Friday, August 31, 2007

Iowa Says "I Do" to Same Sex Marriage (Iowa???)

Yes, Iowa. Kids, you know things are getting pretty strange in the world when a state known best for... well... hmmm....maybe corn?...has found a way to give the nod to same-sex marriage before so-called bastions of liberalism like New York has. But in this case, strange is fine by me.

The story: Yesterday, an Iowa county judge ruled that the state's law "allowing marriage only between a man and woman violated the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection." As such, couples of the same-sex would clearly have a right to marry. Expect a lengthy appeals process to ensue, but in the meantime, county officials have been ordered to process the marriage licenses of the six couples who originally brought the suit. And not surprisingly, calls are coming in from other gay couples around the state who want to take advantage of the ruling before it has any opportunity to be overturned by a higher court.

Hooray! And yes, I know it may be way too early to celebrate, but there's so much depressing news out there as relates to gays, that it just feels good and right to fete even the tiny steps forward.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beating Up Gay Dudes is SO FUNNY, Tucker!

Just when I think I've lost all my love for Gawker, they go and remind me why I once loved them so much: in this case, by posting this remarkable clip of MSNBC's Tucker Carlson admitting that he once physically attacked a gay man who made advances on him. Gawker asks: Did Tucker Carlson just admit to a crime? The answer is, absolutely--and I hope the man whose civil rights he violated comes right out of the woodwork and nails Tucker's butt to the wall.

Not to worry, though--this one isn't going to sleep quietly: GLAAD is now speaking up and asking Tucker to apologize for his comments. That oughta show him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Remembering Katrina

If you followed my instructions a few weeks back and checked out the posting I was doing from down in Mississippi and Louisiana during our Media Justice trainings, you'll be happy to see that there is now video evidence of the work we did while we were there.

This video, created by Jacquie Soohen, gives a great peek into what the process of putting together a radio documentary really looks like. Plus, she's set it to some seriously dope tunes, which is never a bad thing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Et Tu, Senator Craig?

Ahh, the sweet smell of hypocrisy: in case you don't live in a city like New York where our daily tabloids splash everyone's business all over their front pages, just wanted to share the story of Senator Larry Craig of Idaho--Republican, natch--who was recently busted, and plead guilty to, engaging in lewd sexual (read: homosexual) conduct in an airport bathroom.

Now, far be it from me to revel in any person's misfortune, but this is a guy who has staked his political career on denying equal rights to gays, who was in the past suspected of engaging in sex acts with minors (though never charged), and who has gone out of his way to deny--repeatedly and
over a roughly 25 year period--rumors that he is gay. And now, here he pops up, soliciting sex from a male undercover cop in the Minneapolis airport.

I suppose there's something in this that's very sad--something deeply depressing about a man who's worked his entire life to hide/repress the truth of his sexual identity and urges. Yes, there's something infinitely sad about that. And maybe if he were just any man, rotting away the lives of the people in his family alone, I might be more inclined to indulge that sadness. But the fact that this happens to be a man whose votes on the laws of this land impact the lives of millions of Americans, disinclines me from feel too terribly sorry for Sen. Craig. Mostly, I just want him out of office--because anyone whose hypocrisy runs this deep shouldn't be trusted in a position of leadership. If you're gonna hate on us gays, and deny us rights, then please at least do us the courtesy of not being one of us on the sly. We kinda hate that.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

Proving once again that good things come to those who wait (and that there is some small justice in the United States), Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has tendered his resignation.

According to the CNN report, Michael Chertoff, head of homeland security, is being cued up to take over his post; the President--still on vacation at his Crawford, TX ranch--is expected to make the official announcement at 11:50 am EST.

Thank God for small favors.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Republicans Care About Health Care, Too?

Well, it seems like at least one does--for the moment. Today, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is set to outline his plan for a system of health care reform that would enable states to extend coverage to some of the millions of currently uninsured Americans. It's a model he put in place while he was governor of Massachusetts--and it's nice to see that he hasn't returned to the dark side on this, too, given his recent reformation on most social issues.

Romney's plan sticks to private coverage--no "European-like," universal, one-party insurer here. Still, it's nice to see someone on the GOP side at least gesturing towards the notion that even the (relatively) poor deserve the right to live dignified lives.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pokey Gets a New Gig

Deposed LSU women's basketball coach Pokey Chatman has found a new place to build a championship caliber team: Russia.

Nice to see that the Russians are more forgiving than we are here in the States.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Little Free Advertising for CNN

Not because I feel the need to provide a huge media conglomerate with more space in the universe than it already takes up--but because I really can't get enough of Christiane Amanpour. Which is why both tonight and Thursday night, I will be glued to my seat from 9pm until whenever it ends, watching her special on fundamentalists and religion, called, appropriately enough, "God's Warriors."

Tonight I believe she begins with the Jews, tomorrow moves on to the Muslims, and wraps it all up on Thursday with the Christians. I'm super bummed to be missing that middle episode for a lot of reasons (not the least of which is that Islam is the religion I know the least about--which, I imagine, puts me in the same camp as most other non-Muslim Americans). But tomorrow night Jessica and I have tickets to go see Mr. Barack Obama address the crowds in Brooklyn. So someone's gonna have to TiVo that one up for me.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Michael Vick Pleads Guilty

Not that this is any kind of surprise, but Michael Vick has just agreed to enter a guilty plea on the dogfighting charges pending against him. I thought I'd be happier to hear news like this, happier to watch all those apologists turn crimson and turn tail. But actually, I just find myself a little depressed at the waste of it all: another black man--one who had a real shot at "making it," as we like to say--is likely going to jail, and a whole slew of animals have had their lives ruined. When and where does all the stupidity end???

Juan Cole Goes Heroic on Rove

Listen: I've read a lot of articles about Karl Rove and his tactics, and if any one gets it right it's this one by Juan Cole. It's not just that Cole is able to make an interesting historical connection between Rove's way of being and that of the infamous Joseph Goebbels (while also being quick to say, "Rove is no Nazi."). It's that, better than anything I've read in a while, this article gives a palpable sense of both the cruelty and deception that have become the hallmark of Rove's tenure. When even the folks at Fox News are asking you, a Republican leader, to revisit your sentiments, and the veracity of your statements, you know you've got some deep s**t going on.

Also, I just love the combination of the words "poisonous," "rhetorical" and "legacy" with Rove's name. Brings a shiver of gladness to my spine. Thus, for today, Juan Cole is my hero. Keep it coming, brother.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

HuffPo, AlterNet Pick Up Katrina Story

Luckily enough, this week both the Huffington Post and AlterNet ran a piece I wrote while down in the Gulf Coast. It's about one woman's struggle post Hurricane--in particular her struggle with FEMA to fix a massive leak in the trailer they gave her to live in.

I wish every one of you could meet Vicky Cintra and hear her tell her tale face to face... or meet any of the kids who live in the trailer parks of Renaissance Village... and then make judgments about who deserves what, and what it is incumbent upon the government to do. It's easy enough to cast apspersions on these folks when they're merely an abstraction (that's for you, Alternet commenter)--but it sure gets a lot harder to do that when they become real people, with real concerns, and wide open hearts.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Beauty at Any Price?

My friend Lulu here at work turned my eye today to this little quiz on a site called BellaSugar, which is one of her faves. The quiz is about 20th Century foxes, and is a fun little test of your pop culture knowledge of the winningest ladies of times gone by.

Now, since I'd never been to or heard of BellaSugar before, I decided to poke around a little and see what else they talk about over there besides Gloria Steinem's streaks. Turns out that, in a brilliant catch, they picked up this little number from BoingBoing on a spa treatment that involves having tiny fish nibble away your dead flesh.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Mississippi Burning

Seriously. This place is hot. And wet. And tho in some instances that might be a good combination, for my taste this environment is nowhere near hospitable. The physical environment, that is. The emotional, human component makes up for a lot, tho. That, and the unbelievable food.

Since I've spent just about every minute of the last 4 days thinking about the lasting devastation of Hurricane Katrina, I think I'll use this opportunity to think about something else. Like Hillary Clinton. I'm hoping that despite the fact that I'm Mississippi I'll still be able to watch the Logo/HRC debate tonight (god bless wi-fi). But because I was up to my neck in boiled shrimp at the Imperial Palace Casino buffet last night, I missed the AFL-CIO debate.

I haven't had a lot of time to dig around for feedback on what went on, but I do see on Feministing that there's a little bit of outrage brewing over the fact that Hillary referred to herself as a "girl" during the debate And it's funny: though under normal circumstances I might have the intellectual space to delve into the ins and outs of what that kind of slip of the tongue might mean--to the women's movement, to the political sphere, etc.--something about all the freakin' reality down here makes it a little bit harder to get riled about something which, in the grand scheme of things, is really so minor.

Nobody who was planing on voting for Hillary is not going to vote for her simply because she called herself a girl on one occasion; and frankly, it's probably a wise move for a woman who gets painted as "too hard" by the media to try to soften that image as she gets closer to having to woo voters who are not her natural constituents. It's all a game, right? And Hillary's as expert at playing it as anyone else (and so far, better than any other American woman). So why are we liberals so constantly surprised when she "fails" the various purity tests we put to her? She's out to win a general election, and sadly enough, in order to that she's going to have to sell her soul...again. Time to either get used to it--or find a way to back a different candidate to win the nomination.

Monday, August 6, 2007

This week

Just as a heads up to all my loyal readers: this week I'm traveling in the Gulf Coast for work, attending trainings the Ms. Foundation is supporting that will teach our grantees the art of radio documentary, and blogging about the process. So my guess is that my ability to post here will be limited. That said, if you want to keep up with what I'm up to, check out Should be some interesting info there.

Other than that, all I have to say is... It's freakin' HOT in Mississippi!!!!!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Black Journalist Shot Dead

Given the state of the Fourth Estate--it's elite stature, its more recent synonymy with lunches at Michael's and hobnobbing with the stars--it's become pretty easy to foget that digging for the facts can still be a deadly job. Case in point: Chauncy Bailey, an editor at the Oakland Post (and formerly a beat reporter for the Oakland Tribune) was just executed, right here in the good old US of A, in what police are calling a targeted ambush.

What a waste...

Friday, August 3, 2007

Good Things CAN Happen--Even in the Senate

A little late to the punch on this one, so perhaps you already know, but on Thursday, the Senate approved a health care bill that will increase funding and expand coverage for low-income children--despite the President's threat to veto the bill. Even better, the win was by a large enough majority that W can't override the legislation even if he wants to--a true, bipartisan victory that will improve the lives of millions of children whose lives would otherwise be compromised by lack of access to medical care.

Of course, the fact that this president wanted to deny said children this health care in the first place raises a whole other set of issues... But luckily, on this one, the decision didn't get left to the mighty decider. See? Democracy in action really does work... Sometimes.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Robin Roberts: "I Have Breast Cancer"

Sad to spread this news, but it looks like our sister friend at ABC News, Robin Roberts, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her surgery is tomorrow, with treatment to follow. Let's all keep our fingers crossed for her, and our prayers leveled in her direction.