All is love!

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Yes, I am posting something political on my main site – though that’s because, to me, this should NOT BE political!

Prop 8 Struck Down – The Decision – a long, but very well fleshed out summary of the legal aspects of the decision handed down yesterday which caused oh so much celebration amongst all my friends yesterday afternoon. Of course my favorite reaction on twitter came from the glittery alien voodoo king:

Equal rights are very Glam!

I love that part 🙂

Keith Olbermann also reprised my favorite commentary on Prop 8 last night which was first aired on Nov 10, 2008. Also coming at it from the angle of celebrating LOVE vs anything else. Lord knows I felt a whole lotta love yesterday as we all cheered this decision. Even though we know it is not over – it was still a huge step and worthy of celebration.

Meanwhile – a concert pic from last week that I forgot to post – from the second Costa Mesa stop which was all the more fun for me because I got to share it my favorite concert partner:

Music Man, Me, & Padres/Adam friend David

I love how many of my internet friends – who I initially connected with for one specific shared interest – have now started to spill over into other areas 🙂

And now I must simply get through this day somehow until the 10:45pm mark or thereabouts depending on airline travel issues. Sports Boy is ON HIS WAY HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


NN09 Day 1, Thursday Aug 13

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Day 1 was a day of amazing panels. And also a sign that two things would hold true this year. 1) I would have even less sleep than in prior years (well, maybe not compared to Chicago, but..that was for different reasons!). and 2) that I would be a supreme fan girl and not be the least bit tongue tied or star struck upon encountering a celebrity.

Item 1 got off to a rolling start thanks to bad weather impacting my flights into Pittsburgh. I got to Chicago on time. My original flight from there to Pitt was supposed to get me in at Midnight and I figured in the room at 1am. Unfortunately my plane was coming from the side of the country that was beset by thunderstorms which had cancelled or delayed many flights that day. Consequently I didn’t get into my hotel room until 4am. After a quick 3.5 hour nap I tackled the day.

First I got to greet my lovely roommate:

Linda aka Virgomusic

Linda aka Virgomusic

We set out in search of breakfast – notice her Bruggers bag? Yep, that was our place for early morning nutrients 🙂 We were both heading to get our name tags and then in to the panel titled “From Prop 8 to Full Equality in all 50 states.” As we made our way around we started running in to more friends from prior events so many hugs and hellos were exchanged. The panel kicked things off in typically high quality fashion. The larger focus right now is on Maine with it’s own version of Prio 8 coming up in the fall (Prop 1 for them).  There was much analysis of the lessons learned from the debacle in CA and discussion of how best to get the human element stories across in Maine before the anti-equality crowd gets their money in there. And yeah, they are getting a lot of out of state money from the same groups that swarmed into CA. Anyhow, sufficiently energized I was thrilled to see my two best NN buds Bill and Michael (hereafter referred to as The Boys)in the back of the room so when that session was over there was much hugging and kissing and squeeling. With promises to meet back up for lunch I then moved on to what I termed the Ultimate Political Geek Fest panel – How to Get the Most out of Polling Data. I had to go though, because my first celeb “squee” of the day was on the panel – Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com

Nate Silver on Nerdfest Panel

Nate Silver on Nerdfest Panel

The information there just about filled my puny exisiting on only 3.5 hours of sleep brain and I needed a break. Thankfully it was lunch time so I made my way to the hotel lobby to meet up with The Boys. As I arrived I found two more dear friends Sherm & Doggie waiting there (Shermdog hereafter). As we gathered and greeted people, I noticed a very familiar face walking towards me. Not familiar as in one of my friends, but familiar as in, ‘hey I see this guy on twitter and on my TV a LOT!’ and I think that overall familiarity granted by Twitter made me just step right out and say “Hey, hi there Chris!” To one Christopher Hays of The Nation and frequent guest on MSNBC and panelist for the next one on my schedule after lunch. Bill perked up while Chris shook my hand and asked my name and was generally awesome so he introduced himself and shook Chris’ hand and then asked me to outline his hand in his annual autograph book so he could ‘save’ Chris’ DNA. Ok, so we do get quite a bit silly 😉 So we are all just buzzing away about Chris as we walk across the street to a restaurant and get ourselves settled in. I take a couple of bad photos with my phone (You’ll notice the day 1 photos from the iPhone are rather poor as I was still trying to figure the damn thing out and of course I had left the main camera in the room).

Doggie, Michael and Mik at lunch

Doggie, Michael and Mik at lunch

As I then settled in to take a photo of the two people sitting across from me, I noticed another media celeb sitting behind them, Ron Reagan. Son of President Ronald Reagan and current radio host for Air America. So I framed the shot to include him:

Ron (in background), Vicki & Bill

Ron (in background), Vicki & Bill

Notice that Ron has on a smashing orange lanyard too. Yep, he was doing his show on location Thursday and Friday. So Bill spent about 10 mins hemmning and hawing about going up to talk to Ron while Vicki and I threatened to go there on his behalf and then finally he got up the nerve to ask Ron for his autograph and he got it! Ron was as nice as could be and I know Vicki has a picture on her camera of Bill and Ron.  These kind of casual encounters went on all weekend. I have to tell you that I am mildly disappointed now that I am back home to NOT be running into celebs of one sort or another everywhere I go 😉

Anyhow, after lunch I went off to see the aforementioned Chris Hayes’ panel titled @FDR, is there a New Deal? Well, I tell you, if the first two panels were not intimidating in their vast levels of smart, then this one was the cherry on top. Here’s Chris:

Christopher Hayes

Christopher Hayes

He talks with his hands a lot 🙂 Each panelist had a prepared statement and his was an analogy of just how things in Washington work as far as getting money into the hands of the peopl who need it most. Generally the money has to travel over mountains and through valleys and tunnels and never actually ends up where it is needed. And of course everyone along the way skims off the top until there is often nothing left. He was telling this story to illustrate how difficult it is for Obama to push through many of the reforms he wants and how even if they are implemented, the huge challenge is in hitting your target. Anyhow, that’s the best I can do at summing it up some 5 days and lots of drinks and not a lot of sleep later 😉 I remember though that was really floored me was that during the question and answer session the people – just regular old DailyKos members like me – asked ridiculously in depth questions and THEN – the panelists would answer them off the top of their heads so easily! Chris’s vocabulary awed me. I swear the overall brain power in that room could have moved those mountains Chris was talking about!

My intention after that was to go to the Food panel chaired by my friend Jill who I’ve written about before but I was starting to fizzle out. So I went into the exhibit hall and found TheBoys and got my swag bag and a t-shirt or two and greeted more friends. Somehow we ended up gabbing in there for so long that we totally missed having dinner and barely had time to freshen up before the reception prior to the Bill Clinton keynote. While at the happy hour event which did at least have some light hors d’oeurves we spotted our earlier friends, Ron & Chris:

Ron Reagan interviews Chris Hayes on the radio

Ron Reagan interviews Chris Hayes on the radio

Then it was in to the main hall for the Big Event. The Big Dawg. Typically late as always 🙂 And also quite hoarse and tired at first. Found out later on that if you tracked back to his trip to North Korea the week before, he had only slept on airplanes or in hotels for two solid weeks. The day before he’d been in Puerto Rico and that same day he’d been in Chicago – all at speaking engagements or meetings for his foundation. Here’s my pathetic attempt at a picture:

President Bill Clinton

President Bill Clinton

Part way through his talk (no notes, no telepromter, just off the cuff), someone in the crowd stood up and hollered out a question about why he had signed Dont Ask Dont Tell – I don’t know exactly what was said, but I could discern the topic at any rate. Now, I am not a fan AT ALL of people doing this. It appalls me how folkd have been shouting down debate at the health care town halls – Bill even referred to those saying maybe the guy got lost on his way to one of those events 😉 As a friend later tweeted: “Heckling during a speech is like farting in an elevator on purpose” I totally agree. BUT. BUT. In this ONE instance it was aimed at a politican who knew exactly how to handle it. After that snarky remark about being in the wrong place, and as the crowd hollered at the heckler to sit down and be quiet and as security wound its way towards him, Bill told everyone to calm down, that he wanted to answer that charge. And let me tell you – he was not hoarse and tired any more. It was like someone breathed life into the man and he became what I had expected all along. Larger than life, animated, passionate and downright ANGRY. Oh, how he wagged his long fingers at that poor guy and let him know step by step what was happening around him in Washington when DADT was under consideration. How he was the ONLY one in the room who wanted to grant gays full rights to serve. He was the salmon swimming upstream back in the 90s. Anyhow, that little diversion got him rocking and rolling and the rest of his speech was pure Clinton – he dragged on longer than he was supposed to of course – and we were all quite happy. It was the perfect end to Day 1.

End it I did too. Others traipsed out to the subsequently delayed party at the Warhol museum but I was DONE. And I knew I had two more nights to survive so I thought I should pace myself. It turned out that TheBoys were in the room next to mine so Bill and I walked up together (Michael had drifted out during the speech and went to the Warhol event) running into more people we hadn’t seen yet on the way.

After what seemed like 3 days packed into one and at least 50 hugs, Linda and I went to sleep. Well, that is, after an hour of post-game analysis as is our habit ;-))

Tune in later for a very picture heavy Day 2 otherwise known as Sightseeing Day.

In the news

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What started out as a reply to a Facebook thread has evolved into a blog post 🙂 But first, BREAKING NEWS for all of my LGBT friends. IOWA….freaking IOWA just broke through as the first non-New England state to stand for marriage equality. As I said on twitter – cheering the state with a generous helping of corn today! Woot! Like I said after the election, the backlash of Prop 8 in CA is that gay marriage became a national topic of conversation. I firmly believe that the smaller states one by one are going to tip the scales towards equality and lead the way on this issue.

Now on to my original topic. GOP insanity. Sigh….here’s what I wrote on Facebook:

“Lunch hour perusal of blog sites reveals that conservative media bypassed being good opposition reporting right to Loonville. Not shocked.”

and the longer follow up:

“Here’s the thing – I absolutely gladly listen to their take on issues because I love understanding all sides of things. But when the major spokespeople from the party cannot even make an *attempt* to make sense? That is just sad. I have some quite articulate *reasonable* conservative friends who should be the ones on TV/Radio/politicians – not this current crop of buffoons. Fox News is more of a joke than ever. Rush/Bill/Sean & Glen – oh especially Glen – are leading the way into insanity and ridiculousness. For heaven’s sake my sane GOP friends – take your party BACK! Please!”

I ran out of space to even get into how ridiculous the GOP *politicians* have been! The budget/not really a budget announcement? A joke! Seriously, if I was a Republican, I would be utterly ashamed at the leadership right now. I love our two party system – it is *supposed* to spurn healthy debate on all issues. Only right now the GOP is decidedly UN healthy.

Here is what I would love – a REAL debate show. Not that piece of crap Crossfire which was thankfully put to rest just after Jon Stewart tore it a new one. I hate the programs that feature blowhards from both sides just trying to shout louder over the other. Throwing out lies and straw men and personal attacks and playing the fear card at every turn. No, I was serious, knowledgable, respectful debaters. Here – I will even nominate someone from the left: Rachel Maddow – no one smarter, quicker on her feet or classier on our side.

Now, conservatives – tell me who YOU would want to see. No Big Egos only in it for the face time (Ann Coulter, Bill Maher and their phony touring debate come to mind).  Do you have a Rachel Maddow out there? Because I have yet to see/hear one. But I really would LOVE to.

And because all of this really started with my dear friend Bill in Portland Maine rounding up the recent mess of GOP insanity – I shall copy/paste it here as evidence of why I think they are in serious need of assistance:

Party leader Joe the Plumber doesn’t like the Employee Free Choice Act but he doesn’t feel like explaining why. Mainly because he hasn’t bothered to read it. He’s a busy boy, you see, and it’s very time-consuming to travel around the country explaining why he doesn’t like things he doesn’t know anything about.

Party leader Sarah Palin was invited and then uninvited to be the headliner at a national GOP dinner and was replaced by Newt Gingrich. Even though the Alaska governor claimed it was an innocent communication error, organizers refused to re-invite her because, of course, they only have two more months until the event and have already moved on to the blowing-up-balloons stage. But at least now Palin can devote more time to not accepting federal funds for wasteful things like schools and help for the unemployed.

Party leader Rush Limbaugh is using the flooding in North Dakota to make “dyke” jokes as residents of Fargo cope with the possibility that their town could be wiped out. Levity is important in times of crisis, especially jokes that makes fun of minorities. LOL, ladies and gentlemen!

Party leader Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina says that accepting federal money for schools is a form of child abuse. And party leader Bill O’Reilly says people who use the internet are child molesters. Just a hunch, but I bet the dedicated medical and mental health professionals who deal with actual child abuse and molestation cases every day might beg to differ. Probably with their middle finger.

Party leader Rep. John Boehner approved a GOP budget proposal that basically says, “Let’s give the Bush plan another 50 years to work.” He was too embarrassed to unveil it himself, so he sent out his second-stringers to twist in the wind.

Party leader Senator John Cornyn hopes that Minnesota continues to suffer the consequences of having only one sitting senator, and threatens to launch World War III if Al Franken is seated. He’ll need a declaration of war from Congress for that, but I’m sure he’s got the clout to push it through. The tricky part will be drawing the rest of the world into a global fisticuffs over a U.S. Senate seat.

Party leader Rep. Michelle Bachman puts words in the Treasury Secretary’s mouth and then warns that America will cease to exist if he is allowed to do what he never considered doing in the first place. Got that?

And party leader Glenn Beck—who famously said, “[W]hen I see 9/11 victim’s family, you know, on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh, shut up.’ I’m so sick of them. Because they’re always complaining”—continues to flog his “9/12” campaign which, as Stephen Colbert notes, “…is not for families directly affected by 9/11. Just people building their careers on it.”

I used to wonder what a political party would be like if it consisted of all the crazy aunts and uncles people keep locked away in their basements and attics. Mystery solved.


Passing of Prop 8 turns out to be a spark for progress!

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This weekend I posted the following Twitters:

The conversation is now national news and this is GOOD for the cause.
Controversial position of the day: passage of prop 8 sparks debate

Just reverse those sentences to get the proper order of that thought bubble 🙂

I wanted to point out that I made that observation BEFORE Markos did! Yep, I was just about to expound on that thought here but stopped for a moment to check the latest front page posts on DailyKos and saw this one. Looks like Markos saw the same thing I did:

But I suspect history will show that the defeat of Prop 8, rather than halt momentum toward marriage equality (as I once feared), will prove the spark that launches the movement nationwide.

In my previous post election observations, I focused on the Presidential election results only. That was partly because the passage of Prop 8 had me truly seeing red with anger and sadness. Sure, there was at least a sliver of silver lining to see that it barely passed vs eight years ago when Prop 22 was passed with over 60% of the vote. Things ARE slowly getting better on the issue of acceptance of gays, but it’s still a movement in it’s infancy compared to the civil rights movement for racial equality. But it was still so hard to see. My state failed and I was very disappointed. Gays across the country were deeply hurt because they looked to socially ‘liberal’ California to be the first Big State to grant them full equality under the law. I felt that pain and took some lumps from my more passionate friends. I didn’t mind though, because I know how hopeless they must have felt. And yeah, my state did fail. As the anger subsided though, I also resisted ranting about it because there was plenty enough post game analysis and gnashing of teeth and finger pointing going on and I didn’t want to pile on especially using initial exit poll data and arm chair analysis that was perhaps not entirely accurate. And I wasn’t going to support the piling on of one minority group by another as was also building up. Then I saw something happening. It started with a couple of quick mentions during extended election coverage on a few networks. Then Keith Olbermann did his Special Comment that I posted last week. Rachel Maddow adressed it. It was discussed on two days in a row on The View. Of course I heard a lot on Air America but that is to be expected I suppose. But then the night I sent that twitter it was because I had just watched a full hour of Larry King on the topic of gay marriage alone. I’d received invitations to about 5 different Facebook groups and new Twitter accounts to organize and combat Prop 8. I saw messages flying around about demonstrations being organized for Saturday. Never in my lifetime has the topic of gay marriage been covered on such a national level all over every media format around. And THAT is when I knew that passing Prop 8 was GOOD for the overall cause! Because conversation is how this progresses. Because for every person against marriage equality purely for religious reasons (minds that I don’t think may ever be opened), there is someone like my boyfriend who just has not quite been able to wrap his mind around this yet. Not because of religious belief, but just a cultural history of Asians not being terribly accepting of *anything* too different. They can be a rather judegmental lot 🙂 He concedes that marriage equality will happen, he’s just not ready for it yet. However, for someone who does not even vote, and who was literally kicked out of my house on election night for his position on this issue (!! Yeah, I can be stupidly irrational about this topic !!), he keeps on asking me about it. So we talk and I try to come up with points from the many discussions I’ve heard that are not grounded in judgement or religion. It’s a conversation that is going on all over the country and it’s minds like my Sweet Prince’s that can be opened. I do believe as Kos does that it WILL happen. The combination of a real organization of the movement that he details and the conversations all over the country that are taking place will be just what is needed. Marriage equality activitsts will mark the passage of Prop 8 as the turning point towards acheivement of their goal. As the Men’s Wherehouse guy says “I guarantee it!”