31 October 2007

Happy Halloween...

From that little devil, Chloe...

...and her daddies, Brent & Wayne.

Photos (and special effects) by Chloe's Daddy!

Biden, Part 2

The Giuliani moment from last night's debate...

And a great independently produced montage of Biden photos and speech excerpts...

Far & Away...Biden

Democratic presidential debate summary: Senator Hillary Clinton was far and away the nights loser. While she came across as competent, she had a certain sour bitchiness that came out when she answered questions. Not exactly the way to win over those Americans who - fairly or not - already have a negative view of her.

Her answer to the question of drivers licenses for illegal immigrants in New York State was the ultimate waffle. The play-by-play from Kevin Drum:
Hillary gave a rambling response explaining what Spitzer was trying to do but without really taking a position. Dodd disagreed with the Spitzer plan ("I think it's troublesome") and Hillary then stepped in to muddy the waters some more: "I did not say that it should be done," she said, "but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do it." ...and then by Russert pressing her to give a firm answer ("Do you support his plan?"). Hillary hedged, and never really answered.

...[Sen.] Edwards said, "Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes just a few minutes ago." And [Sen.] Obama uttered a devastating phrase for anyone who remembers the 2004 campaign: he said he couldn't tell if she is "for it or against it."

For the most part though, Sen. Obama was listless and pathetic. With all of the pre-debate chit chat on the blogosphere yesterday about how Obama would call Sen. Clinton out on her fence-straddling strategy, the fact that he didn't left me feeling a bit let down. The first primaries are two months away. The Senator from Illinois needs to show some cajones. And quick.

Edwards was more aggressive than I've seen him in a while, but I still can't shake the perception that he would become another Carter in the White House, unable to cope with global crises and handing the presidency to the Republicans for a generation. (And, for the record, I started to feel that way about Obama last night, too.)

The winner of the night was Sen. Joe Biden. Despite being relegated to the second tier by the debate moderators, Biden has consistently shown throughout this campaign that he is the most qualified person on the Democratic side to be president. He is essentially the only grown-up on the stage, offering intelligent responses on the most important issues of this election, while the kids fight and whine amongst themselves.

His comments on how the globe became a bit destabilized when the Senate voted to call Iran's military a terrorist organization, as well as his thoughts on how Pakistan could become a huge mess if we're not careful, were prime examples of elder-statesmanship.

And then later, he said this about one of the Republican candidates:
Rudy Giuliani is probably the most underqualified person since George Bush to run for president. He can only say 3 things in a sentence: a noun, a verb, and "9/11." This man is truly not qualified to be president.
He shoots, he scores!

Yeah...once again Sen. Biden has become alot more attractive to me and as of this moment is sitting at the top of my list for the primary election.

(Photo: MSNBC)

30 October 2007


Brent felt it before I did. "Is that an earthquake?" he asked. And right then the building started to shake a bit. I grabbed the dog and headed to the closest doorway; Brent ran over to our bookshelf and held on to his antique stained-glass window.

The few quakes we've felt since moving up here have been real brief, but this one seemed to linger...a long, low rumble.

Update: It was a 5.6 quake centered near San Jose, about 45 minutes south of San Francisco.

Update 2: The San Francisco Chronicle reports that, at 5.6 on the Richter scale, this is the strongest quake in the Bay area since the infamous trembler of 1989.

Head Over Heels

Velma from "Scooby Doo" and Natalie & Blair from "The Facts of Life?"


They're the Go Go's! (Or as they called themselves on Saturday night, the "Go Blows .")

To protect the innocent, I won't divulge names. But their initials are Mark, Don, and Bill.

Little Miss Chloe

One day a couple of weeks back, while Brent was in Las Vegas for work, Chloe didn't come when I called her for dinner. When I went looking for her I found her here, sitting in the bedroom window, looking out onto the street waiting for her other Daddy to come home (he wouldn't be home for three more days). She knows his truck. And she hates it when he travels.

Obama, McClurkin, and the Gays

So this McClurkin guy went there! He used the Obama campaign event in South Carolina to spew his anti-gay venom. The Advocate confronts the Senator about it:
Advocate: I know you’re in a difficult position here trying to balance these two constituencies -- but by keeping McClurkin on the tour, didn't you essentially choose your Christian constituency over your gay constituency?

Obama: No, I profoundly disagree with that. This is not a situation where I have backed off my positions one iota. You’re talking to somebody who talked about gay Americans in his convention speech in 2004, who talked about them in his announcement speech for the president of the United States, who talks about gay Americans almost constantly in his stump speeches. If there’s somebody out there who’s been more consistent in including LGBT Americans in his or her vision of what America should be, then I would be interested in knowing who that person is.

One of the things that always comes up in presidential campaigns is, if you’ve got multiple supporters all over the place, should the candidate then be held responsible for the every single view of every one of his supporters? And obviously that’s not possible. And if I start playing that game, then it will be very difficult for me to do what I think I can do best, which is bring the country together.
As an American voter who has criticized President Bush for not including members of the opposition party in his wartime government - and for not even listening to the viewpoints of those who disagree with him - it would be hypocritical of me to withdraw a possible vote for Sen. Obama over this McClurkin appearance. Does what the gospel singer said make my skin crawl? Yes. Do I think his viewpoints promote hatred? Of course I do. But in his interview with the Advocate , Obama makes a point. Playing the game the extreme left wants him to play would prevent him from uniting a country that hasn't been this divided since the Civil War.

To be sure, McClurkin should have never been asked to perform. But once he was, Obama and his campaign handled it as best they could.

I'm not happy. But, for me, this wasn't the deal breaker it could have been.

"Des Que J'te Vois"

Fabulous new single from French artist Vanessa Paradis, off her latest album entitled "Divinidylle."

29 October 2007

"No" on Mukasey

He refuses to say whether waterboarding is torture, and he believes the president can ignore the laws of the land. After almost seven years in which Mr. Bush and his minions have shredded the Constitution, we need some levity at the Justice Department. And while the President is entitled to his nominee, it is the job of the opposition party to keep a nominee for Attorney General who believes the president has the right to break the law from being confirmed.

This nomination should die in committee and shouldn't see the light of day on the Senate floor.

Monday Morning Levity

Monday's suck, so let's start the week off with some gut-busting laughs. Enjoy Anjelah Johnson's classic stand-up routine on her recent visit to a nail salon...

28 October 2007

"Full Circle" by Michael Thomas Ford

Following three excellent books of essays ("Alec Baldwin Doesn't Love Me," "That's Mr. Faggot To You," "It's Not Mean If It's True") and two rather enjoyable summer fluff novels ("Last Summer," "Looking For It"), I picked up Michael Thomas Ford's "Full Circle" with much anticipation.

Released in the summer of 2006 (and the paperback version in August of this year), Ford seems to have hit his creative stride with this wonderful tale of friendship, love, and family.

"Full Circle" chronicles five decades in the lives of Ned Brummel and Jack Grace. Next door neighbors, born a day apart, the boys are lifelong friends/brothers/lovers/companions. Inseparable from birth, the boys become the best of friends in 1950s Philadelphia, having joint birthday parties, joining the boy scouts, star gazing, double dating. Their bond is immensely strong and, as they enter their teenage years, the two fall in love.

From there Ford weaves a well crafted story that takes the boys through college, lost love, separation, Vietnam, the heady days of San Francisco in the 1970s, and the resulting AIDS crisis of the 1980s. He skillfully weaves his characters through 50 years of American life and strife, presenting that world from a uniquely gay perspective, detailing all the confusion, denial, anger and - finally - acceptance of a world where gay people fought most of those 50 years just to fit in, and how they came to rely on each other to form bonds that stretch well beyond biological families.

"Full Circle" is the perfect novel for a crisp fall or winter weekend. Grab some wine, curl up in a comfy chair, and enjoy this wonderful piece of literary wonder.


While in New York last month, I surprised Brent with dinner at Perilla, the new restaurant from the winner of the first season of "Top Chef," Harold Dietrele. And what an experience! The food at Perilla is absolutely heavenly.

I started with the crispy berkshire porkbelly. Served with pea tendrills, it was the perfect way to start the evening's meal. Brent had the beef carpaccio, served on a bed of arugula. To die for!

For dinner we both had the grilled angus strip steak. Yeah, yeah...I know. But when the server described it to me, I just had to have my own! Prepared to perfection, it was probably the best steak I've had in a couple of years. I didn't want the meal to end. (Next time though, I'm definitely having the duck.)

The restaurant staff was wonderful. Cheerful and obviously smitten with their jobs, they live to serve and Mr. Dietrele should consider himself lucky to have such a top-notch staff.

The ambiance? Aiming for the younger demographic, Dietrele has good old-fashioned rock and roll playing at a low volume throughout the restaurant, giving the place a laid back feel without losing the high end Greenwich Village restaurant atmosphere. The decor is slightly above average; it doesn't pop out when you walk in, but it's not bad either.

And finally, the wine list. Three words: ex-cel-lent! Dietrele and his staff have outdone themselves. The list is extensive and perfect for pairing with many menu items.

The next time you're in New York, block an evening dinner into your schedule at Perilla. Located in Greenwich Village at 9 Jones Street (between West 4th and Bleecker Streets), call (212) 929-6868 for reservations.

The Republican Circus

Quote of the Day:
It was absolutely a bad decision. I regret it happened. Certainly … I should have stopped it...we’re working very hard to establish credibility and integrity, and I would hope this does not undermine it.
-John “Pat” Philbin, FEMA’s director of external affairs, apologizing for yet another department fiasco in which his department held a fake news conference during the LA and San Diego brush fires.

FEMA employees posed as reporters while real reporters listened on a telephone conference line and were barred from asking questions.

As usual, doing a "heck of a job."

27 October 2007

Delayed Justice in Georgia

Genarlow Wilson, who received a ten-year prison sentence for having consensual sex with a teenager when he himself was a teenager (he was 17 and she was 15), was released from prison yesterday following a Georgia court's ruling that the sentence was “grossly disproportionate” to the crime, which the justices said “did not rise to the level of culpability of adults who prey on children.”

26 October 2007

The Weekender

This week's playlist begins with a megamix of four tracks from Kylie Minogue's forthcoming album "X." Also included are classic tracks from Pete Heller, La Flavour, and Federico Aubele.

Enjoy the music by clicking here.

The Playlist:

Kylie X MegaMix - Kylie Minogue
Big Love - Pete Heller
Sweeter Love - Blue Six
Never the Same - Supreme Beings of Leisure
Star Fire - The Sylvers
Native New Yorker - Odyssey
Mandolay - La Flavour
All Night Long - Mary Jane Girls
Postales - Federico Aubele
Gentle Rain - Astrud Gilberto

The Melting Earth, Part 2

Time-lapse photography from NASA showing what happened in the Arctic between May and September...of this year!

Say it with me: AL. GORE. FOR. PRESIDENT.

Impeachment Now

Quote of the Week :
[Bush is] an inexperienced president with a fundamentalist psyche and a paranoid and power-hungry vice-president who decided to embrace "the dark side" almost as soon as the second tower fell, and who is still trying to avenge Nixon. Until they are both gone from office, we are in grave danger...And since they have utter contempt for the role of the Congress in declaring war, we and the world are helpless to stop them. Every day we get through with them in power, I say a silent prayer of thanks that the worst hasn't happened. Yet.
-Andrew Sullivan's excellent post from yesterday, entitled "Imaginationland."

Sullivan backed Mr. Bush in 2000 and the decision to go to Iraq in 2003. But within a year of that invasion Sullivan had lost confidence in the President, and now he sees just how scary this administration really is.

It's a bit little way too late, but as someone who warned against Bush's election in 2000 precisely because of his inexperience and fundamentalist slant (a very dangerous combination), it's nice to hear one his initial backers describe George W. Bush for what he really is.

Imperialistic, dangerous, and

The. Worst. President. Ever.

25 October 2007

The Obama Compromise

After talking with Joe Solmonese, the head of the Human Rights Campaign (who have already endorsed Hillary Clinton, by the way), Sen. Barack Obama has asked openly gay Reverend Andy Sidden, a United Church of Christ pastor in Columbia, SC, to appear at the same event as anti-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin.

For me, that's the end of this rather dumb political episode. But a quick memo to the junior Senator from Illinois: This is presidential politics dude. Learn how to play the game! Thinking on it, I believe your campaign should never have asked McClurkin to appear. A debate? Sure. A townhall meeting to discuss gay issues and homophobia? You bet. But not a campaign appearance.

Update: It seems Andy Towle still has his panties in a bunch:
So, I guess the question is, does adding a voice of tolerance negate the hater on the other end of the scale, which is what Obama's intention seems to be with this move? If a candidate's tour included Fred Phelps but he or she decided to suddenly "balance it out" at the last minute by adding Judy Shepard, what kind of message does that send?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but McClurkin hasn't picketed the funerals of gay Americans, nor has he picketed the funerals of Iraq War casualties under the guise of America's moral decline. Fred Phelps is bat-shit looney and not even the christian right take him seriously. Obviously, McClurkin needs a swift kick in the ass - and a lot of what he has said is indefensible - but he's not Phelps.

The Melting Earth

News item:
Greenland's ice sheet and other Arctic areas could cause sea levels to rise enough to flood low-lying cities, such as Shanghai, China, and New York City, displacing millions of people in the process.
Say it with me: Al Gore for President!


Quote of the Day:
I took a city that was full of pornography and licked it.
-Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, on how he cleaned up Times Square, to the New York Daily News.

24 October 2007

"Ex Gay": SoCal Is Burning Because of the Gays

Quote of the Day:
And then the wildfires of Southern California engulfed the land like a raging judgment against the radicalized anti-christian California rebels. How low will we go? Why won't they listen? Why won't they stop their madness?

...in the last days, the nations will rebel against God until He can't take it anymore. Was it all worth it? Were the few years of sexual immorality worth the eternal destruction and earthly chaos it brought? How low will we go?
-"Ex-Gay" James Hartline, spewing his heavenly analysis on the Southern California wildfires.

Well !

It seems someone needs a good slap in the face with rather large penis, doesn't it?

New Music

Kylie Minogue:

You can download a free five minute megamix featuring four tracks from Kylie Minogue's upcoming album here.

Kylie is back and ready to return to the top 10!

The Spice Girls:

And the new Spice Girls single has been leaked. It's rather average, but you can take a listen to it via YouTube (as long as it lasts, that is) here:

Another Picture From the Sky

(Photo: US Air Quality Blog, via DailyKos and NASA Gallery)

The Orange Sky

This picture was taken Tuesday, 23 October, at 4pm Pacific time, from Beverly Hills. Photo courtesy of Steph and Alek.

But don't mistake it for one of Southern California's spectacular sunsets. The sky is orange as a result of the massive fires burning between Santa Clarita and San Diego. Eleven fires have ruined 1,000 structures, destroyed 350,000 acres, and caused the evacuation a million people from two major metropolitan areas. A firefighter conceded, "We can't stop it." And with none of the fires more than 30% contained, the entire SoCal region is absolutely devastated.

Deal Breaker?

As most of you have probably already heard, Sen. Barack Obama (Democrat-IL) has asked gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, who has offended gay rights groups by promoting the view that homosexuality is a choice and that gays can be "cured," to sing at a campaign stop in South Carolina.

John Aravosis over at AmericaBlog is livid.

Earl Hutchinson of the Huffington Report thinks Obama should rescind the invitation.

What do I think? It's a HUGE misstep by a candidate fighting to catch up to Sen. Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. That is already a tall order and this definitely won't help.

Yes, this move has certainly dropped Obama a few pegs on my list. Whether or not he moves back into my good graces will depend largely on how he handles this. Unlike most of the blogosphere, I don't fault him for asking the guy to perform. After all, Obama's campaign is all about healing divisions, and that can only be done by reaching out to those he disagrees with.

But I'll be keeping my eye on the actual South Carolina event. If McClurkin uses his time on the stage to advance his anti-gay agenda, and if Obama doesn't school him for it, then we have a problem. In the mean time, everyone should take a deep breath.

23 October 2007

54 Weeks Out

The latest polling from Rasmussen, 54 weeks before Election Day:

Hillary Clinton 48%
Rudy Giuliani 41%

That's similar to the final tally for her husband's 1996 win against Bob Dole.

Hillary Clinton 52%
Fred Thompson 37%

That makes Reagan's 1980 rout of Jimmy Carter look like a squeaker!

Hillary Clinton 47%
Mitt Romney 41%

I'm surprised this one is as close as it is.

Hillary Clinton 44%
John McCain 43%

No surprise here, but if McCain is the GOP nominee then I have a hunch Clinton would open up a pretty comfortable lead. He is, after all, Bush's waterboy.

And, just for kicks....

Hillary Clinton 48%
Ron Paul 38%

At the state-by-state level, Clinton leads all three major Republican candidates by double-digit margins in Arkansas (her former home state), and by smaller margins in Virginia and Florida. She leads two of the three in Tennessee (Fred Thompson being from Tennessee, he leads all the Democrats there).

All in all, these numbers look pretty good for a candidate that many see as "polarizing."

California Electoral Vote Measure Revived

Veteran GOP consultants David Gilliard and Ed Rollins have teamed up to revive the recently deflated 2008 ballot measure that would change the way California allocates its presidential votes in the Electoral College. Their hope is to have the initiative on the ballot by June and, if passed, to take effect in November's presidential election.

After declaring themselves out of money and short on petition signatures, the movement declared itself dead, at least as far as next years elections are concerned. But the entry of Gilliard and Rollins has apparently revived things.

Gilliard and Rollins are huge players in the Republican Party and could raise the necessary money to get this thing on the ballot. The Democratic Party better be ready to go to war over this and not pussy-foot around like they did in Florida in 2000.

The Republicans see the early polling and know they are likely to lose the White House next year so, as they always do to retain what little power they have, they fuck around and bend laws to benefit their hold on that power.

It reeks of desperation and is about as unpatriotic as you can get.

Running Against Elizabeth

Meet Jim Neal, a Democrat in North Carolina running for his party's nomination for the United States Senate seat currently held by Republican Botox queen Elizabeth Dole. Why am I highlighting Neal? Because during a recent on-line chat with the liberal political blog BlueNC, Neal was asked if he was gay.

His answer?

"I am indeed."

Neal is 51 and a native of North Carolina. He has worked in the information technology field, including a stint as CEO of RXMarketplace.com. In 2000, he founded The Agema Group, a financial advisory firm based in Chapel Hill. He is unmarried with two sons (one lives with him at home and one works in New York City). And he seems to be running a pretty straight forward campaign.

Wish him luck.

He is, after all, running in North Carolina - home of Jesse Helms.

Dick Wad of the Month

Glenn Beck:
I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.
CNN's resident asshole made the comment as forest fires destroyed hundreds of square miles between Santa Barbara and San Diego in Southern California, leaving one person dead, four firefighters wounded, and forcing 250,000 people from their homes.

I remember a time when such a comment would get a TV personality fired.

Will CNN can the son-of-a-bitch?

I doubt it.

22 October 2007

SoCal Wildfires

These two satellite shots of the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara areas were taken three hours apart and show how quickly the Santa Ana winds can turn a containable wildfire into a raging inferno.

I lived in Santa Barbara for six years (Brent for 13), but I never saw anything like this. It's frightening and my thoughts are with those in SoCal.

The Gay Wizard

"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling:
I always thought of Dumbledore as gay...Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald...

...In fact, recently I was in a script read-through for the sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the script saying, 'I knew a girl once, whose hair...' I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, "Dumbledore's gay!"

Obama's New Ad

Shades of Kennedy and Reagan...

The Cost of the War

A big thanks to Scott for forwarding me this link. The cost of the war in Iraq, by the micro-second...it's about $10,000 every 5 seconds!!!

The continual cost counter has been added to this blog, it's on the right below the blog roll. You'll be amazed at how fast it's adding up!

The Nike Women's Marathon

Congrats to Greg the Gay Sportscaster of KNGY-FM - and to everyone who participated - in the Nike Women's Marathon on Sunday. Here are his roommate and his morning show intern greeting Greg at the finish line...

19 October 2007

The Weekender

Click here to listen.

This week's playlist...

Love Is Just a Game (Live) - The Magic Numbers
Love Is Thicker Than Water - Andy Gibb
Walk On - U2
Just Friends - Amy Winehouse
Praise You - Fatboy Slim
Mona - Federico Aubele
Simply Beautiful - Queen Latifah
Banana Pancakes - Jack Johnson
Eyes - Rogue Wave
Teardrop - Jose Gonzalez
This Is Goodbye - Mark Knopfler / Emmylou Harris
Breathe Me - Sia

Five Questions

...for the Republican presidential candidates, from John Cole:
1. Would you have sex with a man to stop a terrorist attack?

2. If you had a time machine, would you travel back in time and abort Bin Laden?

3. Would you torture and kill Jesus to ensure mankind’s salvation? And how does that work?

4. If lowering taxes results in increased revenues then would lowering taxes to zero result in infinite revenues?

5. (For Rudy Giuliani specifically): How many alimony checks does the sanctity of marriage cost?
Heh heh!


DemFromCT over at Daily Kos has an excellent post-SCHIP rundown. Click here to read it. Bottom line: The American people, by an overwhelming 81% to 15% margin, want this program in place. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will reintroduce the bill later, and believes she can pick up the 13 votes she needs to override another presidential veto (the Senate already has those numbers).

And it's that Bush veto that puzzles me. By rejecting the bill, Little Boy George proves once again that he hates Americas children. In addition to sending them to Iraq to die on the wings of lie, saddling them with a national debt so enormous that - in order to pay it off - taxes will have to be raised so high that their standard of living in 20 years will be much lower than that of their parents, and presiding over an education program that will leave them in the dust behind India and China, the President now leaves them without any sort of health care program.

Every industrialized nation in the world takes care of their children. But not the United States. Not under this president.

Say it with me: The. Worst. President. Ever.

18 October 2007

Little Miss Chloe

Introducing herself to a new toy. (Sorry about the video quality, but I captured the moment with my cell phone.)

Everybody Just Calm Down

Everyone has their panties in a bunch over two things this week...

1. Mutts and Moms isn't budging with Ellen DeGeneres' request to have a dog she adopted - and then couldn't keep because of issues with her cats - returned to the family to which she wound up giving the dog.

2. San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer is under fire from Catholic leaders because two Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence received communion from him on October 7 at the Holy Redeemer Church in the city's Castro District. (For those of you not in-the-know, the Sisters mix street theater, drag-queen fabulousness, and community fundraising for charity. The San Francisco chapter has raised more than $1 million for such groups as the Breast Cancer Network, and numerous AIDS organizations. And that just scratches the surface of the good deeds.)

Ok, first...Mutts and Moms ought to change their name to Dogs and Bitches. There is no reason what-so-ever why they can't return that dog to the family. DeGeneres is a complete animal lover and she wouldn't have handed the dog over to them if she thought the dog was in any sort of danger. The only people getting hurt here are the kids from which the dog was taken. And as "moms," that should take precedent over the adoption agency's idiotic and antiquated post-adoption rules.

As for the Sisters...yeah, they're outrageous and they may be "blasphemous" in the eyes of some who have rather large sticks up their asses, but their hearts are as big as gold and everything they do (EVERYTHING) - and all the money they raise (ALL OF IT) - is for charity. Isn't that what christianity is all about?

As Dolly Parton once said, "Get off the cross, somebody needs the wood!"


A couple of random items to help keep your day on an even keel:

Barack Cheney?

Bill Burton, Sen. Barack Obama's spokesperson, on news that Obama is a cousin from eight generations back to Vice-President Cheney: "Every family has a black sheep."

Stars of Yester-year Go Geriatric!

Today's birthdays...Pam Dawber (of "Mork & Mindy" fame), 56; Jean-Claude Van Damme, 47 (and doesn't look a day over 57!), and finally, Chuck Berry is 162 today.

Samantha Power & Mark Penn

It's the full hour-long episode, but yesterday's Charlie Rose show is rich with Obama vs. Clinton conversation.

On the Obama side, Samantha Power - one of his many talented foreign policy advisers - presents a passionate analysis of why a "President Obama" would be the best medicine for American foreign policy in the post-Bush years.

Then Clinton's chief strategist, Mark Penn, shows up for the second part of the show and, rather than discuss the most important issue of the coming election, starts talking about...polls!

Charlie Rose laughs at Penn...literally. It's a classic hour of political conversation, and could very well lead many to second guess their support of Sen. Clinton.

Take a look...

Hillary Inevitable?

Not so, says Barack Obama. On last night's Jay Leno show he said:
Hillary is not the first politician in Washington to declare 'mission accomplished' a little too soon.
He shoots, he scores!

It ain't over yet, my friends.

And when asked by Leno about Lynne Cheney's allegations that her recent family research show Obama and her husband, Vice-President Dick Cheney, are eighth cousins:
I don't want to be invited to the family hunting party.

17 October 2007

Rotten George

Bushism of the Day:
What I'm tellin' ya is there's a lotta dialogue goin' on and that's positive...and (we) will continue to dialoguing with the Turks.
-Little Georgie Bush, answering a question about Turkey's threat to attack northern Iraq, during this morning's press conference in which the President practically held his breath and pounded his fists on the floor at questions asked by NBC's David Gregory and ABC's Martha Radditz.



16 October 2007

If Not Al, Who?

From this past Sunday...Thomas Friedman's column in the New York Times. I urge you to take the time to give it a full read. He sums it all up very nicely:
Seeing Al Gore so deservedly share the Nobel Peace Prize, it is impossible not to note the contrast in his leadership and that of George W. Bush.

Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush each faced a crucible moment. For Mr. Gore, it was winning the popular vote and having the election taken away from him by a Republican-dominated Supreme Court. For Mr. Bush, it was the shocking terrorist attack on 9/11.

Mr. Gore lost the presidency, but in the dignity and grace with which he gave up his legal fight, he united America. Then, faced with what to do with the rest of his life, he took up a personal crusade to combat climate change, even though the odds were stacked against him, his soapbox was small, his audiences were measured in hundreds, and his critics were legion. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore stuck with it and over time has played a central role in building a global consensus for action on this issue.

“No matter what happens, sooner or later character in leadership is revealed,” said David Rothkopf, author of the upcoming “Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making.” “Gore lost the election and had to figure out what to do with the rest of his life. He took the initiative to get the country and the world to focus on a common threat — climate change. Bush won the election and for the first year really didn’t know what to do with it. When, on 9/11, we and the world were suddenly faced with a common threat — terrorism and Al Qaeda — the whole world was ready to line up behind him, but time and again he just divided us at home and abroad.”

Indeed, Mr. Bush, rather than taking all that unity and using it to rebuild America for the 21st century, took all that unity and used it to push the narrow agenda of his “base.” He used all that unity to take a far-right agenda on taxes and social issues that was going nowhere on 9/10 and drive it into a 9/12 world.

Never has so much national unity — which could have been used to develop a real energy policy, reverse our coming Social Security deficit, assemble a lasting coalition to deal with Afghanistan and Iraq, maybe even get a national health care program — been used to build so little. That is what historians will note most about Mr. Bush’s tenure — the sheer wasted opportunity of it all.

Yes, Iraq was always going to be hugely difficult, but the potential payoff of erecting a decent, democratizing government in the heart of the Arab world was also enormous. Yet Mr. Bush, in his signature issue, never mobilized the country, never punished incompetence, never made the bad guys “fight all of us,” as Bill Maher put it, by at least pushing through a real energy policy to reduce the resources of the very people we were fighting. He thought he could change the world with 50.1 percent of the country, and he couldn’t.

“Gore, even without the presidency, used all the modern tools of communication, the Internet, video and globalization to reach out and galvanize a global movement,” Mr. Rothkopf said. “Bush took the greatest platform in the world and dug himself a policy grave.”

Now Mr. Bush is a spent force and Mr. Gore is, apparently, not running. So we still need a president who can unify the country around meaningful action on energy and climate. Most of the Democratic candidates mouth the right words, but I don’t sense much real passion. Most of the Republican candidates seem to be brain-dead on the energy/climate challenge. And it is amazing to me how flat-out wrong some conservatives, like Rush Limbaugh, can be on this issue.

They can’t see what is staring us in the face — that in pushing American companies to become greener, we are pushing them to become more productive, more innovative, more efficient and more competitive.

You can’t make a product greener without making it smarter and more in demand — whether it is a refrigerator or a microchip. Just ask G.E. or Wal-Mart or Sun Microsystems. You can’t make an army greener without making it more secure. Just ask the U.S. Army officers who are desperate for distributed solar power, so they won’t have to depend on diesel fuel to power their bases in Iraq — fuel that has to be trucked all across that country, only to get blown up by insurgents. In pushing our companies to go green we are spurring them to take the lead in the next great global industry — clean power.

In sum, Al Gore has been justly honored for highlighting — like no one else — the climate challenge. But we still need a vision, a strategy, an army and a commander in the White House who can inspire young and old — not only to meet that challenge but to see in it the opportunity to make America a better, stronger and more productive nation. This is our crucible moment.
Vision? Strategy? An inspiring commander-in-chief?

It's unfortunately obvious that Al Gore will not run this time around. But, President Friedman has a nice ring to it, doesn't it Tom?

Randy-Jay Adolphos Jones

Dumb Crook of the Month Award: Goes to Randy-Jay Adolphos Jones of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who snatched the purse of a 29-year-old Philadelphia woman. When the cell phone inside the purse rang, Jones answered it. It was the woman calling her own cell number and making arrangements to retrieve her phone.

Jones said he'd return it so long as the woman paid him $20.00

She agreed.

And brought the police.

Pink Elephant Alert

From the Green Bay Press-Gazette:
Donald Fleischman, the chairman of the Republican Party in Brown County, Wisconsin, faces criminal charges for allegedly fondling a 16-year-old Ethan House runaway and providing the boy with beer and marijuana late last year.

Mutts and Moms Adoption Agency: Cowards

From Andy Towle:
An emotional Ellen DeGeneres broke down on her show today, pleading with a dog rescue agency to return an adopted dog she had given to her hairdresser and two girls because it didn't get along with the cats at the DeGeneres-De Rossi household. Here is Ellen's tearful hello to her audience.

The AP reports: "The talk show hostess and her partner Portia de Rossi adopted Iggy, a Brussels Griffon mix, on Sept. 20. But when things didn't work out, DeGeneres gave the dog to her hairdresser. In doing so, DeGeneres violated an agreement with the Mutts and Moms agency by not informing them of the handoff. When the agency called DeGeneres to ask about Iggy, she said she found another home for the dog. The agency sent a representative to the hairdresser's home Sunday and took the dog away. DeGeneres went public with the doggy ordeal Monday while taping an episode of her show to air Tuesday. She admitted she didn't read all the paperwork involving the adoption."

Perhaps Mutts and Moms, a volunteer nonprofit organization in Pasadena, should add "militant" to their organization's name.
Amen to that.

I emailed Mutts and Moms to join the thousands who have already tried to persuade them to return the puppy but found their email address removed from their website. But a simple check of Google's "cache" option brought me the address.

UPDATE: They've disabled their enitre website. Cowards.

Add your two cents:
Email address: pawboutique@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.muttsandmoms.org/
Phone: 626-394-0946
And for those who missed it, here is Ellen's heart-felt plea:

"Where R U?"

Reader e-mail:
Where R U?
Ahem. Here I am. Had a busy Monday at work and the weekend was a bit out of sorts. But I'm back.

Mmm k?

12 October 2007

Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

The former Vice-President is the recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

And so this morning, I am proud to be an American who backed Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election (and in his elections for Vice-President in 1992 and 1996). This prize strengthens his argument that global warming is, as he puts it, "not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity."

And so now the question remains, will Gore use this Nobel Prize to launch himself into the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

I really wish he would. His leadership on the global warming issue aside, a Gore presidency would restore America's image around the globe, return the presidency to an equal branch of government, and re-focus the fight against terrorism on actually defeating the radical Muslims rather than creating more of them.

In short, he is the only perfect antidote to eight years of hell and disillusion under George W. Bush.

And he would get my full support immediately if he announced his candidacy.

Don't get me wrong, the other Democratic candidates have their strengths and, with the Republican Party so unpopular, most have an automatic advantage going into next year's general election. But their weaknesses worry me. Hillary's ability to rally the radical right, Obama's inexperience, Edwards' "Carter-esque" lack of focus on Iraq, Richardson's rather loopy campaign.

But Al Gore would come into the race as the elder statesman the country and the globe so desperately need; he'd enter the race as the adult who will send the kids back to their rooms, replace the infant imbecile in the White House, and calm a world so thoroughly rattled by eight years of imperialistic American government.

The weaknesses perceived in the 2000 campaign would be forgotten by most. In fact, the independent voters who cast ballots for Mr. Bush in 2000 would probably be more than happy - in fact they would be ecstatic, I think - to cast the most patriotic vote of their lives for Al Gore in 2008.

Will he run? Unfortunately, I doubt it. But what better place for him to do his admirable work than the presidency.

Mr. Gore: Your leadership is truly needed...now more than ever. We beg of you...PLEASE RUN FOR PRESIDENT.

The Weekender

The sun is setting early, the leaves are turning golden red and brown, summer has left this fare city. The new Weekender is the perfect soundtrack for these crisp autumn days. Click here to listen.

The Power - Cher
It's In the Way That You Use It - Eric Clapton
Barely Breathing - Duncan Sheik
Jumper - Third Eye Blind
Welcome to the Boomtown - David & David
Bad - U2
Goodbye - Emmylou Harris
All My Life - Karla Bonoff
Power of Two - Indigo Girls
Lotta Love - Nicolette Larson
Mary's Prayer - Danny Wilson
I Need to Wake Up - Melissa Etheridge

11 October 2007

'2 Hearts'

The superb new single from Kylie Minogue - not available in the United States until after the first of the year - is called "2 Hearts." The new album, "Kylie X," will be released in Europe next month.


Happy National Coming Out Day

(Photo: David Gilmore, via Andy Towle.)

09 October 2007

Honey's Milk

Meet Honey, the golden retriever who started producing milk when a stray kitten was brought home and refused to drink milk from a bottle. "She started licking her and loving her. Within a couple of days, Honey started naturally lactating," said Kathy Martin, whose husband, Jimmy, brought the kitten home six weeks ago. "The kitten took right to her."

Today's Must Read...

...Jane Gross' heartbreaking look at the social denigration and isolation elderly gay men and women are facing at assisted living facilities around the country. As this generation of gays and lesbians enter their twilight years, many have no one to turn to for friendship and company but those within the confines of the nursing home (many already having been shunned by family).

At an age when their minds are deteriorating to the point that they really don't know who they are anymore, to be insulted and isolated by the only people they thought they could depend on is the ultimate insult.

As Dr. Melinda Lantz, chief of geriatric psychiatry at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York says:
There is something [very wrong] about having to hide this part of your identity at a time when your entire identity is threatened. That’s a faster pathway to depression, failure to thrive and even premature death.

08 October 2007

Another Military Republican Bolts

Gen. Merrill McPeak, the Air Force Chief of Staff from 1990 to 1994, who backed the first Bush in both of his presidential runs, advised Bob Dole in his run against President Clinton in 1996, and voted for Boy Bush in 2000, has thrown his support in the 2008 contests to...

Barack Obama.

Mayor vs President

Quote of the Day:
The Conventional wisdom is that any president after Bush will gain a huge boost from world opinion. The only candidate for whom that would not apply, I think, is Giuliani...He cannot even reach non-white New Yorkers, let along the global Muslim opinion we need to win over.
-Andrew Sullivan, on the differences between Mayor Giuliani (you have to give the guy credit for turning NYC around) and the possibility of a "President Giuliani" (if there's a terrorist attack, the already weakened Constitution wouldn't survive under a Giuliani presidency).

The Kids

Quote of the Day 2:
In every major war we have fought in the 19th and 20th centuries Americans have been asked to pay higher taxes — and nonessential programs have been cut — to support the military effort. Yet during this Iraq war, taxes have been lowered and domestic spending has climbed. In contrast to World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, for most Americans this conflict has entailed no economic sacrifice. The only people really sacrificing for this war are the troops and their families.
-Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International, and author of “The Price of Liberty” (a book about how America has paid for its wars since 1776) as quoted by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, in his excellent Sunday column about how our kids are going to be paying a tremendous price for George Bush's war of choice.

I've been watching Ken Burns' "The War" series on PBS and let me tell ya, Franklin Roosevelt is rolling over in his grave over the irresponsible way Little Boy Bush has led America during this war. Presidents Woodrow Wilson (WWI), Harry Truman (Korean War), and even Lyndon Johnson (Vietnam) are doing the same. And Ronald Reagan is shaking his head in shame.

He's passed the buck for his war of choice onto his girls and their kids. If I were them, I'd slap the shit out of him. Because the America they're going to inherit will not be the eminent superpower he inherited in January, 2001. The tremendously high taxes they'll pay and the anemic economic growth they'll encounter...well...I cringe to think what THAT America will look like.

Little Miss Chloe

Nappin' on a Sunday afternoon...

Scenes From New York, Part 3

(Better late than never.)

The view from between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, in what is known as the D.U.M.B.O. neighborhood (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass)...

(Photos: Brent Sutton / Sutton Communications)

05 October 2007

The Weekender: Castro Street Fair Edition

"Are you ready boy? Here I come...catch me, I'm falling."

I'm gettin' all disco on your ass this week! The Castro Street Fair edition of the Weekender can be heard by clicking here.

The Playlist:

Go West - Village People
Pull Up To the Bumper - Grace Jones
Chains of Love - Erasure
Smalltown Boy - Bronski Beat
A Lover's Holiday - Change
J'attendrai - Dalida
Don't Leave Me This Way - Thelma Houston
Come Dance With Me - The Sylvers
Love Is In Control - Donna Summer
Catch Me I'm Falling - Pretty Poison
Disco Down - Kylie Minogue
Rock Your Body (Remix) - Justin Timberlake
and...I finish things off with a song that was crowding San Francisco dance floors on the weekend of the very first Castro Street Fair (which took place on 18 August 1974)...
Machine Gun - The Commodores

04 October 2007

Oh, HELL no!

News Item: Jenna Bush, the boozy daughter of the formerly (?) boozy President, has embarked on a tour to pimp her new book...flying around the country on Air Force One.

Ok...it's time to sit back for minute...close your eyes...and think back to 1997. How do you think the Republicans would have reacted had Chelsea Clinton been using Air Force One for such an endeavor.

Now...open your eyes. Tell me...what did you see?

The Murder of Ciara Durkin

Ciara Durkin, a lesbian serving in Afghanistan with troops from the Massachusetts National Guard, was found dead with a single bullet in her head, lying near the church where she worshipped in a secure area of Afghanistan.

The Defense Department is calling Durkin's death a "non-combat-related incident."

According to the Boston Globe:
The Massachusetts National Guard initially reported that Durkin was killed in action, though a Guard spokesman later said the term meant only that Durkin was serving in Afghanistan at the time.

Durkin's sister, Fiona Canavan, one of nine siblings in the family, has concerns that the shooting could have been related to Durkin's sexuality: "Ciara was a lesbian, and that's bound to come out. It is possible that someone over there found that out, and, you know, maybe they were very homophobic."

Canavan added: "She did say to us that she had concerns about things she was seeing when she was over there. She told us if anything happened to her, that we were to investigate it."

Freddy's Nightmare

Quote of the Day:
[Former Sen] Fred D. Thompson brought his remarks to a close with a nod of his head and an expression of thanks...Then he stood face to face with a silent audience.

“Can I have a round of applause?” Mr. Thompson said, drawing a rustle of clapping and some laughter.

“Well, I had to drag that out of you,” he said.
And he's supposed to be the savior of the conservative fascist wing of the Republican Party?

G.M vs Toyota & Honda

Quote of the Day 2:
What I don’t get is empty-barrel politics — Michigan lawmakers year after year shielding Detroit from pressure to innovate on higher mileage standards, even though Detroit’s failure to sell more energy-efficient vehicles has clearly contributed to its brush with bankruptcy, its loss of market share to Toyota and Honda — whose fleets beat all U.S. automakers in fuel economy in 2007 — and its loss of jobs. G.M. today has 73,000 working U.A.W. members, compared with 225,000 a decade ago. Last year, Toyota overtook G.M. as the world’s biggest automaker.

Thank you, Michigan delegation! The people of Japan thank you as well.
span style="font-style:italic;">-New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, getting a bit exasperated over the brain dead domestic auto dealers.

Shortly the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, at the beginning of World War II, the auto industry ceased passenger car production and did not resume until the 1946 model year. Auto plants converted to plane and ship making in order to keep our armed forces stocked with the machinery needed to wage war against the Nazis and Japanese.

Yet here we are, six years after the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania - by zealots from Middle Eastern countries where oil keeps their citizenry mired in backwards societies and archaic, repressive governments - yet today's auto industry refuses to do it's part to ween America off that oil.

True patriots would have immediately stepped up production on hybrid cars that could get us off Middle East oil within a decade. True American leaders would have done everything in their power to make such a transition a no-brainer for the auto industry executives.

But, alas, neither the American auto industry nor the American leaders have brains. I mean...if the industry was able to transition from AUTO making to PLANE and SHIP making in mere months back in 1942, it could have easily transitioned from AUTO making to AUTO making in 2001.

02 October 2007

Sticking his boot...

...up Rush Limbaugh's fat, backed-up-from-Vicodin, ass.

You go, boi!

The Grown-Up Democrat

Quote of the Day:
While other Democrats talk Iraq, health care, and change, Biden talks Iraq, Iraq, and Iraq. At a press conference this month on the steps of Iowa's Capitol in Des Moines [he said], "I know how to make America safer!"

He continued, "Immediately begin to draw down American combat troops.... Immediately give the troops all the protection they need while we're drawing them down...You must change the policy to put in place a federal, decentralized Iraq, giving the warring factions breathing room to establish their own security [and] control over the fabric of their daily lives."

For a year and a half, Biden (along with Leslie H. Gelb, a former president of the Council on Foreign Relations) has advocated devolving power to autonomous regions in Iraq. The presidential campaign has brought the plan into sharper focus - and, as Biden argues, into sharper contrast with what he plausibly regards as the wishful thinking prevalent in both parties.
-From Jonathan Rauch's Friday column in the National Journal on why Democrats should be looking a bit harder at the candidacy of Sen. Joe Biden (Democrat-DE).

I may sound like a broken record here, but the Democrats place too much importance on non-Iraq issues at their peril. While healthcare, the economy, education, and the entire laundry list of important domestic issues rightly have a place at the table in any debate, the #1 issue on voters minds come Election Day 2008 will be Iraq...above and beyond the rest. They may not agree with Candidate A on the domestic issues, but Americans will none-the-less cast their vote for that candidate if they feel that Candidate A has a well thought out plan over Candidate B to defuse the situation in Iraq with the least amount of American blood.

To date, Sen. Biden is the only Democrat to propose a workable solution. To boot, his plan received - just last week - tremendous support from both sides of the aisle. And support from the opposition party will be crucial to the next administration - whoever leads it - when it comes to fixing what is wrong with Iraq.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have excellent foreign policy advisers, but their proposals to date have been way too soft and lack a certain gravitas. John Edwards' focus on the "two Americas" leads me to believe that Iraq is nowhere near the top of his list of priorities and that an Edwards presidency would quickly evolve into "Carter 2." The Democratic Party can't afford another one of those.

Following last week's MSNBC debate, Biden moved up quite a few notches in my book. And if the "front runners" don't start laying out solid, workable Iraq plans - whether it is their own or they say, simply, that Joe Biden would be their choice for Secretary of State or Vice-President - then I won't even consider giving them my primary vote in January.

"Spring Awakening"

While In New York, Brent and I took in a couple of Broadway shows. Following is a mini-review of "Spring Awakening"...

On stage and in song, "Spring Awakening" is Broadway's new "Rent." With a tremendous rock score, a compelling story, innovative staging, and a stellar young cast, the Tony Award winning musical is simply superb. It is poignant and funny, it is dramatic and conflicted.

And "conflicted" is the major plot point here. The story concerns a group of teenagers, confused about their first stirrings of sexual desire, and the tragedies that result when parents and other authoritative figures keep the teenagers mired in a morass of sexual ignorance, all in the name of morals.

The musical is based on a banned 1891 play by Frank Wedekind - a play, with strong references to abortion, homosexuality, and masturbation. It didn't see the light of the British stage until 1974. This new adaptation still takes place in a small 1890s German town, but despite the time and place of long ago its portrayal of innocent adolescent sexuality as it collides with the repressive "morals" of the elder generation might well resonate with audiences in the America of conservative rule in 2007. (The next time you see a majority opinion on a social issue from Justices Scalia, Roberts, or Alito, read it and then tell me it isn't straight out of 1890.)

The night we saw the show, the two male leads were taking a breather. Their understudies, however, did a superb job. In fact, had we not known of the substitutions we would have thought they were the originally casted actors. But the leads aside, this was truly an ensemble show, each actor contributing a vital role to the story. Special props to Christine Estabrook and Stephen Spinella who shined in their multiple roles as the many adult authority figures.

Duncan Sheik's score and Steven Sater's lyrics are amazing. With songs like "The Bitch of Living" and "Totally Fucked," it is easy to understand why Broadway bestowed their Tony on these two gentlemen. For me though, the brilliance of their work and the perfection of the cast came shining through in the final number, "The Song of Purple Summer." Following a turbulent angst-filled two hours, the uplifting finale is a plea for tolerance, love, and understanding. And it was the perfect ending.

If you find yourself in New York, I highly (HIGHLY!) suggest you catch this show. "Spring Awakening" is playing at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on 49th Street.

Tomorrow...my thoughts on "Avenue Q."

Iran So Far

Andy Samberg, Maroon 5's Adam Levine, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad jam it up...with a cameo from Jake...

61 Percent

That is the huge majority of the electorate in Montana that would not even consider voting for Sen. Clinton as president. The Democrat has similar negative numbers in Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona.

Bill Clinton won Montana and Colorado in 1992, Arizona in 1996, and Nevada in both of his elections. That Hillary has such high negatives in both states really should give her pause.

I'm sick of the close elections, with each party playing to the most common denominator in the hopes of cobbling together a thin Electoral College majority. For once, can the Democrats nominate a candidate who has the potential to take their ticket up near Bill Clinton territory? (That would be between 370 and 380 electoral votes...100+ over what is needed.)