Senior Romney advisor explains discrepancy over Romney's Bain retirement dates: He didn't leave 'til 2002, but he retired retroactively to 1999. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...
Rahm to Romney: Stop whining.
Obama's humblebrag, and the ill health of campaign discourse:
when Charlie Rose showed up at the White House asking the president what he thought his big mistake was, all that remained a mystery was how Obama would evade the question.
President Obama chose the humblebrag: "The mistake of my first term—couple of years—was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that's important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times."
... The president was essentially saying that he was working so hard trying to help the American people, he forgot to tell them about it.
This was the gayest Comic-Con ever:
“Queer fandom is absolutely galvanized by seeing more accurate representations of ourselves,” [says Justin Hall, author of the just-released “No Straight Lines,” a retrospective of LGBT comics.] “There’s a snowball effect.”
“It’s always been going on under the surface, but now there’s a real queer presence,” adds Love Ablan, a self-described pop culture nerd who’s bisexual. “Even among non-queer fans. My super-straight guy friend is totally into this comic about queer bears.”
Aretha Franklin would like to be the new J-Lo.
Actress Celeste Holm has died. She was 95.
Here's a very sad, very compelling story written about Ms. Holm last year, detailing the conflict between her children and young husband about the disbursement of her ravaged fortune:
To its various players, this story is about a young husband coveting his elderly wife’s fortune, or jealous sons guarding their inheritance or an independent-minded woman trying to maintain control of her finances even as her faculties decline. It is a cautionary tale for families trying to manage one of our age’s emblematic conflicts, between elderly parents who want to live autonomously and adult children who want to protect them, made more vivid by the presence of the Broadway and screen actress at its center. From all sides, it is a story of loss.
Father arrested in Iran for son's contributions to Imam-mocking Facebook page:
The Facebook page, dubbed the "Campaign to Remind Shias about Imam Naqi," features a robed man, presumably Naqi, with a face like Charles Manson's, flanked by a camel wearing sunglasses and the donkey from "Shrek." It also shows a picture of a Shiite tomb that has been pooped on by a flock of pigeons.
With more than 21,000 likes, the page explains, "Our goal is to use satire to take out the superstition from religion."
... On May 23, Khameneh got a call from his father, Abbas Khameneh, in Iran.
"He said, 'some people from the intelligence service had come (to our house), and they want you to cooperate,' " Khameneh recalled. "My father said, 'they want your passwords to your Facebook, web blog and e-mail ... '"
Madonna sued for comparing Marine Le Pen to Hitler.
Olympic shooter complains that gay couples get to cohabitate in Olympic village, while he and his wife do not.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heckled in Egypt with cries of "Monica! Monica!"
Posted Jul. 15,2012 at 4:57 PM EST by Brandon K. Thorp in 2012 Election, 2012 Olympics, American Idol, Aretha Franklin, Barack Obama, Comic Books, Deaths, Egypt, France, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Madonna, Mitt Romney, Rahm Emanuel, Relationships, Religion, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (43)
This link leads to a funny, poignant personal essay from Kevin Kloosterman, an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights who also happens to be an ex-Bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He came out as an ally to LGBTfolk two years ago, when he was still Bishopping. Life got weird, fast.
Kloosterman was not always an ally. He was turned into one by Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. Kloosterman describes his transformation like so:
I would watch the show and imagine what it would be like for them to be in a Mormon bishop’s home, which is probably considered the heart of enemy territory by some in the gay community since Proposition 8. There was something about the spirit of these men that seemed to break barriers of orientation, politics, and even religion. Perhaps like every other fan, I considered them to be more familiar than reality would dictate. Then something that Carson said in his cheeky manner struck me like a thunderbolt. He said, “We are very pro traditional marriage.” Those words echoed in my mind for months and months. It seemed to disrupt and challenge a deeply held belief that the traditional family was under attack by a so called “gay agenda.”
That belief was dismantled at that moment and I realized that these good men had no desire to hurt me, my marriage, or my family. On the contrary, if they were in my home, I could only see them supporting me, my traditional marriage, and my family.
(The contrapuntal statement to that one, it seems, would be that many conservative Mormons and other religious types really do believe that gayfolk want to hurt them, their marriages, and their families, which is a terribly sad thing to think about.)
Kloosterman is apparently not the sort of person who can recognize a grave moral wrong and do nothing about it. So he flew to Utah to share what he'd learned with his heterosexual co-religionists -- to tell them they'd misunderstood the gay community entirely. His message was not received with uniform friendliness:
When the story broke that a sitting bishop had flown from Illinois to Utah to call for straight members to do more to reach out to LGBT individuals in and out of the church, the two major newspapers in Utah saw the talk in radically different ways, which created controversy. The reaction continued to be mixed as the story moved to talk radio. Mormons of the more conservative variety called for me to be excommunicated. There was one extremist blog even wishing “apostates could be executed” juxtaposed with my name, my wife’s name, our home address and work address for all to see as well as calling for “blood atonement,” which is primitive Mormon talk for execution.
My coworkers advised me to file a police report and the blog was taken down soon thereafter. The trauma of that experience though has not been easy on my wife or our marriage.
... nor on Kloosterman's relationship with his church. His essay doesn't mention why he went from "Bishop" to "ex-Bishop," but it seems to have had something to do with his attitude towards the LGBT community. He now treats advocacy work as as a serious avocation, just as he once practiced ministry.
Please do take the time to read the article. It's a fascinating view of a transformation that most of us, for obvious reasons, need never undergo. (Also: Kloosterman's semi-obsessive paeans to each of Queer Eye's Fab Five somehow manage to be creepy and totally charming at the same time, which is a pretty rare feat.)
And, if you like, have a look at Kloosterman's tear-soaked speech at "Circling The Wagons," last year's conference "in support" of LGBT LDS's. It's extremely religious -- one cause of Kloosterman's evident distress is surely that he's condemning his religion's conduct while trying to maintain his faith in its truth, which must require some painful mental contortions. I hope he feels better soon. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...
Dana Carvey showed up on The Tonight Show on Friday, causing reasonable people across North America to wonder: Why isn't Dana Carvey on TV more often?
He was only intermittently hilarious -- but when he scatted briefly with the house band (while impersonating Barack Obama!) or enacted a late-night telephone call between former presidents George I and II, he was himself at his best, which is a rare and lovely thing.
Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...
It's too bad this is news, and not standard policy everywhere: The Dutch government, recognizing that to be an out gay person in Iraq is to abide in mortal danger, has elected to grant blanket asylum to all illegal LGBT Iraqi immigrants.
Koen van Dijk of the Dutch gay rights organisation COC described the announcement as an important victory for Iraqis who had fled the country because of their sexual orientation. According to van Dijk, Iraq is the most dangerous country in the world for gay people: “Research has shown that 750 people have been murdered for this reason since 2003. There are systematic campaigns. Organised militias publicly declare that they’re hunting down people who exhibit ‘deviant’ behaviour and should be killed according to Islamic law.”
LGBT Iraqis will have to somehow "prove" that they're L, G, B, or T to remain in the Netherlands, which van Djik frankly admits will be a tricky business. Other countries have royally screwed up attempts to make similar determinations. The Dutch being the Dutch, it's reasonable to hope they will endeavor to err on the side of mercy and sanity.
On Saturday, June 22nd, young lesbian couple Mollie Judith Olgin (19) and Mary Christine Chapa (18) were shot by an unknown gunman in a park near Corpus Christi, Texas. Olgin died of her wounds; Chapa, who was shot in the head, is slowly regaining her former communicative abilities, and has met for the second time with a police sketch artist to refine a previous drawing of her attacker. (See right.)
"It is unusual to go back and refine a suspect drawing," said Chief Randy Wright. "But in this case, our eyewitness sustained a brain injury that initially affected her ability to communicate effectively. The good news is she has made exceptional progress. Her sight and speech have improved and she can now interact with the artist much better."
On the night of the attack, the girls intended to depart the park to go see a movie. They were found where the gunman left them on the morning of June 23rd, approximately nine hours after the attack.
(Apologies for occupying your attention with this news, which is neither gay-related nor Earth-shattering. But the gall! The gall of it!)
Bruce Springsteen headlined the second evening of the Hard Rock Calling festival in London's Hyde Park last night, in front 60,000 typically enthused fans. He hit the stage at 7:30 p.m., did his usual superhuman three-hour sweatathon -- and then, as a finale, brought out Paul McCartney. CNN reports that this was the first time the men had shared a stage; a collaboration, Springsteen said, he'd dreamt of "for 50 years." Bruce grinned. Paul grinned. They did "I Saw Her Standing There" and a rave-up on "Twist And Shout," which was just building towards some ungodly convulsive denouement when --
-- the power was cut. From CNN:
At first, the Boss didn't seem to notice. He attempted to address the crowd, apparently unaware that they couldn't hear him. But as it became clear that there was no amplification, he and lead guitarist Stevie Van Zandt played what looked to be a brief a cappella goodnight for the benefit of the front rows, shrugged, and left the stage.
The plug had been pulled by the event's organizers. Hard Rock, it turns out, mustn't call past 10:30 p.m., at least in swank Westminster, where residents have for years complained of noise during the park's summer concert series. Out of concern for residents' ears, the number of concerts held in the park each summer has been trimmed from 13 to nine, and concerts are scheduled to end at 10:30 p.m. They didn't pull the plug on Springsteen and McCartney until 10:40 p.m. I'm assuming that's because McCartney's been knighted.
Hard Rock Calling concludes tomorrow evening with a set by Paul Simon.