As Senator John Kerry sat before his peers today to begin confirmation hearings for his Secretary of State nomination, a Code Pink activist stood up to protest drone and other targeted killings in the Middle East. You can watch the Talking Points Memo video, via Joe.My.God, AFTER THE JUMP.
Before that, though, take note that Kerry was asked about former Sen. Chuck Hagel's Defense Secretary nomination, a nomination marred by controversy over comments about gay people and Israel, and that Kerry said he thinks Hagel is a "strong patriotic former senator."
[GOP Sen. Bob] Corker asked Kerry whether Hagel's past involvement with Global Zero, an international group promoting the elimination of nuclear weapons, would be appropriate at the Defense Department.
"I think he is a strong patriotic former senator, and he will be a strong secretary of defense," Kerry responded. "And I think some of the things that have been -- some of the efforts to color Senator Hagel's approach on some of these things don't do justice."
"I don't think Hagel's going to sit there and going to go over to the Defense Department and a proponent [of Global Zero]," Kerry added.
Watch the protest video AFTER THE JUMP.
With the Oscars almost upon us, the folks at farsite foreast, where Nate Silver's statistical formulas are applied to the entertainment world, have broken down LGBT-related Oscar, SAG and Golden Globe wins and nominations from years past.
A sample of their analysis:
In the last ten years, in particular, there are 13 identifiable LGBT roles that have received Oscar nominations, and quite a few more who have picked up SAG and Golden Globe nods. Nominees range from the iconic (winners Sean Penn as Harvey Milk and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Capote) to the ordinary (Christopher Plummer in Beginners and Annette Bening in the Kids Are All Right).
While we seem to celebrate the straight actor or actress taking on the daring challenge to play gay, consider that we have no openly gay actors or actresses who have won an Oscar, and few have even been nominated.
We should include a few caveats. Gay actor John Gielgud Won for Best Supporting Actor in 1981 for Arthur and he was nominated in 1964 as well. Despite a gay scandal in the British tabloids 1953, Gielgud’s sexual orientation was not well-known or publicized in Hollywood. Recent news-maker Jodie Foster has twice won and four times been nominated for an Oscar. But, until last week’s Golden Globes, Foster’s identification as a Lesbian was Hollywood’s worst kept secret. She, in fact, made this into a punch line in her speech.
Sir Ian Murray McKellen has long been out and proud. But, despite multiple Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, five Emmy Award nominations, and two Academy Award nominations, Sir Ian has never taken home the Oscar.
This year's LGBT-related nominations are outside the "Big 5" realm: Tony Kushner is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for Lincoln and ParaNorman is up in the Best Animated Feature category, making the first animated movie to feature an openly gay character and be recognized by the Academy.
The graphic above will pop out into a larger window.
Prince Harry has been making the media rounds as of late, including a sit-down with CNN. During his time with them, Harry abruptly stood up and ran off, presumably to fight Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.
In light of the royal's remarks about war being like a video game, some editors re-imagined what was really happening when Harry cut his interview short.
Find out what got Harry so excited AFTER THE JUMP. I've also included CNN's actual story on the young prince, as well.
Currently tucked away in a studio recording his forthcoming album, Justin Timberlake is keeping our aural appetites whetted with a lyric video for his new single, "Suit and Tie."
Learn the words now, because this and the other tracks Timberlake's laying are sure to be ubiquitous in the weeks and months to come. And that's a very good thing.
Check it out AFTER THE JUMP.
The march toward marriage equality in England and Wales took a big step today when Culture Minister Maria Miller introduced a Parliamentary bill legalize unions for same-sex couples today. And now that that's done, a debate date has been set: February 5th.
The BBC has more:
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will be debated in Parliament on Tuesday 5 February, the leader of the Commons Andrew Lansley has announced.
The legislation will allow gay marriage, including by religious organisations which want to offer it.
However, the Church of England and Church in Wales will be legally barred from marrying same-sex couples.
Most observers agree that marriage equality will comfortably pass through the Rhode Island House today. And while there's still the Senate to overcome, many are optimistic that's a done deal, too.
Marriage equality in Rhode Island just makes sense. Most Americans support it, the newly elected lawmakers representing Rhode Island's electorate support it, and all of the state's neighbors support it. It's a no brainer. But then we have groups like National Organization for Marriage Rhode Island. They claim that Little Rhody needs to stand with the heartland, not its New England neighbors.
From the New York Times:
The driving force against gay marriage is the National Organization for Marriage Rhode Island, an offshoot of the national group that has worked against it in several other states. It objects, among other things, to the suggestion that Rhode Island has some kind of obligation to go along with the rest of New England.
"We belong to the United States of America, not to the United States of New England," said Christopher Plante, the executive director. "Rhode Island stands with the vast majority of Americans in understanding that marriage is the union of one man and one woman." Thirty states have constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.
I'm sure many Rhode Islanders would love to see Plante and company pack up and move to Mississippi circa 2004. Sadly that's not possible, so Plante should just go ahead and accept reality.