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News: Richard Hanna, Mandela, Omega, Uruguay

1NewsIcon Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy and photographer husband David Miller received a very special Christmas gift: a baby boy.

GeorgeBush11NewsIcon 88-year old President George HW Bush remains hospitalized with a high fever after being checked in with a "bronchitis-like cough" before Christmas.

1NewsIcon 94-year old former South African President Nelson Mandela has been released from the hospital following his own health scare.

1NewsIcon  Uruguay's Senate has postponed their marriage equality vote until April.

1NewsIcon Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi like long, kiss-filled strolls on the beach in St. Barts.

1NewsIcon "White Christmas."

1NewsIcon Jay Leno throws a snowball at Chick-fil-A.

1NewsIcon Here is the first song ever recorded in space.

1NewsIcon After previously balking at the suggestion, Democratic NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora now says he wants to put marriage equality to a popular vote.

DOMAProtest1NewsIcon US Rep. Richard Hanna, a Tea Party backed Republican from New York, today announced that he opposes DOMA. "The simple fact remains that the federal government has a responsibility to ensure all legally married couples are treated equally under federal law," he said. Hanna is only the second sitting GOP congressperson to say DOMA needs to be repealed. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was the first.

1NewsIcon Biogen, a drug manufacturer that specializes in multiple sclerosis treatments, will "gross up" pay to make up the difference for gay and lesbian married couples who suffer financial punishment under DOMA, the government's refusal to recognize same-sex marriage.

1NewsIcon British High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge blasted Prime Minister David Cameron for pursuing marriage equality, something he calls a distraction that only impacts ".1%" of the population. "[Gay marriage] is a minority issue. We need a much more focused position by the Government on the importance of marriage," said Coleridge, who created his own non-profit to fight divorce.

1NewsIcon Meanwhile, Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps defended the Tories' equality push. Though some critics want to see a ban on fox hunting pass first, Shapps says they simply don't have the votes in Parliament; marriage is a much easier win, he said: "It makes sense to bring something forward if you think there's a chance of there being a parliamentary majority and at the moment there doesn't appear to be one... There probably is a parliamentary majority for gay marriage."

Downtondantrench21NewsIcon Say so long to Dan Stevens on Downton Abbey.

1NewsIcon Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka spent hours putting together a lovely train set for their son but he ended up just wanting to play with the broom. At least he's putting himself to good use, right?

1NewsIcon Les Misérables did big business on Christmas: about $18 million opening day and number one at the box office.

1NewsIcon DC gay bar Omega Nightclub had its last call.

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  1. Considering all the damages you've done to this country and the world on your own and through the equally or exceedingly evil sons of yours, you have already lived an undeservingly long life!
    Now get ready to meet your Maker and find out if your hypocritical bogus faith can save you from the ultimate wrath!

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Dec 26, 2012 7:33:33 PM

  2. Before Bush Sr. kicks it, somebody ask him once more what he was doing in Dallas on November 22, 1963. He's always said he doesn't remember, but everyone else in the country remembers what they were doing that day.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Dec 26, 2012 7:38:58 PM

  3. Congratulations to Dan Stevens in his attempt to cash in on his Downton Abbey popularity. See the careers of Christopher Eccleston re: Dr. Who and David Caruso re: NYPD Blue (circa 1993) and his loooong climb back to Miami: CSI in 2002.

    Posted by: Elsewhere | Dec 26, 2012 9:16:53 PM

  4. @Elsewhere,

    Dan is doing a Henry James on Broadway right now. Can you Downtonbots release him to do whatever makes him happy, I mean, really really happy? ;-P
    I discovered him b4 the series and he will do fine after that!

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Dec 26, 2012 9:53:19 PM

  5. A small correction: The United Kingdom already has a statutory ban on fox-hunting. Shapps was referring to a vote on repealing that ban (which dates to Blair's tenure), which many Conservatives favor, mainly because the party likes to model itself on the villains in Disney animated films.

    Shapps is correct that the Conservatives lack the votes to repeal the ban. Gay marriage, on the other hand, may pass with a three-quarters majority.

    Posted by: Ben | Dec 26, 2012 11:55:11 PM

  6. @IBAN4YESU, Stevens is in NY giving a perfectly adequate performance of Morris Townsend in The Heiress, based on a James novel but adapted by others, and the show is stopped by his first entrance by applause from Downton Abbey fans. (I stopped watching Downton mid-season two, when the writing became so bad it was embarrassing.)

    As a career move, he's leaving a popular show (my opinion of the show notwithstanding)in which he plays a major part and he seems to be hoping for a Hollywood centered career. Good luck with that, and let's all watch what happens during the next ten years.

    Posted by: Elsewhere | Dec 27, 2012 11:07:54 AM

  7. The problem w/ American TV is it doesn't know when to quit. Stevens seems to know better.

    I knew it was a James adaptation, of course. I just wanted to avoid naming the play directly, because of that vile "Torture works!" redhead who plays the title role! (Isn't that hyperexposed, hyperhyped B word everywhere, yikes?!)

    Once again, Stevens did the NY theatre b4 the series, too. So, those idiotic Downtonbots :-P (of which u r not one!) don't exactly make the sun rise every morning! LOL

    Dr.Who, ballyhoo, anyhoo, TV sucks!! At this rate, even the all dolled up Shirley MacLaine can't save the sinking ship...

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Dec 27, 2012 12:28:10 PM

  8. It's a hell of a shame that Stevens' interview has effectively spoiled the season 3 finale before most Americans have seen even the season's 1st episode. At least some other outlets are offering "spoiler alert" warnings before spilling the beans.

    Posted by: piminnowcheez | Dec 27, 2012 1:04:35 PM

  9. Well. there's life b4 and after Downton.

    Here's Dan's great reviews of his US theatre debut, fresh out of Cambridge, I believe:

    "...the delightfully goony Dan Stevens..."

    "Dan Stevens, a riveting new actor....What makes Stevens' portrayal so affecting, beyond his ability to run the gamut from rage to misty-eyed romanticism, is his knack for transforming familiar speeches so they sound fresh and new. He takes risks with every line and gesture, never becomes actorish and appears to be discovering material rather than simply reciting it...."

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Dec 27, 2012 1:17:05 PM

  10. I mean, when Dan is given an opportunity to work in such an important film (directed by the out helmer Bill "Gods & Monsters" Condon* ), why should he have to stuck in the fool's box?!;-P :

    Dan Stevens Joins That WikiLeaks Movie Starring Benedict Cumberbatch

    * I didn't know he dated Ryan Murphy!

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Dec 27, 2012 5:03:41 PM

  11. "the likely reason behind his departing decision comes from his role in the as-yet-untitled WikiLeaks film, which finds Bill Condon directing Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange. Another project gathering quite an extraordinary cast, the film finds Stevens portraying a hacker compatriot to Assange's right-hand man, Daniel Domscheit-Berg (played by Daniel Brühl), and one can definitely see why the young actor chose to end his successful run at 'Downton.'

    Regardless, PBS will air the third season of “Downton Abbey” in the U.S. on January 6th, while production on the WikiLeaks film begins next year."

    Two Dan's in the same film! Sigh, I could die! LOL

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Dec 27, 2012 5:07:00 PM

  12. As much as I don't like his sentiments, I do admire Sir Paul Coleridge for putting money where his mouth is when he created his non-profit to fight divorce. Such a refreshing approach. Although as many pointed out, he should have kept his mouth shut as a memeber of the judiciary commenting on pending legislation.

    NPH & David Burtka: LOL

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Dec 28, 2012 2:29:57 AM

  13. Hold on, @#%$ the vile Spielberg has a hand on this one! %$#@, indeed!!:

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Dec 30, 2012 9:37:57 AM

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