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Senators Not Keen On Hagel For Defense Secretary: VIDEO


Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel cleaned up one political headache, kind of, by apologizing for comments he made in 1998 about Ambassador James Hormel being "aggressively gay."

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.

Continue reading "Senators Not Keen On Hagel For Defense Secretary: VIDEO" »

News: Iran, Ohio, Big Tex, Chris Kluwe

1NewsIcon Former Jersey Shore star Angelina Pivarnick now says that same-sex couples should be able to get married, even though she said precisely the opposite just last week.

RomneyOhio1NewsIcon A new Obama campaign ad running in the crucial swing state of Ohio hits Mitt Romney on his infamous "let Detroit go bankrupt" op-ed, while another commercial from the president's reelection effort criticized the Republican rival's education policy. Meanwhile, Romney's campaign claims that a second Obama term would bring more debt, more taxes and general malaise.

1NewsIcon Justin Timberlake's got a ring on it.

1NewsIcon Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, an advocate of curbing illegal immigration with moats and alligators,said that marriage equality is a "socioeconomic issue". "Walsh argues that 'male-female, two-parent households' produce children who do better in school, stay away from drugs and are less likely to be in poverty," reports the Chicago Tribune.

1NewsIcon Check out the Michael Jackson BAD 25 trailer.

Bigtex1NewsIcon RIP Big Tex.

1NewsIcon Just two days before Mitt Romney and President Obama's debate on foreign policy, officials say that Iran has agreed to nuclear talks. From the Times: "The United States and Iran have agreed for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials, setting the stage for what could be a last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a military strike on Iran."

1NewsIcon A profile on Elizabeth Emken, the GOP Senate candidate from California: "Prior to her friendship with Diaz, Emken had a similarly intense friendship with Tim Radi, a fellow member of the group, not realizing that he too would later come out as gay. 'It was the same pattern as with me,' Diaz states. 'She had intense feelings for him, but he didn’t want to date her. It was as if history were repeating itself.'"

1NewsIcon In addition to allegations that she fixed the school's state-based ratings, a Queens principal named Nancy Casella is accused of making racist, homophobic and other offensive comments.

Kluwe1NewsIcon Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe made good and debated marriage equality with empty chairs representing various anti-gay foes, including Michele Bachmann. To Bachmann's lie that same-sex marriage will lead "all schools teaching homosexuality," whatever that even means, Kluwe responded, "I would say that that is a flat out falsehood. What we'll be teaching our children is tolerance. We'll be teaching our children that it is okay to be who you are." And to the argument that marriage equality is "redefining marriage," Kluwe says, "We're not redefining marriage to take away someone's rights. We're redefining marriage to give someone rights. It's about freedom." Video here. I'll try to find an embeddable version.

1NewsIcon Former NFL player Kris Jenkins thinks it's time for a player to come out.

1NewsIcon Flava Flav was arrested.

Iran's Ahmadinejad Says 'Homosexuality Ceases Procreation': VIDEO


In the United States for the UN General Assembly, crazed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sat down with CNN's Piers Morgan. Morgan, perhaps forgetting that Ahmadinejad is a vitriolic, tenacious and willfully unreasonable homophobe, asked the Iranian president whether a man such as himself has a responsibility to extend rights to gay people.

Ahmadinejad, who looks like he's been visiting Vladimir Putin's plastic surgeon, says no, only he says it with right-wing platitudes: "Do you believe anyone has given birth through homosexuality? Homosexuality ceases procreation. Who has said that if you like or you believe in doing something ugly and others do not accept  your behavior, they're denying your freedom. Who says that?" He then equates same-sex love with thieving.

Morgan also asks Ahmadinejad what he would do if one of his children came out. Ahmadinejad avoids answering the direct question, choosing instead to claim that homosexuality can be eradicated through education reform. "The proper education must be given; the education system must be revamped; the political system must be revamped," he said. "But if you, if a group recognizes an ugly behavior or ugly deed as legitimate, you must not expect other countries or other groups to give it the same recognition."

Watch Morgan and Ahmadinejad's exchange AFTER THE JUMP.

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Filmmaker Hopes to Bring Attention to Plight of Gays in Iran: VIDEO


Filmmaker Wajahat Ali Abbasi is hoping to spread awareness about the plight of gays in Iran with a film inspired by the 2005 hanging of two gay youths there.

Watch the Kickstarter trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

Here's the film's page.

Continue reading "Filmmaker Hopes to Bring Attention to Plight of Gays in Iran: VIDEO" »

Romney Shrugs off Newsweek 'Wimp' Label, Talks Iran and Israel: VIDEO


During his trip to Jerusalem, Mitt Romney sat down with Face the Nation to discuss his position on Israel and Iran:

Wimp_romney"I respect the right of Israel to defend itself. We stand with Israel. We're two nations that come together in peace and we want to see Iran dissuaded from its nuclear folly."

Romney refused to speak about differences between his and Obama's policy while "on foreign soil".

"I don't want to create new foreign policy for my country or in anyway distance myself...Are there differences between [Obama and me]? Of course. But being on foreign soil, particularly being here in Israel, this isn't the right time for me to draft those out....[W]e should use every diplomatic and political vehicle that's available to us to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear capability state. Those actions should be executed with the greatest speed that we can muster. If all those options fail... then we do have other options and we don't take those other options off the table. But that's as far as I'm willing to go in terms of discussing this matter while on foreign soil."

Romney also commented on his "wimp" Newsweek magazine cover:

"If I worried about what the media said I wouldn't get much sleep."

Watch the Face the Nation interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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NEWS: Retroactive Retirement, Celeste Holm, And Heckles (VIDEO)


Towleroad-roadicon Senior Romney advisor explains discrepancy over Romney's Bain retirement dates: He didn't leave 'til 2002, but he retired retroactively to 1999. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...

Towleroad-roadicon Rahm to Romney: Stop whining

Towleroad-roadicon Obama's humblebrag, and the ill health of campaign discourse:

when Charlie Rose showed up at the White House asking the president what he thought his big mistake was, all that remained a mystery was how Obama would evade the question.

President Obama chose the humblebrag: "The mistake of my first term—couple of years—was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that's important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times." 

... The president was essentially saying that he was working so hard trying to help the American people, he forgot to tell them about it.

Towleroad-roadicon This was the gayest Comic-Con ever:

“Queer fandom is absolutely galvanized by seeing more accurate representations of ourselves,” [says Justin Hall, author of the just-released “No Straight Lines,” a retrospective of LGBT comics.] “There’s a snowball effect.”

“It’s always been going on under the surface, but now there’s a real queer presence,” adds Love Ablan, a self-described pop culture nerd who’s bisexual. “Even among non-queer fans. My super-straight guy friend is totally into this comic about queer bears.”

Towleroad-roadicon Aretha Franklin would like to be the new J-Lo.

Towleroad-roadicon Actress Celeste Holm has died. She was 95. 

Celeste-holm-02 Towleroad-roadicon Here's a very sad, very compelling story written about Ms. Holm last year, detailing the conflict between her children and young husband about the disbursement of her ravaged fortune:

To its various players, this story is about a young husband coveting his elderly wife’s fortune, or jealous sons guarding their inheritance or an independent-minded woman trying to maintain control of her finances even as her faculties decline. It is a cautionary tale for families trying to manage one of our age’s emblematic conflicts, between elderly parents who want to live autonomously and adult children who want to protect them, made more vivid by the presence of the Broadway and screen actress at its center. From all sides, it is a story of loss. 

Towleroad-roadicon Father arrested in Iran for son's contributions to Imam-mocking Facebook page:

The Facebook page, dubbed the "Campaign to Remind Shias about Imam Naqi," features a robed man, presumably Naqi, with a face like Charles Manson's, flanked by a camel wearing sunglasses and the donkey from "Shrek." It also shows a picture of a Shiite tomb that has been pooped on by a flock of pigeons.

With more than 21,000 likes, the page explains, "Our goal is to use satire to take out the superstition from religion."

... On May 23, Khameneh got a call from his father, Abbas Khameneh, in Iran.

"He said, 'some people from the intelligence service had come (to our house), and they want you to cooperate,' " Khameneh recalled. "My father said, 'they want your passwords to your Facebook, web blog and e-mail ... '"

Towleroad-roadicon Madonna sued for comparing Marine Le Pen to Hitler. 

Towleroad-roadicon Olympic shooter complains that gay couples get to cohabitate in Olympic village, while he and his wife do not. 

Towleroad-roadicon Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heckled in Egypt with cries of "Monica! Monica!"

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