Saturday, May 15, 2010

Okay, the "Kagan gay" thing (or, If I'm a fair judge...)


Today on ABC/Washington Post’s “Top Line,” Richard Socarides – a prominent Democratic gay-rights advocate who worked alongside Kagan in the Clinton White House – said the White House appeared “flat-footed” at the beginning, but appears to have gotten its messaging under control.

“I think the whole conversation now is probably more silly than anything else, and is probably mostly about bloggers trying to drive traffic to their blogs,”

That's preposterous. I remember I was talking about this just last year. Let me set the scene for you.

I was attending the Golden Globes, my date was Scarlett Johansson.

(To be honest, first I called Jennifer Lopez.)

(But try getting that girl's ass out of a hot bath.)

We walked past Gwyneth Paltrow and Leslie Bibb on the way into the auditorium.

Gwyneth and Scarlett took turns giving each other feeling looks (Gwyneth never has liked sharing); Leslie busied herself by making sure all her right places were seen in all the right places.

But her naked desire to look as cute or cuter as America Ferrera...

--had in Maxim, was apparent to all.

After watching Tina Fey win, we decided to slip out for a bite to eat.

On the way, we came on Rooney Mara

We asked her to join us and make this a threesome. She said yes, and the three of us decided to go down to a diner I knew with kick-ass hamburgers on delectable buns.

As we walked into the diner, Rooney whispered to me that she couldn't wait to suck down an ice-cold Coke.

To our surprise, who should be there but Kristen Wiig! She was playing with a doggie; Photobucket styled like a trucker-chick, and eating a pickle.

However, I digress.

My point is I remember, while all that was going on, turning to Kristen and saying that this blogger, for one, would never go so low as to write provocative things into his blog, merely in hopes of driving his traffic up.

And I never will.

Oh, and Connie Britton is having an affair.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, back to the story at hand.

Socarides said Kagan will be able to fairly judge all issues that come before the court. That includes those touching on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning gay and lesbian service-members from being open about their sexuality – a policy Kagan spoke out against as dean of Harvard Law School.

All jokes aside...this is what really made me want to talk about this. The argument some are making that Kagan's sexuality is a real issue in whether or not she should be confirmed. Or that if she is, and indeed also a lesbian, she should recuse herself from any issues involving gay people.

The answer to that seems so obvious. What about all the issues involving straight people the rest of the court rules on all the time? Why would one think they can judge issues involving their sexuality fairly, but Kagan--again, if she is indeed gay--cannot?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Roger Ebert's writing a memoir

And I can't wait to read it.

Don't worry, be oily

I don't sleep well. I know this mostly because every night I make my bed, and every morning the sheet has been pushed off. I can only assume that if I were subject to one of those sleep studies where they film you during the night, you'd see a great deal of tossing and turning. I also usually have pretty vivid dreams.

I'm mentioning all this, because I have a terrible sick certainty that all the people who ought to be held to account for the oil spill, from the oil companies to the white house, sleep just fine.

Case in point:

Don't worry about that pesky oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP CEO Tony Hayward says: It's "relatively tiny" compared to the "very big ocean."

Hayward launched this novel defense of the worst spill in U.S. history during an interview with the Guardian that deserves a full read, especially with BP fighting the Obama administration's push to make the company pay the full tab for cleanup costs. The BP chief executive acknowledged for the first time that he expects his future with the company to be "judged by the nature of the response" to the current crisis; this may help explain his stream of delaying tactics and excuses.

"We will fix it. I guarantee it. The only question is we do not know when," Hayward told the Guardian. "The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume."

To paraphrase Jon Stewart: You're not helping your case!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission plans to at least double the number of gray wolves hunters can kill this year

The proposed quotas would reduce the state's wolf population between 8 percent and 20 percent from last year's minimum count of 524 wolves, according to state wildlife computer models.

The proposed quotas do not include wolves killed by wildlife officials responding to complaints of attacks on livestock. Some 145 wolves were killed that way in 2009.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thank You, Aaron

Aaron Sorkin, that is:

First things first. An actor, no matter which sex they're attracted to, can't "play" gay or "play" straight. Gay and straight aren't actable things. You can act effeminate and you can act macho (though macho usually ends up reading as gay), but an actor can't play gay or straight anymore than they can play Catholic. The most disturbing thing to me about this episode is that the theater critic for Newsweek didn't know that. Of COURSE gay actors can play straight characters -- it's impossible to believe that Mr. Setoodeh would prefer if Ian McKellen would stop doing King Lear.

(The third story on my homepage yesterday was that Britain, our closest ally, has a new Prime Minister. The first story was about Justin Bieber. Unless the new Prime Minister is Justin Bieber, something's obviously gone wrong.)

Haven't done this for a while...

...sometimes rather than send you to a particular item, I like to recommend an entire website. In this case, it's the H-Post, where you'll find more than a couple good stories about the Gulf oil spill today...

Oh, son of a bitch

Tyler Lambert, son of Diff'rent Strokes star Dana Plato, committed suicide last week, reports PopEater. He was 25.

The Tulsa, Okla., office of the Chief Medical Examiner told PopEater that Lambert died from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head on May 6, almost exactly 11 years after his mother ended her life.

To describe my feelings at this event, I need a word that means both sorrow and disgust. Also, I suppose, marvel, because that I do, at how a family could go so wrong.

I also think, and this is an odd thing to think but I do think it, one of the more tragic things about it all is that...well have you looked at a Diff'rent Strokes rerun recently?

Dana Plato couldn't act; she had no business being a star of a television series. And I don't see that it did much for her but help shorten her life.

I guess what we can learn from this...which is what we're supposed to do with tragedy, as that someone nearly always has it worse than us. I don't use the word tragedy lightly (in this instance); BTW, I actually do think this whole family was a Greek play unto themselves.

Or maybe some Scotch-Russian plays (which is my derivation, if you get the point).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Usual Suspects

Which philosopher are you?
Your Result: Sartre/Camus (late existentialists)

The world is absurd. No facts govern it. We live well once we truly accept the world's absurdity. YOU give our life's meaning, and YOU control your world.
(see Nietzsche for very closely tied beliefs)
--This quiz was made by S. A-Lerer.

W.v.O. Quine / Late Wittgenstein
Early Wittgenstein / Positivists
Immanuel Kant
Plato (strict rationalists)
Which philosopher are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Could be worse--I could've been the Marquis De Sade.

(Or Joss Whedon)

For pete's sake, I'm straight, and my friggin' gaydar goes ping ping ping just by looking at 'im...

Or, "Okay, the FRC founder caught with male escort thing."

You've probably heard about this.

I hadn't said anything about it yet because...Anti-gay Christian turns out to be closeted homosexual?

I'm sorry, that's just not news anymore.

It's as much of a sureity as temperature rising in the summer.

The only thing I could think of to add was, looking at the picture above that's been all over television...Who could've possibly known this man was gay?

However, today, I realized that the anti-gay group of which this "not gay, never have been" chap was a member is one that I blogged about four years ago.

At that time, they'd attracted my attention by a member of their "Science Advisory Committee"* saying that black Africans who were taken from their homes and made slaves were better off.

In other words, this is just a real good group...and I'm kinda proud I was taking the Mickey out of them before it was popular.

*I don't think they're using any of those words right.

From an MSNBC story...

Oil companies pass the buck for Gulf spill:

President Barack Obama, after being briefed on the latest developments Monday, directed that more independent scientists get involved in seeking a solution to the spill.

Oh, so now you want to listen to the scientists.

Fuck you.

Scientists will tell you we need to update the pollution laws. A majority of "laymen" will tell you that too. Our best scientists have been warning us for years that we need to make the transition to renewable energy.

On the other hand, before this spill, you favored (and still favor) offshore drilling.

All due respect, Mr. President Obama, but fuck you.

(For that matter, scientists told you not to clone dinosaurs, but did you listen? No!)

Oh, you have got to be kidding me.

I'm beginning to think that Anne Hathaway may be somewhat careless in her choice of lovers...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Someday before I die, I have to visit Yellowstone.


Worth a read (edited w/addition)

Kagan in Context: Shafting Progressive Values

Excerpts to whet the appetite:

For more than 15 months, evidence has mounted that President Obama routinely combines progressive rhetoric with contrary actions.

The corporate-military centrism of the Obama administration has demoralized and demobilized the Democratic Party's largely progressive base - the same base that swept Nancy Pelosi into the House speaker's office and then Barack Obama into the White House.

And, now, if the president's nomination of Kagan is successful, the result will move the Supreme Court to the right.

Progressives should fight the Kagan nomination.

I don't know if I agree with every word of this from beginning to end, but it's definitely worth a read.

ETA: Another look at Obama's choice of Kagan, by Glenn Greenwald. Excerpt:

...Our politics is nothing if not tribal, and the duty of Every Good Democrat is now to favor Kagan's confirmation. Conservatives refused to succumb to those rules and ended up with Sam Alito instead of Harriet Miers, but they had a much different relationship to George Bush than progressives have to Obama (i.e., conservatives -- as they proved several times late in Bush's second term [Miers, immigration, Dubai Ports] -- were willing to oppose their leader whey they disagreed). The White House knows that progressives will never try to oppose any important Obama initiative, and even if they were inclined, they lack the power to do so (largely because unconditional support guarantees impotence).