"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Interesting Discussion (Updated)

over at Joe.My.God., but not for the reasons the participants might think. It's Joe's report on Dan Savage being glitter-bombed by an "activist" whose objections to Savage include everything but the kitchen sink:

A group of six activists, who named themselves The Homomilitia for the event, said they confronted Savage as he entered the theatre through a back-alley entrance. In an interview with Xtra after the confrontation, activist Fister Limp Wrist accused Savage of "ableist, racist, transphobic, fat-phobic, sero-phobic and rape-apologist attitudes and views."

What's interesting is that the comments thread was hijacked by trans advocates, probably because of Joe's comment that the "activists" didn't manage to include something about Savage's "gay white male cisgender privilege" in their screed. (Never mind that they are otherwise full of it.)

I left a couple of comments in the thread, which does contain some reasonable discussion, but one thing I didn't address, and I guess it's kind of weighing on me: I consider being referred to as "cis-male" and "privileged" to be insulting. Those terms are meant to be belittling. They are used for no other reason than to set me apart and to designate me as "other," and I've had quite enough of that in my life, thank you. I have one question for those who consider being white and male as somehow conferring "privilege": a majority of the kids who have been bullied to death in the past couple of years have been white boys. How privileged do you think they felt?

Update: Similar discussion at AmericaBlog Gay. Just as lively, a little less ad hominem, and some good points made. It's interesting that no one is defending the glitter-bombers.

I should also note in this context this post from John Aravosis, since it's the campaign for marriage equality that is being characterized as "screwed up."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Too Good Not to Share

Thanks to Joe.My.God.

It All Starts to Come Together

From serving military personnel in Bagram, Afghanistan:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Moron du Jour, And an Antidote

His name is Scott Moody and he claims to be an economist. That's his basis for supporting the repeal of same-sex marriage in New Hampshire -- it's going to hurt the state's economy because all the children will disappear, or something. (He doesn't mention that every projection that's been done by a real economist, and statistics derived from jurisdictions in which same-sex marriage is recognized, show that SSM actually boosts the economy.)

His arguments are a hodge-podge of Christianist talking points, are completely logic free. Let's do a quick demolition:

According to Moody, one of the main reasons for marriage is for a man and a woman to bear children.

Actually, according to the Catholic Church, one of the main reasons for marriage -- actually, the reason for marriage -- is for a man and woman to bear children. As it happens, that's not really strongly corrected to reality, considering the number of married couples who either cannot have children or elect not to have children.

He asserts same-sex couples are physically unable to produce children and must therefore adopt. According to Moody, every same-sex marriage has a net child capacity of zero, meaning each same-sex married couple does not contribute to their community's population as would a heterosexual couple.

Wrong. About a quarter of same-sex couples are raising children, and of those, an increasing number are raising their own children, either from previous marriages or through sperm donors or surrogates. Once again, class: we're gay, we're not sterile.

They may adopt, but this does not equate to producing their own children, according to Moody.

Let's insult everyone while were at it. And "does not equate" according to what standard?

Do you get the idea that this guy's "arguments" are out there in Neverneverland someplace?

He's fixated on biological parents, too:

Moody said that by allowing same-sex marriage in the state, the methods for handling court cases involving biological parents and their children is now thrown out the window because with same-sex couples, one or both of the individuals may not be the child's biological parents and could be linked by nothing but an adoption certificate.

If I recall correctly, under the law an adopted child is fully equivalent to a biological child. This argument is pure garbage.

It's a whole page of bullshit. Amanda Beland, who wrote the article, is to be credited for actually performing journalism -- if you click through and actually read it (which will either raise your blood pressure or give you a good laugh), you'll note that she is careful to keep her distance from this diatribe. She does nail him on the religious basis for repeal, sort of:

Moody's argument in favor of repealing same-sex marriage in the state remained relatively free of faith and morality based assertions, though he did admit those beliefs were still very much rooted within the foundation of the repealment of the same sex-marriage law in New Hampshire and across the nation.

However, she does fall down on this one:

However, many states, some considered even more liberal than New Hampshire, have repealed the law when given the chance, most notably, he said, Maine.

Umm -- California, anyone? Prop 8? In a campaign funded by -- yep, "religious" organizations. Where that repeal is being challenged in federal court on the basis of Constitutional Equal Protection guarantees. (Which should have happened in Maine, and should also happen in New Hampshire if repeal goes through.)

Oh, and in case no one pointed it out -- another fail on the part of the reporter -- Cornerstone Policy Research Center is spearheading the repeal effort in New Hampshire. Jeremy Hooper has some interesting information on its connections. That should have been noted in the article.

So do you think we can describe Scott Moody as a tool of the Christianist anti-gay right? Thought so.

And the promised antidote: read this letter from an adopted boy to his two dads. You're going to get all sniffly.

And if that doesn't clue you into how hollow and hateful Scott Moody's "arguments" are, nothing will.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Favorite Protest Note

Anime News Network yesterday had a small black diagonal bar across the search key that said "censored."

Factoid du Jour

I forget exactly where I ran across this one, but it's sort of staggering: Classical Indian music has a written tradition of about 4,000 years.

Think about that.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Going dark for the day proved to be beyond my capabilities, even though the Webmaven at Sleeping Hedgehog kindly provided a widget -- which Blogger will not accept -- and a link to further instructions, which I didn't understand. (It's like they always start at step 3, you know?) So, this is my protest of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) two bills which will allow the government censor the Internet. Find out more at americancensorship.org or the video below.

And write your Congressional delegation -- all of them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ammunition (Update, Update II)

For the next time you encounter someone who "knows" that married biological parents are the "best" for children.

But research on families headed by gays and lesbians doesn't back up these dire assertions. In fact, in some ways, gay parents may bring talents to the table that straight parents don't.

Gay parents "tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents," said Abbie Goldberg, a psychologist at Clark University in Massachusetts who researches gay and lesbian parenting. Gays and lesbians rarely become parents by accident, compared with an almost 50 percent accidental pregnancy rate among heterosexuals, Goldberg said. "That translates to greater commitment on average and more involvement."


This is what we're fighting against:

Additionally, by defining marriage both in terms of the relationship between a man and a woman and its important role of guaranteeing the succession of generations, the state is recognizing the irreplaceable contribution that married couples make to society. Married couples who bring children into the world make particular sacrifices and take on unique risks and obligations for the good of society.

And all you adoptive parents, gay and straight, who are taking kids that no one else wants, fuck you -- you're worthless.

Timothy Kincaid has some rather pointed comments on this as well. He particularly notes the arrogance of the Catholic hierarchy, which we've seen more than a few examples of lately. (Even in my home town.)

The thing is, these authoritarian thinkers get so used to being in control that they just don't get it when they're not. And so they say really stupid things and are just amazed when there's blowback.

This is not counting professional whiners like Peter LaBarbera and the rest of the "will gay-bash for cash" crowd, whose statements are naked attempts at manipulation and are more cynical than clueless.

Update II: The SPLC Strikes Back:

Today at noon, a group of the nastiest gay-bashers in America plans to hold a press conference in front of the Montgomery, Ala., offices of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which publishes this blog. Claiming that the SPLC is engaged in a “campaign to demonize adherents of traditional Judeo-Christian morality,” the white organizers of the press conference are bringing along a set of black pastors in a presumed bid to embarrass the SPLC, a 40-year-old anti-racist civil rights organization.

The irony is that SPLC has named five of the participating organizations as hate groups precisely because they demonize LGBT people, using a series of well-worn lies to paint gays and lesbians as perverts, pedophiles and worse. Despite the claims of the groups, the SPLC is not attacking anyone’s morality. Instead, our hate group listings reflect the fact that they regularly propagate known falsehoods.

UK scientists find 'lost' Darwin fossils

No, it's not Darwin's bones, it's fossils he and his friends discovered.

Dr. Howard Falcon-Lang, a paleontologist at Royal Holloway, University of London, said Tuesday that he stumbled upon the glass slides containing the fossils in an old wooden cabinet that had been shoved in a "gloomy corner" of the massive, drafty British Geological Survey.

Using a flashlight to peer into the drawers and hold up a slide, Falcon-Lang saw one of the first specimens he had picked up was labeled 'C. Darwin Esq."

You never can tell what's in those dusty corners.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

You Have to Wonder

just how unique human beings are:

After watching a snowboarding crow, I have to think maybe not so much.

Ah, Yes -- A Free and Independent Press

Don't get your hopes up.

I've railed against the corporate press before, but things seem to be coming to a head lately.

The first salvo was this article by the Times' public editor, Arthur Brisbane:

I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.

"WTF?" you say, "Isn't that what journalists do?" Apparently not, at least not any more. Well, the blowback was tremendous, starting with the comments to the article itself. This one is representative:

You are joking, right? You can't be this stupid. The New York Times and journalism as a profession can't have sunk this low that you'd dare to ask such a question. Is this The Onion or the paper of record? Holy Cow! Can't want til Jon Stewart vivisects you on Monday.

And another, with a bit of history:

This is a question? It's part of a reporters job to fact check. Journalism 101! And when did reporting become simply, "Parroting back whatever officials say"? I like the fact-check sidebar next to candidates' statements because you can't force the candidate to tell the truth and you have to print their exact words. A fact-check bar lets you do your job: objectively report. In all other articles (aside from those on the editorial page) journalists should be required to report both what people say, and to compare what people say to existing records of fact. Otherwise, why not just print press releases and official statements.... owait. You often do. :-/

"... how can The Times do this in a way that is objective and fair? Is it possible to be objective and fair when the reporter is choosing to correct one fact over another?"

What kind of question is this? It sounds like you wouldn't want people to be biased by... the truth. A journalist who only corrects half the facts in an article is still promoting lies. In short, s/he's not doing a good job of fact checking. You're the New York Times, for goodness sake. One would think that you could hire reporters who can be relied upon to do a professional job. It's not a matter of "correcting one fact over another." All facts should be checked, period. If journalists had done their homework properly, for example, nobody would have bought the bogus story of WMDs in Iraq, and it would have saved us a war.

The shit-storm over this is amazing -- just google "truth vigilante" and take a look at the reactions -- especially from the blogosphere.

Paul Krugman weighs in on the issue, rather adroitly (and ironically enough, in the pages of the Times):

I was deeply radicalized by the 2000 election. At first I couldn’t believe that then-candidate George W. Bush was saying so many clearly, provably false things; then I couldn’t believe that nobody in the news media was willing to point out the lies. (At the time, the Times actually told me that I couldn’t use the l-word either). That was when I formulated my “views differ on shape of planet” motto.

Now, however, Mitt Romney seems determined to rehabilitate Bush’s reputation, by running a campaign so dishonest that it makes Bush look like a model of truth-telling.

I mean, is there anything at all in Romney’s stump speech that’s true? It’s all based on attacking Obama for apologizing for America, which he didn’t, on making deep cuts in defense, which he also didn’t, and on being a radical redistributionist who wants equality of outcomes, which he isn’t. When the issue turns to jobs, Romney makes false assertions both about Obama’s record and about his own. I can’t find a single true assertion anywhere.

It's rather sad that you have to go to the opinion pages to find someone who's willing to question a politician's bullshit.

(Full disclosure: I work for an alt weekly that has regularly won awards for investigative journalism. We have interns to cut their teeth on the journalism business by fact-checking -- everything we publish. We regularly commit journalism, and the mayor's office doesn't like us very much. And no, before you ask, I do not write for them.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Oh Frabjous Day! Calloo, callay!

Social Conservatives Officially Unite on Rick Santorum As Romney Alternative

Oh, please, please, please!

Thus ends the Republican party as we know it.

Someone's Been Turning Over Rocks

And here's some of what they've found:

First, from Lambda Legal, Shit Homophobic People Say:

I'm not sure of the value of this as an anti-anti-gay message, if only because half the people who see it are going to either believe what these mendacious assholes are saying or be scratching their heads wondering "What's the point?" (Ann Coulter talking about those who were "born gay" versus those who are "angry at their fathers" is just too rich. Of course, from someone who will say whatever she's paid to say. . . .)

And we can always count on Tennessee these days to come up with something completely off the wall. Autumn Sandeen also has some comments on this one.

And first runner-up goes to Oklahoma.

The Conservative government of Stephen Harper in our neighbor to the north has been flipping and flopping like crazy over this one:

A document filed in Canadian court by the federal government seems to argue that the governemt’s position is that out-of-nation same-sex marriages are invalid. The Globe and Mail identified documents filed in the divorce case of a lesbian couple who resided in Florida and England, neither of which recognize same-sex marriages.

Apparently the lawyer caught the Prime Minister by surprise on this one. And now it appears that cooler heads have prevailed. (Why does this remind me of the Obama administration's first brief in defense of DOMA?)

Oh, and remember Donald Trump?

And this has got to be the definitive example of clueless. From One Million Moms:

"[U]nfortunately the popularity and ratings have kept it on the air." That should be telling them something about how mainstream their agenda is.

And I'm still scratching my head over this one.

And you can always count on Fox -- in this case, Fox News' user-generated spin-off, Fox Nation. Jeremy Hooper has some background on this:

Zack Ford lays out the reality very clearly.

And just to demonstrate how far out of it these loons are, there's this choice item from Crooks and Liars:

Here's more from our friends at News Hounds -- Today In Monica Crowley Conspiracy Theories: Occupy Wall Street An Obama Re-Election Technique To Attack Romney:
Leave it to Monica Crowley to find a way to find some hidden evil in the scrutiny of Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital. The same Monica Crowley who thought CBS’ Bob Schieffer gave secretly coded campaign suggestions to David Axelrod, who saw attacks on Rush Limbaugh as a stealth way to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine and – my personal favorite – blamed the Obama administration for her decision not to eat a cheeseburger – that Monica Crowley has a new conspiracy theory, that the Occupy Wall Street movement was set up in advance to help President Obama attack Mitt Romney, his likely opponent.

Eventually one hopes the rocks will be put back in place and these creatures will go back where they belong -- the dark and damp.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Another Campaign, Another Pledge

The Republicans are real big on pledges, it seems. This one actually happened last October, but now it's suddenly in the news, and it's a real hoot:

Last October, Morality In Media (MIM), the “leading national organization opposing pornography and indecency through public education and the application of the law,” launched an effort to get presidential candidates in both major parties to commit to strict enforcement of obscenity laws. In both face-to-face meetings and written statements, three candidates made this pledge: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum.

Why am I not surprised? Romney, of course, will sign anything, as will Gingrich, and Santorum lives to interfere in other people's private lives. They all made statements, but Newt's is my favorite:

When MIM’s Executive Director Dawn Hawkins asked former Speaker Gingrich if he will enforce existing laws that make distribution of hard-core adult pornography illegal, he responded: “Yes, I will appoint an Attorney General who will enforce these laws.”

If he's not too busy arresting activist judges.

I have a novel suggestion -- let's try treating adults as adults. Just to see what happens.

And a word to the candidates: If you're trying to appeal to your base, you may have just blown it:

Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, the study finds. . . .

Church-goers bought less online porn on Sundays – a 1% increase in a postal code's religious attendance was associated with a 0.1% drop in subscriptions that day. However, expenditures on other days of the week brought them in line with the rest of the country, Edelman finds.

Residents of 27 states that passed laws banning gay marriages boasted 11% more porn subscribers than states that don't explicitly restrict gay marriage.

To get a better handle on other associations between social attitudes and pornography consumption, Edelman melded his data with a previous study on public attitudes toward religion.

States where a majority of residents agreed with the statement "I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage," bought 3.6 more subscriptions per thousand people than states where a majority disagreed. A similar difference emerged for the statement "AIDS might be God's punishment for immoral sexual behaviour."

I don't think I need to add anything to that.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sweet (Updated)

Interesting music video from Bye June, via Towleroad:

Seems appropriate, with marriage bills being introduced in New Jersey and Washington State.

Also from Towleroad, here's a news conference from New Jersey:

And here's Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire's statement on her support for marriage equality.

Something tells me that Illinois, being the average state, will be the 25th to legalize same-sex marriage.

Update: I take it back -- it looks like things are already beginning to move. From Windy City Times:

A group of Illinois legislators has started meeting with local LGBT groups to strategize on making marriage equality a reality in Illinois.

State representatives Greg Harris, Deb Mell, Ann Williams, Kelly Cassidy, Sara Feigenholtz and Senator Heather Steans are in talks with Illinois organizations about introducing a bill that would allow same-sex partners to marry in Illinois.

It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be done. It's just a matter of how soon.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Out of Touch?

The tail end to a story about the questions the Republican candidates are being asked in New Hampshire, which notes that Iowa and New Hampshire may not reflect the mood of the rest of the country, being largely rural and overwhelmingly white, but this one is -- well, I think it may not be only the voters in New Hampshire are out of touch:

For the record, Romney said he owns only three houses.


Sunday, January 08, 2012

The Week in Santorum

Rick Santorum is the gift that keeps on giving. Here's a recap of some of his more stellar moments on the campaign trail.

On Social Security, he's hewing to the 1% line, complete with scary deficit mantra.

Clearly aware of the risks, Santorum argued that everyone must sacrifice now because the nation's "house is on fire" with soaring federal debt. He argued that he is being courageous and honest by telling Americans they can't afford to wait to rein in Social Security's growing costs. And he said he anticipated possible attack ads on his position.

Has anyone pointed out to him that Social Security does not contribute to the deficit? And that Social Security is completely solvent for at least the next 25 years?

And Mr. Discrimination is out in full voice. From Timothy Kincaid:

Santorum answered that he doesn’t believe marriage or serving in the military are inalienable rights, but “privileges,” adding, “It’s not discrimination not to grant privileges.”

Strangely enough, the Supreme Court has found, in eighteen decisions going back over 120 years, that marriage is, in fact, a fundamental right. And when I was growing up, military service was one of one's duties as a citizen. It would take someone like Santorum to declare that going to a foreign country and killing strangers is a "privilege."

Charles Johnson also has a whack at Santorum's whacko rhetoric. From the news story quoted by Wilson:

For the second time in as many days, Rick Santorum on Friday drew attention away from his efforts to craft a blue-collar economic message by wading into the issue of gay marriage. He suggested it was so important for children to have a father and mother that an imprisoned father was preferable to a same-sex parent.

Citing the work of one anti-poverty expert, Santorum said, “he found that even fathers in jail who had abandoned their kids, were still better than no father at all to have in their childrens’ lives.”

By Santorum's logic, two fathers should be best of all.

Timothy Kincaid nailed it:

Allowing gays to marry and raise children, Santorum said, amounts to “robbing children of something they need, they deserve, they have a right to. You may rationalize that that isn’t true, but in your own life and in your own heart, you know it’s true.”

Oddly, my heart doesn’t tell me that depriving children of same sex parents the legal and social protections they need will somehow cause imprisoned heterosexuals to be involved in the lives of their children.

He's meeting some resistance in New Hampshire, where Republicans are more traditional -- in the traditional sense.

He really came a cropper on health-care:

The woman asked the question in response to remarks Santorum made in Merrimeck, New Hampshire, where he defended insurers for denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and argued that individuals who are sick should pay higher premiums. “I’m okay with that,” Santorum said.

At today’s event, Santorum claimed that the pre-existing conditions clause in the Affordable Care Act — which will prevent insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or charging them more for coverage — would increase health care costs because people would wait until they’re sick to purchase coverage and refuse to heed the mandate.

The man obviously has no idea what risk-pooling is about.

Probably his most widely noted gaffe -- which, if nothing else, indicates that he might have at least a rudimentary ability to self edit (if you believe his version of the story) -- is his creation of a whole new class of Americans: the Blah People. Here's the video:

And here's the duck-and-run:

We report -- you decide.

And on the bare beginnings of economic recovery, I can't do better than this:

David Badash has a nice summary at The New Civil Rights Movement in this post about Santorum on the Occupy movement.

“This dividing of America, this ’99/1.’ You know it’s not 99/1. It’s anybody who makes money and pays taxes and everybody who doesn’t. That’s the 99/1. It’s anybody that goes out and succeeds in America, and those who should have that wealth redistributed. That’s the argument of this president. It’s about divide. It’s always about divide. And that’s why Americans are feeling frustrated, because we have a president who doesn’t understand us. Who doesn’t understand most Americans, most Americans are not envious of neighbors who have more money. They aspire to be successful like they are someday.”

As a footnote, here's an article from 2003 by Jeffrey St. Clair that gives you a good take on Santorum-then. Nothing seems to have changed much.

And just to give you a good idea of the former Senator's moral foundation, check this out:

“Sen. Santorum’s ethics issues stem from the manner in which he funded his children’s education and his misuse of legislative position in exchange for contributions to his political action committee and his re-election campaign,” CREW notes, on page 207 of their exhaustive report (PDF), which delves into deep detail across eleven extensively-footnoted pages.

In February of 2006, CREW had filed an ethics complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee against Senator Santorum, “alleging that Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) violated the Senate Gift Rule by accepting a mortgage from The Philadelphia Trust Company, a bank that serves affluent clients.”

I'm not making this up.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

It's Only Fair

That I note that Chicago's archbishop, Cardinal Francis George, has apologized for likening the "gay liberation movement" to the KKK. Here it is, from the archdiocese's website:

During a recent TV interview, speaking about this year's Gay Pride Parade, I used an analogy that is inflammatory.

I am personally distressed that what I said has been taken to mean that I believe all gays and lesbians are like members of the Klan. I do not believe that; it is obviously not true. Many people have friends and family members who are gay or lesbian, as have I. We love them; they are part of our lives, part of who we are. I am deeply sorry for the hurt that my remarks have brought to the hearts of gays and lesbians and their families.

I can only say that my remarks were motivated by fear for the Church's liberty. This is a larger topic that cannot be explored in this expression of personal sorrow and sympathy for those who were wounded by what I said.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI

It's nice to see an apology from a public figure that actually is an apology.

This is great

Thanks to Digby.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Giggle du Jour

I mean, how clueless do you have to be?

(I'm being very kind here, and not mentioning the cynical manipulation that is probably behind this tweet.)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Reading the Subtext

Interesting post by Steve Benen on Obama's recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

President Obama raised quite a few eyebrows this morning when the White House announced a recess appointment for Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It was an unusual display — congressional Republicans abused the rules and told the president to just accept it, and Obama effectively responded, “No.”

And more to come, according to Benen.

This is key:

The larger context is hard to miss: President Obama is starting 2012 on a surprisingly aggressive foot. Republicans are accustomed to using obstructionism to simply tell the president how it’s going to be, and Obama, for quite a while, has tried to be accommodating, cooperative, and bipartisan.

But as this election year gets underway, it appears the president is turning over a new leaf. Indeed, I hardly recognize this combative, confrontational Obama, who seems comfortable antagonizing Republicans when they deserve it.

Look, it's an election year, Obama's approval rating isn't all the great for an incumbent, and there's a lot of disappointment on the left. And can I mention the Occupy movement? The "you haven't performed, so we're taking it out of your hands" movement? I guess even Obama got the message.

Frankly, I'm for it. The more he can bend the Republicans out of shape, the better. Just make sure everyone knows who's doing what.

Marriage in Washington

Washington State, that is, and it's looking like a good possibility for this year. Governor Christine Gregoire will introduce the enabling legislation in the upcoming legislative term:

Standing before supporters of marriage equality, Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced she will introduce historic legislation that if passed, would allow same-sex marriages in Washington state.

“It’s time, it’s the right thing to do, and I will introduce a bill to do it,” Gregoire said. “I say that as a wife, a mother, a student of the law, and above all as a Washingtonian with a lifelong commitment to equality and freedom. Some say domestic partnerships are the same as marriage. That’s a version of the discriminatory ‘separate but equal’ argument.”

Anyone know what's happening in Maryland?

Quote du Jour

From Dr. Science at Obsidian Wings:

[T]radition doesn't need to have meaning to be traditional, all it needs is repetition.

Take that, Maggie!

(The link is to a "tab dump" post with some interesting tidbits.)

Headline du Jour

Courtesy of Tim F. at Balloon Juice:

Mitt Romney, Ron Paul face awkward moment after unexpected emergence of Santorum

Go read his post -- and the comments, some of which are priceless.

Eight Votes (Updated)

That's the "commanding lead" that Romney had over Santorum in the Iowa caucuses. From NYT:

The Iowa caucuses did not deliver a clean answer to what type of candidate Republicans intend to rally behind to try to defeat President Obama and win back the White House. With 99 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Santorum and Mr. Romney, whose views represent the polar sides of the party, each had 24.6 percent.

And the runners-up are Santorum and Paul. Tell you anything about the Republican party?

Santorum believes in big government, especially in your bedroom.* Ron Paul believes in the same thing at the state level. (I have yet to encounter a "libertarian" who can explain to me why it's OK for state governments to pass discriminatory laws but not OK for the federal government to defend those discriminated against. I keep getting mumbles about the 9th and 10th Amendments -- it's like they never read the first eight.)

Of course, there's no telling what Romney believes, not that it should matter -- I really don't want anyone governing on the basis of what they believe.

The rest of the primary season should be a hoot.


* Santorum seems to lack any ability to self-edit, and his thinking is so deranged that he can't put together an intelligible sentence. Look at his stance on welfare:

At a campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa on Sunday, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum singled out blacks as being recipients of assistance through federal benefit programs, telling a mostly-white audience he doesn’t want to “make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.” [...]

His rationalization for the comment is even better:

Yesterday I talked for example about a movie called, um, what was it? ‘Waiting for Superman,’ which was about black children and so I don’t know whether it was in response and I was talking about that,” he said. The movie actually portrays students of several races.

And the statistics are even more telling:

White 38.8%
Black 37.2
Hispanic 17.8
Asian 2.8
Other 3.4

Racist, much?

And there's enough out there about Paul's attitudes that I don't think I need to go into it.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Today's Must Read

For those who are still worried about the deficit, this column by Paul Krugman is worth reading.

People who get their economic analysis from the likes of the Heritage Foundation have been waiting ever since President Obama took office for budget deficits to send interest rates soaring. Any day now!

And while they’ve been waiting, those rates have dropped to historical lows. You might think that this would make politicians question their choice of experts — that is, you might think that if you didn’t know anything about our postmodern, fact-free politics.

Krugman, of course, has committed the unpardonable sin in Washington circles of being right about the housing bubble, the collapse, the recession, and everything in between.

This caught my attention because of this review at Epinions of Jerome Corsi's latest bit of fact-free propaganda. The reviewer does good job of laying out Corsi's thesis and his argument, but doesn't subject it to a great deal of critical analysis, which with someone like Corsi you have to do -- you have to look not only at what he says, but think about what he's left out. One of Corsi's points is that America is bankrupt. Read Krugman's article to get the answer to that one.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Well, It's 2012

I know because my computer has a little time/date thingy down in the corner, and it says "1/1/2012." It's not really all that different from yesterday -- unfortunately. (Yes, I've been reading the news and the blogs this morning. Sigh.)

Someone mentioned New Year's resolutions on a blog post yesterday. I gave up on those years ago -- just one more set of expectations that I'm not going to fulfill. Come to think of it, I stopped living up to anyone else's expectations awhile ago, too. It turns out life is a lot more palatable that way.

So here I am at the coffee shop, ready to work, and not a thought in my head. But the sun came out for a bit, at least. (It was raining this morning. Rain. On January 1. In Chicago.)

I think I have to ask them to turn down the volume on the music a bit. The music's OK, but it's loud enough to be a distraction, and I need to focus. Still working on the damned Welsh book. There are some pretty sketchy essays in there.

So that's my New Year so far. How's yours?

And here's something I haven't done in a while:

And a Happy New Year to You! (Updated)

I was going to title this post "Lo! How the Mighty have fallen!" in honor of Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago, who has not only put his foot in it knee-deep with regard to the annual Pride parade, but decided that stupidity was the better part of valor by doubling down on it. Now he has the Tribune on his case.

Read the whole thing -- it's delicious. I especially like this bit:

Responding to the blowback, a diocesan spokeswoman said the remarks were taken out of context and suggested people listen to the entire interview. We did. They aren't.

And do understand that this is the Chicago Tribune, not renowned for being one of the most liberal papers in the country.

It must be really upsetting to realize that people will criticize you for being a vicious bigot. Sorry about that, Cardinal George.


Here's a good post from Scott Wooledge that gives an excellent summary of the whole controversy (mostly generated by Francis George), and some well-earned criticism of the Archbishop.