Both the Obama and Romney campaigns today released Father's Day videos, Michelle Obama narrating the former, and Romney's sons Ben, Tagg, Matt, Josh, and Craig doing their best to humanize Mitt in the latter.
Watch them both, AFTER THE JUMP...
Rodney King, dead at 47:
The police in Rialto, Calif., said they received a 911 call at 5:25 a.m. Sunday from Mr. King’s fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, who reported finding him at the bottom of his swimming pool. Mr. King, 47, had been living in Rialto, a small middle-class city, for several years.
Police arrived and removed Mr. King’s body from the pool and tried to resuscitate him. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m.
On the "gift" of being a gay dad:
When I finally accepted in my 20s that I was gay and that in order to live a life true to myself I had to come out, I knew there were “risks.” When my mother let loose a stream of consciousness list of fears that the world would visit on me for being openly gay – including never finding happiness, or being bashed coming out of a bar with my lover – the one she settled on was “…and you always wanted to be a father.”
It was the thing that broke my heart: the feeling that by coming out, I was giving up the one thing I had always wanted since I was a kid – more than any profession or any pursuit – being a dad.
LZ Granderson breaks down the "super duper evil gay lifestyle" at TEDx.
Ahmadinejad to voluntarily leave politics in 2013 ...
... though Nicholas D. Kristof doesn't think he'll have a choice.
Greek exit polls show pro-stability, pro-bailout parties eeking a narrow lead.
Sandusky should just plead guilty:
Sandusky’s only real hope at trial was that Mike McQueary, the former Penn State quarterback who allegedly saw Sandusky raping a boy in a shower on campus in 2001, would stumble on the stand. He didn’t ...
... If any good can come out of this spectacle of a trial, it will be our increased awareness about why sexually abused children rarely come forward, and how adults, even well meaning ones, can fail them so terribly. But what matters right now is for Jerry Sandusky to admit to the wrongs the evidence unalterably shows he committed. He owes his victims much more. But this, at least, he could give them.
Joy McNair, daughter of astronaut and Challenger-disaster casualty Ronald McNair, discusses honor and remembrance.
Curiosity, NASA's new Mars-bound rover, will land in August and embark on an awesome off-road journey:
The summer landing will be the start of a Martian ... trip that will take months or possibly a year as Curiosity makes its way toward its final destination, the Gale Crater, said Curiosity contributor James Wray, an assistant professor of Earth and Atmospheric Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
... [a] new landing destination has been pinpointed with accuracy previously impossible and will shave several months off Curiosity's drive to Gale Crater. Strategically, the new landing site makes sense. But, "the public and scientists will have to be more patient to get the really juicy stuff," Wray said.
The 'juicy stuff' that Curiosity seeks to uncover is evidence of the ability for life as we know it - past or future - on the Martian surface.
Gale Crater was created more than 3 billion years ago when Mars was struck by a meteorite and now houses three miles of sediment, providing the perfect location for such an investigation. Wray said examining Gale Crater will be similar to going through Earth's history by examining the layers of the Grand Canyon and learning, by the thickness and make up of the rocks, if they were once carved by oceans, lakes or air.
"We'll start down at the base, and we'll just climb up as high as we can during the mission and move forward in time in Martian history and see how the environment changed," Wray said.
Club where Chris Brown and Drake got into scuffle is closed indefinitely.
Earnestine Shepherd, 75-year-old body-building grandma. She's fabulous.
It would take a long, long essay to untangle all the inaccuracies in Sarah Palin's headlining address at the Right Online conference this weekend. (The most glaring, to this viewer, has to do with Barack Obama's energy policies, which have resulted in unprecedented energy independence for the United States -- but never mind.) Suffice it to say: This is a woman who, despite having once majored in journalism, was incapable of naming an American newspaper less than five years ago, and who is now speaking authoritatively to a roomful of adulateurs about the future of media.
What's heartbreaking about Palin's address is the way she bluntly discounts the Americanness of those who disagree with her, and especially those who've actually taken to the street to protest voice those disagreements -- say, when she visited Wisconsin to support embattled governor Scott Walker. Dissenters aren't people to be engaged: they're savage, sex-and-violence crazed thugs who must be combatted and expelled from the American conversation. It's internet-troll logic, improbably elevated into the highest heights of American political discourse.
And then there's this moment of pure class, during which Palin excoriates the American media for failing to "vet" Barack Obama in 2008:
Why did they at least not read his autobiography? They’d have a learned a whole lot. They’d have learned a whole lot, and not just about that pot smoking and that cocaine snorting and what he ate -- Fido, Rufus. I think it is funny that the cocktail circuit circus gives me a hard time for eating elk and moose, but come on. There’s a difference. Anybody here have a pet moose? There’s a difference.
... except it's not the "cocktail party" circuit, and it's certainly not President Obama. It's the tabloids. And by having a go at Fido and coke, she's joined their cause.
Watch Palin's speech AFTER THE JUMP ...
In May, JCPenney launched its Fathers' Day advertising campaign, part of which was based around ads featuring the above image of a gay couple and their button-cute kids. The anti-gay right freaked out, as its wont to do, and JCPenney didn't flinch. The freakage, the retail giant's coolness in the face of freakage, and the publicity generated thereby probably added up to a lot of free advertising. Good deal!
Turns out, the gay couple is a real gay couple -- Cooper Smith and Todd Koch -- and those kids are really their kids. They all live near Dallas.
While we had no hesitation in doing the ad itself, we initially girded ourselves for a negative backlash against our family personally. To our surprise, the response has been overwhelmingly positive -- shockingly positive, in fact! We've received hundreds of emails, Facebook posts, Twitter comments, and cards in the mail from everyone from long-lost friends and classmates to complete strangers in remote parts of the United States and beyond, each filled with heartfelt sentiments of support and acceptance. We've even heard from celebrities and other public figures. Sure, there have been some pretty hateful comments and notes, too, but they're nothing we haven't heard our whole lives ...
Some of the best sentiments come from straight mothers and fathers who don't understand what all the fuss is about, accompanied with vows to drop by JCPenney just to spite anti-gay groups like One Million Moms ...
Smith is from the Rio Grande Valley, and for Fathers' Day chatted with the Valley's Monitor about life, business, and growing up gay in the area:
I wasn’t out to myself or anyone else when I still lived in the Valley. People made assumptions that I was, and fortunately it wasn’t too bad. I was fairly popular in school, had good grades and held numerous leadership positions in band, student council and other groups. It was actually harder being very tall, very thin and very white! When I was teased about being gay, though, it was very painful. One time in ninth-grade biology, all of the kids passed around a picture of me and wrote horrible things about me on it. Then at the end of class, someone handed it to me. I was devastated. I left school and just cried in my car in the parking lot. I didn’t come out to myself until my sophomore year at Southern Methodist University. Over the following years, I slowly came out to family and friends as the situation warranted. Most were completely unsurprised and nearly all have been very supportive.
The absurdity began Wednesday, when Democratic Rep. Lisa Brown assumed the dais to protest Michigan's new anti-abortion law. She said her piece, and concluded her address with:
I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours? And finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.
What she said was offensive. It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.
Callton and his fellow legislators promptly and indefinitely banned Rep. Brown from speaking in the Capitol, along with Democratic Rep. Barb Byrum, who is also reputed to possess a vagina.
Now, Brown, Byrum, seven other legislators, assorted Michiganer actresses, and author Eve Ensler have announced their plan to vaginize the Capitol with a performance of Ensler's The Vagina Monologues on the Capitol steps. The performance shall be held Monday, from 6 - 8 p.m. The event has been dubbed "Vaginas Take Back The Capitol," and it has its own Facebook page.
Buzzfeed's Nat Stopera must be really, really into Neil Patrick Harris and/or David Burtka. For Father's Day, Stopera has compiled a roughly chronological photo- and tweeto-graphic celebration of Harris's and Burtka's relationship, and of the couple's ongoing adventures in parenthood. Wow! It's pretty exhaustive! And thoroughly adorable. Harris, Burtka, and kids plainly have a lot of fun together. See how much here.
(Incidentally, Harris and Burtka appeared on OWN two weeks ago to talk about their family life. Watch that here.)