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11/08/2012

Colorado Democrats Select Mark Ferrandino As State's First Openly Gay Speaker

FerrandinoWith big wins in the State House on Tuesday, Colorado Democrats won the power to pick the assembly's next speaker and announced today that they've selected openly gay lawmaker Mark Ferrandino.

Ferrandino is the state's first out and proud House Speaker and will lead 36 party peers as they work with 28 of their GOP colleagues to run the state.

Ferrandino got a bit teary during his acceptance speech, in which he spoke about being bullied while growing up in New York. "

"As a kid growing up in New York who had a learning disability and just struggled a lot, was picked on and called names, to be where I am and to have your support to do that, it’s awesome, it’s humbling," he said, according to KDVR. "I couldn’t dream when I was in elementary school and high school that I’d be doing this."

Ferrandino's ascension is especially powerful because it was just six months ago that the GOP squashed a popular domestic partnership bill he helped create.

AFTER THE JUMP, KDVR reporter Eli Stokols' conversation with Ferrandino from yesterday, after Democrats took back control of the Colorado State House and it became clear Ferrandino would be named Speaker.

Posted Nov. 8,2012 at 6:25 PM EST by in 2012 Election, Colorado, Mark Ferrandino, News | Permalink | Comments (4)


Mitt Romney Admits Defeat In Florida

2012stastes

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign finally conceded Florida to President Obama today, but they're not exactly being the most gracious losers.

"The numbers in Florida show this was winnable," Romney Florida adviser Brett Doster told the Miami Herald.

"We thought based on our polling and range of organization that we had done what we needed to win. Obviously, we didn’t, and for that I and every other operative in Florida has a sick feeling that we left something on the table. I can assure you this won’t happen again."

Not for Romney, at least.

Posted Nov. 8,2012 at 6:03 PM EST by in 2012 Election, Barack Obama, Florida, Mitt Romney | Permalink | Comments (26)


Towleroad Guide To The Tube #1244

"SUPPRESSION": Karl Rove is desperately claiming Obama suppressed the vote.

GRAPHIC EXAMPLE: This is what homophobia looks and sounds like. Warning, it's graphic.

RAVENOUS: Fifty Shades of Chicken.

OH, FOX: Fox Channel offers distressed voters very detailed directions to Canada.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Posted Nov. 8,2012 at 5:30 PM EST by in 2012 Election, Barack Obama, FOX News, Karl Rove, News, Towleroad Guide to the Tube | Permalink | Comments (20)


News: Conservative Tears, Rihanna, Rove Out, Penguin Daddies

1NewsIcon Brazil loves small dogs.

PenguinChick1NewsIcon A pair of male King penguins at a Danish zoo are currently over the moon (well, they would be if they could fly) about the recent birth of their first little chick. According to zoo keepers, the same-sex partners are "natural parents."

1NewsIcon Right Wing Watch has a great compilation of conservatives griping about Tuesday night's election results. "We wrestle with these political issues but at the core our problems as a nation are not political, they are spiritual. These are symptoms of a deeper moral and spiritual problem that we are facing in our nation," said Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council.

1NewsIcon A big congratulations to Stacie Laughton, the first transgender public figure elected to the New Hampshire state legislature. "I believe that at this point, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community will hopefully be inspired," Laughton told The Telegraph. "My hope is that now maybe we’ll see more people in the community running, maybe for alderman. Maybe in the next election, we’ll have a senator."

1NewsIcon Laughton and about 110 other LGBT candidates who won Tuesday have helped establish LGBT presence in 40 out of 50 state legislatures.

Gandy1NewsIcon There is no such thing as too much David Gandy - period.

1NewsIcon The same could be said about Kate Moss, but for different reasons.

1NewsIcon Just in time for the holidays, a new David Beckham H&M ad campaign.

1NewsIcon Ellen DeGeneres generously gave guest Miley Cyrus two lap-dancing men to celebrate the singer's upcoming marriage to Liam Hemsworth.

1NewsIcon Have a listen to Rihanna and former boyfriend Chris Brown's aural collaboration.

1NewsIcon President Obama will soon fly off to Southeast Asia for a historic trip to Cambodia.

1NewsIcon Charles Blow says the GOP needs to look at the numbers and face the facts, their political vision no longer fits in contemporary America. "If your idea of America’s power structure is rooted in a 1950s or even a 1920s sensibility, here’s an update: that America is no more," he writes in an article called "Picket Fence Apocalypse". "Republicans are trying to hold back a storm surge of demographic change with a white picket fence. Good luck with that."

1NewsIcon Gruesome news from UK's Guardian: "A teenager has admitted killing a gay barman and then setting his body alight after he flew into a rage when they discussed his confused sexuality. Ryan Esquierdo, 19, attacked Stuart Walker, 28, and choked him to death after the pair had met one night while they were separately walking home in Cumnock, East Ayrshire, in October last year."

1NewsIcon Presenting: Kenny Loggins' "Playing with the Boys."

1NewsIcon It's about time: "Conservatives turn on Karl Rove."

CatMirror1NewsIcon This cat will not tolerate reflection.

1NewsIcon TIME looks at how marriage equality organizers finally changed the game: "Evan Wolfson, 55, the Harvard-educated founder of the group Freedom to Marry, helped convince others in the gay-rights movement to use ads that featured loving couples and the importance of commitment. 'We made a real connection on emotion,' he says."

1NewsIcon New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo offers a grim meteorological outlook for the Empire State.

1NewsIcon The top 5 candidates backed by NOM leader Brian Brown's right wing fundraising machine all lost.

Posted Nov. 8,2012 at 4:25 PM EST by in 2012 Election, Barack Obama, Brian Brown, Chris Brown, David Beckham, David Gandy, Ellen DeGeneres, Karl Rove, Miley Cyrus, Mitt Romney, News, NOM, Republican Party, Rihanna | Permalink | Comments (21)


The President-Elect Romney Transition Site That Never Will Be

RomneyTransition

Mitt Romney and his transition team obviously had to erect a website celebrating the failed GOP presidential candidate's potential win.

They did not actually have to push it live, though, which they did before promptly taking it down.

Political Wire got some screencaps of the site that will never be before it was  replaced by dashed dreams and a man who walks alone.

Posted Nov. 8,2012 at 3:37 PM EST by in 2012 Election, Mitt Romney, News | Permalink | Comments (26)


7 Life Sentences For Arizona Shooter Jared Loughner

Giffordsshooting"Gabbie and I are done thinking about you," said Mark Kelly, the astronaut husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, at the sentencing of her shooter, Jared Loughner.

Loughner opened fire at Giffords' town hall being held at a Safeway in January of 2011, killing six people and wounding 13 others, including Giffords, who is still recovering.

For this heinous crime, Judge Larry Burns sentenced Loughner to seven consecutive life terms in prison plus 140 years. There is no chance for parole.

"He should never get out of prison. I find this is just punishment. He will never have the opportunity to pick up a gun and do this again," said Burns, who also explained that six of the life sentences represented the six people Loughner killed that day.

Despite Loughner's mental illness, Mr. Kelly wanted to make one thing clear to the 24-year old: he is guilty. "Though you are mentally ill, you are responsible for the death and hurt you inflicted upon all of us on January 8th of last year. You know this. Gabby and I know this.

 Everyone in this courtroom knows this," said Kelly in his prepared remarks, a copy of which I've included AFTER THE JUMP.

Today was the first time victims were able to directly confront Loughner. One of the victims, Rep. Ron Barber, shot in the leg that day and later elected to replace the injured Giffords, told Loughner's parents, "I and my family hold no animosity toward you." 

He went on to address Loughner himself, "Finally to you, Mr. Loughner. I hold no hatred for you, but I am very angry and sick at heart about what you have done, and the hurt you have caused all of us. You now must bear this burden and never again see the outside of a prison."

Mark Kelly's prepared remarks, via CNN:

Mr. Loughner, for the first and last time, you are going to hear directly from Gabby and me about what you took away on January 8th, 2011 and, just as important, what you did not. So pay attention.

That bright and chilly Saturday morning, you killed six innocent people. Daughters and sons. Mothers and fathers. Grandparents and friends. They were devoted to their families, their communities, their places of worship.

Gabby would trade her own life to bring back any one of those you savagely murdered on that day. Especially young Christina-Taylor Green, whose high-minded ideas about service and democracy deserved a full life committed to advancing them. Especially 30-year old Gabe Zimmerman, whom Gabby knew well and cherished, and whose love for his family and his fiancee and service to his country were as deep as his loss is tragic. Especially Judge John Roll whom Gabby was honored to call a colleague and friend and from whose interminable dedication to our community and country she gained enormous inspiration. Gabby would give anything to take away the grief you visited upon the Morrises, the Schnecks, and the Stoddards – anything to heal the bodies and psyches of your other victims.

And then there is what you took from Gabby. Her life has been forever changed. Plans she had for our family and her career have been immeasurably altered. Every day is a continuous struggle to do those things she was once so very good at. Gabby is a people person: she exudes kindness, creativity, and compassion. If she were not born with the name – “Gabby” – someone would have given it to her. Now she struggles to deliver each and every sentence. Her gift for language can now only be seen in Internet videos from a more innocent time.

Gabby was an outdoor enthusiast. She was often seen rollerblading with her friend Raoul in Reed Park, hiking in Sabino Canyon, or careening down Rillito Wash Trail on her bike, as she was the night before you tried and failed to murder her. She hasn't been to any of those places since, and I don't know when she’ll return.

There’s more. Gabby struggles to walk. Her right arm is paralyzed. She is partially blind. Gabby works harder in one minute of an hour – fighting to make each individual moment count for something – than most of us work in an entire day.

Mr. Loughner, by making death and producing tragedy, you sought to extinguish the beauty of life. To diminish potential. To strain love. And to cancel ideas. You tried to create for all of us a world as dark
 and evil as your own.

 But know this, and remember it always: You failed.

Your decision to commit cold-blooded mass murder also begs of us to look in the mirror. This horrific act warns us to hold our leaders and ourselves responsible for coming up short when we do, for not having the courage to act when it’s hard, even for possessing the wrong values.

We are a people who can watch a young man like you spiral into murderous rampage without choosing to intervene before it is too late.

We have a political class that is afraid to do something as simple as have a meaningful debate about our gun laws and how they are being enforced. We have representatives who look at gun violence,
 not as a problem to solve, but as the white elephant in the room to ignore. As a nation we have repeatedly passed up the opportunity to address this issue. After Columbine; after Virginia Tech; after Tucson and after Aurora we have done nothing.

In this state we have elected officials so feckless in their leadership that they would say, as in the case of Governor Jan Brewer, “I don't think it has anything to do with the size of the magazine or the caliber of the gun.” She went on and said, “Even if the shooter's weapon had held fewer bullets, he'd have another gun, maybe. He could have three guns in his pocket” – she said this just one week after a high capacity magazine allowed you to kill six and wound 19 others, before being wrestled to the ground while attempting to reload. Or a state legislature that thought it appropriate to busy itself naming an official Arizona state gun just weeks after this tragedy occurred, instead of doing the work it was elected to do: encourage economic growth, help our returning veterans and fix our education system.

The challenges we face are so great, but the leadership in place is so often lacking. In so many moments, I find myself thinking, “We need Gabby.” In letter after letter, I’ve seen that others agree. As Americans mourned the six who died, they also mourned the loss of a representative who embodied the service they realized they should expect from those they elect, the type of person our county desperately needs to provide leadership and solve problems. Gabby was a courageous member of congress. Willing to stand up to the establishment when the establishment was wrong. She was thirsty for partnership across the aisle and was an unrelenting champion for her 600,000 constituents. One of which was you.

There’s something else Gabby and I have been spending a lot of time thinking about. The way we conduct politics must change. Sure it’s easier to win a debate if you can turn your opponent into a demon, but that’s not how we move forward. Not only does slash and burn politics make Americans cynical about their leaders, but it leads to bad ideas. It creates problems instead of solving the ones we have now.

Even amid all that was lost, Gabby and I give thanks for her life, her spirit, and her intellect, which are a continued force in this world despite what you’ve done. We exalt in sharing our lives with each other and with our family and friends.

As a city, Tucson has grown stronger. We love this community, and we love our neighbors. We are resilient, and the dynamism and compassion of our fellow Tucsonans will continue to push this city forward.

And there is what persists in Gabby: her love for this city, this state and this country. Her commitment to lifting us all up, and her ability to lead. Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head, but you haven’t put a dent in her spirit and her commitment to make the world a better place.

Mr. Loughner, pay close attention to this: Though you are mentally ill, you are responsible for the death and hurt you inflicted upon all of us on January 8th of last year. You know this. Gabby and I know this.

 Everyone in this courtroom knows this.

You have decades upon decades to contemplate what you did. But after today. After this moment. Here and now. Gabby and I are done thinking about you.

Posted Nov. 8,2012 at 2:49 PM EST by in Arizona, Gabrielle Giffords, News | Permalink | Comments (33)



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