That's it! CNN just announced that Romney's taken Nevada:
With 10% of the results in, Romney had about 48% of the vote while Rep. Ron Paul and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were in a tight race for second with 21% and 20% of the vote, respectively. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who had largely bypassed the state, had 11% of the vote. Those numbers were gathered from vote counters at caucus sites across the state.
With a win in Nevada, Romney will be the first GOP candidate in this cycle to score back-to-back wins. The former Massachusetts governor appeared to win in the Iowa caucuses but the contest was later awarded to Santorum when the vote was certified. Romney scored a big win in New Hampshire but was then stunned in South Carolina by Gingrich. Romney scored a 14-point victory over Gingrich and the rest of the field in Tuesday's Florida primary and entered Saturday's contest with a sizable lead in polls.
No surprises here. Momentum or no, Nevada's pretty Mornon.
The big news from tonight's primary, if any news from tonight's primary can be ascribed qualities of bigness, is how utterly defeated looked the massively homophobic Rick Santorum as he delivered his concession speech. He took off and signed his tie right at the beginning of his address -- it's to be auctioned off later by some improbable groupie -- and rambled on, looking sad and rumpled, for a good fifteen minutes about imperiled American freedoms and imperiled American values and the cruel vagaries of money politics before Wolf Blitzer cut him off.
Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul have yet to speak. (Gingrich says he's foregoing the usual concession speech and intends to do an honest-to-goodness press conference.) If anybody says anything interesting, I'll post the speeches tomorrow.
Lately, the New York Times has been publishing incredible long-form journalism lately. This week, they published the most beautiful, heart-broken war reporting I've seen in years; "The Hard Way Out of Afghanistan":
“People ask me all the time, ‘Can the Afghan National Security Forces hold what we’ve got and maintain security?’ ” General Toolan told me. “I say, absolutely: they’re better-trained, better-equipped and better-liked than the insurgency. They can do it. However, what is important is their will. Their will is a function of their leadership. And their leadership is oftentimes susceptible to corruption.” This perhaps would be the greatest tragedy of all: if the gains earned in Helmand by the coalition since 2006 were lost because of a lack of will. For what would the British and Americans have sacrificed so much? To what end would we be able to say 821 of them gave their lives?
Before I left Sangin, I attended a memorial service for two marines who were killed a week earlier by an I.E.D. The centerpiece of any memorial for a marine is the formal construction of his battle cross. The rifle stuck bayonet down, the helmet set atop the butt stock, the dog tags draped on the pistol grip, the boots placed on the ground. The end result is a movingly personlike assemblage of the dead man’s essential gear. What holds it all together is the rifle. Clearly, the rifle is meant to symbolize a kind of linchpin — the singularly vital thing. Yet somehow, it is the boots, their laces neatly looped and tied, that are most affecting. It is the boots, not the rifle, that most evoke an absence.
What are dying people's top five regrets?
Journalistic ethics: Should gay cruises be called gay cruises?
Miley Cyrus supports marriage equality, suffers Christian backlash:
... Cyrus reveals the threats and hate mail she received in 2010 after she tweeted a photo of a tattoo on her finger, which with the message "all love is equal" demonstrated her support for same-sex marriage. Cyrus writes that she was mocked by some fans, adding "They said, 'What happened to you? You used to be a Christian girl!' And I said, 'Well, if you were a true Christian, you would have your facts straight. Christianity is about love.'"
Is this conservative Christian's discussion of moral relativism a straw-man argument, or is there something to it?
The Advocate on "The Wit, Wisdom, and Rage of of Gran Fury."
Love finds a way! Incarcerated Swedish cannibal finds love with incarcerated Swedish vampire:
He killed mother-of-five Helle Christensen - his girlfriend at the time - by cutting her head off, eating parts of her body and then boasting about it on the Internet.
She stabbed a single father to death and then drank his blood - posing in a picture online, before her arrest, with blood dripping from her lips, holding a power saw and a knife.
... the diabolical duo live in hope. Gustafsson posted on the Internet this week: 'We want to live together at some point, have dogs and pursue our hobbies: piercing and tattoos. '
Her cannibal fiance added: 'I love Michelle. Have never met anyone like her. I want to live a non-criminal life.'
Georgia judge decides that Obama is a natural born citizen and can therefore be President of The United States. Obama's lawyer never bothered to show at the hearing. Some people are really upset:
Obama’s action, he said, “amounts to no less than a declaration of total dictatorial authority. Such declaration cannot go without response from this court. Failure to respond to the defendant’s contumacious conduct would amount to an admission that this court and the judicial branch as a whole do not have the authority granted to them under articles III and IV of the Constitution.”
The controversy over Obama’s eligibility dates to before his election in 2008. Some contend he was not born in Hawaii and that the birth documentation the White House released in April is a forgery.
Others say it doesn’t matter where he was born, as his father never was a U.S. citizen.
The Constitution requires presidents to be “natural-born citizens,” and experts say that the Founders regarded it as the offspring of two U.S. citizens.
... Top constitutional expert Herb Titus contends that a “natural-born citizen” is born of parents who were U.S. citizens at the time of the birth. The argument also is supported by a 19th-century U.S. Supreme Court decision, Minor vs. Happersett in 1875. The case includes one of very few references in the nation’s archives that addresses the definition of “natural-born citizen.”
That case states: “The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”
Stump for marriage equality with your license plate in South Carolina.
(HT to Jezebel.) Everyone's saying this is a rap battle between a 17-year-old named Blizzard and his teacher. That's probably not true, but I wish it was. Because if it was -- wow! What an education! The battle starts around 1:25. Check it out AFTER THE JUMP ...
On January 31st, Univision, the United States' largest Spanish-language TV network, aired a lengthy interview with an "ex-gay" therapist and one of his allegedly successful patients in Guadalajara, Mexico. I couldn't catch many details of the degayification methods under discussion -- my Spanish isn't so good -- but they seem to have involved talking, music, Jesus, and non-alcoholic beverages. At the end of the spot, the anchor asked the audience to weigh in: Does homosexuality result from nature or nurture?
Ricky Martin didn't like the segment so much, and neither did GLAAD. Immediately after the spot aired, Ricky tweeted “El heterosexual nace o se hace?” -- were you born straight or not? And last night, GLAAD took Univision to task for giving short shrift to the overwhelming evidence that degayification therapies are generally harmful and ineffective, not to mention unnecessary. From GLAAD's release:
The [Univision] segment essentially applauded a man who claimed he "successfully became straight," and interviewed at length a so-called expert therapist who was allowed to make false claims about success in changing sexual orientation. Although sparked by reports of hundreds of clinics in Ecuador that attempted to change their victims’ orientation, sometimes with torture tactics, the show neglected to appropriately include victims of “conversion therapies.” The segment also neglected to report that organizations like Exodus are often not licensed and have been discredited by major mainstream psychological associations.
The American Psychiatric Association states that “The potential risks of ‘reparative therapy’ are great, including depression, anxiety and self destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient” (from its position statement on Psychiatric Treatment and Sexual Orientation). The Ecuadorian government has discredited and declared illegal these so-called treatments, and has affirmed its commitment to investigate any centers that offer them.
Watch the original Univision broadcast AFTER THE JUMP ...
Some of you were alarmed last week to learn that Mitt Romney's father-in-law, Edward Davies, the Michigan politician and committed unbeliever in all religions, was Baptized into the communion of Latter Day Saints by Romney and family -- posthumously, and without his consent.
Well -- worry no more for the unabiding spirit of Mr. Davies, for he has now been un-Baptized. On television. By Bill Maher. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...
Two weeks ago, Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend blogged eloquently about the tendency of marriage equality opponents to enlist the support of black ministers to assure nervous Christians that, no, marriage equality isn't a civil rights issue. She referrred specifically to Dr. Patrick Wooden of the Upper Room Church in Raleigh, who was to join the execrable Peter LaBarbera (of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality) at a protest at the Southern Poverty Law Center. She referred to Dr. Wooden as a "a vigorous rent-a-reverend who never fails to get face time with the professional bigot brigade."
LaBarbera and Wooden read that, and hashed over it in an interview in which they discuss, in all seriousness, how much happier Pam will be once she discovers God, motherhood, and penises:
Dr. Wooden: Pam needs Jesus. And, and when Pam meets the Lord that yearning for a member of the same sex will change, and uh, you know what? She’d probably make a fantastic mother, and would enjoy having a husband who was born male -- no Chaz Bono business -- born male – and meet her man, and rock her world. In the name of the Lord!
Pete LaBarbera: She's uh, you know, you're right about the hatrd. You expect the hatred to come. This is a perversion movement, folks.
First, of course, Dr. Wooden made a great show of explaining how much he loved Pam and how much he'd like to take her to lunch. Because that's how one demonstrates love for strangers, isn't it? Tell them what to put in their vaginas, and then offer to demonstrate your groovy paternalism over sandwiches and Cokes?
On Tuesday, Andy reported NOM's displeasure at Starbucks' endorsement of marriage equality. More wingnuts have since voiced similar sentiments, and now they're calling for a boycott.
RightWingWatch recorded this cornball radio address from Family Research Council president Tony Perkins:
There's more than coffee brewing at Starbucks. There's controversy too. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Starbucks is stirring the pot all right, but with a liberal agenda that's got customers shaking their heads. In the fight over marriage in Washington State, the Seattle company is picking sides. Last week, the chain announced it'll join the attack on marriage and endorse homosexual unions. Spokesman Karen Holmes said, "This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices... It is core to who we are and what we value as a company." Well, it may be at the core of who Starbucks is, but it's not at the core of who America is. Voters overwhelmingly believe in man-woman marriage--and they've passed 30 straight amendments to prove it. If Starbucks thinks people like their radical agenda, I hate to spill the beans. But people can get their caffeine fix anywhere. So if Starbucks wants to focus on politics, then its profits are on dangerous grounds.
... There is an 80% Christian majority in the USA and 1-2% homosexuals.
“Christians are upset with Starbucks for turning against God, but we are glad to know that Starbucks doesn’t pretend to be for Christians,” said Pastor Steven Andrew, who is president of USA Christian Ministries. He calls every Christian and church to boycott Starbucks. Leviticus 18:22 says, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”
“This boycott is important because God blesses those who obey Him and judges those who don’t obey Him (2 Chronicles 19:2),” he adds.
Don’t expect to hear sermons with “grab your Starbucks” or to see Starbucks served at churches. “Starbucks is no longer fashionable. If your church still uses Starbucks, then your pastor is a friend of the world,” he adds. God calls those who oppose Him “haters of God” (Romans 1:30).
It is hoped that Christians will quickly share this boycott with their church.
A curious point: As HuffPo points out, Starbucks is joined in supporting marriage equality by Microsoft and Google. Why aren't Rev. Andrew and Tony Perkins calling for a boycott of those companies? Too inconvenient? You know, once upon a time, the True Believers could build arks and part seas and roam the desert with naught to eat but manna from heaven. If nowadays they can't even abide a few months without operating systems and search engines, I say they're not very serious about this whole "faith" thing at all.