respond to an irate email that her husband had sent him. Go to her PHB entry for a transcript of the call, which floored the couple.

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Bye Matt

Everybody's pick for next to go, Matt Giraud, was indeed next to go. The shocker was Adam Lambert placing in the bottom two. Immediately the fan forums lit up with cries of "set-up!" and "rigged!" as devotees speculated that the producers were engaging in shenanigans. Two words: Chris Daughtry.

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Open Thread Thursday

What's your favorite instrumental movie theme? I'm devoted to the work of Ennio Morricone - everything from The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly to Cinema Paradiso to my all time favorite Mission To Mars. Below is the track The Martian, which is heard towards the end of the film. Mournful, wistful, majestic. The clip on the left is from the soundtrack, the one is the right is from the film.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hate Crimes Bill Passes U.S. House!

After hours of contentious debate during which GOP members of the House parroted numerous lies funneled to them by the American Family Association, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HR 1913) passed by a vote of 249-175. Democrats opposing: 17. Republicans in favor: 18.

Yesterday Sen. Ted Kennedy introduced a Senate version of the bill. President Obama has promised to sign the bill when it reaches his desk. That will likely be the first of his many promises to the LGBT community to come to fruition.

Two great victories for movement in one day!

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GOP Liars At The Podium

The debate has just ended and the vote is about to commence, but check out Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) calling the murder of Matthew Shepard "a hoax."

Rep. Foxx: "The bill was named after a very unfortunate incident that happened, where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of robbery. It wasn't because he was gay. The bill was named for him, the hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's, it's really a hoax, that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills."

In fact, and as you all probably know, the killers DID conspire to select a gay victim to rob.
While his killers Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson did rob him, they also admitted that they were well aware of his sexual orientation and pretended they were gay to lure him away from the bar he was in at the time. The most striking feature of the case, of course, is that during the course of a normal, simple robbery, the victim is not generally beaten, tied to a post, and left for dead.
Foxx was only one of many Republican liars to take the podium in today's House debate. Barney Frank did a great job tearing down one of them in particular, I'll have that clip ASAP.

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SHOCKER: Marriage Equality Passes In New Hampshire Senate

This just in!
The New Hampshire Senate has approved a bill that would allow same-sex marriage in the Granite State. After surviving an early vote to kill HB 436, the bill passed the New Hampshire Senate Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 13 to 11. The Senate version of the bill made minor amendments to remove gender-specific language, so it will now go back to the House for a vote. Gov. John Lynch has said marriage is a word that should be reserved for the union of a man and a woman, but he has not said specifically that he would veto the bill.
Yesterday the progressive site Blue Hampshire forecast that the bill would fail by several votes.

Unbelievable victory!

Now Hampshire reports:
The House passed a similar measure last month by a 186-179 vote. The two chambers must reconcile small changes between the two measures in a conference committee but this is seen as a technicality. Senators were subjected to a blizzard of lobbying from gay rights groups in the days leading up to today’s vote. Lobbying efforts focused on a small handful of Democratic lawmakers who were seen as on the fence, including Senate President Sylvia Larson and Sens. Lou D’Allesandro, Betsy DeVries and Deb Reynolds. All but D’Allesandro voted in favor of the bill. Sen. Reynolds may face criticism from conservative and Republican circles, as she voted to kill the measure in the committee and switched her vote on the Senate floor. Sen. DeVries told constituents this weekend in voice mail recordings that she would vote against it, but she voted for it. Every Republican member of the state Senate voted against the bill.
Thanks to the work of LGBT activists, two Democratic Senators switched their votes at the last minute, giving us the win.

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Israel: Let's Call It "Mexican Flu" Because "Swine" Is Religiously Offensive

Israel wants to rename swine flu to "Mexican flu" because pork is offensive to Jews and Muslims.
Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference to pigs is offensive to both religions and "we should call this Mexican flu and not swine flu," he told a news conference Monday at a hospital in central Israel. Both Judaism and Islam consider pigs unclean and forbid the eating of pork products. Scientists are unsure where the new swine flu virus originally emerged, though it was identified first in the United States. They say there is nothing about the virus that makes it "Mexican" and worry such a label would be stigmatizing.
So if anything, it should be the "American flu." But I guess Israel would rather dis Mexicans.

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TVC: Dishonest Or Dumb?

Many of you greatly enjoyed Rob Tisinai's recent video deconstructing the lies of the Christianist right regarding same-sex marriage. Today Rob rips apart the lies of the Traditional Values Coalition in their campaign against hate crimes laws. Fantastic work.

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Carrie Prejean To Star In New NOM Ad

You just knew this was coming, right? Via Ben Smith at Politico:
Miss California, Carrie Prejean, who offered memorable opposition to same-sex marriage and a young, attractive new face for the movement against it, will appear tomorrow at a press conference hosted by the National Organization for Marriage at the National Press Club, according to a press release from the group. She'll be launching a new ad, the second in what the group says is a $1.5 million campaign. The ad, the release says, will address:

"What happens when a young California beauty pageant contestant is asked, "Do you support same-sex marriage?" She is attacked viciously for having the courage to speak up for her truth and her values. But Carrie's courage inspired a whole nation and a whole generation of young people because she chose to risk the Miss USA crown rather than be silent about her deepest moral values. "No Offense" calls gay marriage advocates to account for their unwillingness to debate the real issue: Gay marriage has consequences."
And all the intertubes rubbed their hands in glee over the coming parody opportunities.

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U.S. House Debating Vote On Hate Crimes

At the moment, wingnut Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is railing against "protected sexual orientations" such as pedophilia. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) is literally waving his Bible and quoting scripture. It's a zoo. Watch live here.

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Panic Attack

Duane Reade, 1st & 72nd, 11am

Woman: Hey, where is the Tamiflu?
Clerk: Do you have a prescription?
Woman: What?? You need a prescription?
Clerk: Yes, but your doctor can just call it in.
Woman: That's CRAZY! You people should be giving it out for FREE. People are DYING!

She storms out......

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Terrorism Expert Wins Transgender Discrimination Case Against Feds

Former Army Special Forces commander Diana Shroer has won a $500K judgement from the federal government because she was denied a Library of Congress job while transitioning her gender.
Diane Schroer of Alexandria, Va., applied for the terrorism analyst job while she was still a man named David Schroer. He was offered the job, but the offer was pulled after he told a library official that he was having surgery to change his gender. U.S. District Judge James Robinson ruled Tuesday that Schroer was entitled to $491,190 in back pay and damages because of sex discrimination. The Library of Congress and the Justice Department argued unsuccessfully that discrimination because of transsexuality was not illegal sex discrimination under the Civil Rights Act. The American Civil Liberties Union had argued the case on Schroer's behalf. Paul Cates with the ACLU's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project said the ruling was significant because a federal judge said that discriminating against someone for changing genders is sex discrimination under federal law.
Another big win for the ACLU.

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Worst Tattoos Ever

From a coming book called No Regrets: The Best, Worst & Most £$%*ing Ridiculous Tattoos Ever, here's Pegasus fucking a pink unicorn. Who is smoking. Slideshow of more examples here.

RELATED: I've always found it very interesting that most of my friends in SF are somewhat heavily tattooed, while very few of my NYC friends have a single dot of ink.

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Iowa Family Policy Council Hits New Low

On behalf of the Iowa Family Policy Council, a local couple has published an editorial in the Des Moines Register titled Homosexual lifestyle, marriage cause families pain. The piece tells the story of their recently deceased son, who was "recruited" into the "cult" of homosexuality "by a coworker" and then "abandoned" by his "friends" to die of AIDS alone. A small excerpt:
As a parent, nothing can prepare you for the loss of a child to a terminal illness. It's somehow worse when that illness resulted from your child's reckless decision and his own actions. Witnessing the daily physical deterioration of our son caused great pain and sadness to us as parents and on the extended family as well. It was interesting to note that once Randy was diagnosed HIV positive, the homosexual community who had actively recruited him and had claimed to be his "family" were nowhere to be found. As his health declined, he spoke frankly about the homosexual experience. Randy said, "It is not an alternate lifestyle. It is a cult."

For the Iowa Supreme Court to sanction homosexual "marriage" is to encourage and underwrite the negative results that naturally come from the homosexual "lifestyle." Aside from the physical destruction inflicted on those who practice homosexuality and the incredible stress homosexuals cause their extended families, society often pays a hefty price as well. Randy lost his job when he was no longer strong enough to work. With the loss of that job, he lost his ability to insure himself. As a result, you the taxpayer paid for more than $250,000 in medical bills for this one AIDS patient.
No, he wasn't "recruited." You gave him your gay genes and made him that way yourselves. And it was your own rejection of him that caused him to hate himself and probably, distance himself from his gay family who would have likely been there for him. YOU did this. Here's their YouTube clip.

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Know Thy Hater

Know Thy Neighbor has posted the names of all 83,000 Arkansas voters who signed petitions calling for a ban on adoption by same-sex couples. Their database is searchable by zip code, last name, town, and county.
"This is about responsibility and dialogue," said Tom Lang, KnowThyNeighbor.org's director. "These petition signers need to stand behind their signatures and be responsible for this dehumanizing attack on the gay community. It's disgraceful that they have chosen to exercise their prejudice at the expense of children who are now being denied access to loving adoptive and foster parents. Such activity must be challenged and cannot be allowed to pass under the cover of darkness."

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Four Times Married Ex-Con Drunk Driving Tax Evader Calls Gay Marriage Immoral


(Via - Right Wing Watch)

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Fly-Over Flap Widens

Everybody is falling over themselves apologizing, half of NYC wants somebody fired, and now we hear the feds predicted panic during the fly-over, yet had it anyway.
Federal officials knew that sending two fighter jets and Air Force One to buzz ground zero and Lady Liberty might set off nightmarish fears of a 9/11 replay, but they still ordered the photo-op kept secret from the public. In a memo obtained by CBS 2 HD the Federal Aviation Administration's James Johnston said the agency was aware of "the possibility of public concern regarding DOD (Department of Defense) aircraft flying at low altitudes" in an around New York City. But they demanded total secrecy from the NYPD, the Secret Service, the FBI and even the mayor's office and threatened federal sanctions if the secret got out.
Meawhile, as the first major "oops" of the Obama administration, the flyover flap has really brought out the loony conspiracy wackos in Wingnutistan.
-"The president didn’t know that Air Force One was flying over Manhattan? Tell me another whopper!"
-"Sounds more like some VIP was given a sightseeing flyover—hence the need for F-16 escorts and no announcement to the public."
-"My guess is either a bigtime fundraiser, or Michelle and the kids."
-"Someone big enough to require a fighter escort was on that plane. Fidel Castro? Hugo Chavez? King of Saud? King of Jordan?"
-ZERO was sending a message to his Muslim Buddies! “Look what I can do at the snap of my Arab Fingers!” and tried to camouflage it as a photo op."
-"I’d bet a whole bucket of chicken and waffles it was either Fidel or Chavez!"
-"I'll call that bet and raise you two watermelons and a gallon of ice cream and say that it was George Soros."

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Paterson: Guilt Drives Marriage Opponents

Yesterday NY Gov. Paterson called out religious leaders for opposing marriage equality, saying they do so because they feel guilty about not stopping gay bashing.
Gov. Paterson said Tuesday gay marriage foes - including religious leaders - are driven by guilt over their failure to oppose discrimination and violence against homosexuals. Paterson told a gathering of about 2,000 gay rights advocates that many of the people speaking out against his bill to legalize gay marriage were silent when gays and lesbians were beaten, chastised or blamed for AIDS. "Where were these leaders of faith when college students of gay and lesbian orientation were beaten and often brutalized for expressing their feelings for each other," Paterson said. Dennis Poust, director of communications for the New York State Catholic Conference, called Paterson's remarks disappointing and baffling. "We are not sure why he would feel the need to question the motivations of good people who disagree with him on this issue and engage in armchair psychoanalysis," Poust said. Guilt has nothing to do with it," Poust said.
I bet that quote will have legs during the election.

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Amy Walker Does Garland

Actress Amy Walker turns in an uncanny impression of Judy Garland.

(Via JMG reader Zakky)

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Equality & Justice Day In Albany

JMG reader Gavin sends us the above shot of the Empire State Pride Agenda's Equality & Justice Day in Albany yesterday, where over 2000 LGBT activists lobbied their state reps for equal rights. Gavin reports that ten bus loads of activists came from NYC alone. Visit Gavin's blog for lots of great photos.

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Obama: Pass The Hate Crimes Act

Last night President Obama urged Congress to pass the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
"This week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance – legislation that will enhance civil rights protections, while also protecting our freedom of speech and association. I also urge the Senate to work with my Administration to finalize this bill and to take swift action."
Contact your representative to demand their support using this form. Do it now.

(Via - Towleroad)

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Hugs For Baldies

A report commissioned by a hair-loss supplement company in the UK says that many balding men need therapy to deal with the situation.
Many of those with hair loss reported no emotional problems, but a "significant minority" were found to be at risk of serious psychosocial consequences - including depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem and identity change, according to the report's author, health psychologist Dr Nigel Hunt. He said: "While hair loss affects a quarter of the population, the psychosocial consequences are relatively unknown." He added that people with the condition should be given more access to therapy to deal with the psychological issues associated with hair loss. The study, which questioned more than 1400 people found that a quarter with hair loss felt distressed when they looked in the mirror, 33% felt self-conscious, and almost 20% said they lacked confidence in social situations. Those polled said the condition had a "significant risk" of damaging relationships and worried their sexual attractiveness would decrease.
Hold me.

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Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Rejects Civil Unions

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's government has formally rejected a call for civil unions for same-sex couples.
The Government’s response equated the proposal with same-sex marriage equality, saying the no gay unions policy “reflects the widely held view in the community that marriage is between a man and a woman”. But the Government confirmed it still intends to recognise and support same-sex families through its community and social inclusion strategies, and convince NSW, QLD, SA, WA and NT to implement relationship registers.
A representative from Australian Marriage Equality called Rudd behind the times, saying, "Opinion polls consistently show that a majority of Australians support same-sex marriage, making a nonsense of the Government’s stated belief that its policy ‘reflects a widely held view in the community’."

Since 2004 Australia has defined marriage as the "union of a man and a woman." Domestic partners registries are available to same-sex couples in the states of Victoria and Tasmania, and in the Australian Capital Territory. As noted in the excerpted text above, the federal government is pressuring other states to do so as well. Late last year same-sex couples nationwide were granted most of the federal rights afforded married opposite-sex couples.

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PhoboQuotable - Bishop Thomas Tobin

"Let me explain the “champagne principle.” Not every wine is champagne. Champagne has certain very specific, universally recognized characteristics. If someone were to take a bottle of Chianti, label and sell it as champagne, they’d be arrested for fraud. In the same way, those who seek to redefine marriage – with its specific characteristics – and to usurp the title “marriage” for their morally bankrupt relationships, are committing an act of fraud. It’s insulting to those who have entered the authentic, sacred and time-honored institution of marriage over the years. [snip]

"Proponents of gay marriage say that the Church won’t be forced to witness such marriages. Don’t believe it. And other related problems will inevitably arise. Will the Church be required to admit gay couples as sponsors for baptisms; to rent its facilities for gay wedding receptions; to hire employees despite their immoral gay lifestyles; to grant family benefits to gay couples? For simply maintaining its teachings in these and many other possible scenarios, the Church will be accused of bigotry and unlawful discrimination. The threat to our religious freedom is real, and imminent." - Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin, who says gay marriage threatens the "most Catholic state" because of the "abysmal apathy" of Catholics.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Adam Lambert - Feeling Good

Tonight was "rat pack" night on American Idol, in which the contestants were to deliver their takes on Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, etc. I'm not sure what Nina Simone has to do with the rat pack or big band, but Adam Lambert's take on Feeling Good was typically bombastic and theatrical. His version was more

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(Fake) Bosom Buddies

Carrie Prejean may belong to a church that considers all gay people to be lurking pedophiles, but she didn't mind rubbing fake titties with famed transsexual Amanda Lepore.
"I don't remember even meeting her," Lepore tells Usmagazine.com. Lepore adds that "it's really bad for a Miss USA contestant not to believe in gay marriage. As Miss USA, you have to get your hair and makeup done by gay people ... it's bad karma!" Kidding aside, she said, "It's stupid for her to be running for Miss USA to say that. It's a dumbbell remark. If you're Miss USA, you are supposed to be smart and that's not a smart idea."
UNRELATED: Lepore is about to release her new single, Cotton Candy.

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Daily Ungrumble

Today's top outgoing link: Guys With iPhones. In second place: Scare Force One. Ratio between the two: 20-1. I'm turning this into a porn blog, you dirty birds.

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Strong Equality Endorsement In Maine

Last week's public hearing in Augusta must have had a positive effect because today the Maine Judiciary Committee strongly endorsed a marriage equality bill, sending it on to the state House and Senate by an 11-3 vote. Gov. John Baldacci says he's still undecided about the bill. Today's judiciary committee session was interrupted by a lone female protester who was removed by police after she began shouting that the bill was morally wrong.

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"Bitch Set Me Up!"....

...said then-DC Mayor Marion Barry in 1990 about the prostitute who led him into a crack cocaine sting, which lead to a six-month stint in a federal prison. Three income tax evasion investigations, a DWI arrest, and four wives later, the current DC Councilman Marion Barry felt no fucking shame in joining the NOM crowd today to lead chants about the immorality of same-sex marriage.

Via DCist:
"We have to say 'no' to same-sex marriage in D.C.," Barry told the crowd, echoing a statement made minutes before by Rev. George Gilbert of the Holy Trinity United Baptist Church in Northeast. Barry was not present at the April 7 Council session where the bill, introduced by At-large Council member Phil Mendelson (D), passed unanimously in a preliminary vote. "If I had been, I would have voted 'no,'" Barry added. "I am a politician who is moral." Last year, when he was running for re-election, Barry told the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club that he would vote in favor of gay marriage legislation.
UPDATE: Here's the Washington Blade's coverage of rally organizer Bishop Harry Jackson's speech.

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42%! Same-Sex Marriage Support Rises 9% Nationwide In ONE MONTH

Call it the Iowa/Vermont effect. Via CBS News:
Forty-two percent of Americans now say same sex couples should be allowed to legally marry, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds. That's up nine points from last month, when 33 percent supported legalizing same sex marriage. Support for same sex marriage is now at its highest point since CBS News starting asking about it in 2004. Twenty-eight percent say same sex couples should have no legal recognition – down from 35 percent in March – while 25 percent support civil unions, but not marriage, for gay couples.
Paging Maggie Gallagher.....

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DC's Anti-Gay Marriage Protest
"Like A Hitler Youth Rally"

At today's anti-gay marriage rally in DC's Freedom Plaza, NOM-organized haters turned with arms outstretched to cast the Holy Spirit upon the evil sodomites in the building across the street where DC's City Council meets.

JMG reader Russ sent us the photo and says:
"This is a group of demonstrators at Freedom Plaza in DC, today. They were shouting "NO SAME SEX MARRIAGE NOW!" The rally was sponsored by NOM, apparently. I was amazed that there were no counter protesters. I wish the attached pic was closer to them, but the guy was speechifying and praying and asked that they raise their hands to the District Building across the street, to impart the power of the Lord on those inside (to vote against same sex marriage). The fact that suddenly it looked like a Hitler Youth rally was apparently lost on all of them."

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Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) Switching Parties, Democrats Rejoicing

Moderate Republican Sen. Arlen Specter is switching to the Democratic Party, offering renewed hope of a filibuster-proof voting block for Senate Democrats.
In a statement issued about noon as the Capitol was digesting the stunning turn of events, Mr. Specter said he had concluded that his party had moved too far to the right, a fact demonstrated by the migration of 200,000 Pennsylvania Republicans to the Democratic Party. “I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans,” Mr. Specter said, acknowledging that his decision was certain to disappoint colleagues and supporters. If Al Franken prevails in his ongoing court case in Minnesota and Mr. Specter begins caucusing with Democrats, Democrats would have 60 votes and the ability to deny Republicans the chance to stall legislation. Mr. Specter was one of only three Republicans to support President Obama’s economic recovery legislation.
President Obama has already called Specter, saying, "We are thrilled to have you." The GOP is stunned, stunned I tells ya, and have called an emergency meeting.

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Equality & Justice Day Underway In Albany

The Empire State Pride Agenda's Equality & Justice Day is underway in Albany, where thousands of activists are joining Gov. Patterson, openly gay Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, and other pro-gay pols to lobby the legislature for LGBT rights.

(Photo via HRC Back Story)

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Gay Monks Gone Wild

Thailand's Buddhist rule-maker wants the country's gay and transgender monks to tone things down and has issued a new set of behavioral guidelines.
Phra Maha Wudhijaya Vajiramedhi, a senior monk, told the BBC the guidelines would address issues like smoking, drinking alcohol, walking and going to the toilet properly, which are all detailed in the traditional 75 Dharma principles of Buddhism, and the 227 precepts for monks. But he was especially concerned, he said, by the flamboyant behaviour of homosexual and transgender monks, who can often be seen wearing revealing robes, carrying pink purses and sporting effeminately-shaped eyebrows.
Fark: "What is the sound of one hand reaching around?"

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Scare Force One


I clipped the above front pages of NYC papers from the reliable Jen Chung at Gothamist. Embiggen the images to see how each paper reacted.

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Swine Flu Outbreak Fuels Immigrant Haters On Wingnut Radio

Pam Spaulding points us to this Media Matters recap of swine flu quotes from wingnut radio blowhards Michael Savage, Neal Boortz, and Glenn Beck.
Savage: "How do you protect yourself? What can you do? I'll tell you what I'm going to do, and I don't give a damn if you don't like what I'm going to say. I'm going to have no contact anywhere with an illegal alien, and that starts in the restaurants." He added, "I will have no any illegal alien workers around me. I will not have them in any of my properties, I will not have them anywhere near me."

Boortz: "[W]hat better way to sneak a virus into this country than give it to Mexicans? Right? I mean, one out of every 10 people born in Mexico is already living up here, and the rest are trying to get here. So you give -- you give -- you let this virus just spread in Mexico, where they don't have a CDC."

Beck: "Gee, it would be nice if we had border security now, wouldn't it?" Beck went on to assert: "But if you are a family and you're down in Mexico and you're dying and those in America are not, why wouldn't you flood this border? Why wouldn't you come across this border? It's exactly what I warned of -- different scenario, different reason of -- I was talking about economic collapse. People start to come and rush this border, then what happens? Gee, it would be nice if we had some border security."
Spaulding: "But do you think they have anything to say about the fact that "God's Own Party" Killed Flu Pandemic Healthcare Funding?"

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Gay Marriage=Giving Dog Licenses To Cats

Jeremy at Good As You found this corker from Fort Lauderdale's Coral Ridge Ministries. I guess we're the cats in this scenario.

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Crist On A Cross

Florida Gov. Charlie "Closet Case" Crist says he will approve a new state license plate with an image of Jesus and a cross, despite complaints from the ACLU that the plate violates the separation of church and state. Crist: "If people don't want one they don't have to buy one. What does it say, in 'God we Trust' on every piece of monetary coins and paper we have? I think it's fine."

Somebody is polishing up their right-wing cred for a coming Senate run. If I were still living in Florida, I'd be demanding my Flying Spaghetti Monster tag.

RELATED: A similar plate was approved last year by South Carolina's legislature only to be shot down by a judge. That case is going to trial.

(Image via Pharyngula)

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HomoQuotable - Keith Lewis

"Given the fact that Carrie Prejean's first act upon returning to California was to headline five services at a church that promotes homosexuality as both unnatural and abnormal, we stand by our concern for her individual image and look forward to a time in the near future when she can put down her personal agenda and assume the responsibilities associated with being Miss California USA including promoting our official platform "The Beauty of California" which sole purpose is to embrace diversity." Keith Lewis, producer of Miss California USA.

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Knowing Is Worse

Third Avenue, Monday, 8:30pm

A homeless man is shouting incomprehensibly......

Girl 1: Dude, the worst part about being crazy? When you don't know you're crazy.
Girl 2: Uh uh, it's way way worse to know. Isn't it?
Girl 1: I want my earrings back.

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NH Senate Votes Tomorrow

Tomorrow the New Hampshire Senate will vote on its marriage equality bill and the outlook isn't very rosy. Via BlueHampshire, the chart below shows how the Senators are expected to vote. (Embiggen for clarity.) The red names are the anticipated "No" votes.
New Hampshire residents are encouraged to contact their Senators via this handy list TODAY. Last month the New Hampshire House narrowly approved the bill.

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Daily Grumble

It was, of course, inevitable, but it came sooner than I expected. Sunday night at the Eagle, I met someone born in the '90s. Security!

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Lambda Legal Celebrates Iowa

This is a really, really sweet clip.

(Via JMG reader Diane In Iowa City)

Dubuque's Telegraph-Herald notes the dramatic change in the lives of gay Iowans over the last two decades.
Twenty-two years ago, a handful of gay and lesbian activists held a rally in Dubuque that bordered on a riot when hundreds of anti-gay hecklers surrounded them, throwing eggs and garbage, hurling obscenities and threatening physical harm. Starting today, same-sex couples can pick up a marriage license at any Iowa courthouse and plan a wedding. A lot has changed in two decades for gays and lesbians in Dubuque. After the 1987 rally, two later gay-rights marches attracted crowds of supporters from around the country and little opposition. The city this decade added sexual orientation as a protected class in its human rights ordinance, although it took three tries over an eight-year period. The city now grants same-sex couples the same family benefits as opposite-sex couples. Dubuque also has an active, vocal chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). Some local business owners have put together a Web-based wedding-services resource for same-sex couples in the area -- iowapridal.com.

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Morning View - 23rd & 8th

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Guys With iPhones

Via Dan Savage, how about an entire site devoted to guys taking their own pictures with their iPhones? Totally very incredibly NSFW, y'all. (The photo on this here post is one of the very few that are office-safe.) And yes, ladies, there's a Girls With iPhones too, although there's not much there yet.

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Bloomberg And Schumer "Furious" About Air Force One Fly-Over

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JMG: Year Six Begins

Today is my 5th blogiversary. My first post:
I was born and raised in rural North Carolina.

My fondest childhood memory is of playing in the dense, acrid, poison fog that was belched out by the county mosquito control truck during its daily dusk-time trip down our dirt road.

The cry of 'Smokey! Smokey!' would fly up and down Nine Foot Road once the first faint sound of the pest control truck's generator was detected in the distance. Trailer screen doors would slam open and kids would pour into the street for ten minutes of gleeful, giddy, mad dashing around in the thick white clouds of DDT. We would smash into each other with full force in the blinding swirls and just scream and laugh hysterically, pick ourselves up and start running again. Parents had not a whit of concern about their children playing directly behind the spewing pipes of a pest control truck. In fact, NOT being allowed to play in the poison fog was often held out as potential punishment for misbehavior.

I think this explains a lot about me.
Help yourself to the cupcakes and punch. I appreciate your being here.

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Swag Tuesday

Courtesy of Hip-O Records and Universal Music, today's Swag Tuesday booty is the Barbra Streisand triple DVD set The Concerts, which goes on sale nationwide today.
Barbra Streisand is world renowned for thrilling audiences with her magical performances, her supreme vocal talent and setting box office records. Now fans can get front row seats to the best of Barbra Streisand captured in THE CONCERTS, a new 3-disc DVD showcasing some of her most memorable concerts, special exclusives including 17 songs never-before released on DVD and behind-the-scenes moments with one of the most beloved artists of all time.

The 3-Disc DVD set offers fans an all access pass to two of her most memorable concerts in their entirety. DISC ONE captures the record-breaking, 2006 North American tour from the sold-out Ft. Lauderdale show, with special guest multi-platinum recording artist, IL DIVO. Fans will get a chance to experience 10 songs never-before-seen on DVD, including "Unusual Way," "A Cockeyed Optimist" and "My Shining Hour," all of which are the first time Streisand has ever performed them either in the studio or live. Bonus features include five additional songs as well as interviews with the behind-the-scenes team who create and execute this musical and visually explosive experience. DISC TWO allows fans to experience the unforgettable 1994 concert Live at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, CA that documents the magic of her first concert tour in 27 years. For the first time on DVD, this special concert includes the first-ever live performance of "Lazy Afternoon" and the "Yentl Medley."
The third disc of the set contains vintage performances from the '60s and '70s never before seen on DVD. Enter to win a copy of Streisand: The Concerts by commenting on this post. Only enter once and please remember to leave your email address in the text of your comment. Entries close at midnight on Wednesday, west coast time. Publicists: If you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

The End Of Pontiac

Today General Motors announced that they will be discontinuing the Pontiac line next year as part of their plan to stave off bankruptcy.
"The objective here is not to just survive but to come up with an operating plan that will allow us to win," Chief Executive Fritz Henderson said Monday. The U.S. Treasury will extend an additional $11.6 billion to GM, in addition to $15.4 billion in existing loans. The government will forgive half the debt in exchange for equity in a restructured GM. Henderson said earlier this month the White House had demanded "faster, deeper" cost cutting. Under the latest viability plan, GM's fourth iteration, the company will idle one additional factory and look to eliminate 500 additional dealers. Other reductions will come sooner than initially planned. GM said it expects to further reduce salaried employee headcount as well, but did not specify a number. The company said it will focus on four core brands in the U.S. - Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC - as it looks to make fewer different models and focus on product development programs. Production of the Pontiac brand will end by next year. "You have a strategy that wins or you have to stop," Henderson said. "We didn't have a strategy that allowed us to win with the Pontiac brand."
The taxpayers will end up owning a good chunk of GM.

Wikipedia
: "Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating public or state ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods."

The Freepers are having a field day.

RELATED: My first car was '73 Pontiac Lemans just like this one, so I'll always have a soft spot for the brand.

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The World's Most Influential Person...

...is Christopher Poole, aka "Moot", the 21 year-old founder of 4chan.org, the bulletin board home of hackers worldwide. This according to TIME Magazine, who swears that their online poll was totally not hacked by 4chan. Yeah.
Christopher Poole received 16,794,368 votes and an average influence rating of 90 (out of a possible 100) to handily beat the likes of Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Oprah Winfrey. To put the magnitude of the upset in perspective, it's worth noting that everyone Moot beat out actually has a job. Since Moot launched 4chan.org in 2003, the site has given birth to Internet memes as diverse as Lolcats and Rickrolling. 4chan averages 13 million page views a day and 5.6 million visitors a month; by some estimates it is the second largest bulletin board in the world.
The last two winners in the poll were a video game designer and a Korean pop star. And yet TIME continues to publish.

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This Is Getting Silly

Look, I'll admit getting all warm and fuzzy about Susan Boyle, despite my cynicism regarding how contrived the set-up was. But when the Boyle phenomenon goes into "Two Girls, One Cup" territory, I gotta draw the line.

(Via - Andrew Sullivan)

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PhoboQuotable - Rev. Floyd Flake

“I don’t care what the politicians think. Ain’t nothing perfect about laying down and signing a license with somebody who got the same body parts you got.” - The suitably named and grammatically challenged Rev. Floyd Flake, pastor of Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Queens, where NY Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith attends services.

The New York Times notes:
Mr. Flake went on for about two minutes, much to the delight of many in the pews, who cheered and applauded as the church organist punctuated the reverend’s words with notes from “I’ve Got a Woman,” by Ray Charles.
Smith says that while he considers Flake to be his spiritual mentor, he disagrees with the reverend on marriage equality.
“He knows what my position is. I know what his position is,” Mr. Smith said. “He looks at it as a religious matter, and I look at it as a legal matter. People being together, you know, has no implication on most other people’s lives. I think people deserve to be with who they want to be with. Who am I to dictate?”
Smith went on to compare himself to former NY Gov. Mario Cuomo, who supported abortion rights despite being a devout Catholic. He says he's not sure he can muster the necessary support for a marriage equality bill to pass in the Senate during the current session, which ends in June.

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Marriages Begin In Iowa

Same-sex marriage became legal this morning in Iowa and judges waived the three-day waiting period for some couples who wanted to marry immediately. Under the headline Historic Day For Iowa, the Des Moines Register is covering the scene at county recorders' offices all over the state. Anti-gay activists delivered petitions at some state offices demanding that recorders "obey their conscience" and refuse to issue licenses to same-sex couples, but so far there is no report of any state employee refusing to do so.

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Coming Soon: Rub On Viagra

So far, the rats are happy. Via the Telegraph (UK):
Scientists in the United States have successfully tested the new technique – which involves tiny objects called nanoparticles – on rats and believe it could also be used to help humans. Under the therapy, nanoparticles that release the anti-erectile chemical nitric oxide are rubbed on the problem area, and absorbed directly into the skin. Of the seven rats treated by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, five showed signs of arousal, according to results presented to the American Urological Association (AUA). The new treatment would likely have fewer side effects than Viagra, which is taken orally and been shown to cause headaches and facial flushing. Researchers also believe that the nanoparticle therapy could work much more quickly than Pfizer's market-leading drug, which takes up to an hour to kick in.
I love the delicate way the Telegraph refers to "the problem area."

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Caption This

(Submitted by JMG reader Jerry In DC)

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Swine Flu Flashback

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"Craigslist Killer" Trolled For Men And Transsexuals Too

NBC is reporting that Phillip Markoff, dubbed by tabloids as "the Craigslist Killer", also used the site to solicit sex with men and transsexuals. Police think that there may be more victims of Markoff who are afraid to come forward. He is thought to have used Craigslist to meet potential robbery victims in order to support his gambling addiction.

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