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Cheers to the Mayor of Castro Street

Today marks the 82nd birthday of the late San Francisco District Supervisor and gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk.

“It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions.”
“All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.”
He was a talented politician---smart, witty, eloquent, tireless, eager to learn from his early mistakes, but not without his flaws and personal demons. He understood well the power of grassroots campaigning and consensus-building, which is an itty bit critical as we approach election day in Wisconsin (two weeks from today) and the mega-showdown in November. One of my favorite things Harvey wrote is his 10 rules on how to win a local election (from Randy Shilts' brilliant book The Mayor of Castro Street):
1. Interviews with all major papers. ['All' was underlined three times.]
2. Knock on all doors.
3. Ride buses
4. Visit non-gay bars during the daytime and any singles bars at nite.
5. Coffee shops and restaurants. Stop off early in morning and late at night.
6. Shake hands.
7. Shake hands.
8. As few meetings as possible---just meet the people.
9. Door to door of registered Demo's is very best thing you can do outside of media coverage.
10. Don't stop.
If he hadn’t been assassinated in 1978 at 48, he would've no doubt been a guiding force and leading fighter for full state and federal equality of GLBT citizens, and the steadily-rising poll numbers for marriage equality would've made him cheer as much as the successful anti-gay voter referendums would've made him bristle. His now-famous core message of hope predated Obama's by 30 years, but is just as relevant today:
"It’s about the us’s out there. Not only gays, but the Blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us’s. Without hope, the us’s give up. I know you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. So you, and you, and you…you gotta give em’ hope.”
Adding: I'm glad Milk's arch-nemesis, Anita Bryant, is still alive and kicking at 72 so she can bear witness to the steady progress the LGBT community has made and continues to make. Maybe one day she'll come around. Hope springs eternal.

Happy birthday, Harvey.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Note: [Sniff Sniff!]  Ahhh…the heady aroma of barbeque, freedom pie, turnpike exhaust, scorched skin and lawn-dart wounds.  I do love the smell of an approaching start-of-summer weekend.


By the Numbers:
Days `til Father's Day: 26
Days 'til the Tupelo Elvis Festival in Mississippi: 9
Percent of Americans surveyed who have a negative opinion of Facebook: 23%
(Source: AP-CNBC poll)
Number of nations that used the death penalty in, respectively, 2001 and 2011: 31 / 20
(Source: Harper's Index)
Percent of Americans who have a favorable opinion of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: 66%
(Source: USA Today/Gallup poll)
Year of the next "annular" solar eclipse: 2030
Minimum number of flat tire calls AAA gets each year: 3 million


NEW!  Revvin' Up for Rhode Island!

Brought to you by the 2012 Netroots Nation Convention in Providence, June 7-10.  Kossack RhodyRed has some tips for fillin' yer belly close to the convention center:

Here are three places where I choose to spend my dollars. All walkable from the Biltmore or the convention center:

AS220 is the funky one and a bargain---great food. interesting art gallery. super-inexpensive.  All local.  Plus lots to offer to vegan and meat eater alike. We eat there before we go to the theater.

New Rivers is high-end but really well crafted meals and menus---amazing food. High-end, but such a good meal.

Tini is a small restaurant, and a good place to get a quality handcrafted cocktail (very good drinks) and a little bite to eat. We often go there after the theater.

Thanks, Rhody!  We'll bring our appetite.


Puppy Pic of the Day:  Gold star to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills (California) Hospital.  Here's why…


CHEERS to one helluva happy ending.  Let us never forget how the Very Serious People insisted that the fate of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng was the BIGGEST TEST EVER of the Obama administration's ability to stand up to BIG BAD CHINA.  Shortly after news of Chen's amazing escape (he's blind) from house arrest surfaced, the idiot brigade wasted no time pre-announcing that the Kenyan socialist in the Oval Office had FAILED…had ABANDONED HIM…had even ABORTED HIM!!!  And Mitt Romney didn’t hesitate to swing his dickhammer (probably his first-ever experience with manual labor) during the delicate negotiations:

"This is a dark day for freedom and it's a day of shame for the Obama administration.  We are a place of freedom, here and around the world, and we should stand up and defend freedom wherever it is under attack."
Shut up, little man.  Thanks to the Herculean efforts of the Obama administration---with special props to Secretary of State Clinton---Chen and his family are now in the United States.  Say it with me: "Epic WIN!!!"  And Romney?  You can kiss our cheesy grits.

CHEERS to living up to your name.  The third letter in NAACP stands for "Advancement."  Last weekend, by a 62-2 vote, the civil rights powerhouse advanced the cause of equality by affirming for the first time at the national level that gay rights are civil rights:

The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the “political, educational, social and economic equality” of all people.  Therefore, the NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens.  We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.  Further, we strongly affirm the religious freedoms of all people as protected by the First Amendment.
Anyone who might suggest that this is a perfunctory endorsement would do well to watch NAACP president Ben Jealous's announcement, and if you're pressed for time just forward to the 6:30 mark.  Wild and exuberant prediction: June is gonna be a wild and exuberant gay pride month.

JEERS to the Trojan surrogate.  I almost fell out of my chair when I saw Newark Mayor Cory Booker---an official Obama promoter, and someone I've generally respected---go rogue Sunday on Meet the Press by defending Mitt Romney's profits-first obsession at Bain Capital as if he was a severe conservative.  He later posted a clumsy sorta-culpa on You Tube, after which he clarified his remarks to Rachel Maddow but not before President Obama publicly forgave him.  I think it's also worth mentioning that during Rachel's introduction last night, she pointed to a dozen Republican surrogates who either endorsed Mitt Romney with all the enthusiasm that one has for a root canal, or openly gagged over his candidacy.  I suppose the difference is that Booker's remarks were surprising in both their inaccuracy and their attack-dog hostility, while the Republicans' remarks simply reinforced the existing narrative on both sides: Romney is a walking cure for insomnia.  So...bad surrogates!  Bad!  And that's the extent of my interest in this story until Booker runs for office again.  Forward.

Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!

This is another edition of The One Word Answer Man.  Charles Babington wakes up from an apparent three-and-a-half year slumber and asks: Is GOP trying to sabotage economy to hurt Obama?


Now back to Cheers and Jeers.

Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!

CHEERS to Google: Exposer of Idiots.  If you read Tbogg's post about George Tierney of Greenville North Carolina, you'll know why I'm so concerned when I write the following:

Is it true that George Tierney of Greenville South Carolina got his head stuck up his ass?  Is it true that George Tierney of Greenville South Carolina got his head stuck up his ass?  Is it true that George Tierney of Greenville South Carolina got his head stuck up his ass?  Is it true that George Tierney of Greenville South Carolina got his head stuck up his ass?
I sincerely hope that George Tierney of Greenville South Carolina didn't get his head stuck up his ass.  I'm just concerned about George Tierney from Greenville South Carolina, is all.  Because I love all people.  Perhaps George Tierney of Greenville South Carolina can find a remedy for getting his head stuck up his ass---if indeed George Tierney of Greenville South Carolina indeed has his head stuck up his ass---at the Google.  Good luck, George Tierney from Greenville South Carolina...and have a nice day!

CHEERS to Abraham "That's Using the Old Bean"-coln.  On May 22, 1849, Honest Abe received patent #6469 for his design of a floating dry dock---in fact, he was the first president to receive a patent.  Sadly, he never found the time to complete his follow-up invention: the floating wet bar.  Our nation's loss.


Five years ago in C&J: May 22, 2007

JEERS to the new action plan.  Let me see if I've got this straight.  First our mission was to militarily remove Saddam and let democracy self-pollinate itself in Iraq.  Then it was to train the Iraqi troops to defend their own country.  Then it was giving the Iraqi government military cover so they could sprout wings and fly on their own.  And now, apparently, we're back to training the Iraqi troops to defend their own country.  The only thing standing in the way, according to the Washington Post's David Ignatius, is our leaders' ability to clap louderer and togetherer.  If only they'd quit spending all their time grooming their unicorns.

CHEERS to SiCKO.  The reviews are in and Michael Moore's done it again.  The Hollywood Reporter loves it.  Variety loves it.  TIME loves it.  Even the Fox News reviewer loves it.  It's expected to rake in tens of millions of dollars.  As opposed to the right's documentaries, which make tens of millions of dollars minus the millions part.


And just one more…

CHEERS to Molly, by golly!  Last week C&J's 11 year-old chocolate lab underwent surgery to remove a cyst (aka "the barnacle") that even the veterinarian said looked "pretty damn nasty."  We're happy to report that her 7-inch, 11-staple, 4-suture incision is healing nicely, and it's fascinating watching her fur grow back---the undercoat is coming in first and when you rub your hand over it (the area they shaved is roughly the size of a football field) she feels like a puppy again.  Meanwhile, the best news arrived Saturday, when the vet called and delivered the verdict on the cyst.  It was music to our ears: "Benign."  But we do have one word of caution if you ever find yourself with a convalescing dog at home: no matter how much they beg, don’t ever give 'em an air horn to blast whenever they need something from their sick bed.  You'll be up all night and you'll never get the cat off the ceiling.

Have a nice Tuesday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

“I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what Bill in Portland Maine said, but I stand by what he said whatever it was."
---Mitt Romney



Republicans insist they're NOT waging an assault on women's rights in state legislatures and on Capitol Hill. Based on the number of restrictive laws they've passed or tried to pass, do you believe them?

2%155 votes
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