Some things never change

Rex Wockner is going through his old boxes of photographs — 23 years’ worth — of snaps taken for stories he did for the gay press. He gave me permission to repost this gem:

These are young college Republicans at the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans, performing a bit of winger theatre to counter an ACT UP rally.

Some juvenile things never change, huh? These clowns in the pic could be the Yellow Elephants of today.

Hey look at this piece of GOP nostalgia — here’s Karl Rove as a fresh-faced young Republican in 1972, working for Tricky Dick’s re-election in a CBS News report by Dan Rather (Rove’s about 4 min into it):

Early Rove wisdom from the clip:

“First of all, voter registration is probably the most important function that we are undertaking now. We are also seeking to train college students to run voter registration drives and work to involve young people in campaigns…you can’t get a 35 year old to teach the Republican Party how to get the young people?just can’t rely upon it. Young people have to reach other young people and that’s what we’re seeking to do.”

It’s pretty safe to say that the GOP has lost the youth vote for 2008.

* Good grief – it’s ‘morality week’ at UNC-Greensboro (more…)

FDL Late Nite: Personal Irresponsibility on Desolation Row


  Matthew Dowd, photo from PBS. 

Personal responsibility?  Not much.  Cry me a bloody (Tigris) river (emphasis added):

AUSTIN, Tex., March 29 — In 1999, Matthew Dowd became a symbol of George W. Bush’s early success at positioning himself as a Republican with Democratic appeal.

A top strategist for the Texas Democrats who was disappointed by the Bill Clinton years, Mr. Dowd was impressed by the pledge of Mr. Bush, then governor of Texas, to bring a spirit of cooperation to Washington. He switched parties, joined Mr. Bush’s political brain trust and dedicated the next six years to getting him to the Oval Office and keeping him there. In 2004, he was appointed the president’s chief campaign strategist.

Looking back, Mr. Dowd now says his faith in Mr. Bush was misplaced.


He criticized the president as failing to call the nation to a shared sense of sacrifice at a time of war, failing to reach across the political divide to build consensus and ignoring the will of the people on Iraq. He said he believed the president had not moved aggressively enough to hold anyone accountable for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and that Mr. Bush still approached governing with a “my way or the highway” mentality reinforced by a shrinking circle of trusted aides.


He said his decision to step forward had not come easily. But, he said, his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s presidency is so great that he feels a sense of duty to go public given his role in helping Mr. Bush gain and keep power.

Mr. Dowd, a crucial part of a team that cast Senator John Kerry as a flip-flopper who could not be trusted with national security during wartime, said he had even written but never submitted an op-ed article titled “Kerry Was Right,” arguing that Mr. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2004 presidential candidate, was correct in calling last year for a withdrawal from Iraq.

“I’m a big believer that in part what we’re called to do — to me, by God; other people call it karma — is to restore balance when things didn’t turn out the way they should have,” Mr. Dowd said. “Just being quiet is not an option when I was so publicly advocating an election.” (more…)

Meet “The Right’s Field”


(Image via Katie Gail.  Gotta love the pink elephant…)

Are you looking for a one-stop shop for all the zany hijinks of the GOP Presidential candidates?  Well, look no further, because our friends at The Right's Field sift through the silliness.

A terrific combination of firsthand reporting, compilation, and incisive commentary, The Right's Field joined my bookmarks bar six weeks ago.   I want to know what the GOP candidates are up to — and how TraditionalMedia filters their antics for consumption. Here's a sample of great TRF nuggets just from the last two weeks…. 

Extra irony Rudy news:

Giuliani was briefed on Kerik’s mob ties while his mayoral administration was vetting him to be New York’s police commissioner. Ironically Giuliani’s consulting company, “provides background checks for companies as part of its services.” I’m not sure if this is more ironic than Giuliani Partners offering cyber security consulting while his campaign website was launched with major security holes with regards to protecting user information.

Old Lord McCain confuses both the date and the intent of the supplemental appropriations bill:

John McCain’s new online petition calls the supplemental funding bill, which includes a deadline for redeploying American troops from Iraq, “surrender.” The petition (more…)

Work of 'ex-gay' therapist Richard Cohen vanishes from NARTH, PFOX sites

[Welcome, Americablog readers. You will laugh until you cry when you watch The Daily Show clip of Cohen’s belching, stretching and “therapy.” The best clip is after the jump.]

Ex-Gay Watch has the scoop on the spectacular fall from ex-gay grace of fraudulent reparative therapist Richard Cohen, who has appeared on CNN’s Paula Zahn Now demonstrating how he therapizes the homo out of men, and doing the same for The Daily Show, making a complete ass out of himself. Sad. Gay activist Wayne Besen also appears in the clip as well.

A sample of his “therapy” from a report on CNN, via Truth Wins Out. You can see the hilarious CNN segment here.

Cohen, who has been hailed in the past by the National Association for the Therapy of Homosexuals (NARTH) and Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays (PFOX) couldn’t handle the ridicule any more so the organizations have cleansed their sites of Cohen’s pieces.

David Roberts of Ex-Gay Watch:

It is uncertain exactly why they chose now to finally distance themselves entirely (at least publicly) from the the self-described “psychotherapist and educator.” Cohen was permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association several years ago and currently operates without a license. Until last year he was the president of PFOX and just months ago they were still referring people to him. He is known for his bizarre media appearances and unorthodox methods, appearing most recently on The Daily Show in what may have been his most absurd performance to date (though there are so many). Perhaps this was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

Ah, The Daily Show. Let’s take a look at what finally sent PFOX, NARTH, Exodus’s Alan Chambers and Exodus VP Randy Thomas over the edge…

Part 2 is after the flip. (more…)

Plenary Powers


Commentor Bob Schacht asked a question a while back about why Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald cannot use his "plenary powers" to expand his investigation into other kinds of wrongdoing. I was on my way out of the threads at the time and merely said that "plenary powers" didn't mean what he thought it meant and I would maybe do a post on that because it seemed to be source of confusion for a lot of folks who would like to see the tall man take on the Walter Reed scandal, "Purgegate" and a whole host of other problems right up to and probably including rescuing a kitten stuck up a tree.

Recently, Bob reminded me that I have yet to make good on that promise:

Are we into EPU already? I send a shout to looseheadprop, who a week or more ago promised a post on Fitzgerald's plenary powers, and why they are not as far reaching as one might think after reading Comey's scope of powers commission. Did I miss it? I am interested in this subject.

Fitzgerald derives his plenary powers from the initial letter appointing him as Special Counsel which reads in pertinent part:

…delegate you all the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department's investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity, and I direct you to exercise that authority as Special Counsel independent of the supervision or control of any offices of the Department… (more…)

Blue America: Rep. Jerry McNerney — Congressman At The Corner


(From left to right:  Howie Klein and Rep. Jerry McNerney.)

[FDL is thrilled to welcome Rep. Jerry McNerney back for a Blue America chat today.  As always, please stay on topic in the thread and be polite.  Any off-topic conversation should be taken to the prior thread.  And, with that, pleasse give a big FDL welcome to Rep. Jerry McNerney! — CHS]

Today we welcome Jerry McNerney — now Congressman Jerry McNerney back to Firedoglake. It's been 8 months since we last sat down with Jerry for a chat, at a time when Inside-the-Beltway pros were scoffing at the idea that an anti-war, grassroots, alternative energy expert with no support from the Party Establishment could take on a powerful and entrenched incumbent — in a Republican district. Let's keep the questions on topic and find out what's happened with Citizen McNerney since then.

If you know who Karl Rove is it certainly didn't surprise you to find out at this week's GSA hearings that he sits around in his White House office targeting Democrats for swiftboat campaigns. Nor should it have surprised you to find out that he illegally conspires with other Bush Regime functionaries inside the government to use taxpayer dollars to harm targeted Democrats and bolster unpopular Republican incumbents. And it probably came as no surprise to you that high on Rove's "kill" list is newly elected California congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-11). He was #3 on the hit list Rove gave to the GSA in the hope that they would help him create an environment to make voters in the San Joaquin Valley disgruntled.

Their new congressman has been working very hard to make sure San Joaquin Valley voters wouldn't be. In fact, I've been very impressed by the difference in approach between a true grassroots Democrat like Jerry and some of the other freshmen who are perceived to be in for tough races. The Blue Dogs seem to think the way to win re-election is to behave and vote like a Republican. It is no coincidence that of Rove's 20 top targets, most are Blue Dogs; only 2 or 3 besides Jerry McNerney have proven themselves to be true progressives so far. Instead of going over to the Dark Side and betraying his supporters, in the vain hope of capturing GOP votes, Jerry has put his nose to the grindstone and methodically gone about making good on the campaign promises he made when he ran for office. He's been proving himself to be a hard-working, serious, constituent service-oriented representative who puts the job first and the politics…on a back burner. (more…)

Q of the day – worst anti-LGBT incident you've experienced

What is the most anti-LGBT encounter/interaction you’ve ever had?

I ask the question this way because I want straight allies to answer as well.

This could be gay-bashing, bullying, threatening emails, personal encounters with family/colleagues, etc. For the non-violent incidents, did the homophobes seem like their vitriol stemmed from irrational anger (manhood threatened), fear (homos coming to recruit), or ignorance because they just had no exposure to LGBT folks? In the case of allies, did they just assume you held the same beliefs when they shot off their mouths, and what did you say in response, if anything?

Also, identify what state or part of the country the incident occurred. (more…)



(Photo via Wonkette.)

I saw Charlie Rose interview David Gregory chief White House correspondent of NBC last night. For me the jury has been out on Gregory. Sometimes when he is asking questions at a presser, he seems like he understands what’s going on. But often when he gives his reports on TV, he comes across as completely vapid. So I watched his segment on Rose with interest. It was very much a pseudo-thoughtful discussion of the stories surrounding the Bush Presidency by two pseudo-thoughtful men. Issue after issue they discussed without ever once stumbling upon its salient point.

These are two men who sound reasoned as long as you don’t look too closely at just how muddleheaded and intellectually lazy their thinking is. Neither gets the crux of the attorney firings scandal, that political appointments are not meant to be blank checks to stack positions of trust with partisan hacks and political cronies. On Iraq, Gregory portrays Bush and Rice as two innocents left to the mercies of Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Powell, but moments later says that people don’t realize how thoughtful Bush is on the issues. Rose chimes in agreeing. It was really there they lost me.


2001: A Timeline of What Could Have Been


(This is an updated version of an old post of mine over at the old version of my blog; it lost all its formatting and links when Blogger switched formats.  I decided that with all the talk of President Gore lately, it was time to revive and revisit it.)

Ever wonder how the last six-odd years might have gone, had all the votes been counted in 2000?  

I'd like to think that they might have gone something like this…