Wednesday, January 30, 2008
And we get to add him to our hot politicians list (boy next door category).
I have written about this before.
This morning, as I sit at my desk, I hear a "click" and turn around to see that the stereo has turned itself on. This has happened before.
But a few weeks ago, the morning I was leaving for Vegas, I was in the kitchen (where most instances have happened, and felt a stir of air as if someone had rushed into the room, and I heard footsteps and a voice that seemed to be greeting me. I turned around to say good morning to the LTR, only to find no one there. So sure was I that he had come downstairs and bounding into the kitchen that I checked the bathroom next to the kitchen and the dinning room as well.
With the hair standing on the back of my neck, I continued making my cup of coffee.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The crew will remain clothed throughout the flight for safety reasons.
No word on what those "safety reasons" are. Something about "full, upright and locked position" I'm sure.
Fast forward to yesterday and these remarks, first Ted Kennedy:
"With Barack Obama, we will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion," the straight against gay."senator said Monday in endorsing Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. "With Barack Obama, we will close the book on the old politics of race against race, gender against gender, ethnic group against ethnic group, and
And then Obama:
"The dream has never died ... it lives on in those Americans, young and old, rich and poor, black and white, Latino and Asian and Native American, gay and straight, who are tired of a politics that divides us and want to recapture the sense of common purpose that we had when John Kennedy was president of the United States of America," Obama said.
I was unswayed by Bill Clinton saying our name in the 90s, but Obama and Kennedy's mention of the "G" word leaves me encouraged. Why?
They said it at a mainstream audience in a key if not pivotal endorsement that will receive wide publicity. It seems more a barometer of true belief than a pandering gesture said to a gay enclave to be forgotten once the enclave is out of sight. This doesn't exempt holding Obama (and his party) to taking productive action on those beliefs. But I feel it is an encouraging sign that the Senator from Illinois means what he says.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Martinez says she does not judge other gay leaders on how public - or private - they choose to be. For her and numerous others, however, personal authenticity is essential for good leadership.
"You can't be in leadership and not be who you are," she says. "You lead by example. Leaders have to be truthful and open. I couldn't live any other way."
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Most people, when they take a picture, always says it looks better in real life. But Adams captured that part that looks better. It's all there in his photographs.
The Ansel Adams exhibit at the Corcoran closed today so the LTR and I hightailed it down there after our Sunday workout and lunch.
He was pretty good.
This is one of the pieces I liked most.
I'm not sure why the Golden Girls had such gay appeal. There is certainly a bit of Dorothy, Blanche and Rose in just about every gay man I know. And the show addressed gay issues with a deftness and grace long before Will and Grace addressed them through playing up stereotypes.
Here's a famous scene.
"The black is $1 extra."
And here is a good analysis of Obama's breakthrough win and the challenges that still confront his path to the nomination.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Let's start with Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's former labor secretary:
I write this more out of sadness than anger. Bill Clinton’s ill-tempered and ill-founded attacks on Barack Obama are doing no credit to the former President, his legacy, or his wife’s campaign. Nor are they helping the Democratic party. While it may be that all is fair in love, war, and politics, it’s not fair – indeed, it’s demeaning – for a former President to say things that are patently untrue (such as Obama’s anti-war position is a “fairy tale”) or to insinuate that Obama is injecting race into the race when the former President is himself doing it
Item: Billary loves to whine about the "politics of personal destruction." But Billary's campaign has taken to the low road, running ads falsely accusing Obama of supporting federal deficits and private Social Security accounts, and distorting his position on hot-button issues such as abortion. Newark Mayor Corey Booker, who branded the attacks "outrageous" and "dishonest," told Newsweek's Jonathan Alter: "We're trying to offer an alternative to the Republicans' fear and smear campaigns, and now we're being dragged down to their level by the Clintons."
The recent roughing-up of Barack Obama was in the trademark style of the Clinton years in the White House. High-minded and self-important on the surface, smarmily duplicitous underneath, meanwhile jabbing hard to the groin area. They are a slippery pair and come as a package. The nation is at fair risk of getting them back in the White House for four more years. The thought makes me queasy....
...The [Clinton] style is very familiar to official Washington, not just among the Clintons' partisan adversaries, but among their supporters. The man lied to his friends. All the time. They got used to it. They came to expect it. I observe a good many old hands among the Senate Democrats are getting behind Obama. It would be good to know more about why they declined to make the more obvious choice of endorsing the power couple.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Speaking of gray hair, I was shaving earlier this week and saw what I thought was a stray thread on my chest. Wrong. It was a gray chest hair. And I found two more, much to my horror. The hair on my head has long been turning gray, and the argument could be made at least it can look distinguished. The same cannot be said of gray chest hair. I may start shaving.
Sigh. This was not a good week to feel young and beautiful.
Bring Him Home/Les Miserables
Brokeback Mountain 1
Brokeback Mountain 3
Brokeback Mountain "Wings" Club remix
Don't Blink/Kenny Chesney
Fanfare for the Common Man/Aaron Copland
Foggy Mountain Breakdown/Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs
I Will Never Let You Go/Jackie Greene
La Traviata Act I: Libiamo Libiamo Ne' Leiti Calici/Jose Carreras
Live Like Horses/Elton John
Miss Otis Regrets/Bette Midler
Nights in White Satin/Moody Blues
Ol' Man River/William Warfield
Paradise by the Dashboard Light/Meatloaf
Piano Man/Billy Joel
Swan Lake Scene Finale Act 4/Tchaikovsky
She Bangs/Ricky Martin
She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy/Kenny Chesney
Song for a Winter's Night/Gordon Lightfoot
Song for a Winter's Night/Sarah MacLachlan
Stay with Me (live version)/Bette Midler
Who Wants to Live Forever/Queen
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Various camps in the Peruvian Andeas
37,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean and Western US
Guernsey County, OH
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
For most of this country’s history, we in the African-American community have been at the receiving end of man’s inhumanity to man. And all of us understand intimately the insidious role that race still sometimes plays – on the job, in the schools, in our health care system, and in our criminal justice system.
And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King’s vision of a beloved community.
We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.
The speaker was Barack Obama. I've said before he mentions gays to audiences he doesn't have to and has chided black ministers for the hostility that sometimes emanates from African-American pulpits towards gays. This is another example.
Sully has the whole speech.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I spent the morning at a high school in Henderson where several precincts were caucusing. Voters couldn't tell which rooms they were supposed to go to be in the right precinct. I saw several leaving in frustration. Finally someone made the announcment that no one would be turned away, just go to "any" precinct and you could participate even if it wasn't your own.
Saw a woman interviewed by the local TV who was turned away at another location and told to come to this one, only to be told she was in the wrong place. She left before the "anyone can caucus here" announcement was made.
Outside a woman with a Clinton sign asked everyone coming in if they were a Hillary supporter and if they were not she asked to speak with them. That, coupled with Bill Clinton's appearances on the strip at the at-large Culinary workers caucuses gave the Clintons a better caucus-day strategy than Obama.
Ever gracious, the Clinton campaign declared victory and victimhood in the same statement.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Both Edwards and Hillary attacked him for saying good things about Reagan, twisting his words into an endorsement of Reagan's policies, which is not what he said.
And worse, attacking his 100% positive pro-choice record. The Obama campaign sent out an email today with this response to the distortions:
"From the beginning of this campaign, Barack has pledged to be open and
honest with the American people -- to tell us what we need to know, not just what we want to hear. That kind of honesty is at the core of our movement, because if we adopt Karl Rove campaign tactics of deception and fear, we're never going to change Washington and bring the country together to get things done.
Over the last few days, those same old tactics have come to Nevada.
Hillary Clinton has sent direct mail pieces to Nevadans distorting Barack's
position on Social Security.
She is on the radio deliberately confusing voters about his
long-standing opposition to Yucca Mountain.
She is on TV misleading people about his outspoken position against the
war in Iraq.
But perhaps most disturbing, Clinton has attacked Barack on his 100%
The tone of Senator Clinton's campaign has been so negative that even
her supporters are saying enough is enough. Lorna Brett, a former Clinton donor and president of Chicago National Organization for Women, had this to say about the tactics:
'I was disappointed that Hillary Clinton would launch misleading
attacks on Barack Obama and his unimpeachable record on a woman's right to choose. I have switched my support to Barack Obama because I know the truth. I cannot be a part of that kind of deceptive politics.'"
I have a feeling Hillary will win. It depresses me. Why? Because she will have won by deception and by playing to what divides us. Yes, I know that's how the game of politics is played...but in Obama I sense a politician who wants to change those rules.
I've posted on this blog before I became an Obama supporter that I longed for a leader who would, as Lincoln did, appeal to "the better angles of our nature." I think Obama is that leader. I just fear he will be destroyed by the clawing desperation of boundless ambtion.
When he first entered the room he was wearing a button-down plaid shirt. Someone gave him this blue Steelworkers for Edwards tee. He stepped behind some flags, took his plaid shirt off and put the tee shirt on. Although I couldn't really see him changing, I, Like Terri Hatcher, can now claim to have been in the same room with a bare chested Mike DelFino.
Romney has the hottest looking guys.
Romney also comes across better in person than he does on TV. Meaning he actually is human. Who knew?
Judging by crowd size and enthusiasm I'd rate the campaigns Obama, Romney, Edwards and then Clinton
Clinton's campaign is the only one I've witnessed coaching its audience on how to cheer.
Clinton has attracted the smallest and least enthusiastic crowds.
Obama offers more specific proposals and plans than his media coverage...and his ads...would suggest.
Edwards comes across as genuine and his supporters are fired up.
Obama is the only candidate I've seen who did not give misleading statements about his opponents. He did talk about policy differences in the context of explaining his policies that were being attacked by Hillary and Edwards. He did not attack them. The same can not be said for Hillary and Edwards with regard to him.
Obama kept me waiting the longest. I think Hillary and Romney are tied.
Chelsea Clinton is a becoming young woman. But Josh Romney is smokin!
Obama's volunteers were the most aggressive in trying to sign me up; Hillary's the least. In fact, Hillary's event was the only one where I didn't sign in, because they never asked me to.
Most shameless use of a prop: Romney picking up his granddaughter for no apparent reason other than it was a good picture.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The top three Democratic candidates were just asked it and all three gave cheesey responses, from Obama's "I'm disorganized" to Hillary's "I'm so eager for change I get impatient!"
Obama's answer will hurt him.
But I'm heartened that three bright, talented and ambitious people at the top of their game are just as lousy at answering that question as I am.
Monday, January 14, 2008
After my humbling victory in New Hampshire last Tuesday, I said that New
Hampshire had helped me find my voice.
What? With that vaunted 35 years of experience she's just now finding her voice?
Since the former prez has invited us to think about words and deeds, I'd like to point out that during his administration he said the right words about gay rights, but when it came to deeds gave us Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Words. And deeds. Indeed.
Andrew Sullivan expands on the theme.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Then, the Borg tried to assimilate me (supervised by the Borg Queen herself) but Captain Janeway saved the day.
And it all started with an overpriced lunch at Quark's Bar and Grill.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
It was to start at 10:30 which is when I arrived...and waited in line until almost midnight and there still weren't letting people in. I left. My friends back home will be dissapointed, but look, I'd been standing in a line, first for Obama and now this, since 4 pm.
Besides, I can't stomach Bruce Vilanch who was holding court with cameras at the front door. It kinda ruined the pornstar mood.
Hillary's event was at a Mexican restaurant near the Strip. There was a crowd of maybe 100 or so, mostly older Hispanic women. The Hillary staff and volunteers were all very young. One of the staffers took a small group of attendees to a corner of the parking lot for "training." He proceeded to teach them how to wave their signs and chant.
If I had to guess, I'd say most of the people there were Party activists. From listening to them talk that's the way it sounded. And their talk was laced with two things: Hillary's talking points "ready on day one" and a visceral hatred of George W. Bush. One Hispanic lady standing behind me went on a 20 minute diatribe in Spanish cursing him. Uh, somebody might tell these people that he won't be on the ballot in November.
The Hillary people struck me as committed and they were all enthusiastic when a beaming Clinton and daughter Chelsea finally showed up (more than two hours late, no explanation given). Prior to the arrival, sporadic chants of "Hill-ar-ee" broke out from the crowd when a passing motorist would honk in support or frustration and the traffic backup we were causing. One older woman like to chant a flat mechanical "Hill-ar-ee" by herself as if in a zombie trance.
One other thing I'll mention about the event -- in Nevada, one of the most powerful unions is the Culinary Worker's Union, who has endorsed Obama. At Clinton's event, there were pre-printed signs saying "Culinary Workers for Clinton." They were passing these out and a Clinton staffer yelled to the crowd, "are there any REAL culinary workers to hold these signs?" I'm not sure he had any takers.
OK, Obama: Obama had a town hall at a large high school gymnasium near the airport. The parking lot was about the size of two football fields. I arrived around 4 pm for the event which was scheduled to start at 6:30. The line was already from the front door of the gym and circling three-fourths around the parking lot. Before it was done the line would circle around the parking lot and down the street. 2,000 people ended up getting in the gym; the campaign said they had to turn nearly that many away.
The crowd was very diverse. I couldn't categorize it as more black than white, more young than old. It was everything. Standing with me in line was a middle age black man who had never participated in a political event before.
People were very enthusiastic but the wait in the cold was long. By the time I got into the gym my back was killing me from standing on hard pavement in hard shoes. But the pre-speech planning was good (after the truly awful high school jazz band stopped playing). They had almost the entire crowd singing and dancing and waving Obama signs to the Temptation's "Shout" and other R&B and rock and roll hits. It felt like a street party. I had to keep reminding myself this was a primary event. It had the size and girth of presidential events I've attended.
We were delayed because Obama stopped outside and made some remarks to the people who couldn't get in. When he came in, the place went nuts.
He was as you've seen; captivating, smooth and even a little cocky. But never condescending and he came off genuine and passionate, and was good about weaving big themes back into specific responses to policy questions. At one point during his stump speech I heard a heavy muffled sound behind me, and I turned around to see large powerfully built black man holding back tears. My new friend who had never been to one of these events was beaming.
Health care and immigration were the most frequent topics of the questioning. Obama offered detailed responses to policy questions; almost surprising given the criticism that he's long on hope and short on details. My aching back begs to differ. He wasn't short on anything.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
McCain took independents away from Obama.
The tears helped Hillary. It was an incredible human moment and what did she need? To show she could be human.
The Clinton's organization was able to match the Obama organization in turnout.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Using a combination of new technology and targeting we have been able to quadruple the impact of every hour you spend in the office. It allows you to talk to four time more voters and win four times more votes.
I guess all that vaunted experience doesn't extend to proofreading.
- A law requiring confessions made to the police to be videotaped. This was initially opposed by, well, everyone, but Obama prevailed and it passed the Senate by 35-0.
- He passed Illinois' first earned income tax credit
- He passed the state's first campaign finance reform law in 25 years, making Illinois one of the "best in the nation" on campaign reform, according to the Washington Post.
Taken together, these accomplishments demonstrate that Obama has what Dillard, the Republican state senator, calls a "unique" ability "to deal with extremely complex issues, to reach across the aisle and to deal with diverse people." In other words, Obama's campaign claim that he can persuade us to rise above what divides us is not just rhetoric.This Washington Post story has more.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
This is the "elder" Hawaiian hula dancer I told you about earlier. The lighting was bad and I was behind the stage, but I think you can still catch the beauty radiating from her face and smile as she dances.
Friday, January 04, 2008
It wasn't long ago thatObama had the prescience to note last night in his victory speech that his message has stayed the same all along. 's campaign scoffed at the notion that young voters would deliver an election. How quickly thing can change.
Just seconds into her speech Friday morning, Clinton was declaring herself the candidate for America's youth,,,
That's why after her third-place finish in, Clinton got off her plane in and declared: "This is especially about all of the young people in New Hampshire who need a president who won't just call for change, or a president who won't just demand change, but a president who will produce change, just like I've been doing for 35 years."
I have confidence the New Hampshire voters will know a phony when they see one.
And when is someone going to ask Hillary what "change" she is talking about? And if she's been doing it for 35 years then isn't she part of the establishment? She's trying to have it both ways.
Oh, but she is a Clinton. Of course she is trying to have it as many ways as she can get it.
Wasn't eight years of that enough?
I take responsibility for that. So I'm going to in the next five days do as much as I can to talk about my record in creating opportunities for young people.There she goes again.
Absent a sincere national vision, which Obama has and Hillary doesn't, this is the recipe for the politics of division. It's why she came in third in Iowa. If the politicians divide us all into nothing but special interest groups it's no wonder we lose a national consensus.
Yes, I have my own "special interests" as a gay man and I DO care where each of the candidates come down on those issues. However, Obama makes me feel a part of a larger community. He elevates the conversation beyond my narrow provincial interests without making me feel he'll toss my issues overboard the minute it's politically inconvenient for him.
I don't agree with Obama on everything. But his vision for a united America, his call to be one people again and his desire to move past the politics of victimization and marginalization make him, in my view, the leader America needs.
For me, Obama’s that guy. He does not come with the bullshit baggage of the Baby Boomer culture wars. He’s even in disposition, capabale of lecturing black churches on their homophobia while telling the nutroots to take a hike. While watching him this evening, even I started feeling that slight tingle on the back of my neck that we are witnessing history. A potentially transforming history. Can a black man finally occupy the highest office in the land? What effect would this have on the psychological scars and wounds that currently make racial discourse in America almost completely unbearable? The possibilities suddenly become tantalizing.
If I cannot have Thompson to vote for on a policy level, then I’ll vote for Obama for these reasons and more. Fluff reasons? Perhaps, but has anyone actually looked at the other candidates running?
Thursday, January 03, 2008
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada — The key to any successful option attack is the play of the QB. And despite having to miss time while banged up, Kaheaku-Enhada made many big plays at big times for this team.
The Navy football team was on the leg of my flight from LAX to BWI yesterday, including this captivating gentleman, Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku Enhada. He was nice enough to be wearing shorts and, as a bona-fide leg man, all I can say is, "Go Navy!"
He caught my eye in the waiting area in Los Angeles and I of course had no idea he might be someone "famous" until I saw a woman approach him for an autograph. Then it also dawned on me there were a lot of really good looking men on my flight, as well as quite a few in Navy uniforms. I put two and two together (I'm a little slow, sometimes) and figured out I was travelling with a Navy sports team (no, I did not know they were playing in the Poinsettia Bowl. I did not know there was such a thing). I googled Navy Football and found Mr. Enhada (which he has tattooed on his leg, btw).
Funny, I've suddenly become a fan of Navy sports.
Except on gay marriage, Obama has hit all the right notes on the gay rights issues of the day, and he has refused to pander. He has chastised conservative black pastors and white evangelicals alike for opposing gay rights and aggressive HIV prevention. He even refused the demand from gay activists that he reject the support of Grammy-winning gospel singer Donnie McClurkin because he claims to be “ex-gay.”
Obama is the only candidate who talks regularly about gay rights, including civil unions, in front of national audiences, and he is the candidate best suited to reach out to independents and Republicans in the general election and in fulfilling the promises he has made as a candidate.
If you can vote in the Democratic primary where you live, there is no better candidate on gay rights than Barack Obama.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
The old year slipped away as surely as a ruby sunset into the sea.
And the new dawned with an intensity as to awaken a white-light fire in a long dead volcano.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
"The findings mark the largest lead of any of the Democratic candidates in the Register's poll all year, underscoring what has been a hard-fought battle among the three well-organized Iowa frontrunners."
"Obama's rise is the result in part of a dramatic influx of first-time caucusgoers, including a sizable bloc of political independents. Both groups prefer the Illinois senator...."