Cindy the mouse is so civilized that she's even adopted our financial system. And like everyone operating in today's economy, she's counting every penny. Note that Cindy's hoping to haggle down the price of her treat, but her owner stands firm. There are no limits to Cindy's cuteness, but market forces? Well, those are more binding.
But never fear, Cindy's not so stressed about her wallet that she can't relax by playing basketball and skateboarding, which she and her pals also do AFTER THE JUMP.
[Video via the surprisingly addictive Mouse Agility YouTube channel.]
Tagg Romney on father Mitt's failed presidential run: "He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life... If he could have found someone else to take his place ... he would have been ecstatic to step aside.
More 90s nostalgia from New York City's Duplex and Fire Island's Drag Invasions.
Outgoing Rep. Barney Frank won't say yes or no to becoming an interim-Senator should John Kerry become Secretary of State.
Anti-gay forces in France spent their pre-Christmas weekend protesting plans to pass marriage equality there.
Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison says she supports banning large ammunition magazines like the one used in the Sandy Hook school shooting. "I think we ought to be looking at where the real danger is, like those large clips, I think that does need to be looked at," she said on CBS' Face The Nation. "It’s the semi-automatics and those large magazines that can be fired off very quickly. You do have to pull the trigger each time, but it’s very quick."
Movie spoilers circa 1982.
Frank Ocean wrote a song for Django Unchained but it wasn't used, so he posted it online. It's called "Wise Man" and you should check it out.
The Hobbit topped the weekend box office with about $150 million.
A look back at Glee's biggest 2012 moments.
British Prime Minister David Cameron's plan to legal same-sex marriage there has sparked a civil war in his conservative party. "...Cameron was last night battling to contain his party split over gay marriage after a delegation of senior MPs urged him to reconsider the plans – and two Tories had a ‘toxic’ public argument in the Commons over the issue. The confrontation between fiercely anti-gay marriage MP Sir Gerald Howarth and rising star Gavin Barwell took place in front of shocked colleagues in the Commons Tea Room."
Out rugby and fitness star Gareth Thomas on coming out to his dad: "My family were amazing - once it was taken in, my dad, who is a very tough man, sat me down at home with the family; he opened a bottle of champagne and said 'this is a toast to the rest of your life son.' It was overwhelming, and my family as a whole have been superb."
Gay singer Matt Gold discusses releasing his new album, Drown Before You Swim, without a label: "A label can help take you to that next level, in terms of visibility. Happily, there are artists out there on labels who are able to maintain their authenticity and remain true to themselves. That’s one of the reasons I respect Adele so much. She’s out there, doing her own thing in her own style, and it’s all about her voice, and people like it. When I see someone like Adele succeed, it gives me hope that my songs might be received in the same way."
Shia LaBeouf steps out with a new lady.
Hmmm. A study from the University of Melbourne suggests that of LGBT people, lesbians are more likely to be depressed and problem drinkers and then dubiously concludes these women can overcome such problems by having children. Childbearing "builds a woman’s resilience" said the lead researcher, Professor Ruth McNair.
Hormel has accepted the apology, though does point out it most likely came to clear a path for President Obama to nominate Hagel to be the next Defense Secretary. "While the timing appears self-serving, the words themselves are unequivocal--they are a clear apology," Hormel wrote.
But there's still the pesky problem of Republicans who oppose Hagel for opposing the surge in Iraq, his votes and comments about Israel and his resistance to sanctions on Iran. If Sen. Lindsey Graham's remarks this morning are any indication, that GOP problem isn't going away anytime soon.
"The Republicans are going to ask him hard questions, and I don’t think he’s going to get many Republican votes," Graham said on Meet the Press. "His positions -- I didn’t really, quite frankly, know all of them -- are really out of the mainstream and well to the left of the president. I think it would be a challenging nomination." Asked if he would support Hagel, Graham said he's going to wait until the nomination hearings. Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer was also asked, but said he's standing by until an actual nomination has been put forth.
Meanwhile, independent Sen. Joe Lieberman used similar language on CNN's State of the Union, telling host Candy Crowley, "...If I were in the Senate on the Armed Services Committee and he was nominated, I would have some really serious questions to ask him, not just about Israel, but to me, the most significant foreign policy challenge for President Obama and our country and the world in the next year or two is Iran and it's nuclear weapons program. Chuck Hagel has had some very outlying votes on that."
Watch Graham, Schumer and Lieberman discuss Hagel's odds AFTER THE JUMP.
Growing increasingly loud about his support for marriage equality, former Australian rugby player Nick Youngquest shows it off on the cover of gay magazine Dorian. Pro-equality activism sure has a pretty face.
Wayne LaPierre guaranteed the NRA a place on the fringe today.
After two days of outrage over the NRA leader's assertion that we need more guns in schools to stop another Sandy Hook-type massacre, LaPierre went on Meet the Press not to amend his statement or take a softer tone. No, he appeared today to make similar claims, even as host David Gregory, growing increasingly flabbergasted by LaPierre's defiant gun worship, gave him plenty of opportunities to introduce some humanity into his argument.
Mediaite summarizes one of their more tense exchanges, when LaPierre equated gun controls with morality laws and disagreed that removing assault weapons from streets would save lives.
After pressing LaPierre further on why he is unwilling to concede gun control measures as one part of the potential solution, the NRA leader responded, "you can’t legislate morality … legislation works on the law-abiding, it doesn’t work on criminals."
"If it’s possible to reduce the loss of life, you’re willing to try [gun control]?" Gregory repeatedly asked before holding up a high-capacity magazine of ammunition. "Isn’t it possible that if we got rid of these … isn’t it just possible that we could reduce the carnage in a situation like New Haven?" Gregory pushed.
"I don’t think that’s going to make one difference," LaPierre answered. "There are so many ways to evade that." Unconvinced, Gregory hammered LaPierre over his evasiveness on the subject, demanding to know whether he’d be willing to try such restrictions if, by his own logic, it could possibly save more lives.
“I don’t buy your argument one bit,” LaPierre said.
It's truly incredible: over the span of three days, LaPierre took his group, one of the most respected, powerful and sought after voices in gun politics and turned it into a shrieking, raging outlier.
Oh, as for those New York Post and New York Daily News headlines labeling him a "gun nut" and "crazy," LaPierre had this to say, "If it’s crazy to call for putting armed police in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy." As you wish.
Watch video of LaPierre's entire Meet the Press interview AFTER THE JUMP.
As Illinois lawmakers and activists pull their resources and build support to pass marriage equality there early next month, over 250 religious leaders are coming together to lend their pro-equality voices too.
From the Chicago Tribune:
On Sunday, rabbis and pastors from denominations that support gay rights in varying degrees unveiled a declaration supporting equality for same-sex couples. Fostering faith, justice and compassion is a key component of their jobs, they said.
"Standing on these beliefs, we think that it is morally just to grant equal opportunities and responsibilities to loving, committed same-sex couples.," the declaration stated. "There can be no justification for the law treating people differently on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity."
Democratic lawmakers, led in the State Senate by Sen. Heather Steans and in the House by Rep. Greg Harris, hope to pass a bill before the new session is sworn in on January 9. Gov. Pat Quinn said he would gladly sign such a bill into law.