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December 23, 2008

Congress appoints first transgender staffer

Congress appoints first transgender staffer. - Feministing

Transgender activist Diego Sanchez has been appointed to the position of legislative assistant to Congressman Barney Frank in Washington, D.C. The top priority among his responsibilities will be to serve as the congressman's point person on LGBT rights, but he will also advise Frank on a range of issues relating to healthcare, veterans, labor and the U.S. Census. Sanchez will be the first openly transgender person to work in a congressional office in Washington.

Obama chooses Abe Lincoln's Talmud for inaguration

No, wait... slight correction... The Associated Press: Obama chooses Lincoln's Bible for inauguration
WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Barack Obama will use the same Bible at his inauguration that Abraham Lincoln used for his swearing in. Obama will be the first president since Lincoln to use that Bible, part of the collection of the Library of Congress.
JFK's little black book was unavailable.

December 22, 2008

0-15 lol

The Associated Press: Lions' Marinelli angry about columnist's question
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Rod Marinelli was as angry publicly as he's been during his three seasons as coach of the Lions, his mood tied to a question after Detroit became the NFL's first 0-15 team. Detroit News columnist Rob Parker on Sunday asked Marinelli if he wished his daughter married a better defensive coordinator, taking a shot at his son-in-law Joe Barry. Marinelli didn't answer the question during his news conference, but lashed out the next day by saying Parker crossed a line by attacking his daughter. Parker apologized to Marinelli and his family in a phone interview Monday. The Lions will close the schedule at Green Bay, where they haven't won since 1991, hoping to avoid sealing a perfectly imperfect season.

Beyond the valley of the benefit of the doubt: Obama the bigot

Some final thoughts on Warren - Ta-Nehisi Coates
My old colleague John Cloud says Obama "has proved himself repeatedly to be a very tolerant, very rational-sounding sort of bigot," and offers a historical parallel:
Obama reminds me a little bit of Richard Russell Jr., the longtime Senator from Georgia who -- as historian Robert Caro has noted -- cultivated a reputation as a thoughtful, tolerant politician even as he defended inequality and segregation for decades. Obama gave a wonderfully Russellian defense of Warren on Thursday at a press conference. Americans, he said, need to "come together" even when they disagree on social issues. "That dialogue is part of what my campaign is all about," he said. Russell would often use the same tactic to deflect criticism of his civil rights record. It was a distraction, Russell said, from the important business of the day uniting all Americans. Obama also said today that he is a "fierce advocate for equality" for gays, which is -- given his opposition to equal marriage rights -- simply a lie. It recalls the time Russell said, "I'm as interested in the Negro people of my state as anyone in the Senate. I love them."
Another, maybe more cliche, parallel is Kennedy. Had I been alive in the early 60s and heard JFK refer to himself as a "fierce advocate for equality" for blacks, I'd have grabbed the Molotov cocktail, and gone straight H. Rap Brown. Part of me shrinks at calling the man a bigot, but on its face, I think John is right.

December 21, 2008

Prop. 8 bigots want California to nullify 18,000 marriages

Prop. 8 sponsors seek to nullify 18K gay marriages

The Yes on 8 campaign filed a brief arguing that because the new law holds that only marriages between a man and a woman are recognized or valid in California, the state can no longer recognize the existing same-sex unions. The document reveals for the first time that opponents of same-sex marriage will fight in court to undo those unions that already exist.

"Proposition 8's brevity is matched by its clarity. There are no conditional clauses, exceptions, exemptions or exclusions," reads the brief co-written by Kenneth Starr, dean of Pepperdine University's law school and the former independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton.

12-year old girl hospitalized by unwarranted police assault, later arrested for resisting

12-year old girl hospitalized by police assault, later arrested for resisting - Feministing

Two officers in Galveston, TX were alerted to three white prostitutes soliciting a man and drug dealer, after which they mistakenly went to 12-year old Dymond Millburn's home, saw her outside in "tight shorts," assumed she was one of the perpetrators (even though she's not the same race as the suspects) and attacked her:

[A] blue van drove up and three men jumped out rushing toward her. One of them grabbed her saying, 'You're a prostitute. You're coming with me.'

Dymond grabbed onto a tree and started screaming, 'Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.' One of the men covered her mouth. Two of the men beat her about the face and throat.

The house where they were supposed to be going was two blocks away. And despite the fact that this girl was not only hospitalized with black eyes, throat and ear drum injuries, the police came to her school three weeks later and arrested her for assaulting a public servant.