Some black American clergy, unhappy with Mitt Romney's Mormonism and Barack Obama's affection for gays, are telling their congregations to stay home on election day.
On the bright side, Michelle Bachmann is poised to lose her House seat.
Bryan Fischer and co-crazies on why Mitt Romney's tanking:
What if Mitt Romney actually manages to blow this election? The Values Voters will never say that he failed to win the center, because they won’t believe it. They’ll say that he never drew the contrast between what Obama was doing to America and how he and Paul Ryan, specifically, would fix it. They’ll say that this left evangelical voters—few of whom liked Romney in the first placed—disengaged.
(Or maybe Mitt's tanking because his campaign's staff can't stand the man running it?)
A message in a bottle, adrift for 98 years, has been found by a Scottish fisherman.
How the NYPD wished Occupy a happy birthday:
At least a dozen Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested yesterday evening during a march from Washington Square Park to Zuccotti Park, as police repeatedly "plunged" into the group to detain people on the sidewalk ...
Ayatollah Hassan Sanei is for some reason blaming novelist Salman Rushdie for the film Innocence of Muslims, and has demanded somebody finally carry out a decades-old fatwah:
It [the film] won't be the last insulting act as long as Imam Khomeini's historic order on executing the blasphemous Salman Rushdie is not carried out. If the imam's order was carried out, the further insults in the form of caricatures, articles and films would not have taken place. The impertinence of the grudge-filled enemies of Islam, which is occurring under the flag of the Great Satan, America and the racist Zionists, can only be blocked by the absolute administration of this Islamic order.
Tarek Masoud explains one of the reasons the Muslim world is so uncalm.
Two of the Republican New York State senators who supported Gov. Cuomo's push for marriage equaluty last year will have to wait a week to learn whether they've fended off their anti-gay primary challengers:
As the absentee ballots continued to trickle in to county election offices on Friday, Mr. Saland remained unsure of his political future. So did Senator Roy J. McDonald of the capital region, a Republican who also voted for same-sex marriage and who ended primary night in a contest that was too close to call ...
“The bottom line is I have no regrets, and I make no apologies,” Mr. Saland said in an interview ...
Regina Spektor returns to Russia.
Personal note: A magazine has offered me an absolutely un-turn-downable opportunity to do some long-form journalism, and I'm moving on. Thanks to Andy for trusting me with part-time custody of his extroardinary website, and thanks so much to all of you for making Towleroad an endlessly interesting place to blog. Be well.
He set out to research a story last Friday on the teachers' strike, but failed to find any striking teachers.
Lacking anything better to do, he elected to check up on a rumor that Chris Stevens, the murdered Libyan ambassador, was a gay man.
He received a tip from he-doesn't-say-who to go to a bar called Second Story, where he met a man who calls himself Dino and works at Chicago's Serbian consulate.
He was told by Dino that, yes, Chris Stevens was gay, and was killed for it.
You won’t hear any of this in the media, no doubt, but in Chicago’s diplomatic circles at least there is no doubt that Chris Stevens was gay and that pretty much anyone in the diplomatic world knew that. That includes the Libyans who were hired as security at the consulate in Benghazi who betrayed Ambassador Stevens and assisted in his murder.
Meanwhile, the White House is ignoring the fact that a gay ambassador to a Muslim country was murdered and they are in fact still pretending that all of this is about some obscure movie about Muhammad ...
DuJan did find some substantiating evidence for the gay-Stevens claim, and it's this: Back in college, Amb. Stevens was friends with the playwright Austin Tichenor, alleged gay and co-creator of the famous Reduced Shakespeare Company, and over the last several days Tichenor has been posting old photographs of him and Stevens hanging out.
DuJan's story has now gone viral among the fringier blogs. Here it is at Free Republic. And in another spot at Free Republic. Here it is at RomanCatholicImperialist, and BeforeItsNews, and the SaveAmericaFoundation. I've got no idea if the story's true. It could be. Many people are gay.
But even if it is true, it's tacky, and not just because it seems those pushing the story are doing so in the hope of making some ghastly political point. It's tacky, too, because they've decided to believe a rumor about Stevens's treatment by his killers -- that he was raped both before and after he died -- and to describe that treatment in great detail, trying to seem horrified by what they're writing while very unsubtly luxuriating in it.
Still, this hurricane of ugly blogs has had at least one pleasant consequence. It has made commentators at Free Republic speak up for gays:
This is an idiotic thread. The guy lived for half his life in North Africa or the mid-east and he died serving his nation. Who gives a sh** about what someone thinks about what he does or does not do in private? It is totally irrelevant.
"I'm very much in love w/u." So read the text message that Cameroonian Roger Jean-Claude Mbede sent to another man last year, and which landed him in Kondengui Central Prison, where he remains still. In Cameroon, homosexual acts are punishable with up to five years in prison. For his text message, Mbede has been sentenced to three.
Representatives from Alternatives Cameroon visited Mbede in Kondengui, where they found him in "deplorable" moral and physical health:
Suffering at the time with his left eye and without treatment or medications. He told us he slept on the ground since his imprisonment, and abandoned by most of his family members who regard him as a wizard.
Mbede has an appeals hearing tomorrow, and could be released. Or he could be returned to prison for another two years. There is currently a petition on AllOut.org calling for his emancipation, which has so far been signed by more than 80,000 people. You can sign it here. (Quickly, though. Cameroon is eight hours ahead of the American eastern coast.)
“She thinks children need a father and a mother and I agree with her,” he said ... “Some people might not agree with that. Fine! That’s just my opinion"
Rupert's mum, says the actor, always wanted her son to marry a woman and have kids. She'd still like that, she says:
“I’d like him to have children. He’s so good with children. He’d make a wonderful father.
“But I also think a child needs a mummy and a daddy. I’ve told him that and he takes it very well. He doesn’t get angry with me. He just smiles.”
In case we'd forgotten, the Telegraph helpfully reminds us that Rupert Everett is the same actor who's urged gay thesps to remain in the closet for the good of their careers.
AFTER THE JUMP, see Rick Santorum's suddenly infamous speech at this weekend's Values Voter Summit.
The part of Rick's speech to so far command the most attention arrives near the end, when the ex-senator explains why "the media" will never be on the side of conservatives:
We're gonna trust you. That's why the media doesn't go along with us. You have to understand that. They don't like conservatism. They like the other side. Not necessarily -- I would argue -- because they necessarily agree with them. Because they can influence the country. You see, if just a few people make decisions about what this world looks like, what this country looks like, then you can people sitting in offices -- major media outlets, and in Hollywood -- they can deal with a small group of people ... it's much harder if all of you collectively build America. It's much harder to influence you. We will never have the media on our side. Ever, in this country. We will never have the elite, smart people on our side, because they believe they should have the power to tell you what to do.
Fun as it is to pretend that Rick was declaring war on smart people with that remark, it's pretty plain he was being sarcastic. More interesting, maybe, is Rick's sputtering from about the 5:00 - 7:00, as he tries to find words to convincingly endorse of Mitt Romney, a man he apparently despises. Check it out.
Several weeks ago, I posted a video of what appeared to be Mitt Romney addressing a group of high-rolling donors about traveling to China to buy a factory. It was interesting to hear the candidate talk off-record in such sympathetic environs. He sounded genuine. Not likeable, necessarily, but at least recognizably mammalian.
Below is a much shorter video, seemingly from a similar event. Thanks to the Sky Dancing blog for calling attention to it, and to Ms. Ann Onymous for posting it to the web. Ms. Onymous has posted a bunch of these things in the last month -- the vid in which Mitt (or someone who sounds exactly like him) acknowledges, graciously, that he was born "with a silver spoon" in his mouth; the vid in which he pines for a foreign policy that commits 20,000 or so American troops to Iraq, indefinitely; the vid in which he jokes that he'd have an easier time becoming president if he was Latino. But none is so interesting as the one below.
The full quote from Mitt (or someone who sounds exactly like him):
There are 47% of the people who will vote for the President no matter what. Alright? There are 47% who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe the government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe they are entitled! To healthcare! To food! To housing!
Again: The video's short. It's impossible to know if this quote's been taken out of context. Maybe Mitt (or someone who sounds exactly like him) prefaced it by saying: "I would have to be a terrible person to say something like ..." or perhaps "Too many of my Republican colleagues like to demonize the other side, by saying things such as ..."
Or maybe the video is what it appears to be: Mitt Romney (or someone who sounds exactly like him) saying that half of the American electorate is comprised of slobs.
I can't help but think of how the other fellow running for president characterizes those who vote for his opponent -- how he emphasizes the essential sameness of people, and the sad supeficiality of their political differences. That other fellow, please recall, is the one allegedly running a campaign of "division and hate."
See the vid AFTER THE JUMP ...