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12/18/2012

Nate Silver: 'Sexually Gay But Ethnically Straight'

OUT Editor Aaron Hicklin delivers an engaging profile of Nate Silver, whom the magazine has named its 'Person of the Year'. Over drinks, Silver goes in depth with Hicklin about his critics, about how he became so good at being a stats geek (perspiration), what his plans are for the future, and his sexuality:

Silver“To my friends, I’m kind of sexually gay but ethnically straight,” explains Silver, who came out to his parents after spending a year in London studying economics—“I don’t know how I got any work done”—and considers gay conformity as perfidious as straight conformity. He supports marriage equality, but worries that growing acceptance of gays will dent our capacity to question broader injustice.

“For me, I think the most important distinguishing characteristic is that I’m independent-minded,” he says. “I’m sure that being gay encouraged the independent-mindedness, but that same independent-mindedness makes me a little bit skeptical of parts of gay culture, I suppose.”

He recalls a series of flagpoles in Boystown in Chicago memorializing various gay Americans. “There was one little plaque for Keith Haring, and it was, like, ‘Keith Haring, gay American artist, 1962 to 1981,’ or whatever [actually 1958 to 1990], and I was like, Why isn’t he just an American artist? I don’t want to be Nate Silver, gay statistician, any more than I want to be known as a white, half-Jewish statistician who lives in New York.”

Nate Silver: Person of the Year [out]

Incidentally, Silver spoke out about his sexuality for the first time earlier this year, so, though technically out, he made our big list of the '50 Most Powerful Coming Outs' because he decided to talk about it.

Posted Dec. 18,2012 at 10:24 AM EST by in Nate Silver, News | Permalink | Comments (157)


NBC's 'The Voice' Pays Tribute to Sandy Hook Shooting Victims with Moving Rendition of 'Hallelujah': VIDEO

Thevoice

The coaches and contestants of The Voice stood in unison for the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy last night, opening the show with a devastating version of "Hallelujah".

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Dec. 18,2012 at 9:47 AM EST by in News, The Voice | Permalink | Comments (15)


NBC News Reporter Richard Engel and Team Recount Kidnapping in Syria: VIDEO

Engel

NBC News reporter Richard Engel were kidnapped for five days in Syria and were recently freed at a checkpoint and are now in Turkey. Engel spoke with the Today show this morning about their experience.

Watch the very relieved team tell their story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Posted Dec. 18,2012 at 9:34 AM EST by in News, Syria | Permalink | Comments (10)


Muslims Demand Exemption from Marrying Gays in Britain

Last week I posted a same-sex marriage plan put forth by David Cameron's administration that puts in place four legal "locks" in order that religious organizations not be required to marry same-sex couples. Under the rules, the Church of England would be forbidden to do so in any case.

MuradMuslim groups are now angry that the religions are being treated differently:

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), with more than 500 affiliated mosques, charities and schools, said it was "appalled" by "utterly discriminatory" legislation on same-sex marriage set out by the government.

The proposals would allow faith groups to conduct gay marriages but would ban the CofE and the Church in Wales from doing so.

The MCB secretary-general, Farooq Murad, said his organisation had strongly opposed gay marriage alongside other religions and was seeking an urgent meeting with culture secretary, Maria Miller, to express the concerns of many Muslims over the proposals. "No one in their right mind should accept such a discriminatory law," he said. "It should be amended to give exactly the same exemption to all the religions."

The criticism from the MCB comes after the CofE last week attacked the government's lack of consultation over its gay marriage plans, saying senior ecclesiastical figures learned of them only when Miller announced them to parliament.

Posted Dec. 18,2012 at 9:22 AM EST by in David Cameron, Gay Marriage, Great Britain, News | Permalink | Comments (19)


Obama Floats New 'Fiscal Cliff' Offer to Boehner

An update on the current "fiscal cliff" negotiations:

BoehnerThe White House plan would permanently extend Bush-era tax cuts on household incomes below $400,000, meaning that only the top tax bracket, 35 percent, would increase to 39.6 percent. The current cutoff between the top rate and the next highest rate, 33 percent, is $388,350.

On spending, the two sides are also converging.

The White House says the president’s plan would cut spending by $1.22 trillion over 10 years, compared with $1.2 trillion in cuts from the Republicans’ initial offer. Of that, $800 billion is cuts to programs, and $122 billion comes from adopting a new measure of inflation that slows the growth of government benefits, especially Social Security. The White House is also counting on $290 billion in savings from lower interest costs on a reduced national debt.

Meanwhile, a new poll on voter sentiment about the negotiations is out:

Only 17 percent of Americans approve of how the GOP is handling negotiations, while 69 percent disapprove, according to a new CBS News poll. Fifty percent disapprove of how Obama and congressional Democrats are negotiating, while 38 percent approve.

Half of Americans think Congress and the president will reach a deal to avert the cliff, which amounts to a package of widespread tax increases and deep spending cuts that will go into effect at the beginning of 2013. Forty-four percent think a deal probably won’t be reached.

An overwhelming majority of Americans — 69 percent — continue to support raising taxes on all income above $250,000 a year, with even a majority of Republicans supporting such a deal. Only 45 percent support reducing government benefits “for people like you,” with 48 percent opposed.

Posted Dec. 18,2012 at 8:59 AM EST by in Barack Obama, John Boehner, News | Permalink | Comments (4)


Darren Criss Offers Glimpse at 'Glee' Beefcake Calendar: VIDEO

Criss

Gllee creator Ryan Murphy tweeted the above photo of a waxed up Darren Criss brandishing a candy cane as the preview for a "Men of McKinley" calendar which he says will be "coming soon". Gleefcake?

See the full shot along with a clip from a recent charity Christmas concert Criss performed in New York's Meatpacking district, AFTER THE JUMP...

D_Criss

Posted Dec. 18,2012 at 8:52 AM EST by in Christmas, Darren Criss, Glee, News, Ryan Murphy | Permalink | Comments (31)



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