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January 22, 2013


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Don K

I tend not to watch speeches, so I read the address when it was posted on the web yesterday. I admit I was astounded when I saw he had made an alliterative triplet that included Stonewall. It just shows how far the mainstream has moved in the almost 45 years since a 14 year old me figured out he was gay and was terrified at the thought of having to hide out forever. I'm just really glad to have lived long enough to experience this.

And yes, I believe the Prez is feeling liberated by his re-election to come out as a center-left politician in a way Clinton wasn't able to until he was out of office.


I was so elated that I really couldn't remember much else of the speech.

The thumbing of the South singing the Union Battle Hymn on the Inauguration of the President who is also our first Black President on the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation just threw me a total loop.

Alas, the brain rot on the right seems that few managed to hear that part.


It's not Obama's problem that Republicans won't socialize with him. That's a result of the policing Republicans do among themselves.


It just shows how far the mainstream has moved in the almost 45 years since a 14 year old me figured out he was gay and was terrified at the thought of having to hide out forever. I'm just really glad to have lived long enough to experience this.


I know what you mean!

Eric Wilde

I was impressed by the speech. Like Don, I read the transcript first but liked its contents so much that I subsequently watched it on the intertubes. Regardless of the quality of the rheteric, the content was really uplifting for me. Finally some courage to speak plainly about so many significant issues and hold an openly progressive viewpoint!

kathy a.

i read the speech, too, and think it is wonderful. the reference to seneca falls, selma, and stonewall is GREAT -- and surprisingly timely as well, since there have been efforts to roll back voting rights; since there are still people who refer to our president by the N word; since there are those who still feel lgbt equality is repugnant; since there have been strong efforts to reduce or remove the ability of women to control their reproduction and manage their own health. those were great achievements; but those fights are not yet completely finished.

yeah, a tad peculiar when a certain segment honors robert e. lee -- on MLK day and inauguration day. dudes, you lost that one. really.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

I'll just retell a story from a few years earlier to you 'kids.' (Don't worry, I'll never kick any of you off my lawn.) I had my one year at Columbia in 1964-5, and, for some reason I;ve never bothered to research, that year, every single speaker during Orientation Week seemed to need to make his jokes about Johnny Mathis being gay.

I wonder how many of my fellow freshman just discovered this, and how many shared my own feelings that a 'crush' had been moved from 'impossible' to 'unobtainable' and were wondering if this was an improvement or a set-back.

Meanwhile, i was already aware i was bisexual, and was trying to figure out the answer to a question that, after fifty decades I still haven't settled even in my own mind. That is, why does society make such a big thing about telling pubescents that 'you gotta choose sides?' Why? Why insist that the feelings are in some way mutually exclusive?

And this is universal, with the gay rights groups joining the homophobes and 'society in general' in demanding the choice be made. (That's the only minor problem I have with the gay rights movement I've been part of since I heard broadcasts from Stonewall on WBAI and wished I had the money to get from NJ to NYC to join in.)

I hope some day we can get into this in depth, because, to me, most people use the terms 'gay' and 'straight' when they really mean "not straight' or 'not gay.' (The difference is subtle, but it is there.) That and the sexual equivalent of 'one drop of black blood makes you black' probably has caused more pain than almost any facet of the tangled subject.

Example -- and no, not a personal one, I never found any conflict between enjoying cocksucking and heterosexual fucking. Joey is a predominantly hetero bisexual, like a lot of people. He figured he only liked girls, only jerked off to them, but then there was that time with Billy, and he liked that and realized he'd like it to happen again. His feelings towards girls haven't changed, he thinks, but suddenly everybody from the HRC to NOM is calling him gay and insisting that he's only fooling himself or trying to 'deny his true self' by ttrying to convince himself that he fits in by being attracted to females as well. And, sadly, sooner or later he believes them, and the additional conflict -- behind and beneath the cry of the remnants of homophobic society in general telling him to hate himself -- only adds to pain that would be unnecessary if he could simply ask who gave a damn which one he preferred when or for how long, even if he was exclusively attracted to either his own gender or the other. (Is there an award -- the Mobius, perhaps -- for the most entangled sentence of the day? I claim it but if you work though the brambles, I think my point's there.)

kathy a.

wayne lapierre is a doofus . it's not surprising that he shouting about obama shredding the constitution and blah blah blah.

but can anybody explain how unrestricted gun rights can be "god-given"? i mean, even in bizarro-world? i'm no biblical scholar, but am 100% positive that the bible does not mention guns. the baby jesus himself talked about peacefulness and caring for one another, not shooting things up.


Crissa---I felt the same way about the choice of the Battle Hymn as opener, and what an opener it was! Wow!
I don't know how any Southern viewer not in a coma, could miss the importance of that song. And, I was glad to see the choir was racially mixed. That says a lot, too.

The statues at the foot (west end) of the Capitol lawn depict Gen. US Grant on horseback with Union soldiers on either side of him, protecting the seat of government. That area was the cut-off point for the seats closest to the Capitol building, making a nice little statement about protecting national unity.

Add to that, the choice of the very elegant Myrlie Evers to lead off the program, sticking it to any lingering KKK-types who might have thought they got away with murder almost 50 years ago. I'd vote for her any day.

Visually, musically and thematically, the ceremony made a powerful statement about the power of a diverse people by purpose. And, even though the inauguration was held on MLK Day, BHO stressed the importance of ALL who walked that mall over the years, moving justice and equality forward one step at a time -- the anti-war demonstrators, civil rights groups, union activists, returning vets demanding benefits and recognition, the Poor People's Campaign, as well as more recent demonstrators. Fill in the blank. I salute whoever came up with this idea to use the event to pay an overdue tribute to the hundreds of thousands of people who have come together on the mall over the years to make their voices heard, even if only for one day.

In other words, I loved the inauguration on SO many levels.


Make that: Visually, musically and thematically, the ceremony made a powerful statement about the power of a diverse people united by common purpose.


BREAKING: Panetta removes military ban on women in combat, opening thousands of front line positions.


Which brings us to the obvious conclusion: Women have the right to die in the front lines but, in some states, do not have the right to make decisions related to reproduction. If the Republicans have their way, all women will lose the right to make their own decisions about reproduction.

kathy a.

also, the NRA has the answer about the sound of weapons on delicate young ears: silencers. not kidding. not linking, because i don't think i can bear to read the in-depth over lunch.


"Where Was I During the Fight for Roe?" Jane Kramer at the New Yorker .

I know where I was -- the grandstanders in the peanut galleries, mostly GOP stalwarts these days, have no recollection. How many of them truly want to step up to insist on *full* support for all of the unplanned pregnancies and unplanned families that would result from rolling back contraceptive coverage and safe and legal abortion?

How about "life begins at erection" -- let's try that out and go another direction with this on-high argument. I've no more patience for this absurd charade.

kathy a.

~ snort ~ nancy wins the internets!

Bill H

Nancy, please, not when I'm drinking coffee at my computer. But, thank you. You made my day.

low-tech cyclist

Mostly nonpolitical update: I had surgery Wednesday on my ruptured Achilles tendon. The doc says there was no problem sewing it back together, and as long as I do my part (rest and elevation now, PT later) during recovery, it'll be as good as new. Walking cast in 2 weeks.

They had Fox News on the TV in the waiting room while I was waiting for my MRI Monday afternoon, and they had a bunch of Republicans on, griping about how Obama wasn't nice enough to them in the inaugural address. Man up, dudes! You aren't the Daddy Party anymore when you're always going "Mommy, Barry hurt my feelings!" You're now the Whining Kid Party, among other even less flattering things.

Since my orthopedist appointment that day (thank goodness they were open!) wasn't until 2pm, I got to watch everything live. The common thread running through everything from the Battle Hymn through Myrlie Evers through Obama's speech itself gave the whole event great thematic power. I suspect that its echoes will be in people's heads for a long time; this one will be remembered.


Prup, I don't think that'll be a problem. In my generation, people whine that everyone is bi 'cause it's a fad.

And I really didn't think you were older than my mom, but I guess you really are ^-^; I keep forgetting.


l-tc---Glad to hear you are on the mend, even if you had to endure Fox (!). And, I agree, the whole event held together with great thematic power.
BTW, does anybody know what the attraction was up in the air during part of BHO's speech?


The Party of John Calhoun

(If the GOP can't convince enough people to win, it will rig the rules so that certain people matter less than others.)

kathy a.

omg, oddjob. that is a great link. what the GOP is doing around redistricting is hideous. this is one step more.

ltc -- glad to hear you are on the mend!

low-tech cyclist

What the Virginia GOP did on Monday was, quite simply, a Pearl Harbor attack on democracy.

Virginia holds its elections for governor and state legislature on the odd years - i.e. a little over 9 months from now. We must absolutely, positively, mobilize the Commonwealth up and down, back and forth, over and out, every last which way, this year.

I don't know what the new incarnation of Obama's campaign organization is planning to do about this, but I aim to find out - and pitch in, if they've got a plan. This must not stand.


Harry Reid either counted votes and gave up or he betrayed everything he said last Congress about fixing the filibuster rules so things could get done. I'd like to think the former rather than the latter, but I have my doubts.

Modest changes to rules voted. No talk, no "must have 41 votes to filibuster," just a mishmash of making the nomination process and voting a little smoother. Important, yeah, but not enough to get legislation through without watering it down to zip.


I have my doubts.

From what I read at Talking Points Memo Reid had more than enough votes to pass a much more aggressive reform via the nuclear option.


Some time ago, I did need to buy a car for my organization but I did not earn enough money and couldn't order something. Thank goodness my mother proposed to take the mortgage loans at trustworthy creditors. Therefore, I did so and used to be satisfied with my short term loan.


Driftglass answers simply.

or he betrayed everything he said last Congress about fixing the filibuster rules so things could get done. That. McConnell's bragging rights memo can be found here .

Dump Harry.

big bad wolf

maybe. reid has shown time and time again he's a smart and tough fighter. i cannot be so sure that this wasn't what he could get and that he didn't get some promises to make it more effective than it seems. less than we'd like, absolutely. more than meets the eye, maybe.


More than meets the eye. bbw, I hope you're right. Almost everyone knows more about *inside baseball* than the likes of me. But...see Mitch crow. Instantly. Not in a while, and not after he goes back to business as has been conducted. Now. A big win, as far as he and they are concerned. Sigh.

They still don't need to show up on the floor, stay there, and speak. Just obstruct--on awful and destructive auto-pilot. Big pht-tut. Empty chamber. Narrow focus camera rolling with no one there. Filibustering flame and fame. Democracy in action. Circa permanent now. Ugh.

big bad wolf

i don't think it is good, nancy, but i don't think mitch's crowing is all that indicative of the meaning of what happened or didn't happen. mitch crows often and howls when things don't go his way. reid plays a quieter, but tenacious game. thus i hold out hope that he got more out of this than we can see at this moment.

of course, maybe not, which would be unfotunate

Joe S

I've got to agree with bbw here. Filibuster reform is something we can afford to do slowly. We're not going to control the House by a substantial margin until at least 2022 (give the gerrymandered nature of the House in all the swing states). 2010 was that big of a disaster for us. The Repubs might be able to gerrymander the Electoral College and win the Presidency in 2016. Having the filibuster is not that bad in this decade, as public policy isn't going to be made through legislation for at least ten years. Moreover, over the course of the decade, we can slowly chip away with it as the Old Bulls in the Senate die off or retire.


Stephen King, himself a gun owner, just released a 25-page essay on the madness of assault weapons fetishists; it can be downloaded at amazon for 99 cents.

Autos and semi-autos are weapons of mass destruction. When lunatics want to make war on the unarmed and unprepared, these are the weapons they use," King wrote.

He said blanket opposition to gun control was less about defending the second amendment of the US constitution than "a stubborn desire to hold onto what they have, and to hell with the collateral damage". He added: "If that's the case, let me suggest that 'fuck you, Jack, I'm okay' is not a tenable position, morally speaking."

Story at the Guardian.


I suppose I should have added that a very public statement from Stephen King hardly equates to one from elite-swooshy-outta touch Hollywood or libtard latte world. NRA can hardly respond with its usual nonsense to an essay like this. I mean, Stephen King -- he's been at the checkout stand at the local supermarket forever. Walmart. Costco. Winn-Dixie. Paperback king I'd bet.

Good for him. My captcha was "Rage"-- name of his book which he pulled after the Moses Lake shooter quoted from its pages.

kathy a.

very good, nancy.

i've been trying to figure out the headline today that says obama wants gun control advocates to listen more to the other side. but have concluded that this is to quell some of the "omg, they're coming for our guns and next will be our liberty." nothing being proposed is any such thing. people still get to have hunting rifles and personal handguns.

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