Late Late Nite FDL: Firedog Love & A Taste Of Zaire

Fally Ipupa – Mabele

I don’t know for sure but I like to think Fally Ipupa might translate to firedog.

Speaking of firepups, we have special news about one of our own. Long-time FDL readers will remember the contribution Tommy Yum made to the early success of Blue America. Tommy reported recently that Esten is in remission. But the Yum family still needs our firedog love.

Check out Jacqrat’s post at Down With Tyranny for lots more info and how we can all help. I must say, you really don’t want to miss the show tomorrow if you are anywhere near the legendary Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, North Carolina.

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What’s on your mind tonight?

Late Night FDL: Tim Goeglein is John Galt, and other original conservative pensées

If you read Atrios (I’m guessing you do), you saw this this morning

Conservative White House employee seems to have gone to the Ben Domenech school of writing.

Do what now?

I’ve had a lot of fun at Tim Goeglein’s expense over the last few months. Mean-spirited fun, certainly, but my problem with him has always been one of personal taste. In his columns for The News-Sentinel, my old newspaper, he personifies a certain sort of apple-cheeked Hoosier drippiness, which undoubtedly masks a core of white-hot ambition. I mean, he worked at the right hand of Karl Rove, and remains in the White House. But while he works in the West Wing, he chooses to write awful, turgid essays on the wonders of Hoagy Carmichael, deceased operatic composers and his parents’ marriage. I know it’s unfair to expect policy analyses, but it’s maddening to think that here’s this guy, a home-towner, eyewitness to an epochal period in American history, and he gives us Odes to Summer. Why he chooses to do so for the failing paper in a two-newspaper town, one with a circulation that probably barely nudges 30,000 these days, remains a mystery. (I’ve heard theories: He does it for his mother, and He plans to run for office soon, and he’s raising his local profile. Don’t really care, anyway. He’s just fun to make fun of.

When William F. Buckley died this week, one of my first thoughts was that he’d been friends with Tim, and we would almost certainly have a long, overwrought, superlative-packed column coming down the pike soon, and we’d have ourselves a good time giggling over it. When I saw he had a piece in the paper Thursday, the day after Buckley died, I thought for a second the wait was over, then spotted the headline — (more…)

The Decalogue is more what you would call a set of “guidelines” than actual rules…

Totally coveting on her

I realize that they only have a few more months left in office before they start trashing the place like they have the country/Constitution/Iraq/Iran (pending), but the Bush White House might want to institute some kind of Name That Commandment Quiz for their Christian liaisons and policy advisers. Thanks to the lovely, talented, and eagle-eyed Nancy Nall, Timothy Goeglein is taking an infinite sabbatical from working in the White House ever ever ever again.

A White House official who served as President Bush’s middleman with conservatives and Christian groups resigned Friday after admitting to plagiarism. Twenty columns he wrote for an Indiana newspaper were determined to have material copied from other sources without attribution.

Timothy Goeglein, who has worked for Bush since 2001, acknowledged that he lifted material from a Dartmouth College publication and presented it as his own work in a column about education for The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Ind. The newspaper took a closer look at his other columns and found many more instances of plagiarism.

"The president was disappointed to learn of the matter and he was saddened for Tim and his family," White House press secretary Dana Perino said in a statement.

Normally we would say that Tim would be leaving to spend more time with his (or Scooter Libby’s) family but in this case I figure God will forgive him and then the wingnut welfare will rain down upon him like manna from heaven. I mean, it’s not like he was tweaking with gay hookers while wearing two wetsuits with a dildo hanging out of his butt… but, then again, it is Friday night and the evening is young.

In the meantime, he’ll probably just go hang out at Claude Allen’s house playing Grand Theft Auto: Babylon Nights on the PS3 that Claude "liberated" from his friendly neighborhood Target store.

I hear if you harlot-slap the ho’s you can get like 200 shekels…

Sweet.

McCain's other fundie bedmate, John Hagee

John Hagee, another megachurch pastor in McCain's corner who spews hate and bigotry, has an endorsement so coveted by the Arizona senator that he just can't let go of it. In fact, the Tool said that he was “pleased to have the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee,” who condemns Catholics, gays, women, blacks and more from the pulpit at the 17,000-member Cornerstone Church.

From McCain's statement:

“Well I think it's important to note that pastor John Hagee who has supported and endorsed my candidacy supports what I stand for and believe in. When he endorses me, it does not mean that I embrace everything that he stands for and believes. And I am very proud of the Pastor John Hagee's spiritual leadership to thousands of people and I am proud of his commitment to the independence and the freedom of the state of Israel. That does not mean that I support or endorse or agree with some of the things that Pastor John Hagee might have said or positions that he may have taken on other issues. I don't have to agree with everyone who endorses my candidacy. They are supporting my candidacy. I am not endorsing some of their positions.” [McCain Media Availability, 2/29/08]

Here is a sampling of Hagee's beliefs – which of these does McCain endorse? From Right Wing Watch's “The Maverick and the Armageddon Advocate“:

Last year, when John McCain's presidential campaign was floundering, we noted that he was making in-roads with fringe right-wing figures like Armageddon advocate John Hagee, who harbors a not-so-secret desire for the US to start a war with Iran in order to bring about the subsequent return of Jesus Christ.

At the time, there didn't seem much to worry about because McCain's campaign appeared dead-in-the-water and though, over the coming months, McCain continued to court Hagee, the pastor appeared content to stick to his rabid theologizing and warnings to the United States:

If America does not stop pressuring Israel to give up land, I believe that God will bring this nation into judgment, because I believe what this book says. And if God brings this nation into judgment, He will very likely release the terrorists that you've already let get here through the ridiculous immigration policy you refuse to stop, and this nation is going to go through a bloodbath that you have permitted because of what you have done. You have disobeyed the law of God, and now, we as a nation are going to pay a price for that.

And this:

Hagee on LGBT Americans
“The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment.” [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]

Hagee on Hurricane Katrina
“All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.” [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]

Hagee on Catholicism

“Most readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews.” [Jerusalem Countdown by John Hagee]

More filth below the fold.

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Ellen speaks out about the Lawrence King murder

Ellen DeGeneres took time on her show today to discuss the recent murder of gay 15-year-old Lawrence King by a classmate at E.O. Green Junior High in the Oxnard, CA. The boy was mercilessly teased and bullied for his gender non-conformity for some time.

Kudos to Ellen for putting her weight behind the message that this kind of violence must cease.

“…I need to talk to you about something that’s really serious and really sad and if you know me, it’s hard to talk about sad stuff without getting emotional but this is really important to talk about. On February 12th an openly gay 15-year-old boy named Larry who was an 8th grader in Oxnard, California, was murdered by a fellow 8th grader named Brandon. Larry was killed because he was gay. Days before he was murdered, Larry asked his killer to be his Valentine.

I don’t wanna be political, this is not political, I’m not a political person but this is personal to me. A boy has been killed and a number of lives have been ruined and somewhere along the line, the killer Brandon got the message that it’s so threatening and so awful and so horrific that Larry would want to be his Valentine that killing Larry seemed to be the right thing to do. And when the message out there is so horrible, that to be gay you can get killed for it, we need to change the message (audience enthusiastically claps; Ellen is very choked up and overwhelmed by the the audience clapping. She’s fighting back the tears, takes a deep breath – the audience is still clapping).

Larry was not a second-class citizen, I am not a second-class citizen. It is okay if you’re gay (audience erupts in cheers and clapping to show their love and support). I don’t care what people say, I don’t care what people think, and I know there are entire groups of people who face discrimination every single day and we’re a long way from treating each other equally – all of it is unacceptable, all of it!

Big hat tip to Shane at Queer Two Cents; you can read the rest of the transcript there. (more…)

Rule Of Law Still Clinging To Life

I’m sure it surprises no-one that AG Mukasey, Chuck Schumer’s handpicked, oh-so-principled replacement for AG2, is totally on board with Operation Maximum Stonewall:

Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Friday rejected referring the House’s contempt citations against two of President Bush’s top aides to a federal grand jury. Mukasey says they committed no crime.

Mukasey said White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former presidential counsel Harriet Miers were right in refusing to provide Congress White House documents or testify about the firings of federal prosecutors.

"The department will not bring the congressional contempt citations before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute Mr. Bolten or Ms. Miers," Mukasey wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Fortunately, Speaker Pelosi is not willing to let it go:

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Sen Obama’s Open Letter to LGBT Community Echoes Out4Immigration’s Call

Senator Obama’s Open Letter to LGBT Community Echoes Out4Immigration’s Call for Equal Immigration Rights for Same-Sex Binational Couples



Presidential Contender Says He Has “Worked to Improve” the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA)



SAN FRANCISCO, CA-February 28, 2008 – Leading Democratic presidential contender Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) issued a statement to America’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community today saying that equality for all Americans “is a moral imperative.”

Chief among Senator Obama’s call to end discrimination against gays and lesbians was his mention of having “worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act so we can afford same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married couples in our immigration system.”

“By including the plight of same-sex binational couples in his statement, Senator Obama shows that he can be a leader who fully grasps the unique and humiliating brand of discrimination gay and lesbian American citizens in a relationship with a foreign partner face on a daily basis,” said Michael Lim, Vice President of the national grassroots organization Out4Immigration, a group dedicated to raising awareness about the discrimination LGBT Americans and their foreign partners face under current US immigration law.

While heterosexual couples in binational relationships-in which one partner is American and the other is foreign born-can solve their immigration concerns through a federally recognized marriage, same-sex binational couples have no such options.

Senator Obama also called for complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits the federal government from recognizing state gay marriage, civil union and domestic partnership laws. As long as DOMA remains in place, the US cannot extend spousal immigration rights to same-sex couples, regardless of their commitment to one another.

A way to avoid creating yet another divisive “gay marriage” debate in an election year, would be the passage of the bill that Obama mentions in his statement-the Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 2221; S.1328). This legislation would add three words-“or permanent partner”-to existing immigration law wherever the word “spouse” appears. This simple act would allow an estimated 40,000 same-sex binational couples currently living legally in the US to make their US home a permanent one. The majority of these couples are biding time while the foreign partner is in the country on a student or work visa. If the visa does not lead to a green card through employment, same-sex binational couples have virtually no chance of remaining together on US soil.

“Senator Obama says ‘It’s wrong to have millions of Americans living as second-class citizens in this nation,’ but if you’re in a same-sex binational relationship, you simply have no status at all,” said Lim. “Every year thousands of gay and lesbian American citizens are forced to choose between the country they love and the person they love. Out4Immigration is heartened that the potential Democratic candidate for president has spoken so positively in favor of the UAFA.”

The UAFA, introduced in May 2007 by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), currently has 90 co-sponsors in the House and 12 in the Senate.

“Ironically, Senator Obama is not a co-sponsor of this bill,” said Lim. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the other presidential contenders, have not signed on either.

“We hope that Senator Obama’s work to improve the UAFA will lead to his co-sponsorship in the near future,” said Lim.

____________

For more information:

Out4Immigration: http://www.out4immigration.org

The Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 2221): http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/…

The Uniting American Families Act (S.1328): http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/…

To read the full text of the Obama open letter to the LGBT community: http://my.barackobama.com/page…

end

__________

Out4Immigration addresses the widespread discriminatory impact of US immigration laws on the lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and HIV+ people and their families through education, outreach, advocacy and the maintenance of a resource and support network. For more information, visit www.out4immigration.org. To schedule interviews with same-sex binational couples who are available to speak with the media on this issue, including Spanish-speaking couples, please contact Amos Lim, amos (at) out4immigration.org, 415-375-3765 or Kathy Drasky at kathy (at) out4immigration.org, 415-606-2085.   (more…)

While We Are Asking Questions About Rev. Hagee…

There are few things in life as enjoyable as an enormous belly laugh. Not just the little snickery kind, but the sort that you can’t stop, with tears running down your cheeks, and the occasional snort as you try to suck in and out the air past the loud laughter. If I had a dollar for every time Molly Ivins work forced a loud, public guffaw out of me, I’d never have to worry about my 401(k).

I’ve been re-reading Bill of Wrongs, her last book with Lou Dubose, in preparation for Saturday’s book salon at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT, and this popped right out at me:

The idea that man is the product of evolution rather than God’s hands never seemed quite right to Rick Santorum. After the Supreme Court banned the teaching of the queerly oxymoronic "creation science" in the nation’s public schools, Santorum started promoting "intelligent design" — which looked suspiciously like creation science in drag. This sanitized version of creationism holds that "forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact, fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings…"…

Santorum wasn’t the only marquee Republican preaching the gospel of intelligent design. President George W. Bush is a Methodist — a denomination associated with moderation, particularly in Texas, where the loopier religious right is defined by firebreathers like San Antonio’s Reverend John Hagee, who has proclaimed from his pulpit that Hurricane Katrina was proof that God was angry with homosexuals in New Orleans.

Now, as we know, Sen. McCain was busy receiving a birthday cake from George Bush in the early days of the disastrous unfolding of Katrina’s wake in the Gulf Coast region, but I’d love to hear him answer — on the record — exactly what he thinks of his new bestest buddy John Hagee’s anti-homosexual pronouncement about the reason for the storm.

And while we’re asking questions, perhaps Sen. McCain can explain why he believes in evolution. Oh wait, now he says he doesn’t completely and intelligent design ought to be taught in American classrooms if states think it is science. Now he says he doesn’t think so at all, that he does believe in evolution (depending on what the meaning of "evolution" is). Now he says he maybe kinda sorta doesn’t again. And how that squares with Rev. Hagee’s "intelligent design" designs.

Or about Rev. Hagee’s pronouncement that it isn’t a matter of "if" we go to war with Iran, but "when." (more…)

Dueling Fear Ads

Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a new campaign ad in Texas [h/t TPM] designed, I assume, to contrast her leadership qualities with those of (I assume) Senator Obama (or perhaps McCain). From
ABC news
:

Closing in on the March 4 contests, Sen. Hillary Clinton debuts a campaign ad today with ominous undertones.

"It’s 3:00am and your children are asleep," the voice over says. "There’s a phone in the White House, and it’s ringing. Something is happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call."

"Whether someone knows the world’s leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead. It’s 3am and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?"

The tone of the ad — which echoes the infamous Daisy Ad from the 1964 Johnson-Goldwater presidential race and the red phone ad former Vice President Walter Mondale ran against Gary Hart in their ’84 race for the Democratic nomination — indicates that the Clinton campaign is pulling out the all the stops leading into the Ohio and Texas primaries.

Within hours after Clinton’s campaign released its "3:00 a.m. phone call" ad, Barack Obama’s campaign released a statement (h/t Greg Sargent at TPM), the money quote from which was:

"This is about what you say when you answer that phone. What judgment you show…She, John McCain and George Bush gave the wrong answer."

. . . and then within a few more hours, Obama released the following counter ad:

And the winner is . . .?

I’ve been dreading what is likely to come from the Republican smear machine. But now I’m starting to look forward to this campaign.