Scratch that headline. Darrell Issa is a fool. Rachel Maddow just points that out in a supremely satisfying way. Issa should watch, he might learn something. It's also worth noting the vast difference between Republicans and Democrats regarding their response to the Ebola "crisis." One side is trying to calm people down, the other is stoking panic. Guess which is which.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
So, if you've dropped by for a visit, please come back. There are only so many chores that need doing, and we've gotten a lot of them done! Thanks, and come again.
Posted at Friday, October 24, 2014 by James Greenlee
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I am most interested in pets The Virgin, NCIS: Goes Daniel and The teens Remains the Same. I do know that The Jeff is really The Simpsons, and that The Western Maddow out is The Rachel Maddow Show. The show descriptions are just as screwy.
Monday, October 20, 2014
|Here's a FOX "News" story about one of the early|
"religious freedom" cases, Sweet Cakes by Melissa.
There wasn't legal marriage in Oregon at the time.
Helpfully labeled so you know he's not Melissa.
Marriage equality is very nearly a done deal. Before the end of the year, we'll likely be past 35 states and the District of Columbia. What's left is pretty much the deep south and the Dakotas, with some stragglers around the edges (come on, Ohio, you're embarrassing me!). But the anti-gay side--and don't kid yourself, that is what they are--isn't ready to give up. Since they're pretty much out of options in regard to the actual legality of same-sex marriage, what they've got left is to make all sorts of claims of "religious freedom." They're actually making a case that the ability to legally discriminate, shun, or otherwise refuse service to gay people, is a central tenet of their religion.
|And the story about the |
Houston sermon subpoena
thing from Joe.My.God.
That's mayor Annise Parker,
who's caught up in it.
So, they've amped up their martyr complexes, and made mini celebrities out of themselves all across Right Wing World. And now that equality has come to the majority of the US, they're turning it up to eleven. The trouble is, their claims have just enough truthiness, and surfacy-outrage to potentially stick. In other words, though their claims are absolute bullshit, it might sound convincing enough to create backlash. Now, why do I say their claims are bullshit?
Well, first there is the above note that they have a difficult time pointing out the specific religious objections they might have to selling products or services to gay people. Second, this often has little to do with marriage itself, it has to do with public accommodation laws, which predate legal marriage. If you have a public accommodation business, open to the general public, you must serve the general public. It's as simple as the Woolworth's lunch counter not being legally able to bar black customers. I don't care if you don't think sexual orientation is a perfect analogy to race, legally, these cases are identical. If there is a public accommodation law that covers gay people (and they are far from universal, lest you think otherwise), you can't refuse to do business with them just because they're gay. Or have a different religion. Or are black. Or anything else covered by the law.
|The unbelievable disingenuousness of Las Vegas|
wedding chapels (Elvis?) alleging to be solemn
churches is just galling.
So, while I believe that these cases are bullshit, and a transparent attempt by the anti-gay to exert some control over a situation where they have none, I do worry. I saw Hobby Lobby, a case that was a
|A rustic, wild west, for-profit church?!?|
Our latest martyrs from Idaho.
As an atheist, I am a staunch supporter of religious freedom, because it protects my lack of belief, or is supposed to. But I don't like disingenuous, manipulative, dishonest movements like this one. And I have a very hard time thinking it's a good idea to grant legal exceptions for what amount to mythical beliefs.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Yes, this is a rerun, but I've added two new "shoulda beens" to the end!
For this week's Blast from the Past, I'm going to see how many songs I can find that are examples of great songs that either barely hit the Billboard charts, or didn't even break through at all. And I'm sure I'll only crack the surface here. These are the kinds of songs that you either know because they were on an album you played a lot, sometimes on a Greatest Hits collection with some "extras" that really weren't. Or it's an attempt at a comeback from an established star that just didn't do the trick. Whatever it is, these songs all have the makings of a hit, but just. . .weren't for some reason. See how many you know.
1. Ring Ring by ABBA (1973) - This early tune by the Swedish quartet managed to make several world-wide charts, some to number one. But it didn't chart in the states at all. It should have.
2. On and On and On by ABBA (1980) - A later track by the same group had all the makings of a hit (and the by now standard repeating title of many of their others), but only hit #90 in the US. It was still very catchy, and should have been a hit.
3. I'm Gonna Be Strong by Cyndi Lauper (1994) - According to Lauper, this is the song that got her a recording contract. Small wonder. I've always wondered what could have happened if Lauper had been a contestant on American Idol, and belted this out. It's amazing.
4. You Don't Know by Cyndi Lauper (1997) - As you can now tell, I have some favorite artists who have several songs I think should have been hits. This one was probably hampered by an album track that was slow and languid. This dance version is one of my favorites, a song about the stupidity of bigotry.
5. Quantum Mechanic by Thomas Dolby and Dr. Fiorella Terenzi (1994) - This great tune from the Gate to the Mind's Eye soundtrack always made me happy. And should have been released.
6. UMF by Duran Duran (1993) - One of several tracks from "The Wedding Album," something of a comeback album that did have a couple of hits. UMF stands for "ultimate mind f**k," thought the profanity is never uttered.
7. Only You by Pat Benatar (1997) - Again, a great album, chock full of great tunes, but it still couldn't revive Benatar's hit-making career.
8. Try by Billy Pilgrim (1994) - I saw this band when they opened for Melissa Etheridge on tour. I bought their album, and totally dug it. This is one of their best songs, and it turned up on a compilation or two, but didn't really go anywhere. Great harmonies.
9. Rock D.J. by Robbie Williams (2000) - This incredibly catchy dance tune was a hit around the world, but didn't manage more than #24 on the dance chart in the US. Maybe it had something to do with the gory, out-of-left-field video.
10. Little Bird by Annie Lennox (1993) - This is (along with a couple of other tracks that didn't chart) one of my favorite Lennox tunes. Amazing that I didn't do better.
11. One by One by Cher (1996) - Like the Cyndi Lauper tune, You Don't Know above, this one had a down-tempo album version, and this spirited dance version. The dance version charted at #6, the album version at #52. I'm fairly certain it was this song's performance that made Cher go straight for dance releases like Believe after this.
12. That's What I Think by Cyndi Lauper (1993) - Another Lauper tune, I can't help myself. I think she's been criminally overlooked. This one she even plays the recorder. I remember her blowing David Letterman away when she performed it on his show.
And that will wrap it up for now. I realized as I was writing that there are many, many songs I listen to that were never hits but seemingly could have been. Give these a listen, and look forward to another edition. This one is worth a sequel. (or a rerun, heh)
Bill Maher and his guests – Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Barbara Lee, David Miliband, David Frum and Joel Stein – answer viewer questions.
|Ugh. . .we were taking showers through that!|
Here at Chez Greenlee, we've put a lot of money and effort into upgrading the joint. Initially, it was due to a renewed pride of ownership after a seeming eternity upside-down. Back in the black, we thought we needed to freshen the place, and make it a more happy place. We finished some time in the spring.
Here's the embarrassing part: those old crusties that you're used to? When you have guests, they see them. Up close, when they're showering. I know, because I've seen them at others' houses! Rusty, limey, yucky showerheads. I was once one of you! No more! And I tell ya, if and when we get a new house, if those ones are crusty too? Out they go, first couple of days.
Friday, October 17, 2014
These two states are particularly shadenfreude-filled, because both states have had a lot of anti-gay animus from the GOP leadership. A hearty Nelson Muntz "Ha ha!" to anyone feeling even a modicum of discomfort over this subject. And perhaps, in addition to the futility of obstruction seen in Nevada and Idaho, this will illustrate to other states that are dragging their feet. It's quite simply a waste of money to try to delay any longer, particularly in any state where a Circuit Court has already ruled. Texas, Louisiana, Ohio. . .your circuits haven't ruled yet, so you have a (tiny) ledge to stand on here. But I wouldn't throw much of the budget at it, if I were you.
Supreme Court Allows Gay Marriage In Alaska
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday allowed gay marriage in Alaska to go into effect, increasing the number of U.S. states that permit gay marriage to 31. . .
Read more at: Huffington Post
Judge strikes down Arizona's ban on gay marriage
A federal judge has cleared the way for legally recognized gay marriages in Arizona by ruling that the state's ban on same-sex unions is unconstitutional. The ruling Friday by U.S. District Judge John Sedwick bars state officials from enforcing a 1996 state law and a 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment that outlawed gay marriage. . .
Read more at: MSN/AP
It was so obvious, I can't believe I didn't think of it: a song parody about Ebola, set to The Kinks' Lola. Enjoy!
And get more Rocky Mountain Mike here.
And get more Rocky Mountain Mike here.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
This time, it has to do with a lawsuit--filed by the religious side--that has resulted in the subpoenas of church sermons. Why? Because discovery goes both ways in a lawsuit, and because tax exempt churches should not be overtly involved in politics. Simple, right?
No, it would apparently be the worst thing that has ever happened to freedom in America. Even though churches have pretty much been begging for this for years. And waiting
|The Usual Suspects, from TowleRoad|
Don't buy it. In fact, don't ever buy it without looking into what the current outrage is about.
RIGHT-WING FREAKS OUT OVER HOUSTON'S SUBPOENA OF PASTORS' ROLE IN CITY'S EQUAL RIGHTS ORDINANCE CASE
Back in August we reported that anti-gay activists in Houston had failed in their efforts to collect enough signatures for a ballot measure that would place Houston's LGBT-inclusive Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) up for a public referendum. The activists (which included local pastors) proceeded to sue the city over the rejection of signatures and a court date was set for January 2015. . .
Read more at: TowleRoad (and yes, I chose a gay news site on purpose)
For the life of me, I can't understand how Scott was ever elected in the first place, as he really does look like a Hollywood special effect. But he did, and now he's trying to get reelected. He might win again too, because--you know--Florida. But I'm hoping for Charlie, if only by process of elimination. Either way, nobody could have expected how their debate would go down.
Rick Scott Almost Refused To Debate Charlie Crist Over Fan
Florida's second gubernatorial debate got off to a bizarre start Wednesday evening when incumbent Gov. Rick Scott (R) initially refused to debate his opponent because he had a fan under his lectern. Democratic candidate Charlie Crist, the former Florida governor hoping to unseat Scott in next month's election, had a small electric fan placed under his lectern. This, Scott's campaign claimed, violated the debate's "no electronics" rule. . .
Read more at: Huffington Post
|Lee Papa, The Rude Pundit|
Democrats Once Again Put on Their Coward Pants (With Exceptions)
Look, you can cavil all you want about Kentucky Democratic Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes's refusal to answer whether or not she voted for Barack Obama. You can sit there all self-satisfied and pat yourself on the fuckin' back that you support the sanctity of the secret ballot and that, really, it's not all that important that she answer. You can pretend all you want that Grimes is correct to stand on principle or that, if she said that she voted for Obama, it would be used in attack ads endlessly by that unrepentant, smug cuntface, Mitch McConnell. You know that it's far, far more important that McConnell refuses to say if he thinks climate change is human-caused or that Kynect, Kentucky's Obamacare exchange, would be harmed if you got rid of Obamacare, something the governor of Kentucky ripped McConnell for. That's shit that affects the daily lives of Kentuckians, not what Grimes did in a voting booth. . .
Read more at: Rude Pundit
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
|Image from source, Mediaite|
Biden Reportedly Calls Tea Party ‘Crazy’: ‘They Have No Judgment’
Vice President Joe Biden met in private with black clergy members in South Carolina today, and according to one report, Biden told them that the tea party is “crazy” and very much unlike previous incarnations of the Republican Party. . .
Read more at: Mediaite
Why don't we have a Surgeon General to shepherd us through a medical crisis like Ebola? Three guesses. . .
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
If Grimes is smart, she'll play this up big time: "Kentuckians, Mitch McConnell thinks you're stupid. He thinks you're so stupid, that you don't know that Kynect is part of the Affordable Care Act. He's hoping you're so stupid, that you'll vote for him, and let him take away your insurance."
I'm not particularly a fan of Grimes. I think she's a calculating, politics first, talking points-based candidate. I think she's hoping that Kentuckians are stupid enough to think she's anti-Obama, because they are stupid enough to vote against her for being an Obama supporter. I think there are better ways to play this, than posturing and fake-outs. But very nearly anyone would be better than Mitch McConnell. The fact that this is even close tells you that the "Kentuckians are stupid" gambit could very well work for either side.
McConnell Wants To Keep Obamacare 'Website' But Repeal Obamacare
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Monday night he wants to repeal Obamacare "root and branch" but keep the law's state-based insurance exchange in Kentucky, called Kynect. "I think it's fine to have a website. Yeah," he said during the first and only scheduled Kentucky Senate debate with Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, pressed on whether he wants to keep Kynect. . .
Read more at: Talking Points Memo
Monday, October 13, 2014
|Image from Wikipedia. Dark blue represents those states|
with full marriage equality. For the full key, see: Wikipedia.
But, as I said, opinions were slowly shifting, and those good arguments started to stick their landings. Except for some blatantly anti-gay judges (looking at you Tennessee and Arkansas), there was simply no way for the judiciary to decide any other way: same-sex couples should have the same rights, responsibilities and benefits that opposite sex couples receive. Calls to tradition, religion and "nature" simply aren't effective in a court of law. Thankfully.
Now, interestingly, my marriage is suddenly effective in my state of residence (though the nutbars at the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage are still trying to intervene). My husband's home state recognizes us too. In three of the four states we just visited (Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania), we were also legal. But, unfortunately, in my home state--a state we may move to in the months or years to come--we are not recognized. Our marriage winks off when we cross the border into Ohio.
Ohio (and Kentucky, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and the rest of 'em) should be embarrassed. So should those who are still fighting in states covered by the cases the Supreme Court chose not to review. You're being a roadblock just to be a pain at this point. You're dragging your feet for the sake of delay. Knock it off. These are real peoples' lives.
*It should be noted that the Supreme Court's decision to do nothing with all of the cases before them on this topic really was stunning. I don't think I have seen a single pundit, blogger or even commenter who seriously considered the possibility. Most thought they'd take up one or all of the cases, and I think most gave us fairly decent odds of winning. 5-4 or 6-3 were both speculated, with a fear that it might go 4-5, with us losing. There was a smaller group of people who thought they might just sit on all the cases indefinitely, putting them into legal limbo. But I don't recall "refusing to hear the cases" as anything other than a bullet-point nobody thought would really happen.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
So, since this here thingy is a hobby and not a job, I'm calling it a vacation day, and pushing my "return" to Monday. And that is assuming that my return to work doesn't wipe me out!
Off to bed!
Thursday, October 2, 2014
|Sadly, I will not be having this sort of vacation.|
That doesn't mean that I won't pop something up if I have the time and interest, or if some huge event happens. But most likely, you're going to see a static page here over the next two weeks. Don't get any ideas if you're an internet-savvy thief: we have a house sitter! But I'm going to let him watch the house (and the cat), and I'm going to let the blog go mostly idle for the duration. I will alert my good friend Reverend Stu', and see if he's so inclined to contribute while I'm away. If he is, you're in for a treat. But if he doesn't, just tune in on the back half of October. I'll be back!
In the mean time, I will be visiting family, driving across at least three states while the leaves change, and maybe even scouting for a new home base, for an eventual change of venue.
Thanks folks. See you when frost is on the pumpkin.