Month: November 2008

It’s the Thanksgiving Blog…

Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving, and when you get past the fact that we’re celebrating the taking of land from Native Americans by English settlers with turkey, macaroni and cheese and lots and lots of football, it’s really not that bad a holiday.

(And don’t even get me started about those of us who were forced to cook these grand meals because we were enslaved. That’s another post for another time.)

But although Thanksgiving gets short shrift from retailers (it’s looking a lot like Christmas in most convenience stores these days) it provides lots of ammunition for folks like me who blog about politics.

Why? The annual Turkey Pardon. Politicians the world over make fools of themselves with this ritual on a pretty regular basis…and this year was no exception.

Let’s start first with George W. Bush. He pardoned the last turkeys of his tenure as president, Pumpkin and Pecan, on the White House Lawn today. The turkeys, who stayed in the Blair House hotel in DC last night and were probably treated to a table dance as part of their stay, were spared the indignity of being the center of attraction on the White House table when Bush sent them to Disney World to live out their days and serve as grand marshalls for the amusement park’s Thanksgiving Parade. He was actually pretty funny:

And then, there was the turkey that found itself on the short end of a pardon from Alaska Governor (and Republican Vice Presidential candidate) Sarah Palin. Last week, Palin went to a turkey farm in Wasilla, Alaska to pardon one lucky bird for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, that amnesty didn’t apply to his feathered friends, one of whom met his fate while Palin was being interviewed on television:

To quote Keith Olbermann: “What is it going to take to make her turn around?” Yikes!

But here’s a news flash folks, this isn’t going to be the last time that we see La Palin pallin’ around with livestock. Because she’s an early contender for 2012 and the new face of the Republican Party (whether it likes it or not), we’re going to see the Alaska Turkey Pardon every year for the next four.

Hopefully, that won’t always be followed with a look at the fate of the poor schmoe who wasn’t picked.

Anyway, Thanksgiving is a day during which you count your blessings. This year, I was blessed with the ability to go to graduate school, really good friends, a kick-ass family, and everyone within the sound of my blog, or for want of a better way to put it, you.

I thank you for taking the time to look at my warped view of the political world each week and I appreciate your time. Here’s hoping that your Thanksgiving is the best it can be.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment with my mom’s macaroni and cheese that I simply can’t miss!

"You’re calling in gay? Now is that the same as a sick day, a comp day, a personal day, or a vacation day?"

On it’s face, the question that I ask as the title of this post probably sounds a little facetious.
But I live in Philly where bureaucrats go to train, so I know that someone is going to get asked that question on Dec. 10, which has been designated by activists as “A Day Without a Gay.”
Folks have been asked to, and I’m not kidding, skip work by caliing in “gay”.

(I can only imagine how pissed off the folks at Fox News are going to be when they figure out their makeup artists aren’t coming in!)

It’s also International Human Rights day, which isn’t at all ironic in my opinion because it’s the denial of a basic human right that led to this most recent interpretation of the movie “A Day Without a Mexican”…the right to get married.

You see, while I was blogging amongst the revellers at World Cafe Live in West Philly on Election Night, I was so focused on the Senate, House and Presidential races that I seemed to have missed the reinforcement with bulletproof glass of another one of America’s dubious glass ceilings. Californians passed something called Propostion 8, an amendment to the California Constitution which recinds the right for gays and lesbians to get married.

This was the response that folks, most of whom were encouraged by the Mormon church, had to the California Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year that allowed gays and lesbians ranging from Mr. Sulu from “Star Trek” to comediennes Wanda Sykes and Ellen DeGeneres (no, not to each other) to get to the church on time.

(Actually, it was probably more like the Justice of the Peace, but you get what I mean.)

Folks have, literally, been on the streets ever since. I attended a protest in Philadelphia the weekend after Election Day and have seen letters to the editor, columns and all kinds of other stuff on the subject of this ban.

Now I’ve talked about this issue before on this blog. In fact, one of the women in the picture I illustrated my post with died not too long ago. So I’m not going to repeat myself…much.

But it’s starting to become a little annoying to me that a nation that’s about to inaugurate a Constituional law professor has seen fit to constantly ignore that document. The Constitution is the basis of our government and it’s about time that we started to follow it more strenuously.

Now what do I mean by that? I mean that it’s time that we stopped putting people in prison camps like Guantanamo Bay without charges. It’s time that we stopped telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies through anti-choice amendments that are usually created by guys that no woman with any self-respect would want to fuck anyway.

And it’s time that we stopped denying folks who are gay and lesbian the right to pursue some happiness by getting married.

“We were devastated,” said Myra Taksa, president of Philadelphia’s chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays when asked for reaction to the amendment’s passage. “My husband and I have been married for over 20 years. But I took my wedding ring off when the first of these laws were passed. It felt like it was burning my finger. Marriage is a civil right, not a special one.”

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot that the No On 8 forces could have done to prevent this situation. They could have gone out into communities of color and explained to the folks within those communities why the right to marry is an important one. (These groups have been blamed for Prop. 8’s passage due to their numbers in support of Barack Obama’s presidency.)

Prop. 8’s opponents could have also gone into the churches and explained their side of the issue. This isn’t “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”, folks. If you walk into a church, you won’t spontaneously combust.

But all that aside, I still think that gays and lesbians should be able to have the right to nest legally. Why? Well, the best reason that I can come up with for why same-sex couples should be given the right to get hitched is because none of the reasons that folks have given me for why it shouldn’t be allowed make any sense to me.

One reason that I’ve been given more than once is that churches would be forced to perform gay ceremonies if a law allowing them were passed. No they wouldn’t actually. So, that reason goes out the window.

Another reason that I’ve been given is that being gay or lesbian is a choice, and thus these men and women could choose to be straight and join the rest of us. That makes no sense because for one to just wake up and make such a decision would imply that this person likes to be discriminated against, sometimes beaten, disowned, and all of other “fun” stuff that can sometimes come with being gay or lesbian.

But the reason that I’m given most often by anti-same sex marriage forces is that allowing lesbians and gays to participate in marriage would besmirch the institution itself.

To me, that shit is funny. Mostly because I know straight folks that have done more harm to marriage than gay people could possibly do. I mean, let’s remember that Michael Jackson found someone to marry him twice. And don’t even get me started on Britney Spears or Jennifer Lopez.

Besides, I’m hard pressed to see what impact allowing gays and lesbians to marry would have on your actual marriage. The sight of two men picking out a china pattern isn’t going to lead to your divorce.

So, it’s my hope that as we start looking toward a change in the country, that we also start seeing a change in a few other things, most notably our national proclivity to break what I consider a golden rule—live and let live.

Especially when it comes to letting folks live as man and wife, or man and man, or wife and wife.

For more information on “A Day Without A Gay” activities in your area, go to

Wanna know what song you’re gonna get real tired of hearing after awhile…

“Funky President” by James Brown.

If Obama manages to pull this off, the Inaugural Ball is going to have some of the best music ever. Bet on it.

You’re gonna hear such classics as Parliament-Funkadelic’s “Chocolate City” and probably Nas’s “Black President” on a loop along with “Funky President”.

Oh, by the way, Obama just took Virginia. This means he’s only 50 delegates from being president of the United States. California should take care of that.

And all before midnight. That means my little nieces and nephews can see the first African American president and still be in bed in enough time to be well rested for school.

Thanks to this election…

You can now get weeded out in Michigan and Massachusetts.

Massachusetts just decriminalized marijuana and Michigan has made it so you can get your weed on if you have an illness like HIV or cancer.

Expect these laws to be challenged in court, or depending on who is in the Justice Department, maybe not.

But until then, if you see me walking the streets of Boston or Detroit, offer me a hit. I’m totally down.

More Congress

Mark Warner will be replacing John Warner as Virgina’s Senator, Chris Shays, the lone Republican Senator in the Northeast, is going home, and the Senate is creeping closer to the magic number of 60.

If Sen. Obama becomes President Obama and has a Congress with a filibuster-proof majority, it’s going to be all the way on!

While we’re on the subject

Let’s talk about Congress.

Elizabeth Dole, the incumbent senator from North Carolina, now has to out and find a real job. She lost her seat to State Sen. Kay Hagan. One of Dole’s last campaign act was to run an ad calling her opponent “godless”. I think that did her in.

Tom Udall will replace Pete Dominici as Senator of New Mexico. Dominici, who was one of the folks involved in the US Attorney firing scandal, is retiring.

Alaska’s Sen. Ted Stevens, who is on his way to jail for some malfesance regarding gifts, is about to find himself out of his senate job…and that’s without the whole being made to resign due to his ass going to jail thing.

The Democrats, who already control the Senate, may be moving toward a filibuster-proof majority of 60. That could be interesting.

Holy crap!

Obama just won Ohio!

I used to live in Columbus, so I know just how tough it was for that brother to do that. Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus (Ohio State) must have really represented.

And the World Cafe is rockin’, folks. People who shouldn’t be booty dancin’ are. The base is rocking so hard from the DJ that I can feel it in my chest.

He freakin’ won Ohio. Ain’t that some shit!

Sorry I’m late….

But it took me a little while to find a place to do the whole Mad Political Scientist thing.

I’m blogging from a place called World Cafe Live, which is on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. It’s the only nightclub I’ve ever been to that has wifi, but I ain’t mad at ’em. They are an Ivy….

These folks are happy…real happy. The event is called, originally enough, “Ciroc the Vote”, is sponsored by Ciroc Vodka, and will go down in history as the only political event in which you can hear: “The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire! We don’t need no water, let the muthafucka burn!”

By the way, Sen. Barack Obama has won Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Wisconsin, Vermont, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and, of course, his home state, Illinois.

But I’m not going to get happy yet. You see, I’ve covered enough political campaigns to know that some rank shit can jump off at any time.

Back in a minute…