Thursday, December 27, 2012

The surprising life of a true American Hero...


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


For me , Charles Durning will always be best little Governor Texas ever had...

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Last Word on Christmas....

On this Christmas Eve,  the last word on the holiday goes as always....  to  Linus.

Lights please....



Merry Christmas,  Everyone....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

James Dobson - The Blasphemy of A Bigot....

According to James Dobson,  founder of  the self -proclaimed "evangelical" group "Focus on the Family";  God allows children to be shot because  he is pissed off  about  Gays getting married..

I have written a length  about  Dobson's group  and  the truly awful, bigoted anti-Christian hate they regularly vomit out onto the airwaves and the internet. So I will spare you the repost.   If you want to find out just how vile and evil these people are, you can do so  HERE.

The latest bucket of bile to spew out of Dobson's hate hole,  is to link the tragic shooting in  Newton Connecticut  to (of course...)  Gays and women's reproductive rights.
(Hat Tip to the Huffington Post)


Focus on the Family founder James Dobson said Monday that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary resulted from America turning its back on God, joining other conservative Christian leaders in assigning blame for Friday's Connecticut shootings.Speaking to listeners of his "Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk" program, Dobson said God "has allowed judgment to fall upon us."  

Dobson said:"I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn't exist, or he’s irrelevant to me, and we have killed fifty-four million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition. Believe me, that is going to have consequences too.  And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us. I think that’s what’s going on."


So just to be clear, according to this self-proclaimed "Christian Leader",    God "allowed"  20 children to be gunned down because he is upset about Gay Marriage and Abortion.  So in James Dobson's  sick twisted theology  God registers  displeasure with  mankind by slaughtering  innocent   children and plunging  their  families and  their community  into horrific  grief.

Wow.

I can't help but wonder when decent honest people of  faith are going to  stand up  and take back  Christianity  from  evil nutjob opportunists like James Dobson.  A man  who  claims to speak for God and speaks nothing hatred and lies.    When will the  "Christian Left"  finally stand up  and call  right wing lunatics  like Dobson  what they are;  The American Taliban.

Seattle based writer and activist  Dan Savage  often wonders the same thing....


Friday, December 14, 2012

I don't know what to say....

Sitting here  in  London  watching the news coverage of the  horrific  shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown,  Connecticut.  A shooting that  claimed the lives (so far) of  26 people  20 of them children.   I truly do not know what to write, or say....

But I do know what I don't want to read, or hear...

I don't want to read comments on how this tragedy would have been averted if the teachers had been carrying guns, so don't write them,  I won't post them.  I don't want to read mindless pap  that says  "guns don't kill,  people do",  because only an idiot can't  see  how having the gun in the first place helps make horrors like this possible.  So don't bother writing it,  I won't post it

I don't want to hear perverse misinterpretations of the 2nd Amendment . Spare me the  Fox News BS that stricter controls on guns wouldn't have helped prevent this.  When in 2011 the UK death toll from homicide by  handgun was 8,  and in the US  was over 10,000,  regurgitated  NRA propaganda  just makes whoever is spewing it look heartless and stupid.  So spare yourselves  the embarrassment , and  turn your computer off  and  for now,  just be quiet.   

Because on this day,  when 20 children are dead partly because of  the American FETISH with firearms, on this day, you have nothing to say. So just don't...

May the grace and peace of  almighty God, be with the people of Connecticut , and may we all be granted the wisdom to do what needs to be done to ensure horrors like this never happen again.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Marriage Equality Heads to the Final Hurdle...


The United States Supreme Court will review the decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down Proposition 8, a 2008 law which banned gay marriage in California.
The appeals court's ruling was issued in February and found the law unconstitutional.  The court will also hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act.  According to  SCOTUS Blog, the court is expected to hear arguments in late March and make a decision in late June.
So interestingly enough, that would put the decision on Marriage Equality for all Americans sometime around....uh... Pride Weekend!?!  Well,  that should make things interesting.    So  what  does this all mean for couples like Us and the thousands of other bi-national same sex couples?   Well,  that depends on how the court rules, obviously.  There are two cases  that will be taken up by the Court.  The first  is  the case against  California's  Proposition 8  which limited marriages in the State of California  to  only between  a man and a woman.   The plaintiff in the Prop 8 case is the  American Foundation for  Equal Rights  (AFER)  
The second case is  Windsor v. United States.  The Windsor case deals with the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  In 2007, Edith "Edie" Windsor and Thea Spyer, residents of New York, married in Toronto, Ontario, after 40 years of romantic partnership.    Spyer died in 2009, at which time New York legally recognized same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.   After Spyer's death, Windsor was required to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance. If federal law accorded their marriage the same status as different-sex marriages recognized by their state, she would have paid no taxes.
The United States General Accounting Office determined that there are 1,049 federal laws classified in the United States Code in which marital status is a factor.  One of the many areas included in these laws in Immigration.  But not only.  Other Federal  rights and privileges of Marriage include Social Security benefits, housing, food stamps, veterans benefits, taxation, civilian benefits, military benefits, employment benefits, financial disclosure and conflict of interest, family rights, loans, guarantees and payments, and a whole bunch of other issues that most of us never encounter in our daily lives    Yet DOMA is denying the right of valid, legally married households  (like ours), to participate as full-fledged citizens of the United States.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 646,464 same-sex couples who self-identified as such, and 131,729 of them had valid legal marriages. This means there are more than 500,000 unmarried same-sex partner households in the United States that could benefit from the federal recognition of same-sex marriage that would come with overturning DOMA.    Those numbers don't even include couples like us.   Bi-National Same Sex couples legally married and living outside the United States in  "DOMA Exile".  Where in order to simply be with the person I am married to, I had to move to a different country.

So what could the court do?  Well they could  (in theory) kill Prop 8 and  save  DOMA, if that  happens then same sex marriage  will be legal (again)  in the State of California  but  still un-recognized under US Federal Law.  Which for couples like us, would mean pretty much nothing.

But if the  Court upholds the lower court rulings that say DOMA is unconstitutional  then the Prop 8 question is moot, and all marriage discrimination laws at the state level get tossed out with DOMA.   Which means Eric and I get to head  down the US Embassy and  petition for  his "green card", which would give us the option to live back in the United States.  An option we do not presently have.  

But more than all of that,   a ruling by the United States Supreme Court will finally  settle the question  of whether or not the United States will finally join the majority of the civilized world in truly live up the words in the US Constitution and treat all Americans, Gay or Straight  equally under the law.


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Teaching Pigs to Juggle....

The "aftermath" of the  2012 Presidential race has been interesting to watch.   Many on the right end of the political spectrum are doing some understandable soul-searching  in the wake of Republican defeats.

The reactions  tend to be falling into one of two distinct camps.  The first is that the Republican Party needs to seriously rethink it's current course and strategy.  Rethink it's obsession with social issues and come to grips with its greatest  PR problems.  The biggest being, it is seen by a large sector of the American electorate as the party of  the 1% and only the one percent.   The next being,  it is seen as a party that is overwhelmingly male, white and old.  Consequently  the  GOP needs to break out of  the box it has crammed itself into.




My old friend and fellow University of Wisconsin alum, conservative columnist and blogger  James Wigderson ,  recently penned very thoughtful column  for a Milwaukee area newspaper,  on how the conservative movement is not doing itself any favors  when it embraces the  crackpot elements now firmly ensconced  in the GOP base.

Now politically James and I agree on very little,   but in this case I find far more to agree with than not.   Some of the commentors on his blog beg to differ,   and when I voiced my agreement with the piece, I  was quickly branded a communist follower of  "Chairman Axelrod".   ,,, Sigh.

Which brings us to the second camp of Post Election thought.  Which is a lot more fun to watch.  There folks are convinced  the reason they lost is because America is  full of lazy welfare queens and gay  illegal aliens all who voted for Barack Obama because they "want free stuff", and anyone who doesn't  see that  is a brainwashed socialist.  Here the the prevailing thought is the GOP wasn't crazy enough.   Romney was too soft on gays,  to soft on the Brown menace to the South,  too soft on Abortion and Birth Control and wayyyyy too soft on the need to CUT TAXES and eliminate all government spending except defence.

When I was a young boy, we would often go visit my Great-Uncle's hog farm near Waterloo Iowa.  My Uncle Dale is my Grandmother's youngest brother and could best be described as the sort of person Meredith Wilson was talking about when he wrote "Iowa Stubborn" in "The Music Man"



On only one occasion did I ever try to discuss politics with him.  We were watching the PBS Newshour on television and two pundits were arguing over taxes.  He looked away from the screen and said ; "trying to argue with someone like that is like trying to teach pigs to juggle,  all you're gonna  do is frustrate yourself, and annoy the pigs!"

Now, many years later I truly understand  my Uncle Dale's point.   Trying to have any sort of reasoned debate with people who truly feel  the reason Mitt Romney lost, was because he was  too far to the political Left, truly is trying teach pigs to juggle.

The Republican Party needs to come to grips with reality, It needs to free itself from the grip of people who truly think the greatest threat to America is our own democratically elected  Government.  Only then can it legitimately make a case for its core principles   None of which Romney or Ryan was ever able to clearly articulate without phrasing the debate as how the wealthiest of the wealthy in America are somehow victims of  all the "takers" (47% of all Americans, according to Mitt Romney) who just want the Government to give them everything.

The Republican message to Americans in the 2012 campaign was nothing but a series of cheap shots that never stuck. It made the GOP look bitter and small. Until the Republican Party, and with it the broader conservative movement come to grips with the fact that this 2012 not 1912, their electoral fortunes will continue to decline. Eventually the GOP itself will lose any relevance on the Federal level, and be reduced to a party of angry, fearful conspiracy obsessives sitting in local school board meetings yelling at how the world is really only 6,000 years old and to teach otherwise will make God angry.

The only GOP 2012 candidate who had even a remote chance  at beating President Obama was John Huntsman. Yet the sad truth is, there was absolutely no way a man who stated publicly in a GOP primary debate that Science is a good thing, was ever going to get the Republican Party’s Nomination.


Accepting reality means, the GOP needs accept that basic premise that you cannot use the Old Testament as the basis for environmental policy.  Accepting reality means to accept that being Pro-life is more than just being against Birth Control, and creating barriers to Women having access to Health Care.  Being Pro-Family is not about simply hating families that are different from yours. Being Pro-Israel is not about beating a war drum to “bomb bomb bomb… bomb bomb Iran…” Promoting American Exceptional-ism is not about building a fence on the Southern border to keep Brown People out.   

I honestly  do feel for the comment posters on conservative blogs,  for these people "wanting their country back" is less about politics are more about culture.   The era where white male conservative evangelicals are the defining voice in American politics is over, and some people find that scary.  So scary, that their natural response is to scream SOCIALISM! or  COMMUNIST!  When faced  with even the most basic of facts which contradict their established talking points.

Since 1992 the Republican Party's relationship with facts has been at best, "complicated".  The only way the GOP can climb out of the hole it is so enthusiastically digging for itself, is to quit its addiction to Crazy, and quit it cold turkey.  I am not going to argue with any of these people,  I wont post their comments or even respond any more to their shrill cries of whatever  "ism"  Fox News has told them to throw around like child with a water balloon.    

I have tried  but now,  I am frustrated and the pigs are clearly annoyed.   So it's time to move forward,  and if the Pigs want to stay in the mud of their own delusions,  that's their choice.

Monday, December 03, 2012

As the Holiday Season Begins....

We kick things off with one of the greatest moments from one of the best Christmas television specials ever....



Thanks Guys....

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Post Election Musings.....

Ok...   Here we go...  Post election blogging is always such a self-indulgent affair…

 People on the winning side struggle to sound gracious and not overly smug, and people on the losing side struggle not to sound like a bunch of sad and bitter malcontents desperate to spin defeat into some sort of “longer term victory”. Pundits now bereft of a horse race to talk about, will go on and on for the next month about demographics, who should have done what and when. Was the VP pick a factor? Did Hurricane Sandy actually vote? Etc…etc.. ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

I could with considerable glee, post the various and assorted head exploding freak outs that are currently happening in the right wing nut-o-sphere, but to be honest, I don’t’ care. I didn’t care what these lunatics thought before the election , and political schadenfreude aside, I still don’t care what they think. If you are really curious , or are just looking for a good chuckle, you can find most of that sort of thing – HERE

Obviously I am very happy with the results of last night. The decisive re-election of President Obama and the resounding defeat of a number of right wing/tea party buffoons, combined with impressive wins for Marriage Equality across the United States made for a very upbeat evening for people on my side of the political spectrum.
Yet I have been in the rather lonely chair that many of my more conservative friends now find themselves sitting in. On this day in 2004 many people felt much as the GOP feels today. The re-election of George W. Bush seemed like some sort of bad dream that we all wanted to wake up from as soon as we could. I imagine many Republicans are feeling something along those lines today. So I can empathize…. But I cannot sympathize.

 The republican Party ( and I use the lower case “r” deliberately here, ) has lost more than just a Presidential election. It has lost the Country.

The GOP has cast itself as the party of angry irrelevance. The Karl Rove play-book as seen its last election. Gone forever is the idea that you can win 50% plus 1 of the electorate if you just get enough middle aged underemployed white people angry enough about issues that have nothing to do with their lives.  

So at the risk of joining the chorus of Monday Morning quarterbacks that are currently sifting through the debris of the gop, I will offer a view words of advice as to how the republican Party might, just climb out of the very deep, very dark, and very dank hole it has so enthusiastically dug for itself.

First the Economy - Trickle down economics does not work. It has never worked, and it will never work. Your bizarre insistence that it does, just makes you look either really stupid or  really greedy, and like  you hope the American Public isn't  really paying attention.  Let it go. Asking the top one percent  to pay the same tax rates they did under Bill Clinton, (which by the way are still less than they were under Ronald Reagan) is not “class warfare”, it’s asking the those who have benefited the most from American Freedoms to give back in a fair measure.

That is called Patriotism.

Health Care - The United States of America is going to have some form of National Health Coverage for our Citizens. Every other western industrialised nation has one, it is not socialism it is not Nazism or Communism or any other number of -isms the Glen Becks and Michelle Bachmann’s of the world can spew without understanding what they mean. It is, common sense. It’s happening,  and it is a good thing. It saves money, it improves health care, and it is the right and moral thing to do. Get over it.

Your mindless opposition to Universal Health Coverage just makes you look , (again) stupid and mean. You have staked your claim as the party of Economic Darwinism, - Survival of the Richest. This isn’t the late 19th Century and we are not living in a Dickens novel. The idea that Government is there to help poor people is not evil. But blind opposition to the idea, makes you look it.

Women’s Reproductive Rights - First of all , understand this;  Nobody is “pro-Abortion”. Abortions are a dangerous painful and horribly invasive procedure that everyone hopes would never be needed. But sometimes they are. So they need to be safe, and they need to be legal. Your shrill cries that all abortions are just done as a convenient after-the-fact form of birth control is just plain idiotic.

The issue is about CHOICE. You claim to be for small government, but want  the government to force a woman to have a child. You decry “Government getting between you and your Doctor” but DEMAND the government get between a woman and her OBGYN. You want to stop abortions? Great! Then support REAL sex education that tells young women and young men how to prevent unplanned or unwanted pregnancies

This actually leads us to a larger isuse.   The gop's  unnatural obsession with other people’s sex lives.   . "|Abstenence Only" education  doesnt work,  the facts (remember those..?)  prove it.    It's time you accept fact that  Birth Control is never going to be illegal, so stop your sad bitter attempts to make it so. Again, this is 2012 not 1912 , catch up.

Speaking of your Party’s obsession with sex; lets talk for a moment about LGBT rights. First, my marriage does not affect, threaten or attack yours or anyone else’s in any way,  and your shrill cries that it does just make you look creepy and jealous. Like you are really mad that Gay and Lesbian couples have marriages that seem to be happier than yours. (Hello Maggie Gahallager.... ).

It’s here I will mention demographics. The overwhelming majority of people who will be voting in future elections DON’T CARE if “the Gays” get married.

You are truly standing on the rubbish heap of history on this one. You are sitting on the same stinking pile of hatred and ignorance as the racists and segregationists of the last century. It’s time to climb down from that ash heap and accept the fact that CIVIL Marriage is a civil right. For all Americans Gay or Straight.

Finally , Immigration. We are a nation of immigrants. Unless your family is 100% Native American, you are the product of immigration. Yes we need border enforcement, EVERYONE agrees on that. But we also need to accept the REALITY that we cannot round up and deport everyone who is here who didn’t come across the border with visa.

There as to be a path to legitimacy for these hundreds of thousands of people living here, working here, and paying taxes here. Your mindless opposition to the Dream Act just makes you look petty and racist. Get over it.

The time when the republican Party could win the White House by defining as "American" only those people who conform to a particular limited , fearful view of the world is over.

The time has come to abandon this failed legacy of "fifty percent plus one." Gone is the time when the key to victory was to divide people as much as you can, then prevent any who oppose you from having equal access to the political process. (Be they people of color, people who don't speak English, or people who are not Conservative Evangelical Heterosexuals.  That time is over,  last night proved it.

It’s time to join the rest of America on the road Forward. Or be forever left behind.   It is time for the republican Party to  leave the  bubble of delusion and denial they have been living in and join the rest of us in the real world....

Think about it, won’t you ?

In the meantime,  the last word on the 2012 Election goes  to  Rachel....

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

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

Monday, November 05, 2012

As America Heads to the Polls...

We pause for brief look back at the road that got us here...

Monday, October 08, 2012

How to Annoy a Republican...

Just present facts.....  they reeeaaaaalllyyy  hate  that.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Dan Savage to Tony Perkins - Bring it On!

Via the Stranger - I am Reposting Dan Savage's  brilliant  response to  Hate Group  Leader Tony Perkins'  latest outrage over being  called out for the hateful death-mongering  bigot that he is.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Is Tony Perkins Threatening to Sue Me?

posted by  on WED, OCT 3, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Happier times.
  • Happier times.
The robustly heterosexual head of the Family Research Council went on Mike Huckabee's radio show today to respond to my recent comments. Huckabee said I was rude and vile and unhappy—please, Rev. Girlfriend, I listen toGypsy when I'm at the gym (unhappy gay men listen to Passion at the gym)—and then it wasTony Perkins' turn:
As my teenagers would say, he has some issues. He is a man with some real deep-seated issues ... and Dan Savage is nowhere near, he's a hundred and eighty degrees from the positions that we have taken. It's wrong and I will tell you this,we are pursuing everything possible to deal with him because he is out of control.... This is the bottom line, Mike: is that if you don't embrace and celebrate homosexuality and everything associated with it, then you are intolerant. And the truth of the matter is, let's just be very, very truthful, and that's what we deal in is the truth, that even is society embraced homosexuality, there would never be that sense of self-fulfillment because it's outside the way God created man and woman. And that's the bottom line. They cannot erase that, even if they get every law on the books changed, it will never change that.
Yes, Tony, I have issues.
I have issues with people who would deny me and other LGBT people our full civil equality for no legitimate reason. I have particular issues with high-profile haters who encourage parents to reject their LGBT kids, doubling their already quadrupled risk for suicide. I have issues with people who say that LGBT people are "pawns of the devil." I have issues with people who compare LGBT people to terrorists. I have issues with people who falsely link homosexuality and pedophilia. I have issues with people who suggest that a law calling for the execution of gay people merely "upholds moral conduct."
But having issues with you, Tony, isn't quite the same thing as "having issues." Please make a note of it.
And during your chat today with Huckabee you didn't address the issue I raised. You and Mike called me names—because you were angry that I called you names?—but you didn't address my issue. So here it is again:
LGBT kids are four times greater risk of suicide. Tony Perkinsadvises the parents of LGBT kids to reject their children. LGBT kids who are rejected by their parents are at eight times greater risk of suicide. Perkins is aware of these studies and yet heactively encourages the parents of LGBT kids to do what Perkins knows will push those kids closer to suicide.
Sue me, Tony. I'd love to see you talk about my "issues" on a witness stand.
I realize that this isn't how you think the world is supposed to work, Tony. You believe—and you're old enough to remember a time when—people like you were free to say vile and disgusting things about people like me without anyone objecting. Certainly people like me weren't allowed to call people like you out. You still believe you should be free to lie about me and other LGBT people with absolutely impunity—we're all pedophiles and terrorists and Satanists—and that we should have to shut up and take it because... well, I'm not sure why you think we're not allowed to respond when you lie about us.
Maybe that's something we could get to the bottom of during the depositions.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I truly hope that Tony Perkins is deluded enough to actually try taking Dan Savage to court. As usual, Savage hits the nail on the head. Tony Perkins is really angry, because he cannot grasp that LGBT Americans are not going to just sit by and allow him and those like him to spew their hatred and lies with impunity.

Poor Tony, is used to being the bully whose victims are never supposed to fight back. So it is hardly a surprise to see that the reality of having his lies challenged has really ticked little Tony off.
 Welcome to the 21rst Century Tony. Let me explain how things work here. You don't get to spew your bigotry without having to face the consequences. 

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Expedia's newest Ad... Wow.

We know where we will be booking our travel from now on....

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hello, Old Friends... How I've Missed You...

Just in time to save America from  insane bigoted hateful and downright BS filled  campaign ads,  a few of the  cast of the  much missed  television show  The West Wing have come together to remind us all of the importance of reading the ENTIRE ballot...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wow...Mitt Romney telling the truth!

Do you hear that?   That   muffled dull thud?    That  may well be the sound of the final nail  being hammered  into the coffin of the  Mitt Romney Presidential campaign.

Speaking at what  he thought was an off the record  private high -donor event.  The Republican Nominee  expressed his true feelings about the majority of Americans  who, unlike Mitt Romney were not born into wealth and privilege.   According to Mitt Romney, nearly half of all Americans (47%)  are lazy free loaders who, again according to Mitt,  pay no income tax and expect the Government to cater to their every whim...  (hat tip to Mother Jones).


During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don't assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax."
Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."



The Mother Jones piece goes on to report that  this fundraiser was held at the Boca Raton home of controversial private equity manager Marc Leder on May 17th

Leder has long been a fan of Romney. In January, the New York Times reported:

Years ago, a visit to Mr. Romney's investment firm inspired Mr. Leder to get into private equity in the first place. Mr. Romney was an early investor in some of the deals done by Mr. Leder's investment company, Sun Capital, which today oversees about $8 billion in equity.

The paper noted that Leder is something of a poster boy for private equity—and not in a good way:

Mr. Leder personifies the debates now swirling around this lucrative corner of finance. To his critics, he represents everything that's wrong with this setup. In recent years, a large number of the companies that Sun Capital has acquired have run into serious trouble, eliminated jobs or both. Since 2008, some 25 of its companies—roughly one of every five it owns—have filed for bankruptcy. Among the losers was Friendly's, the restaurant chain known for its Jim Dandy sundaes and Fribble shakes. (Sun Capital was accused by a federal agency of pushing Friendly's into bankruptcy last year to avoid paying pensions to the chain's employees; Sun disputes that contention.) Another company that sank into bankruptcy was Real Mex, owner of the Chevy's restaurant chain. In that case, Mr. Leder lost money for his investors not once, but twice.

But Leder does differ from Romney in one significant fashion: how he likes to have a certain sort of fun. In August 2011, the New York Post reported,

It was as if the Playboy Mansion met the East EBond at a wild party at private-equity titan Marc Leder's Bridgehampton estate, where guests cavorted nude in the pool and performed sex acts, scantily dressed Russians danced on platforms and men twirled lit torches to a booming techno beat. The divorced Sun Capital Partners honcho rented a sprawling beachfront mansion on Surf Side Road for $500,000 for the month of July. Leder's weekly Friday and Saturday night parties have become the talk of the Hamptons—and he ended them in style last weekend with his wildest bash yet. 

At Romney's fundraiser at Leder's Boca Raton home, no sex acts were  recorded, ...that we know of.

So, after being caught  with his silver foot so far down his own throat he effectively kicked his own ass,  what  did  Mitt Romney do?   He  doubled down of course.



Now  I don't know  if  Governor Romney  truly in his heart of hearts  believes that  47% of all Americans  are  lazy entitlement addicts,  but  the fact that  as a man running for  President of the United States,  he would say that,  and then  not even remotely understand  the magnitude of the insult and mistake of his words,  clearly  proves one thing;   

Regardless of politics  or ideology,   Mitt Romney is quite simply far too stupid to ever be  President of the United States. 
One small postscript to this story,  as of  this posting,  Fox News has yet to mention this story in any way.

Despite the fact that the Romney fundraiser story, and the assorted follow up details, are on  the front page of most every other  major American News Organization's  web site.



I don't know about you , but I am shocked! Shocked to think that Fox News might deliberately try to shield their viewers from any story that might put the GOP Nominee in a less than favourable light...

Monday, September 17, 2012

I can't wait for Election Day and see Fox News Cry...

It's interesting  watching  the  circus  of  hate, hypocrisy  and dysfunction that is the  Republican Party and it's  American Taliban owners.    But  particularly  this time around,  as this week,  I have  the rare opportunity to do so from inside a Muslim country,

While the  Romney campaign tries desperately to flog it's  talking point of  President Obama "apologizing for American values",  the  editorials and opinion pages here in  Malaysia  tell a very different story.

Yesterday was  "Malaysia Day" here.  The national holiday commemorating the founding of Malaysia as an independent nation  47 years ago.   Yet the opinion pages of the major  news papers  were full of letters to editors from  Muslim Imams and  Clerics  all  expressing  their horror, shock and dismay at  brutal attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi Libya, and  asking  faithful Muslims the world over to  condemn the extremists  who are murdering  in the name of their religion.

Not  blaming America,  not  saying it's  America's fault , not saying the film maker is to blame,  but  saying the mobs who attacked our diplomatic missions and murdered  our  citizens  are  the ones to blame and who are the real insult to the Islamic faith.

Funny how Fox News  never reports that huh?

So many conservatives,  people I know  to be  reasonably intelligent,  thinking people  have  jumped on the apology talking point knowing full well  it is  a bald faced lie.   The  Twitter posting  the  US Embassy in Cairo put out  condemning an anti-Islamic film  in the United States  was done before the protests occurred, and was not in any way,  any sort of apology for  American values.  But,  the wing nuts  who now own the GOP don't care.  Facts don't matter any more.  The truth is just  inconvenient  liberal bias.  These people are insane, racist, anti American nut-jobs  who  don't care about the welfare of the United States,  they just  hate  President Obama.

At the latest  American Taliban Hate-fest  they even admitted out loud  that to buy into the  load of crap they are spewing you have to be pretty stupid.



Of course when Rick Santorum  says  "the church and the family", he means only  his church, and only his family.   If you are not a right wing theo-fascist  who hates the idea that United States Constitution applies to everyone then the America the "Values Voters" seeks to bring about  probably doesn't have much room in it for you .

Personally I can't wait for  Election Day,  so much so that I will even be  flying back to the United States to  be there  when President Barack Obama  is re-elected to a second term.   When that happens,  and  the certainly of that  has been made all the more clear this past week watching the  hate fuelled lunacy that now passes for the modern GOP,   I will be there  television set  tuned  to FOX News,   because I cannot wait to see these  lunatics  literally  lose their minds.

For all my friends  who still support the  insanity that is the GOP,  here is a photo to keep in the back of your mind,  you will soon be seeing it live  again, come  January 2013






 .   

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hello from Asia!

Hey there folks,  blogging is going to be  sporadic  over the next two weeks,  as I am currently on Vacation in  Malaysia and China..  Pictures and updates  when I can!


Sunday, September 09, 2012

Six Glorious Weeks....

As  tonight's  closing  ceremony  to the Paralympic games  brings  the Summer of  London 2012 to a close,  Londoners  across our city are still marvelling at it all.

The Transport system worked...
The Venues  were ready ahead of time...
The Athletes were nothing less than superhuman...
It didn't rain... much.
Everybody felt so proud to live in our amazing city...

Well done London!

Friday, September 07, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities: Tampa & Charlotte


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


Like many people who voted for President Obama in 2008,  I went into watching  the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida with a sense of dread.   I knew that  the  GOP,  deciding  they were not bound by the need for facts,  would throw stink bomb after stink bomb at the President and the Democrats.  I  had to force myself to watch, fully expecting a massive perfectly produced info-mercial for a Romney Presidency.  The speakers would invoke a Norman-Rockwell image of America,  and stoke  a fire under voter impatience with a sluggish economic recovery.  It would be a media blitz that Democrats would never be able to compete with,  and would leave supporters of the President even more disheartened.

What a difference  two weeks makes,  huh?

First in Tampa,  the sense of angry entitlement  that permeated the  GOP gathering  was at times overwhelming.  When Ann Romney  exclaimed  that "this country belongs to us!"  it came across not as a positive statement of  populist  inclusion; but rather it echoed  the shrill protest of someone who didn't want anyone different from them  allowed in their country club.

The crowd in the hall in Tampa  was overwhelmingly older  and white.  I watched  the cameras focus on the same three African Americans  so often I found myself feeling embarrassed for them.   The demographic problem on the floor of the GOP convention served only to amplify  the argument that  Republican sponsored  "Voter Fraud prevention" efforts  are clearly  more about preventing  people who don't look like the GOP convention delegates,   from getting to the polls.

But what was most striking  about the GOP convention was the lack of any clear message of why  Americans  should vote FOR Mitt Romney.  There was  lots of air time spent on why Americans should vote AGAINST  President Obama.   But even the convention's   marquee speakers  seemed to go  out of their way to NOT mention their own party's nominee.   New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's speech was  a total non-case for electing  Mitt Romney in 2012 and a clear kick off speech for a Christie 2016 campaign.

Then we had what is now the most memorable moment of the entire GOP gathering.  Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood and....  the Chair.



The Eastwood disaster  would go on to overshadow  the most important speech of Mitt Romney's political life to date.

So we move on to the following week.. This past week in  Charlotte, North Carolina, and Democrats  found themselves  feeling  .... unexpectedly pretty good.    But  this being the Democratic Party,  a party that has a clear historical track record  of  snatching  defeat  from the jaws of victory at every opportunity;  I was still nervous.   The Democratic Convention had to hit the ball out of the park from  Day One.  So still feeling a sense of trepidation, I  sat down on our couch, and  tuned into the  CSPAN feed being carried on the BBC Parliament channel, and  saw this...



Michelle Obama,  Julian Castro, Cory Booker and Deval Patrick didn't just hit  home runs,  they all knocked  the ball clear out of the park.   I  found myself  sitting on the edge of the couch, my eyes glued to the screen and for the first time since  the 2010 midterms,  thinking  the Democrats may actually  know what they are doing!

Still,  the roller coaster of  ups and downs  that has been  the past four years has taught me to be more cautious than optimistic.   Fully aware than day one could well have been just a well planed fluke.  I tuned in for day two.



Like Mitt Romney,  Barack Obama may find that his own speech accepting  his party's nomination was overshadowed by a previous speaker.   But unlike at the GOP convention  the speech  that overshadowed  the President's  was a full throttle, brilliantly constructed  case for  why Americans  should vote for Barack Obama,  by a man who can truly say he understands  what it's like to  sit  behind the resolute desk in the Oval Office.  



What  was most striking to me, watching both  conventions  pretty much gavel to gavel,  is  how the opposing party responded  during  the other's convention.   During the  GOP convention,  Democrats and liberal pundits  had a field day  fact checking the major speeches to point out  the  inaccuracies and misstatements.   The best the GOP could muster during the Democratic shindig  were half-hearted whines about how the DNC Platform didn't mention "God" or  say how the  capital of Israel should move from Tel Aviv to  Jerusalem.

When that didn't  gain any real traction  the big talking point for the GOP and conservative pundits was how the decision to move the last nights speeches indoors from a stadium to convention hall to avoid predicted thunderstorms,   was really prompted by a fear of empty seats.  What Fox News somehow forgot to report today  was how the stadium was in fact sold out,  and  it poured rain in Charlotte last night.

But as we know,  the GOP has decided  they are not going be hampered by facts...

The election is still  60 days away, and that is a lifetime in Presidential politics.  Attention now shifts towards the upcoming Presidential and  Vice Presidential debates.    As they say in  punditry,  anything can happen.   But  as we turn the page on the 2012 political conventions,  it's clear the momentum is with the Democrats.



And it's about time ....

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Ok DNC.... You Got Me Back... I'm Excited.

After the  hate fest and  lie-apalooza  that  was the the Republican National Convention.  I was feeling  kinda down.



I was worried that the Democratic Party would do what it has historically  always done.   Fret,  wring  our  hands about how mean the GOP is,  stand before the country and  mumble quietly about how we want to do better things  and  then just hope it all works out.

Turns out  I have never been so happy to be wrong.  Finally it seems somebody over that Democratic National Committee has figured out that the GOP will say anything, literally anything  to win this election So it was time for the Democratic Party to stand up and speak the truth to America.

Speakers on the first day of the Democratic National Convention  did just that.   They spoke the truth.  The truth about the Democratic Party and its Platform.  The truth about  President Obama's record of achievement.  The truth about Mitt Romney and the GOP's record of catastrophic failure, and the truth about the choice America as a nation is facing in November.


It's about time too....

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro Rocks the DNC

The Definition of a "First Lady"....

Sunday, September 02, 2012

The Last Word on the GOP National Convention...

Goes to The Daily Show and  Leonard Nimoy...


Hal David: Legendary Songwriter Dies at 91 After Stroke

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Hal David, who along with partner Burt Bacharach penned dozens of timeless songs for movies, television and a variety of recording artists in the 1960s and beyond, has died. He was 91.

David died of complications from a stroke Saturday morning in Los Angeles, according to Jim Steinblatt, spokesman for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. David was a longtime member and former president of ASCAP.  Bacharach and David wrote many top 40 hits including "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," ''Close to You" and "That's What Friends Are For."

A entire new generation was recently introduced to David's work thanks to the hit FOX TV show "Glee"

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Letter to My Republican Friends....

Dear Friends,

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, or philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." -Thomas Jefferson

I have always tried to heed Jefferson’s advice. Especially during election years. The great hallmark of American democracy is our ability to settle our disputes, hold our civic discourse and yes, conduct our national affairs within a construct of civility and implied shared goodwill.

Or at least that is how I remember it… Now, I am not so sure If America has changed, or if my own perceptions were just somewhat rose colored. Because I will confess, since 2004, and going through to this 2012 Presidential Election, I have been struggling with Jefferson’s admonition.

And it’s time to admit I am losing the struggle.

So as I have done many times before in my life, I am sitting down to write a letter to a friend. Or more accurately, I am writing a letter to all of you, my friends. Specifically those friends who are going to vote, or who are considering voting for Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and their Political Party; the Republicans this November.

I am sure you have your reasons for why you honestly think Mitt Romney should be President. I would like to think that it isn’t just because you don’t want Barack Obama to continue to be President, but rather you truly believe in the ideas that Governor Romney and the Republicans have put forward. So in that spirit…

Maybe your reasons are fiscal. Perhaps, you feel that President Obama has not “put America back to work” fast enough. I can respect your frustration with the slow pace of economic recovery  Perhaps you truly feel that, because President Obama has not managed to repair eight years of damage in less than four years,  America needs to elect  a guy who says he thinks  he can  fix  it over the next  eight to ten years.  It doesn't quite support your feelings of impatience,  but I'm not you. Maybe you truly feel that taxes have been raised too high by this Administration. The numbers dispute that, but  again, I am not in your shoes so I have to  respect your perceptions.

Maybe your motivation for voting for Romney-Ryan is that you truly and honesty feel that the Affordable Care Act needs to be repealed. You may truly believe that there actually is such a thing as “ObamaCare” and, you really do feel  that a law prohibiting  insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, or cancelling coverage when you get sick, is a bad thing,  and needs to go on DAY ONE.   I can’t say I understand that, but I can agree that the AFCA is in many ways an imperfect solution and could be vastly improved.

Maybe you truly are concerned about our budget deficit and the level of our national debt. Despite having voiced none of this concern during the eight years of massive debt and deficit inducing spending that occurred under the last Republican Administration. Yet maybe, you really and truly didn't feel it was as big an issue then, and have now had an honest to goodness epiphany on the subject. If so, I can respect that as well.

Maybe it is that you just don’t like President Obama. You don’t like his style, his approach to being President, his dog or perhaps you just don’t personally care for the guy I can totally understand that. There are lots of people I really don’t care for. Personally I think Michelle Bachmann is a complete nutjob. Given the opportunity to vote her out of office , I'd jump at the chance. So if you honestly just don’t like the President, and would just be happier if he was voted out, that’s your right as an American.

On all of these points, I may not agree with your opinions , but I can respect your right to hold them, and we can, as the old cliché says, even “agree to disagree”.

But it isn't that simple in 2012. The issues we will vote on go far beyond things like taxes, health insurance regulations, the right to own an automatic weapon, or whether or not you like or don’t like a particular politician. As friends of mine, we need to talk about the 2012 election , because one of the things you will be voting for or against is… Me.

When you step into the voting booth on November 6th, you will not just be voting for a collection of local, state and federal candidates. You will be making a clear long-lasting , and far reaching statement about how you feel about me. Not my politics, not my opinions or beliefs, but Me. David Paul Fabie, as a person.

As most of you know, I live in London. Many of you know the reasons why I live here, but it is possible that some of you don’t. In January 2011 I got married,  and at present the fact that I am married to someone who is not an American, means in order to do something as basic as live with person I am married to, I had to leave the United States and move here. I hear some of you asking ; why don’t I just sponsor my spouse for a visa to live in the US? Because I can’t. Current U.S Immigration law does not grant any recognition to couples like us. Because, we are both men.

So let’s be very very clear on what your vote this November really means. For me, and for you, as a friend of mine.

The GOP platform for 2012 calls for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and affirms the party's support for the Defence of Marriage Act, which forbids all federal recognition of same-sex marriages. So even though states like New York, Iowa and Governor Romney’s home state of Massachusetts have equal marriage rights for all their citizens. For me, and my spouse It doesn't make any difference, as immigration law is a federal matter.

So understand that if you vote for Mitt Romney you are voting for his party’s platform. You are voting to amend the United States Constitution to keep me from ever being able to move back the United States. You are voting to keep me out, for the rest of my life.

Even though the GOP platform decries what it sees as the Obama Administration seeking to gain "government control over the lives of its citizens in all aspects," this section of the platform advocates Government regulation of who Americans can love, and states that "the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard" through "laws governing marriage." Despite what We all know; my marriage doesn’t impact your life in any way. It doesn’t “attack” or “redefine” anything.

According to its platform, the Republican Party wants to reinstate Don't Ask Don't Tell, prevent same-sex marriages from being recognized by the federal government, and stop efforts to prevent gays and lesbians from being persecuted, and even killed overseas in places like Africa.

The GOP platform loudly decries efforts by the Obama administration to oppose laws in African countries that criminalize homosexuality. Some of the legislation being proposed would include prison time and even execution as punishment for homosexuality, but the GOP platform says the Obama administration is "imposing" the "homosexual rights agenda" on "the peoples of Africa" by saying imprisoning and killing people like me is a bad thing. Support for the GOP means you endorse the GOP's "respect and dignity" agenda for Gay people. Which means, you are saying the United States should do nothing to prevent people just like me from being executed or imprisoned outside of the US.

So understand that if you vote for Mitt Romney you are voting for his party’s platform. You are voting in favor of laws that say I am less of an American, and less of a human being than you are. You are voting directly to discriminate against Me. If you vote for the Republican ticket, you are saying that you truly feel that I, am a threat to your marriage, and to your family.

At the end of the paragraph explaining the party's position, the GOP platform states, "We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity." So understand if you vote for Mitt Romney you are saying loudly and clearly that "respect and dignity," are not things I am entitled to, but rather gifts the Government might deem to bestow on me, but only with your permission.

If you support Mitt Romney and his party you are, in the truest sense of the word, attacking me. You are voting that I am less than you , voting that I don’t deserve the same treatment under the law as you , voting that my marriage is not as valid as yours. You are saying that love is only real when you feel it. Not when I feel it.

When you vote this November, you are not voting on politics, or public policy or taxes or heath care or foreign policy or even who you think Barack Obama, or Mitt Romney is or is not. You are voting on my life,  you are voting either for or against me, for or against my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

So understand this. If you are supporting Mitt Romney and the Republican Party, you are saying that you honestly feel that as human beings, my life has less value than yours, and you want Government to make that the law of the land.

 Some of you have said to me "Dave, I don't agree with the GOP position on Gays, but this election is bigger than one issue." Sorry, that is pretty much the same as saying "Dave, I agree with you that second hand smoke is bad, so from now on I will only smoke at your house." You can't parse your vote. Your vote doesn't enable some of the GOP Platform. It enables all of it.

Yes, your vote for Romney may get you the things you want from a President. Things like, an end to graduate students being able to stay on their parents health insurance, and a halt to government support for renewable energy.   But it also will make sure I am treated by my own government as less of a citizen than you .   I would like to think that as a friend of mine,  you might have a problem with that.

So I need to put it to you directly. Friend to Friend. When you step into the voting booth,   you are not just  saying if you  believe in Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, you are also saying if  you believe in me.   You are not just voting to say  if you are "proud to be an American...", You are also saying whether or not,  you proud to say that we are friends.

The question on your ballot is not what you think,  or believe or don't believe about Mitt Romney' s or Barack Obama's religions. The real question on your ballot is;  Do you believe that the God that you believe  created and loves you , also loves me?

The question on your ballot is not about who "Loves Freedom" or about  who respects  the "will of the Founding Fathers", but rather the very real question of;   Do you , my friend,   love and respect me?

So before you cast that vote, I would ask one small favor. If the Platform of the Republican Party and their standard bearers is what you are truly going to vote for this November, then let’s spare the awkwardness. Do what you need to do to “un-friend”  me now. Because clearly we define the concept of being “Friends”, very differently.

Respectfully,

Dave