Anderson Cooper and the girls from ABC's The View covered a whole host of topics during his brief visit to the morning show today. Among them: temporarily going blind in Portugal, what he tells his mother when he's in dangerous, war-torn lands where they kill people, how he feels now that he's come out and why he's sweating another New Year's Eve extravaganza with perennially controversial countdown host Kathy Griffin.
Watch the gals and Cooper gab it up AFTER THE JUMP.
2011's Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford sci-fi Western mash-up Cowboys & Aliens had the right idea by blending two beloved, fertile genres, though most critics and viewers agreed they missed the mark in execution.
Hopefully the same won't be said about Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro's forthcoming robots versus monsters flick that stars Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Charlie Day, among others.
Judging from the trailer, found via Gizmodo, and knowing his previous work - Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy - it's safe to say del Toro knows what he's doing.
Watch the Pacific Rim trailer AFTER THE JUMP.
Former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist today filed the paperwork officially making him a Democrat, a party switch Crist announced after a holiday party at the White House last weekend.
Speaking with the reporters who turned out for the event, Crist was asked about his decision in 2006 to sign a petition pushing for a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage in The Sunshine State.
"Would I do it today? No," Crist said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "I think the best way to judge where my heart is is to look at the deeds that I have done, whether as attorney general, governor - restoration of rights, civil rights cases, things of that nature that I think show a compassionate heart and hopefully someone who cares and knows who the boss is - and the boss is the people of Florida."
Crist also said he signed up with the Democrats because "they care"; "they're compassionate," he said, contrasting them with Florida's current governor, Rick Scott.
Watch video of Crist discussing his marriage equality position, whether anyone in the Obama administration has encouraged him to run for governor again (yes) and his place in the political world today AFTER THE JUMP.
There's big marriage equality news developing in Illinois, where pro-equality lawmakers say they may vote on a proposed law during January's lame duck session, the period before freshly elected legislators enter office.
From Chicago Business:
After counting heads and consulting with legislative leaders, the chief sponsors of a bill to permit same-sex couples to get married in the state this morning disclosed they intend to push for a vote in the General Assembly's lame-duck session, which will occur over two weeks just after New Year's.
And, in an indication of how big a campaign the pro side is launching, they've hired the firm founded by top presidential adviser David Axelrod to help them with media, organization and outreach to potential supporters, including corporate officials.
Chief Senate sponsor Sen. Heather Steans said, "We think we can get this done in January, while Rep. Greg Harris, lead advocate of the bill in the state house, concurred, "The timing is right for us to push this... Folks are seeing what's going on around the country."
Lambda Legal celebrated the news. "By bringing the marriage bill to a vote, Rep. Harris and Sen. Steans the co-sponsors of HB 5170 have brought hope to thousands of same-sex couples across Illinois," said Camilla Taylor, the group's Marriage Project Director.
"Whether it's through the courts or through the legislature, Illinois same-sex couples and their children need the freedom to marry now, and it's encouraging that our elected officials agree. The time is now."
And Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, as we know, is on board. "I hope that bill goes forward," he said earlier this week. "It’s the House that probably the key arena at this time, and I think we’ll see how the members look at that issue. They should study it carefully and vote their conscience."
For a few weeks Greg Newton and Donnie Jochum have been running their queer bookstore The Bureau of General Services - Queer Division (BGSQD) as a pop-up shop at Strange Loop Gallery, but are hoping to find a permanent location in New York's Lower East Side. And they need your help to make their dream, bringing the Big Apple an exclusively queer book shop and community space, a space Manhattan currently lacks, come true.
"From the start, we wanted it to be a queer bookstore, not a gay bookstore. We are excited by the current proliferation of the term 'queer,'" they said in an interview with Vanishing New York. "'Queer" is an expansive term, one that continues to grow. It is inclusive."
And from their press release:
It's hard to imagine, but Manhattan no longer has a single bookstore dedicated exclusively to queer people and topics. Since the closing of the landmark independent bookstores of Oscar Wilde and A Different Light, the borough has been without a bookstore specifically dedicated to serving the queer community.
Enter the Bureau of General Services – Queer Division, the now realized dream of co-owners Greg Newton and Donnie Jochum. The couple is creating a permanent bookstore and community space, complete with readings, events, a highly curated collection, and more.
With only a week left, the gentlemen have raised just over $3,100 of their $15,000 goal. If you want to help them out, visit their Lucky Ant fundraising page and for more information watch Newton and Jochum discuss their dream AFTER THE JUMP.
Earlier I cited centrist Democratic think tank Third Way's poll on marriage equality support in Washington, where same-sex marriages just got underway. Well, that report, showing that framing marriage equality as a matter of love, rather than rights wins the fight, is now out.
Here's a telling excerpt about movement among political lines:
The victory for marriage in Washington State was delivered by voters well outside the usual liberal base. Centrist voters supported the marriage refer- endum by large margins, with 66% of moderates voting yes, as well as 59% of Independents.
Unlike past elections—including Proposition 8 in California, where Democrats had trouble consolidating their own base in favor of marriage—this time 80% of Obama voters pulled the lever for marriage, as well as 86% of Democrats. Even 79% of moderate and conservative Democrats voted in favor of marriage for gay couples, as well as 38% of liberal and moderate Republicans.
The biggest takeaway of the marriage vote in Washington is that the center is now squarely on the side of marriage advocates. The striking margins of sup- port for the referendum among moderates (+33) and Independents (+21) are indisputable, and they mark both a significant shift and a tipping point for the country on this issue.
Also, a breakdown of who was for and against marriage: