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63 posts from July 2016

July 31, 2016

Answering Trump Supporters

Trump_and_Pence

Wayne Grudem, a Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona, writes at the conservative website Townhall.com about why he supports Donald Trump. His article, "Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice," acknowledges several of Trump's character and behavioral flaws and then says it doesn't matter if the alternative is worse. He goes into a long list of issues on which he claims that Trump is better than Hillary Clinton.

I could not disagree more with Professor Grudem, so here I will respond to several of them. Given the enormous gulf between the candidates with regard to experience and qualifications, this election should not be close. The fact that the race is close should be a stark reminder not to treat the frightening prospect of a Trump presidency as something to dismiss lightly. Perhaps you may find some of my arguments useful in making the case to friends and family members who are sticking with Trump despite his almost daily barrage of appalling statements. Here goes, for what it's worth.

Abortion. I am sick of the religious bullying on this issue. The utter contempt for people making different choices in this area is very disturbing. I am personally troubled by abortion, and think that the ideal situation is for unwanted pregnancies to be prevented through contraception. But the question of whether to continue or end a pregnancy is not my decision. It is up to the woman. You can say a thousand times that this makes me pro-abortion, but that is not true. Respecting people's right to make a different choice than mine does not mean I agree with that choice. The point is that IT IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

As for contraception, the Catholic Church, in which I was raised, is stoutly opposed to it. A leading anti-choicer, former senator Rick Santorum, has made it clear that he does not just want to overturn Roe v. Wade, but also Griswold v. Connecticut, which legalized contraception for married couples, and Eisenstadt v. Baird, which did the same for single women. I find it stunning that people in this day and age are willing, much less determined, to mind their neighbors' business in such an intrusive way. The constitutional separation of church and state protects everyone by prohibiting us from imposing our religious dictates on one another.

Continue reading "Answering Trump Supporters" »

July 30, 2016

Houston Chronicle has seen enough, endorses Clinton

Imagine Texas going blue.

Meet Tyler Clinton

Some gratuitous beefcake for a Sunday afternoon.

John Oliver on Trump's false equation of feelings with facts

John Oliver takes on the belief by Trump and his minions that they can create feelings, and feelings are equal to facts. He doesn't mention it, but this recalls Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Newt Gingrich is shown brazenly asserting that people's "feeling" that crime is up and the economy is down, which the evidence shows is the opposite of the truth, is just as valid as the correct information cited by a reporter. He refers to the FBI crime report as the work of "theoreticians."

So whipping up crowds into a fury over Trumped-up lies makes the lies true. This insanity is what you are voting for if you don't vote Democratic. Because the GOP is in thrall to nihilism in service of power at any cost, even if the cost is treason.

July 29, 2016

What was it with the California delegation?

There are activists, then there are grievance collectors. With the country threatened by fascism and nativism, these folks were busy swallowing Republican smears to nurse their bitterness over not getting everything they wanted. They were never Democrats.

Cleveland cancels Pride amid safety concerns

Federal Appeals Court Overturns NC Voter ID Law

Big news. At this point, the Republicans seem to realize that they can only win elections if they steal them.

Jill Stein, anti-vaxxer

Disturbing. These days it can be hard telling the far left from the far right.

Khizr Khan at DNC 2016 slams Trump's Islamophobia

A powerful rebuke of Donald Trump's Islamophobia by the father of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who died in service to this country.

Reverend William Barber shakes the rafters at Democratic Convention

Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the Moral Mondays movement, gave a powerful speech Thursday evening at the Democratic National Convention. He is a strong ally of LGBT equality.

Hillary Clinton accepts Democratic nomination

Hillary Clinton wears Suffragist white as she accepts the Democratic nomination for president.

Opinion | What we owe Elie Wiesel

I don't know how I missed this a couple of weeks ago. Former GLAA president Craig Howell writes about the key role the late Elie Wiesel played in ensuring that the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum would include all the victims of the Holocaust, including gay folk.

July 28, 2016

Navy to Name Ship After Gay Rights Activist Harvey Milk

A fine honor for Harvey Milk, who served in the Navy. As our friend Michael Bedwell says, "He continued to wear his Navy belt with its Master Diver insignia buckle literally until his dying day."

Sarah McBride is first trans person to address a national convention

Brava to Sarah McBride, who just became the first openly trans person to address a national convention. I remember the day of her husband Andy Cray's funeral, and how sad beyond words it was, though leavened with grace and joy at the remarkable life Andy had lived. It is just great seeing Sarah's poise and positivity in addressing the convention.

Tom Chorlton included in "In Memoriam" video at Democratic convention

The In Memoriam video that was shown at the Democratic National Convention on July 27 included former Gay Activists Alliance member Tom Chorlton. Others familiar to Washingtonians who were included are former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, civil rights veteran Lawrence Guyot, and civil rights and HIV/AIDS activist Mario Cooper.

Chelsea Clinton: 'Ex-gay' therapy worst part of GOP convention

First openly gay player in NCAA basketball tournament leaving sport

Thank you, Derrick Gordon, for your courage and grace, and good luck in facing your next challenge.

Students at schools with Gay Straight Alliances far less likely to be bullied

Hear what this gay black man with HIV had to say to the Democratic Convention

Meet Daniel Driffin. A must-watch.

The nation Barack Obama built

Alan Grayson campaign unravels amid calls to quit

This is a rare case where I will say good riddance to a liberal Democrat. Alan Grayson has such a toxic personality that he alienates his own allies.

Why Donald Trump fails—and Hillary Clinton passes—the commander-in-chief test

Mother of Orlando shooting victim speaks out in support of Hillary

Obama: Hillary is 'that woman in the arena'

The astute, muscular heart of the president's speech last night:

Look, Hillary's got her share of critics. She's been caricatured by the right and by some folks on the left; accused of everything you can imagine – and some things you can't. But she knows that's what happens when you're under a microscope for 40 years. She knows she's made mistakes, just like I have; just like we all do. That's what happens when we try. That's what happens when you're the kind of citizen Teddy Roosevelt once described – not the timid souls who criticize from the sidelines, but someone "who is actually in the arena... who strives valiantly; who errs... [but] who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement."

Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena. She's been there for us – even if we haven't always noticed. And if you're serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You've got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn't a spectator sport. America isn't about "yes he will." It's about "yes we can." And we're going to carry Hillary to victory this fall, because that's what the moment demands.

Artistry that restores us at a dark time

One of the great film noirs is The Night of the Hunter from 1955, starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, and Lillian Gish. This reading by director Charles Laughton features some of the film's hauntingly beautiful cinematography and music as the children flee down the river. I needed a break from current affairs yesterday, and this artistry from a dark film was restorative. Evil can be overcome.

Wikipedia writes:

The Night of the Hunter was not a success with either audiences or critics at its initial release, and Laughton never directed another film. Nevertheless, the film has found a wider audience over the years, and Mitchum's performance, in particular, has been praised.

The film was shot in black and white in the styles and motifs of German Expressionism (bizarre shadows, stylized dialogue, distorted perspectives, surrealistic sets, odd camera angles) to create a simplified and disturbing mood that reflects the sinister character of Powell, the nightmarish fears of the children, and the sweetness of their savior Rachel.

Kaine: Somos Americanos todos

Tim_Kaine_in_Honduras

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine has demonstrated throughout his career how faith can motivate service rather than be used as a tool for bullying.

Obama lifts Clinton with soaring address on DNC night 3

An exhilarating moment last night in Philadelphia. President Obama gave the best speech of his career, and Hillary came out to thank him.

Obama delivered one of the finest lines of the convention:

The American Dream is something no wall can ever contain.

July 25, 2016

Trump's GOP Inherits the Wind: Time to turn back a fascist mob

My new Blade column gapes at Trump's fascist rally in Cleveland, as well as the growing scandal over Russian interference in the American election. And I examine the sharp contrast between the two parties' vice presidential candidates. Have a gander while you watch self-defeating leftists trying to sabotage the proceedings in Philadelphia.

July 20, 2016

Animated gay dads to make Nickelodeon debut this week

Trump's Walk of Fame star gets a tiny border wall

(Hat tip to our friend Josh Riley, who comments, "Exquisite shade.")

Trump vets advisor: Hillary "should be put in the firing line"

Our friend John Becker writes on Facebook (reprinted here with permission):

SHAME -- The chants of "lock her up!" from the delegates and speakers at this week's Republican National Convention are disgraceful and baseless and chilling enough, but now we have a surrogate for and adviser to Donald Trump going even further: he's calling for Hillary Clinton's execution.

That's right, they're calling for the execution of their political opponents now. That's something that happens in dictatorships, not democracies.

Republican friends, let me be perfectly clear: if you do not immediately, explicitly, unequivocally, and loudly condemn and repudiate this hateful ugliness, you are tacitly condoning your party's dangerous slide into the evils of authoritarian fascism. Period.

There can be no hedging on this, no sitting on fences. How you choose to respond will reveal whose side you are on. I'll be watching.

Trump supporter: Armed club-goer could have stopped Fla. massacre

Anyone who buys this crap should get their head examined.

The RNC spectacle so far

So the fascist rally broadcast from Cleveland Monday night included plagiarized material from a 2008 Michelle Obama speech, music from Freddie Mercury, and America portrayed as a crime-ridden hellscape when crime is down and the economy has significantly improved over the last Republican administration. Even with the sound muted, Rudy Giuliani looked like a madman. The prospective First Lady, aside from being given stolen material to read, showed herself to have a weaker command of English than many of the other immigrants whom her husband attacks. The Democratic candidate was condemned over Benghazi despite nine investigations having found nothing on her, demonstrating again that we are in a post-factual age. What we did not see were policy proposals. Just appeals to the mob.

On Tuesday evening, I could not bear to un-mute my TV to hear what Jeff Sessions was saying in his nomination speech for Trump, but he was grinning like an idiot. One of Donald Trump's sons said, "He will be a great father to this nation." Pardon me, but that is not the job he is running for. One speaker said, "Experience counts." Who was he talking about? Certainly not the Republican presidential nominee.

MSNBC cut into a speech by the president of Standard Waterproofing (seriously, that is typical of their lineup) so Chris Matthews could interview Giuliani. What a painful choice that must have been. They should have interviewed someone with diarrhea from the norovirus that's going around the convention. That would have been more interesting.

Continue reading "The RNC spectacle so far" »

Ben Carson doubles down on Satan-Clinton connection

Seriously, Uncle Ben last night linked Hillary Clinton to Lucifer. What a sad spectacle he has made of himself, wrecking a once-shining reputation. But keep talking, Doctor. Don't pivot to the general election. Keep the crazy on display.

She would not, could not, with a goat

The Tina Fey of 2016 has emerged, and it is our best girl, @LauraBenanti. Now I have something to look forward to during the rest of this campaign. Brava, Laura. You nailed it. My favorite moment is her squinting at the teleprompter.

The laid-off journo who caught Melania's plagiarism

Bravo to Jarrett Hill, who just improved his chances of a job offer to return to journalism. On a selfish note, I hope it is in broadcasting, considering how easy he is on the eyes.

Look at the company gay Republicans are keeping

Pamela Geller? Geert Wilders? Fine company you are keeping, Chris Barron.

Kirchick: If Trump wins, a coup isn't impossible here in the U.S.

I am appalled to say this, but I entirely agree with Jamie Kirchick, who by the way is not just a conservative, but an outspoken one.

July 15, 2016

JJ Abrams on George Takei's 'preposterous' reaction to Sulu being gay in new Star trek flick

July 14, 2016

"Survey Shows How the Trans 'Bathroom Predator' Myth Hurts Real People"