Forget Selma

According to Queer Day, the long and eagerly awaited “coming out” of a Simpsons character involves Patty, Marge’s sister.

Homer: Which one’s Selma, again?
Marge: She’s the one who likes Police Academy movies and Hummel figurines, and walking through the park on clear autumn days.
Homer: Oh, yeah yeah yeah. But I thought she was the one that didn’t like to be … you know … touched.
Marge: It’s Patty who chose a life of celibacy. Selma simply had celibacy thrust upon her.

For those of you who can’t tell them apart, Patty is the one who had a short-lived affair with Principal Skinner. She wears pink, while Selma wears blue. Let the wild conspiratorial speculation on their clothing choices begin!


Just ‘cos the internet has made it possible — unlike in 1980 — I’ve added a live cam picture of Mt. St. Helen’s over there on the left. They’re saying that it could erupt any day now. (Luckily, they’re not expecting anything like what we saw 20 years ago.)
You can view the cam at full size at the official Forest Service website.

Good News

Perhaps realizing that writing discrimination into the Constitution–no matter how popular–is not a good election year activity, the U.S. House of Representatives could not garner enough votes to approve the amendment that would bar same-sex marriage.

The vote by the GOP-controlled House was 227 to 186 in favor of writing the same-sex marriage ban into the Constitution, 49 short of the two-thirds majority needed to approve an amendment and send it to the states for ratification.

The Senate, also controlled by Republicans, voted 50 to 48 in July against taking up the amendment. But the House, unlike the Senate, produced a majority in support of the proposal.

… The marriage amendment was the latest in a series of conservative causes to be brought before the House as the elections near. The House voted Wednesday to repeal most of the District of Columbia’s gun laws. Last week, it voted to bar federal courts from considering challenges to the use of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

These proposals, along with a flag-protection constitutional amendment already approved by the House, face serious opposition in the Senate, if they are brought up at all before Congress adjourns for the year.

The White House issued a statement from President Bush, saying that “a bipartisan majority of U.S. Representatives voted in favor of a constitutional amendment affirming the sanctity of marriage as a union between a man and a woman” but adding that he is “disappointed that the House failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds vote. Because activist judges and local officials in some parts of the country are seeking to redefine marriage for the rest of the country, we must remain vigilant in defending traditional marriage.”

During the debate on the amendment, House Republicans said traditional marriage is seriously threatened by gay unions.

I swear to God, I’m so sick of hearing that traditional marriage is threatened by gay people getting married. How in the hell does this equation work out? I mean, get real–how does the marriage of the couple next door affect your marriage in any way at all?

Debatable quotes

“I work with Director Mueller, of the FBI… he comes into my office, when I’m in Washington…”

Which is what, once every other month?

Is anyone counting how many times he attacks Kerry as a “flip flopper” or uses the phrase “weapons of mass destruction?”

Meanwhile, he just can’t get past trying to explain Iraq, trying to justify it. If, more than a year later, he’s still trying to justify his actions, how can his actions be justified at all?

“We pursued Al Qaida wherever Al Qaida tries to hide. Seventy-five percent of known Al Qaida leaders have been brought to justice. The rest of them know we’re after them.”

Well, as long as they know we’re after them, that’s enough.

“That’s kind of a pre-September 10th mentality, the hope that somehow resolutions and failed inspections would make this world a more peaceful place.”

What happened on September 10? Did he know something that day that the rest of us didn’t?

“I don’t think we want to get to how he’s going to pay for all these promises. It’s like a huge tax gap.”

We could have easily afforded it if you had not squandered a record budget surplus. Instead of $30 billion a year on Homeland Security, you could be spending $100 billion. The “huge tax gap” is of your own making.

He refers to President Putin several times as “Vladimir.” Last week he called out “Kofi!” in the halls of the UN.
While it’s all good and wonderful to be on a first name basis with world leaders, don’t you think it’s ultimately quite disrespectful to refer to them this way in public… and in a presidential debate?

By the way, if you’d like to see the rules governing the debates, download the PDF. Think that things aren’t micromanaged by the campaigns? Think again. The PDF is a whopping SEVEN MEGABYTES.

Great debater

“Of course we’re after Saddam Hussein… um, Bin Laden.”

I don’t understand why all the pundits say that George Bush is such a great debater. He stumbles, he pauses, he misspeaks.
What he does do well is repeat the same rhetoric over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…
until people believe it.

TiVo: Love it, Hate it

TiVo has totally changed the way I watch television. That’s something that most TiVo owners will tell you — and sometimes they just won’t stop talking about it.
Yeah, I no longer really watch commercials. I start watching programs after they’ve been on for 20 minutes and catch up at the end. It’s amazing having a constant buffer so that I can stop the show to go do something else. And it’s wonderful to be able to find hidden gems that I might otherwise miss because they’re on in the middle of the night or at times I wouldn’t normally be watching. Treating TV as a searchable database of content is a great concept, and I don’t know why no one did it before.
But there is a major downside to TiVo.
Even though I live alone, TV used to be somewhat of a communal activity. The old water-cooler has been banished forever due to TiVo.
There were times when I’d be watching something on TV at the same time as a friend, chattering on the phone while it was on. Or I’d call a friend after a show to discuss plot points.
No more.
Three of my friends now have DVRs, and no one watches the same thing at anything resembling the same time anymore. I call up: “Did you watch West Wing?” The answer is usually: “It’s on the TiVo, I haven’t watched it yet.”
So, I have no one to discuss the latest with. Like the revelations about Rube on “Dead Like Me.” The twists on “Lost.” Or the return of Vincent (woof) on “Judging Amy.”
I was thinking: maybe I should start a category here on the blog for these shows I watch, to see if anyone wants to gossip about them? What do you think?

At least he didn’t ask to get married

Surprise, surprise — Warner Brothers has pushed back the release of “Alexander” because it tells it like it was: Alexander was widely known to have been gay (although the politically correct call him “bisexual.”). From MSNBC:

The opening date of the Oliver Stone epic about the Macedonian conqueror has been pushed back from Nov. 5 to Nov. 24, and an insider says one reason for the delay is that execs at the studio want to cut some of the film’s male-on-male love scenes.

“Alexander was almost certainly bisexual, and [director] Oliver Stone wanted to portray that,” says the source. “So there are scenes between Colin [Farrell, who plays Alexander] and women, but there’s also some passionate scenes between Colin and Francisco Bosch.”

Bosch plays Bagoas, a Persian eunuch, who many historians believe was Alexander’s lover.

“Some of the suits at Warner Bros. think that the movie-going public just isn’t ready to see that,” the insider reports. “There’s some pretty heated arguments going on over it.”

A spokeswoman for Warner Bros. tells The Scoop she knows nothing about any such controversy, and declined to look into it, explaining “we wouldn’t talk about anything involving the process of making a movie.”

What? Hollywood doesn’t talk about anything involving the process of making a movie? Huh? I can’t even come up with a comment that’s sarcastic enough to point out the unbelievable hypocrisy of that statement.

Anyway, it seems to me that they’re just setting up an incredible race to see the film from gay guys who lust after Colin Farrell. And we’ll all be buying the Director’s Cut DVD, as well…

These people are just a**holes, pure and simple.

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – Something about Sen. John Kerry’s darker appearance has caught Lynne Cheney’s eye.

During a campaign stop with her husband, a group of volunteers moved into the crowd with microphones for the question-and-answer period. Vice President Dick Cheney told supporters to look for the people with dark orange shirts.

When Cheney paused as if searching for the words to describe the shade of orange, Lynne Cheney said, “How about John Kerry’s suntan?”

The remark drew a big laugh from the crowd and the vice president.

A spokesman for Kerry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Who’s the flip-flopper?

CBS News Chief Political Writer David Paul Kuhn has compiled a list of Bush’s Top Ten Flip-Flops:

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Announcing the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003, Mr. Bush said, “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

Two months into the war, on May 29, 2003, Mr. Bush said weapons of mass destruction had been found.

“We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories,” Mr. Bush told Polish television. “For those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they’re wrong, we found them.”

On Sept. 9, 2004, in Pennsylvania, Mr. Bush said: “I recognize we didn’t find the stockpiles [of weapons] we all thought were there.”

Nation Building and the War in Iraq

During the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush argued against nation building and foreign military entanglements. In the second presidential debate, he said: “I’m not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say, ‘This is the way it’s got to be.'”

The United States is currently involved in nation building in Iraq on a scale unseen since the years immediately following World War II.

During the 2000 election, Mr. Bush called for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from the NATO peacekeeping mission in the Balkans. His administration now cites such missions as an example of how America must “stay the course.”

Iraq and the Sept. 11 Attacks

In a press conference in September 2002, six months before the invasion of Iraq, President Bush said, “you can’t distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror… they’re both equally as bad, and equally as evil, and equally as destructive.”

In September of 2004, Mr. Bush said: “We’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11th.” Though he added that “there’s no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties,” the statement seemingly belied earlier assertions that Saddam and al Qaeda were “equally bad.”

The Sept. 11 commission found there was no evidence Saddam was linked to the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

The Sept. 11 Commission

President Bush initially opposed the creation of an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks. In May 2002, he said, “Since it deals with such sensitive information, in my judgment, it’s best for the ongoing war against terror that the investigation be done in the intelligence committee.”

Bowing to pressure from victims’ families, Mr. Bush reversed his position. The following September, he backed an independent investigation.

Oh, and:

  • Free Trade
  • Homeland Security Department
  • Same-Sex Marriage
  • War on Terror
  • Campaign Finance Reform
  • and…

Gas Prices

Mr. Bush was critical of Al Gore in the 2000 campaign for being part of “the administration that’s been in charge” while the “price of gasoline has gone steadily upward.” In December 1999, in the first Republican primary debate, Mr. Bush said President Clinton “must jawbone OPEC members to lower prices.”

As gas topped a record level of $50 a barrel this week, Mr. Bush has shown no propensity to personally pressure, or “jawbone,” Mideast oil producers to increase output.

A spokesman for the president reportedly said in March that Mr. Bush will not personally lobby oil cartel leaders to change their minds.

Having it both ways

Talk about a flip-flopper! Slate’s William Saletan points out:

In 1999, George W. Bush said we needed to cut taxes because the economy was doing so well that the U.S. Treasury was taking in too much money, and we could afford to give some back to the people who earned it. In 2001, Bush said we needed the same tax cuts because the economy was doing poorly, and we had to return the money so that people would spend and invest it.

Bush’s arguments made the wisdom of cutting taxes unfalsifiable. In good times, tax cuts were affordable. In bad times, they were necessary. Whatever happened proved that tax cuts were good policy. When Congress approved the tax cuts, Bush said they would revive the economy. You’d know that the tax cuts had worked, because more people would be working. Three years later, more people aren’t working. But in Bush’s view, that, too, proves he was right. If more people aren’t working, we just need more tax cuts.

Now Bush is playing the same game in postwar Iraq. When violence there was subsiding, he said it proved he was on the right track. Now violence is increasing, and Bush says this, too, proves he’s on the right track.

More hot air

Terry Kevin spotted it first — the blimp we’ve been waiting for. (He took pictures.)
It seems that the army has decided to lease a blimp and float it over DC for surveillance tests. So what we now have here in DC is a lot of very visible security operations — massive road closures, fences, blockades, and now a blimp — but very little effective security operations.
I don’t know what this blimp will be able to do if another plane comes in low and targets a building. I can’t imagine that the surveillance from a blimp could actually watch all the buildings in DC, and they certainly can’t see what’s happening inside them or down in the subway. They can’t even see what’s happening inside the millions and millions of cars on the roads around here.
But I suppose that some ignorant people — Bush voters, probably — will think that they are much safer with a big envelope of helium floating around up there.

That biased media

I really needed this good laugh:

CRAWFORD, Texas – A tiny weekly newspaper that bills itself as President Bush’s hometown paper has endorsed John Kerry for president, saying the Massachusetts senator will restore American dignity.

The Lone Star Iconoclast, which has a weekly circulation of 425, said in an editorial dated Sept. 29 that Texans should rate the candidates not by hometown or political party, but by where they intend to take the country.

“Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding Iraq,” the editorial said.

The Iconoclast, established in 2000, said it editorialized in support of the invasion of Iraq and publisher W. Leon Smith promoted Bush and the invasion in a BBC interview, believing Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

“Instead we were duped into following yet another privileged agenda,” the editorial said.

The newspaper praised Kerry for “30 years of experience looking out for the American people” and lauded his background as “a highly decorated Vietnam veteran.”

I’m sure that this little newspaper has found the perfect way to garner some attention today, eh? I’ll bet their website is among the most visited today… especially by rabid right-wingers who have just added them to their enemies list.