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Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Night Might: " ...at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

The most important upcoming event is the election. Get out and vote!

[source: McClatchy]

By Lisa Zagaroli | McClatchy Newspapers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — U.S. Senate candidate Kay Hagan launched legal action against Sen. Elizabeth Dole's "godless" attack ad Thursday as a chorus of critics joined her in accusing Dole of crossing the line with the controversial TV spot.

Democratic challenger Hagan, in a new ad of her own, accused the Republican incumbent of "bearing false witness against fellow Christians" when Dole suggested she was affiliated with a group of atheists who want to remove references to God from the public arena.

Dole continued to defend the ad, saying it "in no way attacks her faith, it questions her agenda."

But even Republicans — including strategists Ed Rollins and Carter Wrenn — roundly criticized Dole's eleventh-hour strategy for winning re-election to her Senate seat.

"When you're making ads that say, 'There is no God,' it usually means your campaign doesn't have a prayer,” said Alex Castellanos, a GOP consultant speaking Thursday on CNN. He's familiar with controversial ads — he created former Sen. Jesse Helms' infamous "white hands" ad suggesting opponent Harvey Gantt supported racial quotas that would take away jobs from white people.

Rollins, a longtime GOP political adviser, told CNN: "They did something desperate, which is so despicable and so un-like Elizabeth Dole that she should be ashamed of herself."

Hagan Thursday filed notice of her intent to sue in Wake Superior Court, claiming statements in the ad are false and defamatory.

The court document highlights the ad's ending, which shows Hagan's photo but uses another woman's voice saying "There is no God."

Hagan, a Sunday school teacher and elder at her Presbyterian church in Greensboro, also aired a rebuttal ad Thursday, charging that Dole "faked my voice…to make you think I don't believe in God."

A new Rasmussen poll, taken Wednesday after the Dole ad began airing, showed Hagan ahead of Dole 52-46. A new survey by Civitas, taken Monday through Wednesday, showed Hagan up by a smaller margin.

Dole's ad focuses on Hagan's attendance at a Boston fundraiser hosted by 35 people aiming to maintain a Democratic majority in the Senate. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., headlined the printed invitation.

The fundraiser was held at the home of Woody Kaplan, an adviser to the Godless Americans PAC, a group that wants to remove references to God from U.S. currency and the Pledge of Allegiance, among other things. Kaplan said the group had no connection to the reception he held.

Dole's ad airs video footage, shot by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, of Hagan standing beside a man at the fundraiser, as the announcer talks about a leader of the Godless Americans hosting a fundraiser.

Ironically, the man standing with her is actually her former Bible teacher, Rick Stone, who moved to Boston after retiring as a religion professor from Guilford and Greensboro Christian colleges.

"The idea that Kay Hagan is an atheist or promoting an atheist agenda is false," said Stone, who is now studying at the Harvard divinity school.

A Dole spokesman said Thursday the campaign has received positive feedback from folks appalled to learn that Hagan attended the fundraiser even though Dole had publicized in advance that it was being held at the home of a Godless Americans adviser.

Dole, who is on a bus tour of North Carolina, said in a phone interview that Hagan made the ad fair game by attacking her for attending a fundraiser at the home of a Bush supporter, and also by accusing Dole of being "in the pocket of Big Oil" because some of her contributors work for energy companies.

The ad "turns the table on her," Dole said, asking "why in the world" Hagan would attend knowing the host's affiliation.

Campaigning at a Raleigh early voting site, Hagan called the ad "despicable."

Her rebuttal ad, which began airing Thursday, features Hagan saying: "My faith guides my life and Senator Dole knows it…My campaign is about creating jobs and fixing our economy, not bearing false witness against fellow Christians."

Hagan has 20 days to file a full lawsuit, but defamation suits are hard to win, legal experts say.

"There are a host of reasons this is not likely to be viable," said Amanda Martin, a Raleigh lawyer specializing in First Amendment law. "Political speech is at the very heart of what is protected by the First Amendment."

But such suits can take years to resolve: North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is still defending himself from a defamation suit stemming from an ad in his 2000 election.

While Dole's ad aims to motivate the GOP's conservative Christian base, longtime GOP strategist Wrenn says the ad could backfire if respected Hagan supporters argue in their own ads that Dole "crosses the line of decency."

Wrenn wrote: "My guess is the next sound you may hear will be the roof falling in on Liddy Dole."

Contributing to this story were Jim Morrill, Ryan Teague Beckwith and Rob Christensen.

There are very important things that need be said. Atheists are protected under the US Constitution. It's not illegal to be an atheist, a pagan, a muslim, a hindu, a buddhist--get over yourselves, please. That being said--let us say at least one more time--do the right thing, vote on November 4th.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gay Thursday: Our Favourite Bi Sci-Fi Guy, John Barrowman

OK, the election may be starting to get on everybody's nerves. It's been two years since the process started. OK, Republicans are doing their optimistic thing, as well they should. The most nerve racking individuals are the doom and gloom people. Those who support Obama but are afraid of defeat. Stop it. Get out the vote the best way you can and stop predicting unforeseen calamity. Creating a negative atmosphere is just as bad as being overconfident. Both keep people away. Being afraid to die is tantamount to being afraid to live. It doesn't matter if you don't get it, just stop trying to drag people down. OK, if you need a happy place to go to, here's John Barrowman at a recent press conference for Torchwood doing what he does best.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Word: Being Together, Staying Together

In this election season, remember to vote a resounding NO! on Proposition 8 in California. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Main Entry: cou·pling
Pronunciation: \ˈkə-pliŋ (usual for 2), -pə-liŋ\
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1: the act of bringing or coming together : pairing ; specifically : sexual union
2: a device that serves to connect the ends of adjacent parts or objects
3: the joining of or the part of the body that joins the hindquarters to the forequarters of a quadruped
4: a means of electric connection of two electric circuits by having a part common to both

Some people just want to get married.

Gay marriages to begin next month in Connecticut
By SUSAN HAIGH Associated Press Writer

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Officials are gearing up for the day next month when gay and lesbian couples can begin tying the knot in Connecticut.

Attorneys involved in the gay marriage case said Tuesday that couples can begin picking up marriage license applications sometime on or after Nov. 10. A judge at the New Haven Superior Court, where the case began in 2004, still must decide the precise date.

The state Supreme Court's decision allowing same-sex marriages became official Tuesday with its publication in the Connecticut Law Journal. The publication triggered a 10-day period when motions for reconsideration can be filed.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said after that period ends on Nov. 10, the Superior Court judge can act on the high court's ruling.

The judgment may come later that week because Nov. 10 is a Monday, a busy day for the Superior Court, and Tuesday is a state holiday.

The state Department of Public Health is having new marriage applications printed that reflect the change. Instead of putting one name under "bride" and the other under "groom," couples will see two boxes marked "bride/groom/spouse." The new forms are expected to be shipped out to city and town clerks later this week.

"The moment the judgment is entered, the state of Connecticut is required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And we expect the clerks will be ready," said Bennett H. Klein, senior attorney with the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.

The state Supreme Court issued a 4-3 decision on Oct. 10 that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples. Connecticut became the third state, behind Massachusetts and California, to legalize gay marriage.

It's unclear how many couples will get married.

According to the public health department, there have been 2,032 civil union licenses issued in Connecticut between Oct. 2005 and July 2008.

"I would bet that the majority of those people would change the civil unions to marriage," said Anne Stanback, president of Love Makes a Family, a pro-gay marriage organization. "I think that you have people who've waited to get married and have not had civil unions."

Couples currently in a civil union that wish to become married will need to fill out a marriage license application form at their city or town hall. There is no residency requirement for marriage in Connecticut.

The state's 2005 civil unions law will remain on the books, at least for now. Same-sex couples can continue to enter civil unions, which give them the same state legal rights and privileges as married couples without the status of being married. It will be up to the General Assembly to decide whether to change the civil unions law, Klein said.

These beautiful accompanying images were created by a wonderful artist by name of Steve Walker.Go here to find out more about Mr. Walker's art.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday Talent: Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell talked about the hideous flop that was 2004's Oliver Stone-helmed Alexander while at a Rome Film Festival [actually the Third International Rome Film Festival] press conference for new film Pride and Glory.

"Alexander hurt, you know -- and again people are going to say 'Get over it, you were well paid' and all that. But Alexander hurt," Farrell told reporters.
"The response that it got was really painful and all of us got a really hard time, and I didn't come across too well either in the majority of reviews and even with the audiences -- people did not respond to it.

"It was a film that was made to be seen by many people. Not many people saw it and they weren't particularly fond of it, and that was s----, it was really s----," he said...

Farrell, along with co-stars Angelina Jolie and Val Kilmer, was nominated for worst actor for his portrayal of the ancient Greek military leader at the 2005 Razzies...

"I took it to heart. I felt like I had let a lot of people down, I felt like I had disappointed a lot of people ... And it took a while to get over that," Farrell said.

You know, sometimes even the best actors get lost in the briar patch of a director's flawed vision and nobody knows better than a lot of gay brethren of how flawed Stone's vision was when it came to Alexander. Two years or so ago when Mr. Farrell was working in these parts on the very film he is promoting now, we had this to say and it still holds true:

NY tabloids have not exactly been obsessed with Column favourite Mr. Colin Farrell but he has not been ignored either while working in these parts. He's not about to be ignored by this BLOG ever whether he is employed or unemployed. We'll always be here for him. Yesterday the second paragraph of Page Six's report went like this: "While shooting a scene for Pride and Glory last Friday morning under the Queensboro Bridge, he cracked up the crew when he walked to the entrance of Scores strip club, pretended to bang on the door and yelled, 'Let me in!' Alas, the club doesn't open until 7 p.m."

Let it be said here and now that no matter the time of day the door will always be open to Mr. Farrell in these parts. All he need do is knock and ...
well, you know the rest.

Looking under the bed, one might find his shoes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Musing

[source: DNA magazine] The man who has replaced the dead Austrian ultra-right-wing politician Joerg Haider as party leader has essentially outed himself as Haider's lover. Here's how Britain's Daily Mail reported it:

Haider, 58, who was pictured cuddling a man in a gay bar where he had his final drinks before the death crash which claimed his life, was long suspected of leading a double existence during his years in power.

Now Stefan Petzner, 27, who recently replaced Haider as leader of the right wing party, Alliance for the Future of Austria, effectively outed himself as the far right leader’s gay lover while being interviewed on the country’s O3 radio channel breakfast show.

'I had to go to him. I had to go to him,' Petzner said in his highly emotional interview as he recalled how he rushed to the hospital where the dead body of 52-year-old Haider was lying after his fatal crash in early October.

Admitting that he felt a 'magnetic attraction' for Haider, whom he met five years ago while working as a cosmetics correspondent for a newspaper, Petzner insisted: 'We had a relationship that went far beyond friendship. Joerg and I were connected by something truly special. He was the man of my life.'

He insisted that Haider’s widow, Claudia did not object to his relationship: 'She loved him as a woman. He loved her as a man. I loved him in a completely different and personal way. She understood that.'

But Petzner’s sister, Chrisitiane, 30, appeared to cast doubt on her brother’s story.

In a newspaper interview she said: 'Sometimes Claudia was jealous because Stefan would spend more time with her husband than she did.'

Clearly embarrassed by the revelations, officials at the Alliance for the Future of Austria, yesterday attempted to limit the political damage to the party by cancelling forthcoming interviews with Petzner.

However their attempts to prevent his radio interview being rebroadcast were turned down.

There was speculation that as a result of his controversial interview, Petzner might soon find himself replaced as party leader.

Haider crashed his Volkswagen limousine while drunk and driving at more than double the speed limit while on his way his mother’s birthday party in the early hours of the morning earlier this month.

Last Saturday he was given the equivalent of a state funeral in Klagenfurt, the capital of the Austrian province of Carinthia where he was governor for more than a decade. More than 25,000 people attended.

Hours before he was buried it was revealed he drank a whole bottle of vodka in a seedy gay bar with an unidentified male 'friend'.

His party more than doubled its share of the vote in Austria’s general election at the end of September in which the far right won 30 per cent.

The result prompted speculation that Haider would once again figure in Austrian national politics.

Allegations that Haider was either gay or bi-sexual were first published in Austria nearly a decade ago.

However the far right leader, who fathered two children with his wife Claudia, refused to discuss the allegations, fearing that they would alienate thousands of his ultra conservative followers.

Until yesterday conservative Austria had preferred not to dwell on the subject and allowed Haider to portray himself at least, outwardly as a traditional family man, although his party was nicknamed the 'Haider’s Boy Party'.


This is just one more indication of the goofiness of the right wing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Songs: Tom Jones, Dionne Warwick and Mr. Bacharach

There's something decadent about the song, "What's New, Pussycat?" It was a top ten hit in 1965 for Tom Jones and the most successful element of the anarchic film comedy of the same name. The sound is evocative of the Weimar Republic and might have been sung at the cabaret by Joel Grey or somebody like him. Jones' popularity had a lot to do with his sensual delivery and what many might have imagined to inhabit his tight fitting trousers. Nothing wrong with that. What seems to get lost in the translation is Mr. Jones' powerfully talented voice. He has sung every kind of pop music and sing all quite memorably well.

Also included here is a beautiful ballad from the same movie, "Here I Am" by Dionne Warwick, as well as "Are You There (With Another Girl)" which one of those Bacharach songs that only seems simple. It's musicality is unique and complex. "Um pah-pah, pity the girl" is a brilliant vocal refrain imbedded in the production. It almost sounds like a far away radio.

From last.fm: "Brian Wilson when asked what God would sound like stated "Dionne Warwick" and according to Serene Dominic in Burt Bacharach" Song by Song Brian Wilson cited 'Are You There (With Another Girl)' as being a direct influence on his masterwork Pet Sounds, particularly the instrumental 'Let's Go Away for Awhile,' where traces of Bacharach/David's 'Are You There (With Another Girl)' are hiding in the shadows."

Speaking of Mr. Bacharach, Tony Roberts and Lauren Kennedy have joined the cast of Bacharach to the Future. Go here for tickets.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Beefcake Bedtime

Sleep it tight.

Saturday Beefcake: Sufferin' Succotash

No, there will not be pictures of Yosemite Sam in speedos, but here are a couple more recipes from Dr. Rau.

In keeping with the the healthy message of his book, here are also pics of a healthy specimen.

A specimen perfectly capable of whetting the appetite.

Saturday Beefcake: Healthy Comfort

This comes from Dr. Thomas Rau's book, The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health. It may be healthy, it is definitely very tasty and comforting. Polenta is Italian grits in a manner of speaking, except that it has more sustenance in that it is less refined. Manchego is La Mancha's contribution to the world of cheese and we are all the better for it.

If nothing else, many of you will take comfort in the fantasy inducing images accompanying Dr. Rau's recipe.

Good Morning, Good Morning To You: Saturday Morning Beefcake

There are worse things you could wake up to!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gay Thursday: Yaniv Moyal

Well known in the life for starring in the ground breaking gay Israeli film, Yossi & Jagger, Yaniv Moyal was recently featured thus:

David Stern's crew over at In Los Angeles magazine did their neighbours in Southern California a wonderful service in bringing this wonderful actor to the fore. There is a website, as well there should be. And there you will find this quote:

"After one year in the 'real' acting world I started to do some TV and
indie films. One indie film in particular that was meaningful to me was
Yossi & Jagger I was always looking for challenging roles that would
allow me to experience the character and share it with an

It's no wonder that even some Italian mothers encouraged their daughters to marry Jewish husbands.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Word: AIDS Walk Los Angeles

Main Entry: awareness
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: knowledge
Synonyms: acquaintance, acquaintanceship, alertness, aliveness, appreciation, apprehension, attention, attentiveness, cognizance, comprehension, consciousness, discernment, enlightenment, experience, familiarity, information, keenness, mindfulness, perception, realization, recognition, sensibility, sentience, understanding
Antonyms: ignorance, insensitivity, unconsciousness

Kudos to John Schneider, Adam Grimes, Loretta Devine, Sherri Lewis and Carrie Southworth.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday Talent: Dylan Bruce

Virtually a month ago, Dylan Bruce was in Manhattan helping Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS last Thursday he was in West Hollywood at a great cocktail party held at Trip Wilmot's East/West Lounge in West Hollywood. The personable, fetching and very friendly young man was doing his bi-coastal thing in the company of kindred spirits, like Adam Grimes, Billy Miller, Ted Detwiler, Brandon Barash and Kristoff St. John just to name a few.