C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Same Love

As I'm sure my readers have long since realized, your Head Trucker has grown up to be a boring old geezer from Nowheresville who is far too antique to appreciate this peculiar fad they call rap or hip-hop or whatever.  Nevertheless, I think the following video is a beautiful and moving work of art. Call me crazy. See what you think:



It so happens that a teacher in Michigan has just been suspended for allowing a student to play this song in class. Justified?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The History of the Right to Marry

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights gives the history of Supreme Court jurisprudence on the right to marry.



The Supremes may decide this Friday which of the several cases regarding marriage equality they will consider this term, so stay tuned for big developments. For one thing, If they decline to hear the Prop 8 case, marriage could be legal again in California almost immediately.

Update:   Do go read Brooklyn Law School professor Ari Ezra Waldman's summary of the possible outcomes of tomorrow's Supreme Court conference regarding the DOMA cases and the Prop 8 case. He concludes with this note about timing:
The conference happens tomorrow and though we could know as early as tomorrow afternoon (sometimes, the Court notifies us of its grants immediately), it is more likely that the Court releases its grants on Monday, starting at 9:30 AM. After that, the briefing clock begins. The normal procedure -- 45 days for the party seeking reversal of the lower court decision, 30 days for the respondent to respond, and 30 days for the response to the response -- may be altered, but it will generally look something like that. This puts briefing done by the middle of March. A hearing will be scheduled for shortly thereafter. And, we should expect a decision by the very end of the term.

But, don't forget, if the Court denies a hearing on the Prop 8 case, marriages in California can begin almost immediately.


Update, Friday, November 30:

Veteran Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston blogs at 2:16 p.m. Texas time:
The Supreme Court, after taking most of the day to prepare new orders, took no action Friday on the ten same-sex marriage cases now on the docket. . . .

The next opportunity for the Court to issue orders will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday. Nothing has ruled out the possibility that some actions on same-sex marriage could be announced at that time, although there is no indation that that will occur. It may be that the Court needs more time to decide what it wants to do next on any of the cases.

See also this detailed, nuanced summary of possibilities by Denniston, as well as this summary "in plain English" by SCOTUSblog editor Amy Howe.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Election Results by the Numbers

Your Head Trucker is heading out to dine with M.P. tonight for our belated Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, so I may be too stuffed to write anything afterwards. He had his big dinner with his 4 grown kids, their spouses/others, and the ex last week, to which he contributed a few dishes, but he loves to cook so much that he insisted on doing a full turkey meal for just the two of us this week.

This will perhaps be the last post of mine on the election, but I thought you boys would be very interested to see what the nonpartisan Pew Forum has discovered on the religious factors of this election.

1. Election results by religious affiliation:


2. The electorate, broken down by religious groups. Notice that the fundamentalists/evangelicals are less than a fourth of the total:



Of course, numbers alone don't mean much; it's how you interpret them that counts. And the Republicans are up to their goofy tricks on that, as Hendrik Hertzberg notes in a fine analysis of the election results in the New Yorker this week. Excerpt:
News flash: the President won, handily. With late returns still trickling in, his popular-vote margin now exceeds four million, a million more than George W. Bush amassed when he ran for reëlection. (Obama’s electoral-college majority is also larger: 332 to Mitt Romney’s 206, as against Bush’s 286 to John Kerry’s 251.) When it came to this year’s thirty-three Senate races, Republican prophecies of a Republican takeover, universal some months ago, grew rarer as November approached, except on the farther-out reaches of conservative punditry. Human Events, which describes itself as Ronald Reagan’s favorite newspaper, and CBN, the religious-right TV network, each predicted a net gain of five seats for the G.O.P. Morris, who predicted a six-seat gain, gloated that a Republican Senate would be “Barack Obama’s parting gift to the Democratic Party.” That it was, except for the “parting” part. And except for the “Republican” part: not only did the Democratic caucus grow from fifty-three to fifty-five, Democratic senatorial candidates got a total of ten million more votes than their Republican opponents.

In 2004, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, conservatism’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, congratulated President Bush for “what by any measure is a decisive mandate for a second term” and exulted, “Mr. Bush has been given the kind of mandate that few politicians are ever fortunate enough to receive.” This year, examining similar numbers with different labels, the Journal came up with a sterner interpretation. “President Obama won one of the narrower re-elections in modern times,” its editorial announced. Also:
Mr. Obama will now have to govern the America he so relentlessly sought to divide—and without a mandate beyond the powers of the Presidency. Democrats will hold the Senate, perhaps with an additional seat or two. But Republicans held the House comfortably, so their agenda was hardly repudiated. . . . Speaker John Boehner can negotiate knowing he has as much of a mandate as the President.

And there's more weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth amongst those cast into outer darkness - but I reckon you guys get the drift.


Also in the New Yorker, cartoonist David Sipress sums things up with an apt drawing:






Monday, November 26, 2012

Gay Guys Will Marry Your Girlfriends

The laughalicious video making the case for marriage equality - or else:



Straight dudes respond "go for it":



And the gay gals get into the mix:






Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Drive: I Want to Stroll over Heaven with You

Alan Jackson's mama is in the audience here. I wish I could hear my mama sing again.



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why the Republicans Are Failing

Senator Graham's comment to the Washington Post, August 29, 2012.

Excerpt from an excellent post by Josh Marshall at TPM:
The Republican Party has a problem, but it is not one candidate; it is not packaging or branding; it is not messaging that is sinking the GOP. It is the core beliefs of the vast majority of Republicans.

Their problem is their war on women; war on gays; war on minorities. It is their war on science and math and logic and education and reality. It is listening to nuckle heads like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter and Donald Trump. It is allowing entertainers to determine the direction and policy positions of a major political party. It is following the teaching of extremist religions leaders like the US Catholic Bishops.

But most of all, it is the GOP’s utter lack of respect for anyone who is not like them; supporting an idiot obscure congressman who shouts “You lie” at the President of the United States during the State of the Union Address. Not repudiating truly crazy people who cling to the thumbless notion that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. It is supporting an insane governor who waves her finger publicly in the face of the President because he rejects her lunatic positions. When the GOP allows or supports these actions, they are condoning disrespect for the majority of Americans who are not aging white men.

Ultimately the Republicans now show Romney the same disrespect and loathing it has for anyone they don’t believe is part of the “Real America.”

That is why the GOP is failing. Not because Romney ran an unsuccessful campaign.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving, 1945

Just thought I'd share with you guys one of your Head Trucker's favorite Norman Rockwell covers for the Saturday Evening Post. The repatriation of American soldiers from the far-flung battle fronts of the war, mainly by ship, continued all through the autumn of 1945 and well into the following year. My dad had served in England and Belgium with the USAAF, and had accumulated enough discharge points that he was able to get home by October. I'm sure there were many thankful hearts that year in homely kitchens all over the country - and grieving ones too.

But of course, it's that way every year in this bittersweet world, isn't it? I wish a very happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Click to enlarge

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sore Losers

From The New Yorker, 11/16/12

For the record, the hardcore religious and political right is taking the election results like whiny, screaming, tantrum-throwing brats. In case you haven't heard:

Romney Can Still Win! - By persuading at least 17 states not to participate in the Electoral College when it meets next month; without a quorum there, the election would be decided by the House of Representatives, which of course is controlled by the Republicans.

Don't hold your breath on that one. Here's what you should worry about instead: the country having gone completely over to the Dark Side by re-electing President Obama, divine retribution is surely at hand, as many arch-conservative, fundamentalist/evangelical types are wailing right about now. Example:

God Will Judge America for Re-Electing Obama Through a Massive Economic Collapse. So says Rev. Franklin Graham, Billy's son.




Rightwing blogger Joseph Farah of WoldNetDaily says it even plainer:

America is about to be 'Destroyed by God' - because "we are in full apostasy boogie," a bizarre phrase for more reasons than one.


But why do Republicans hate America? Conservative journalist George Will slaps Romney's let-them-eat-cake attitude:




John Aravosis at Americablog nails it, and takes the words right out of your Head Trucker's mouth:
The current Republican leadership hates Americans. They’ve hated our system of government for a long time, which is why it’s always Republicans who are trying to undermine the presidency, and the courts, and the media – any system of checks and balances is a bad thing if you, at your core, think freedom and truth have a liberal bias, and that you can’t win if the fight is fair.

Republicans talk a lot about how much they love America – the same way they talk about how much they love the troops, then send the troops to die in needless wars based on a lie, then ignore those same trips when they come home needing help – but in practice, it’s not terribly clear that the current extremists running the GOP like much of anything or anyone in this country.

So, I’m not going to get too excited about the GOP’s sudden concern about members of their own party who hate the voters. The Republicans have hated a lot of us for a very long time. And now their hate may have made them a permanent minority party.

Heh.

Their religion is not about loving your neighbor, nor their politics about loving your country. What it's all about, really and truly, is control - as in Obey me, bitch.

And what's up with all those secession petitions? Even Butthead Rick Perry won't go along on that joyride, but Ron Paul speaks for millions, apparently, as he fades into a bad memory:



From The New Yorker, 11/15/12

Bonus:  Pat Robertson, who claimed God told him months ago who the winner of the election would be, admits he fucked up big time on the Voice of God thing:



Deuteronomy 18:21-22 - "And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."

Matthew 7:15-20 - "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

Matthew 24:24-25 - "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: Brief Encounter


Your Head Trucker concurs with Steve's recommendation of this understated British film, a poignant, delicately crafted work:
Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard endure the agonies of an illicit love affair in David Lean's classic adaptation of Noel Coward's BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1946). Taking place in a London train station and under Lean's brilliant direction, two very decent, very nice and very married people, meet, fall madly in love and suffer the consequences, all to the music of Rachmaninoff. Johnson was deservedly Oscar nominated and the film proved to be the benchmark by which every British romantic film has measured itself ever since.



Catch more fabulous movie reviews at Steve's YouTube channel.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Drive: Moonglow

By the great Artie Shaw and his orchestra.



Saturday, November 17, 2012

How to Survive a Plague


From filmmaker David France: now in theaters, maybe one in your town this week.



Friday, November 16, 2012

Waitin' for the Weekend

À la recherche du temps perdu:








Honk to Vintage Gay Men.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dan Rather on the Republicans' Number-One Need

I.e., "to get in touch with the fact-based world." It's not just me who thinks so, then.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guest Post: Gay Imagery

Another thought-provoking essay by my truckbuddy Tim in Spain:

GAY IMAGERY – Eye candy or bad for our health?

Well, it’s nice to be back after a long vacation. Russ was hoping I would have some more Universal Truths for you when I returned, but in 4 weeks I didn’t think about them once! What I did do when I got home was to check out my favourite blogs and cruise the imagery, and you know what? I was disappointed, and actually somewhat irritated with the pictures I found, like those below, for example. I'll explain what I mean as we go along.


The Salacious Look. This sort of ‘knowing’ look from the model is becoming very popular at the moment, but at who’s expense? The guy, like most models, well at least 9 out of 10, is probably straight, but he knows who his audience is. Look at his eyes–he’s saying, “Look at me, I’m your fantasy, but you can’t have me. If I lick my pit like this it will turn you on, but you still can’t have me.” It’s us, the viewers, who are being manipulated here: the image is a manufactured tease, and there are plenty more like it.


The Chocolate Box Fantasy. Another popular style, the fantasy couple, photo shopped and air-brushed to the point of making a sterile image that is devoid of any real feeling or affection–“Chocolate Box” looks that are not even chocolate, just 100% sugar. I’m not sure what this picture is meant to portray, the bonds of love perhaps? But that’s not reflected in their expressions. Images like this rot your mind, just like sugar rots your teeth–it’s just pap!


Artsy Fartsy. The classical look, like black & white, has long been used to justify images of naked men as “art.” But his image just doesn’t cut the mustard. The guy is far too stocky and muscular to be considered “classically” proportioned. He’s cute, but our brawny friend is built more like a brick outhouse than Michelangelo’s’ David or a classical Greek youth. He’s got a great body, but the context is all wrong. In real life you just know he wouldn’t be seen dead in 10 yards of red voile! This isn’t art, although it pretends to be. He is prostituting himself for the sake of gay imagery, and we, as the intended market, have to accept some responsibility for that.

And it’s not just the fantasy image that can be bad for us. Let’s consider something to do with real life, images of the Gay Family. Here’s Ricky Martin, Carlos, and the kids:


This is a great image; the love and affection shine out. But images of gay families can be fraught with problems; it works here because they are all almost unbelievably cute. Put out an image of a less attractive or older couple with children, and it could look like something sinister. I know we can’t all look like Ricky, but you know what I mean; people who are not sympathetic to gay imagery will readily jump to the wrong conclusion. We don’t want to look like someone out grooming! So well done to Amtrak, whose image of a gay family in a recent ad campaign got it just about right in my view. A sensible spread of ages, and not too cute to be unbelievable.


And talking of adverts, just look at this one. I should say it’s French, so it’s quirky, but not hilariously so!



I really don’t know what to make of this ad. Superficially it’s amusing, but the human partner is a stereotypical advertising gay hunk (we all wish), and a cat with chiselled pecs and a six-pack! What are we meant to think of that (and if anyone says “turned on” that’s the WRONG answer!) Even for the quirky French this ad was deemed too much, and it was pulled shortly after release, as being “too polemic” which after I looked it up, seemed very apposite. Remember guys, these ads are being aimed at us. This is what the ad men think we gay men like!

Now let’s get on to the thorny problem of how we portray ourselves in public, specifically our image at Gay Pride marches:


This image is about as far as I suspect Russ will allow me to go, although last week’s “Waitin’ for the Weekend” was pretty racy! There are plenty more Pride images out there, more explicit, and not “blurred”! OK, the guys are happy, they are expressing their sexuality to the utmost, so far so good, but naked? NO, not in public!

Pride marches demonstrate lots of positive things about our community, and have served us well as a wake-up call to those who are too passive, or uninformed. They also provide a point of contact with the straight community, whose help and support we also continue to need. The downside is that it also provides those who do not share our views, or who may be ambivalent to our cause, with ammunition with which to demonstrate how depraved, debauched, etc., etc., gays are. Why provide the ammunition ourselves? Why let our team down with such ill considered imagery? Come on guys: march with some pride, present an image that will win support, not lose it. Have fun, dress up, dress down, but at the end of the day if you’re marching in public, keep it in your pants. It’s not big, and it’s not clever!

Finally let’s have a look at self-image. How do you want to look, and how can that be affected by gay imagery? So this bit’s about me, sorry!


This photo was taken on my 60th, it’s a raw image, not doctored (my partner is many things, but “professional photographer” is not one of them). That’s me on the left, no, the other left, concentrate! You know how you have a mental image of your self, how, in your mind you are a certain age? Well, in my mind I have been aged somewhere between 40 and 50 for many years. Many of my friends are younger than me, and you can delude yourself into thinking you are just like them, so my own self-image has not lagged far behind. Looking at all the young, virile, gay imagery in the blogosphere only served to reinforce my mind’s eye view, that I too, was similarly young and relatively handsome. The images from my birthday therefore came as a rude awakening. There I was, with crow’s feet, big nose, bags under the eyes, suddenly confronted with the reality of my age. Although I’m laughing, hale and hearty, if you look closer it’s easy to trace the tracks of my tears. Russ will confirm from our correspondence at the time that I had a period of melancholy shortly after my birthday, and these photos (there are more, worse!) were a contributory factor to my blues. Well, post-vacation I was laid up sick, flat on my back for a week, during which time I didn’t shave and so grew a beard. Here we are with a self-portrait.


And you know what? I think it’s great! My self-image has readjusted and I’m learning to accept I’m as old as I am. Plus I’m beginning to understand the whole gay “bear” thing at last. It gives my round “Charlie Brown” face more length, and so makes my ears and nose proportionally smaller. It also helps hide some of the additional chins, and IMHO gives me a more mature look that can cope with crow’s feet and bags! Even better, this version is almost completely white, previous beards having ranged from ginger to salt and pepper, so now it matches my chest hair, win-win! Image and self-esteem restored. So you see, your own image can say a lot more about you than just what you see in the photo, it can help your mind’s eye view as well, and that’s good for your health. BTW, does anyone want to hook up with a “Polar” “bear”?

That just about completes this ramble. I’m not advocating censorship or codes of practice, God forbid, and I appreciate that fantasy images can be source of relaxation and exercise for the imagination, but as we speak the Gay movement in the USA and Europe is maturing from adolescence to manhood. I believe that now is the time when we need to take more ownership of our communities’ imagery and to show more responsibility in our use of gay imagery, particularly when dealing with the straight community. And if you’re anti-assimilation sorry, you’re WRONG. We have campaigned to be accepted as normal, not to be treated as a special case! Remember, with gay imagery, just like candy, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Hey whad’ya know, there was a Universal Truth in there after all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It Gets Better: The Mounties

After two weeks of constant internet trouble, the problem seems to have been fixed by a hunky bearish type whom the phone company sent to my house yesterday. Unfortunately, he was straight as a board, but he did seem to know what he was doing; so maybe this fix will last, though I'm keeping my fingers crossed against another lapse of connection.

Meanwhile, here's an It Gets Better video made by Canada's finest. Enjoy.



Saturday, November 10, 2012

Waitin' for the Weekend

Delayed due to continuing technical difficulties. Grrr!




Thursday, November 8, 2012

Good News from All Over

What a fabulous week for equality.  A few tidbits to add to the hooray mix:

Spaniards celebrate the ruling of the Constitutional Court
that preserved marriage equality.

--Spain's socialist party brought in same-sex marriage there in 2005, and 22,000 couples have tied el knotto since then.  But the currently governing conservatives tried to get the law overturned by the country's Constitutional Court.  End of story:  on Tuesday of this week, the court affirmed the legality of equal marriage by a vote of 8 to 3.  

As always, the French do things with a certain élan - here, the dude in the
bird suit at an anti-gay rally is somehow ensuring that les homosexuels
will not destroy la famille, la patrie, and even le monde!  It loses
something in translation, but you know the drill.

--And in France, where couples have been able to pacser in civil unions since 1999, the recently elected socialist government's cabinet has approved a draft of a marriage-equality bill to be presented to Parlement and debated in January of the coming year.  The bill faces a legislative battle because, curiously enough, though 65% of the laid-back French - the folks who gave the world bikinis, topless bathing suits, and cinq à sept adultery - approve of gays getting hitched, only 52% can go for adoption and child-rearing by les pédés.  The far right parties and the Catholic hierarchy are throwing a huge fit, as they do here, with all the end-of-the-world talk, yada yada.  But since the Socialists have a firm majority in Parliament, looks to me like marriage equality - a cornerstone of President Hollande's campaign promises - is eventually bound to happen there.

Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., waves to supporters
after her victory on election night.

--Overlooked here in our own country is the news that scores of gay and lesbian candidates won state and local offices on Tuesday - 118 and still counting.  Via Rex Wockner, check out the Victory Fund's full list of winning candidates all across the nation.  And this old codger remembers when being openly gay was the quickest way to get yourself un-elected, and probably run out of town. Just.Fucking.Amazing.

These results are what we should have had the first time Obama was elected - but maybe he led the way and the country followed.  Maybe it just had to work out that way.  Whatever, it sure is a good feeling, and a new day.   We are finally nearing the end of the long arc of the rainbow of justice.

I don't think anybody saw all these gay victories coming, and it still seems a little unreal - but there's no turning back from here, boys.  This is the 21st century now, you bet your boots.


Ah, but hang on to your hats, fellas - the best is yet to come.  Go grab something lovely to drink and settle back to watch Rachel totally unload on the Republicans and school them in Reality. I guarantee you will love it:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy




Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Vote, by Counties

Go to the Washington Post website for the interactive version of this map; when you run your cursor over each county, the stats display in a pop-up box.


Note to my overseas truckbuddies: there's a lot of Republican red on this map, true; but many, many of those scarlet counties are rural ones with low population, outweighed by the populous blue cities.

Also, while I can't tell you what the deal is in the Northeast, Midwest, and Far West states, I can say that across the South, from Virginia to Texas, many blue rural counties are those with a large population of blacks or Hispanics or both, who tend to vote Democratic; and some others are counties with large universities, hence a more liberal population of white voters.

If anybody wants to know, Texas went 57 to 41 for Romney. In the county where I live, the split was much greater: more than 6 out of 7 voters lusted for Mr. Etch-a-Sketch.


Related: Queer voters made up 5% of the electorate this time around, and 77% of them voted for Obama. Nationwide, 60,653,724 ballots have been counted for Obama so far, a popular vote margin of 2.4% over Romney. Ballot counting is still going on in Florida and Washington state.

Does that mean WE made his re-election happen? You do the math.

My God, what a fabulous election this turned out to be.  Here's a chart of the gay vote in other recent national elections, click to enlarge:



Well said: Your Head Trucker heartily seconds Mike Signorille's comments on the meaning of "pro-gay" from this point forward:
The re-election of Barack Obama, as well as the wins in states wherever gay marriage was on ballot -- in Maine, Minnesota, Maryland and Washington -- is a massive watershed for LGBT rights. No longer will politicians -- or anyone -- be able to credibly claim to be supportive of gays, and to love and honor their supposed gay friends and family, while still being opposed to basic and fundamental rights like marriage.

The very ads pushed by the enemies of gay rights, like the mastermind behind the antigay ballot measures, Frank Schubert, which claim you can support gay equality but be against gay marriage, no longer hold water. From now on, you're no friend to gays if you don't support full equality, and you're a bigot if you try to defend that position, as Mitt Romney did.

Many people previously hid behind the idea that since the president, prior to May of this year, didn't support marriage equality, but could still be considered "pro-gay," they could be considered pro-gay too. But President Obama not only evolved, he set a new standard: being pro-gay means supporting full equality.

More Good News: Historic Night of Gay Victories


Despite the elation of Obama's first victory, I remember the terrible, painful, hungover feeling of waking up on the morning after the 2008 election with the four godawful defeats for gay rights pounding in my mind, Prop 8 being the worst of them all.

But this morning, we have only cause to rejoice - champagne breakfast, anyone? These images from the Washington Blade tell the glad tidings:



Also, Washington state seems poised to approve a marriage referendum there, once all the votes are counted. What a difference four years makes.

You can google up the news stories for yourselves, can't you? Your Head Trucker is feeling pretty whipped now, after staying up all night to watch the election returns and discuss them at lenght with M.P. I'll post more after I get some sleep.

The funny thing is, I feared so many bad results, it's taking me a while to truly accept that it wasn't just a good night for us, it was fantastic. Like that hot, hairy fuck you never expected to hook up with, but oh buddy when you did . . . .

But just think how far we have come now, and how this election has ratified all the good changes in this country made during the last four years - and think too what a horrible aftermath we would be facing if the votes had gone the other way.


Update: Washington United has declared victory in the marriage referendum in that state, giving us four wins for four. Finally, my brothers, the tide has shifted. Matt Baume summarizes:




BREAKING: Ronald Reagan Finally Dead. John Aravosis reports:
I’m still digesting this in an effort to figure out what the heck happened. But something did happen last night. And it was much bigger than Democrats winning.

The left, progressives, won last night, across the board. And I’m not entirely sure why. Especially when you consider how much money the Republicans spent, from Sheldon Adelson to the Koch Brothers to Mr. “I was born in a socialist country.”

They all lost. The Tea Party lost. Conservatives lost. Tax cuts lost. Gay-bashing lost. Repealing Obamacare lost.

Ronald Reagan finally died last night. It’s been almost 25 years since Ronald Reagan left office. It’s been nearly ten years since he died. Enough already. He’s gone. It’s over. The voters are no longer falling for the knee-jerk Republican electoral panacea of tax cuts, intolerance, and war. That might have worked in the 1980s, but the 80s are over, the Soviets are gone, the gays are here to stay, and it’s time for the Republican party to enter the 21st century.

Related: Obamas Return to White House as Romneys Return to 1954.


Weeping, Wailing, and Gnashing of Teeth:  Rightwingers' heads are exploding all over America as reality intrudes upon their fantasy world.  A dazed and confused Pat Robertson wonders, "What Is Going On with the American People?"



But why does he act so surprised? Just last January, God Himself told Robertson who was going to win the election:



If you have the stomach for it, you can browse through more slobbering nutcase reax over at Right Wing Watch, where everybody agrees that Obama-loving, gay-married, Marxist-socialist America is now so fucking EVIL that God will just have to destroy us. Or something.

And finally . . .

For once, a moment of absolute clarity:
Yup. And will be more and more so, from this time forward.

Suck it, Limbaugh.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Four More Years

10:13 p.m., Texas time:  NBC News announces that President Obama has won the state of Ohio, and therefore the election.  Thanks be to God.

More details as I get them.

The Empire State Building, lit up in blue
to mark Obama's re-election victory.

12:19 a.m.: Results map of the nation from Google News:


Also, it's shaping up to be a good night for marriage equality and teh gays. Looks like voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington state have - for the first time ever in U. S. history - approved same-sex marriage at the ballot box. And don't think the Supreme Court, which is soon to consider a slew of marriage cases, doesn't watch the election returns too.

More good news and links when I can get them posted.

1:13 a.m.: From earlier tonight.


Also, from Boston here's Romney's smug, self-satisfied, self-righteous concession speech:



Contrast with President Obama's victory speech in Chicago:



If you don't have time to watch the whole thing, a few notable excerpts:
Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come. . . .

We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. . . .

The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth.

The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great. . . .

America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.


Andrew Sullivan on the significance of Obama's re-election:
And one felt something tectonic shift tonight. America crossed the Rubicon of every citizen's access to healthcare, and re-elected a black president in a truly tough economic climate. The shift toward gay equality is now irreversible. The end of prohibition of marijuana is in sight. Women, in particular, moved this nation forward - pragmatically, provisionally, sensibly. They did so alongside the young whose dedication to voting was actually greater this time than in 2008, the Latino voters who have made the current GOP irrelevant, and African-Americans, who turned up in vast numbers, as in 2008, to put a period at the end of an important sentence.

That sentence will never now be unwritten. By anyone.

But ya know, boys, there's always some dumb son of a bitch who just doesn't get it:


(Via Andrew Sullivan)


Election Day


My internet modem went out last Thursday, which is why I haven't posted anything for four days - but I did get pretty damn good at playing Minesweeper.  I tell you what.   The Internet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity - like electricity, indoor plumbing, and microwave ovens.  Hell, these days with all the magazines disappearing, you can't even . . . oh, never mind.

Several calls to tech support later, I now have a new modem and am thankfully connected to the world again - just in time for the election. The polls are still too close for comfort, so your Head Trucker is keeping his fingers crossed until the official results are in. Here's Nate Silver's final chart from yesterday:


Looks good for our side, but - it ain't over till it's over. There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and lip, you know?

And if you live in one of The Four states where marriage is on the ballot, remember:


Honk to Joe.My.God. for the above images.

I'll post the election results when I get them, and maybe some other tidbits during the day. Ya know, it seems so strange that four years have gone by, whoosh, just like that. Seems like we just went through this whole election thing not very long ago. I can't believe how quickly the time has passed since then. My grandmother told me that the years go by quicker and quicker, the older you get. She was right.


Update #1: Nathan Rich, in an article about undecided voters, notes the striking contrast in spirit between this election and the last one:
I spoke to a different type of voter four years ago, when, two weeks before the 2008 election, energized by Barack Obama’s campaign, I joined several friends in Norfolk, Virginia, which is home to the largest naval base in the world. It was an ecstatic, optimistic time, and the Obama campaign offices were like college dorms—dozens, even hundreds of young volunteers passed through, not only canvassing but making phone calls, entering data, and determining strategy, subsisting on cold pizza and cold coffee. Upon arrival we were sent to some of the city’s poorest inner-city neighborhoods, composed almost entirely of black voters. We visited ramshackle, single family homes and vast concrete-and-brick housing projects; many of the people on our list had never voted before.

There were challenges, to be certain—because we were white, many people we met were convinced that we were spies for John McCain’s campaign, even though our arms were filled with brochures showing Obama’s face. Some well-meaning people, mostly older women, advised us to leave a neighborhood for our own safety. One group of teenagers drew me an intricate map of the route I’d have to follow in order not to stumble into the middle of a gang war. But over the course of a week we visited more than a thousand homes, speaking with hundreds of voters and, witnessing their enthusiasm, we became convinced that Obama would carry the state.

When I returned to Virginia to canvass last week, my friends and I went to Norfolk, excited to go back to the same neighborhoods we had visited in 2008. But the moment we entered the president’s local campaign office, we discovered how much had changed. We were informed by a campaign staffer that our services were not wanted. In fact there would be no canvassing for Obama during the week at all—and not only in Norfolk but in all of Virginia. Instead, all volunteers were asked to make phone calls to Obama’s most enthusiastic local supporters. The goal was to sign them up to canvass in the campaign’s final four days, beginning the Saturday before the election. We explained that we had not travelled considerable distances to Virginia only to make phone calls, which we could have done from our own living rooms. But the campaign would not budge. “I’m sorry,” said the young woman who greeted us in the Norfolk office, with a theatrical shrug. “I just work here.”

Here was the difference between 2012 and 2008. While the offices look the same—the young people making phone calls, the enervated chatter, the boxes of doughnuts—the underlying structure had been transformed. “I just work here.” This time around, the people in charge are not volunteers, but employees. Since 2010, when the Supreme Court overturned restrictions on private donations by corporations, the Obama campaign, flush with money, has increased its paid staff gigantically; there were three times as many employees in the Hampton Roads office as four years earlier. In 2008 the approach was politics from the ground up, by social network. This time, it was Obama, Inc., with strategy fixed at the highest level, by the campaign’s central headquarters in Chicago.


Update #2:   One more "yes we can" and a shout-out to the gays from the President's last campaign speech. Try to imagine what the gays would get mentioned for under the other party's regime.




Update #3: 14 Races for Gay and Trans People to Watch Today.


Update #4: From Andy Borowitz, "The Republicans' Closing Argument":
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—With only one day until the election, the Republican Party today released its official closing argument to the American people.

In its entirety, the argument read as follows: “We’re strongly opposed to FEMA and health care, but basically O.K. with rape.”

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said that the Party’s message of “zero tolerance toward disaster relief combined with a more easygoing attitude about rape” would lead the Party to victory on Election Day.

“Our argument couldn’t be simpler: when God wants to create a hurricane or make a woman pregnant, big government should get out of the way,” he said.

The Party chairman said that the closing argument was part of its “expand the map” strategy: “We’re contesting every state, from Pennsylvania to Colorado to Iowa, where we believe there are voters who are in sync with our more advanced view of hurricanes and rape.”

Mr. Priebus also had this message for the American voter: “Your vote is important. We’ve spent billions trying to buy it.”

See also: "Romney Airdrops Two Billion in Small Bills over Ohio."


Update #5: Poll closings today, via Joe.My.God.:



Update #6: Via Andrew Sullivan, what this election all boils down to:
This is essentially a people's contest. On the side of the Union it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men--to lift artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance, in the race of life. Yielding to partial and temporary departures from necessity, this is the leading object of the government for whose existence we contend.--Abraham Lincoln, Special Message to the People of the United States, July 4, 1861.


Update #7: Again via Sullivan, Nate Silver's projections as of 10 a.m. this morning.  Please God he is right.





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