Friday, October 31, 2008

A Plea for Your Help from No on 8 to Save Marriage Equality

The No On 8 folks have a new ad that can be an effective tool in support of saving marriage equality in California and the hope of marriage equality rights in other places if it survives. But they need your help to keep it on the air. Please support this. I have. Here's the plea:

This morning's Field Poll carries news that Prop 8 is narrowly losing, 44 to 49%.
This initiative battle is razor thin. We know that 7 to 10% of voters are still up for grabs.

And Tim Gill and Scott Miller will match your donation up to $100,000 if you respond NOW.

We knew we needed something more. Something big. Something to remind California voters that there were times in our history when we did not stand up against discrimination, and these are times we now regret.

So our new ad -- which we call "History
" -- focuses on the central fact of this campaign: it is wrong to discriminate and wrong to treat people differently under the law.

This new ad, narrated by renowned actor Samuel L. Jackson, drives home the message that discrimination is always wrong. Watch the ad and make a donation to keep it on the air.

Now it's our turn. It’s our turn to make sure we do everything we can do so the next generation grows up in a more decent society -- a society where discrimination against LGBT Americans remains part of that sorry past rather than enshrined in our Constitution.

We must keep this ad on television statewide through Election Day. To make that happen we must raise at least $1.5 million today. Please donate NOW

Halloween Humor

So, it's Halloween. The clerk at my gym is dressed as Elvis (and pulls off a pretty good one at that).

After my workout I go back to the front desk and say to Mark a.k.a. Elvis:

"I've lost an item...I wondered if maybe someone turned it in."

Mark/Elvis cocks an eyebrow at me as if to say, "Tell me what it is, thankyouverymuch."


"It was a pair of blue suede shoes."

They just love me at my gym....

Save Marriage Equality

The Mormon Church has poured $20 million into the fight for Prop 8 in California. Prop 8 would make marriage equality, already a fact in California, unconsitutional.

You may not live in California and think this doesn't affect you, but you're wrong. I have four friends who just returned from California. They were married there. You may have friends who have married in California or would like to. And other jurisdictions are watching -- the DC City Council will likely introduce a bill to enact marriage equality in the District of Columbia IF it is not voted unconstitutional in California (if Prop 8 passes).

If you know people who live in California, email or call them. If you live in California vote NO. And write Gov. Schwartzenegger (who opposes prop 8) and ask him to speak out publicly.

Go here to find out what you can do. Polls say that it is very close.

And if you want to know what the other side is saying, listen to this. You won't be surprised.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reason Number 8

Obama's spending will add less debt to the budget over the next four years than McCain's, according to the CBO. And he gives a larger portion of the economy a tax break than McCain. Spends less, taxes less. Sorry, Joe the Plumber.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008


I think there is progress. And then find out you've been written out of the story. I guess I now fully understand the difference between "accepted' and "tolerated."

Identity Politics Over?

Andrew Sullivan thinks so:

Yes, there do appear to be some older white voters in Appalachia and other
pockets of the country who simply will not vote for a black man.But unless we
are all drastically shocked on November 5, the broader truth is that vast
numbers of white Americans are prepared to vote for a black candidate.

Not so fast. It's not just the older generation of white voters who will not vote for a black man. From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

...Johnson, a lanky 20-year-old white man who works as a meatcutter at a
grocery store, starts to talk about an issue that has persisted throughout the
campaign: race.It is not just that Obama is black, Johnson says. He has heard
that Obama is Muslim. (Obama is Christian.) He also has heard rumors that Obama
refuses to salute the American flag, and that Obama has promised that black men
will have more rights than white men. (Independent fact-checking groups say
these rumors are false.)

Reason Number 9

A president who will be strong, thoughtful and deliberate on foreign policy, not knee-jerk reactive and risky.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Redskins Sunday

You can always tell when the Redskins are playing -- you see guys walking down the street wearing Skins jerseys headed to the stadium if it's a home game or to the bar or a friends house when it's away. Often with a 12 pack of Bud or Miller in hand.

Today was Redskins @ Detroit.

And how did I spend my Redskins Sunday?

Well, today I had brunch with my two bestest gal pals*, followed by a full body massage**.

I just love Redskin Sundays.

*when a gay guy says "girl friend" he could be referring to either gender. Gal pals connotates friends of the female gender.

**by my massage therapist, not by my gal pals. We're close, but not that close.

***I totally stole this asterisk thing from Lacochran's bloggery

McCain - Palin

Sent by D.R. I couldn't resist.

Reason Number 10

We need a president who can inspire the rest of the free world to be pro-American after eight years of arrogant, go-it-alone foreign policy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Prop 8, McCain and My Straight Friends

I'm trying to work something out. I can't quite put my finger on it.

The other day a straight colleague who is a staunch McCain supporter said to me, "I'm sorry about your father-in-law."

Father. in. law.

Although I think of the LTR's dad in those terms I was kind of startled to hear him acknowledged as such by someone who supports the political party that would use the highest law in the land to ensure that he would never get that designation. That even now the candidate he supports is in favor of Prop 8 in California which would take the right for gay people to have father-in-laws away.

It brought to mind all the straight friends and co-workers who individually have no problem with my relationship and have said to me that it's "silly" we can't marry, but who then give money to and vote for the party and its candidates who support constitutional amendments that would prevent this from ever happening.

I understand that its not a pressing issue to them. They have the right to marry, after all.

But if the shoe were on the other foot...if I were supporting candidates who wanted to take the right to marry away from them, would they be civil to me? Would my support for such a candidate be a matter of passing lightheartedness the way I currently deal with my Republican friends and co-workers?

Doubtful. After all, Romeo and Juliet died for their love; the Greeks went to war with Troy so Theseus could marry Helen. Love and marriage would seem to be a deadly serious business.

So, I appreciate the fact you recognize my relationship with my life partner's father as equivalent to that of a "father-in-law."

And the fact that you vote contrary to that sentiment I'll try not to take personally and ignore it -- even though I doubt the opposite would be true.

11 Days, 11 Reasons

With 11 days until Election Day, I've written 11 reasons to Vote O. I've tried to keep it as pro-Obama and less anti-McCain, but in an election that's a choice between two men it's difficult to not draw contrasts. So, with no particular order, here is my first reason:

We need a president who respects the rule of law and won't bend the Constitution into a pretzel to expand presidential power.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Joe McCain (John's Bro) Calls 911: to Complain About Traffic

Hotheadedness appears to run in the family. It's now a trifecta of distracting McCain stories -- the $150,000 wardrobe, the highly paid makeup artist and now the brother abuses 911.

A Time for All Things

The LTR's father passed away this morning at 6:45. His eldest son was with him, playing his guitar for him as he passed.

There are men who made more money than he did; who were more successful in their careers; but there damned sure weren't any men who laughed harder or loved their families more.

In short, he was a very rich man.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The McCain-Palin Legacy

Buh-Bye, Marilyn Musgrave

The NRCC is pulling out of Rep. Marilyn Musgrave's race for re-election. Musgrave was the principle sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment and was rated by the American Conswervative Union as the most homophobic conservative member of the House. She is in a tough re-election bid. And with this news, it just got tougher.

Keep your bigotry in your house, Marilyn, and out of the U.S. House.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Why I'm a Republican" -- the GOP Freakshow Continues

This will be John McCain's legacy, as expressed in this letter by a Republican official in New Mexico. Sad, since he once seemed to bring out the best in people, and now he has encouraged some of people's baser fears:

I believe there is a moderate and a socialist in this election. I agree with a
two-party system, but Obama isn't a messiah or a democrat.

He's a Muslim socialist.

I'm surprised she didn't say "terrorist." Maybe that's just implied.

Palin's Clothes (or, how happy are you RNC donors?)

Sam Stein puts it in context:

Palin's fashion budget for several weeks was more than four times the median
salary of an American plumber ($37,514). To put it another way: Palin received
more valuable clothes in one month than the average American household spends on
clothes in 80 years. A Democrat put it in even blunter terms: her clothes were
the cost of health care for 15 or so people.

The Republican vs. Democrat Dance Off

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Young Obama and His Grandad

Andrew Sullivan has been posting pics of Barack's grandpa and noting the resemblance between the two (it is striking).

What a great family snapshot. But is that a young Todd Palin in the background? (just kidding, just kidding).

Jesus Save Me From Your Followers

Good. God.

McCain Supporters Stand Up to Anti-Islamic Redneck


A commenter wonders why:

McCain has somehow made these fanatics from the far right think that it is
acceptable for them to act this way at his rallies. Why?

I'll take that one. Because his campaign questions Obama's patriotism at every opportunity and accuse him of "Pallin' around with terrorists."

Good for the McCain supporters who stood up to this nutjob. If only they could get the top of their ticket to see the light, too.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Unexpected Trips

Since October 5 I've taken several expected trips: To Michigan, Missouri, Illinois and Colorado.

Ohio wasn't supposed to be on the list.

Where is it written that unexpected trips are always for bad reasons? Perhaps in college I took off for someplace with no warning just to do it without the impetus of a bad reason. I can't think of any. Certainly can't think of one since being an adult I've taken many weekend road trips and traveled in this country, Europe and Central and South America. All were planned, expected trips.

I took an unexpected trip to Ohio with the LTR to be with our family after his father suffered a massive stroke from which he will not recover.

I'm trying to decide if death is an expected trip or an unexpected one? We all know it's a trip we will take someday, but the moment when that final journey occurs is random, beyond control. Unexpected.

Or maybe, death -- like birth -- is a trip that is both unexpected and expected. We know it's going to happen, it's only the exact moment that is unexpected.

And maybe, death -- like birth -- is just a traumatic journey from one world to the next.

I hope so.

And if that is so, when my father-in-law finally makes that ultimate expected and unexpected trip, I do know this much: he's going to bring the next world a helluva lot more laughter.

Bon voyage, Dad.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The British Are Humming

Actually, singing. There's a Brit chorus staying at my hotel (and also a contingent of U.S. military lads, an interesting mix, one lovely to listen to, one lovely to look at).

They really do say "quite right." I heard it.

I didn't know it was a chorus...I just knew the hotel was overrun by the English, until tonight the women were all in evening gowns and the men in tuxes and they all carried a black folder: clear choral clues. They were in town to do the Verdi Requiem

As the elevator disgourged them and me I wished them to have a good Dies Irae. They laughed. The English get my sense of humor. Maybe I'll be famous and appreciated there someday, the way Jerry Lewis is in France.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where are the Pitchforks?

Kill the Bikers

More evidence that DC motorists want to kill the cyclists:

The roommate of one of your SWDCBloggers was intentionally struck by a car
early Saturday morning just north of the National Mall. He was riding south on
14th St., NW approaching Constitution around 1:15 a.m. when a driver began
cursing and yelling at him to "get off the road." The driver then gunned his
engine and rammed into the bike.The intersection where the crash occurred is
located inside the Central Business District, within which, under DC law,
cyclists must ride on the roads and may not ride on the sidewalks.The cyclist,
who was wearing a helmet, was treated at The GWU Hospital and released with
non-life threatening injuries. Witnesses identified the license number of the
car, which is registered in Virginia. If anyone has any more information or saw
the crash, please send us an email.

For the LTR

I miss him.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The Great Schlep

Getting Jewish kids to go visit their grandparents in Florida and get them to vote Obama.

Erratic McCain

This graph from the Weekly Standard is a good summary of the dizziness that is McCain:

"Such contradictions have become a defining characteristic of the McCain campaign over the last month as his strategists try to find something--anything--that will stop his slide in the polls. He suspended his campaign and threatened to skip the first presidential debate unless there was agreement on a bailout plan. There was no agreement, and he debated anyway. He said big government caused the current financial mess and then called for more of it. He called for a federal spending freeze and then proposed having the Treasury buy individual home mortgages at a potential cost of $300 billion.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just a Little Bit Country (and a little bit Broadway Show)

Driving through rural southern Illinois (my old stompin' grounds) I passed "Earl's Kuntry Skillet."

I called someone to tell them that and to say "kuntry."

Then I realized what I was doing. "Does this make me an elitist?"

I tried to compensate by playing some John Denver tunes on my guitar when I got to my hotel (yes, I'm travelling with my guitar these days. It makes me feel so, oh, I don't know, Julie Andrews walking into the Von Trapp family mansion for the first time whenever I get to my new hotel).

McCain Loses

McCain has lost my father's vote. This is good news. Not because my Dad is going to vote for Obama (he says he's voting for Ron Paul). And since my dad lives in Illinois how he votes isn't going to change anything anyway.

But my dad is a bellwether. Conservative, Fox news-loving and hawkishly nationalist and pro-military, even he can see that McCain is "acting crazy" (his words).

"He's not the same candidate he was three months ago," Dad says. And if he can get that, well.

There's hope.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Something Squirrelly In Washington

If you've ever been in DC you know we're overrun by the cute little critters.

The WaPo has a feature on them -- they were scarce commodities around here until the government decided at the turn of the last century to re-introduce them and protect them from hunters. Strange for the government to help a species known to hide their nuts while the government puts their nuts in plain view, but, I digress.

However, one fact surprised me. Do you know the average lifetime for a squirrel? 11-12 months. A year. And the average squirrel has 4-8 babies before she dies.

So what I don't understand is -- who's hiding the dead squirrels? Sure you see them dead on the road occasionally, but as many squirrels as there are and as clumped together as they seem to be in city parks you'd think we'd be awash in squirrel cadavers. You'd think someone would raise a stink about it.

Perhaps, like elephants, they wonder off to a dying field, a place yet to be discovered in Rock Creek Park. If the park can hide the remains of a high profile murder victim from a DC police dragnet (Chandra Levy) surely it's adequate to hide the hollow where squirrels go to die.

Or, maybe the rats eat them. Perhaps the politicians, in a rare act of public service, clean them from the streets on the way home from their fundraisers or trysts with young interns. But then...I repeat myself.

All I know is, when it comes to squirrel deaths in DC...there's something fishy going on.

On the Road Again

Heading out for Michigan, Missouri, Colorado. Will be gone for two weeks.

I'll write what I can of my adventures on the happy trails...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Things that Go "Woof" in the Night

My house is haunted -- I've told you that before. We hear sounds, bumps, a voice and sometimes footsteps. It's the footsteps that are the creepiest.

Some of these sounds have been confirmed by house guests -- and usually the most skeptical ones, like my father.

"Did you come downstairs last night?" my Dad asked on one visit.

"Nope. Why?"

"I heard someone walk down the hall and then I saw someone standing in the doorway."

Wasn't any living soul in the house who did that.

A few weeks ago I thought I saw Ranger, our dog who died two months ago. I was walking down the hall to the kitchen early one morning and she passed my going the other way. When my mind caught up with my eyes, I turned around and, of course, nothing.

Now, I was groggy, just waking up and the house was dark. It could have just been shadows and a sleep addled mind. Right?

Last night -- or early this morning, rather -- I was awoken by the usual night sounds, some random thumps and bumps from the second floor. I was just about back to sleep when Ranger barked.

"What is Ranger barking at" I thought as I came back to a more alert stage of consciousness. Oh, I then realized. Must have just been a dream. Right?

But wait. There's more.

We have a white noise maker in the bedroom, to shut out street and, well, other sounds. It's one of those devices that can make sounds like waves crashing on a beach, or a rain storm. Last night it was set on waves on a beach. Shortly after I heard Ranger bark I began to hear a faint voice on the beach..."help me..." Repeated over and over. I'd never heard that before.

Now, I realize I'm quickly slipping into parody peril here...with thoughts of the Vincent Price version of The Fly and the little voice going "Help me..." This was more of an alto voice...soft, faint, as if carried by the wind.

I tried to ignore it, thinking it was just some trick of my spooked-out mind. It wouldn't go away. Finally, I switched the thing to sound like a rainstorm. No voices there.

So friends, I'm either losing it -- seeing things and hearing voices -- or there is more to life and death than we know. I'm not sure which I choose to believe. And despite the creepy nature of these things, I don't ever feel threatened (if the little voice in the white noise maker had been saying "get out" that would be a different story).

It's just the occasional nights of lost sleep that I mind.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Biden and Palin on Gay Marriage

In case you missed it, here's the part of the debate where Biden and Palin talked about gay marriage. A few points:

1) Realizing that straight people are in the majority in this country it still rankles when I hear them talk -- as Sarah does -- about "tolerating" us gays. I guess tolerate us like a skin rash that will eventually go away.
2) She implies "some of my best friends are gay." I wonder.
3) Biden pinned her down at the end as supporting full and equal civil rights for same sex couples as couples, the same as straight people get. Let's see how long that stands.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Greatest of These is Love

One of the most beautiful passages from the New Testament turned into an ad against Prop 8 in California. Question: This is truly a beautiful ad -- but it is politically effective?

Sarah Palin Reads Everything!

Maybe she even reads this blog! Hi Sarah!