“It’s been step by step since I was shot three years ago. I’ve overcome a lot. Progress has come from working hard. Today, I grieve, I remember, and I take another step. I’m stronger now. I’m winning back movement in my right arm. So I have the opportunity to do something I love: skydiving with my friend, former Navy SEAL Jimmy Hatch. Southern Arizona will look beautiful, peaceful from the top of the sky.”
Three years ago, on January 8th, 2011, Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and 18 others were shot at a constituent meeting in Tucson. Six people died; Giffords sustained brain damage and was partially paralyzed. Today, she posted this hopeful update on her Facebook page, in addition to a New York Times op-ed about the gains she’s made in physical therapy and the gun reform activism that’s become her new life purpose. In true fearless Gabby fashion, she’s celebrating her milestones by jumping out of a plane. She is such an inspiration. We wish her the best in her continuing recovery and her quest for sensible gun laws.
Hollywood has a long and sometimes ignominious history of cross-pollinating in the political sphere. I mean, Arnold Schwarzenegger served for eight years as governor of California. Who the hell thought that would actually happen? So I guess it shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise that Clay Aiken, runner-up from the second season of “American Idol” who later became a gay icon for suburban moms everywhere, is allegedly considering a run for Congress in his home state of North Carolina. According to the Washington Blade, Clay will run as a Democrat and is seeking to challenge Republican Representative Renee Elmers in the state’s second district. Clay has not only been a vocal supporter of marriage equality in his conservative home state but also appeared in “Spamalot” on Broadway. Which, frankly, should be a requirement of anyone considering a seat in Congress. [Huffington Post] [Image via WENN]
Dear Indian Trail Town Council Member David Waddell,
Actually, I guess I should say ex Indian Trail Town Council Member David Waddell, because you officially resigned from your position yesterday. I’m not in the habit of propositioning politicians, especially politicians who are resigning in order to stage a write-in campaign as a Constitution Party candidate, but it’s the way you resigned that caught my attention. See, you didn’t just submit a normal letter of resignation. You wrote your letter in Klingon as an “inside joke.” The mayor called it “unprofessional.” I call it brilliant. Keep reading »
New York Magazine is the latest publication that can’t tell the difference between Black faces. Just one day after Bill de Blasio took his oath of office, the New York-centric weekly confused his African-American wife, Chirlane McCray, with a woman who falsely accused her father of rape! Read more on Hello Beautiful …
It’s about damn time.
The United States is one of only a few countries in the world that does not provide any sort of paid maternity leave. In fact, it’s the only industrialized nation not to do so. All that could change with the Family And Medical Leave Insurance Act, a bill introduced today by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D -
CT NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).
The Family Act, as it’s being called for short, proposes an insurance plan that would provide paid family leave and paid sick leave for all workers: public or private, self-employed or full- or part-time. Workers could take time off for their own illness or that of a child, parent or spouse; it also includes both newborn and adopted children coming into the home. As described in The New York Times, the funding would be from both employers and employees. The benefits would be capped at $4,000 per month, covering 12 weeks/60 “caregiving days,” a year.
In other words, it is three months paid leave. Keep reading »
One of the most intriguing characters on “Scandal” is First Lady Mellie Grant. She’s not just a WASP sent from Central Casting, or a put-upon wife of a philanderer. Mellie gave up her Yale and Harvard-bred ambitions for the full-time job of photo ops and glad-handing as the First Lady. Just like Lucy Ricardo always wanted husband Ricky to just give her one opportunity to be in a show, Mellie Grant wants to influence policy and make big moves wherever she can. At every turn, she is stopped, often angrily, by her husband the President and his apoplectic Chief Of Staff. Both men remind her, every episode it seems, that the First Lady is supposed to be pretty sidekick, not a policy wonk. In one episode, Mellie is witheringly informed her job is to be “ornamental.”
Watching Mellie Grant on “Scandal” has made me look at Michelle Obama differently for sure. It’s not hard to imagine she, too, feels a bit trapped in a golden cage. We don’t exactly know whether Michelle Obama feels like her intellect is being wasted, but we do know from Jodi Kantor’s book, The Obamas, a portrait of the Obama marriage, that Barack’s high-level staff has bristled in the past at Michelle’s involvement. But also we know that Michelle dedicated her first year as First Lady to acclimating her two children to their new home and school and has spent many years since promoting healthy eating and exercise. All this has been summed up by Michelle Cottle, a Daily Beast scribe in a piece for Politico Magazine, as a feminist failure. Keep reading »
“I hope we have a woman president in my lifetime, and I think it would be a good thing for the world as well as for America. But I do not know if she’s going to run, and there is no such thing as a sure thing in politics. … If that’s what she wants to do, I will support her. But if she decides for whatever reason she doesn’t, I will support that.”
– Former President Bill Clinton spoke in China this weekend and made his wishes clear in his wife’s “will-she-or-won’t-she?” game. Because you know when he says he wants the woman president, he isn’t talking about Sarah Palin … or Kirsten Gillibrand … or Michele Bachmann … or Liz Cheney … or anyone other than his wife. [Raw Story] [Photo: Splash News]
Yesterday, the Senate voted to take up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill to ban employers from discriminating against LGBTQ workers or job applicants based on their sexual orientation or gender identity (i.e. being transgender).
This is the first time ever that ENDA, which has struggled in Congress for almost 20 years, includes protections for trans folks. Workers are already protected by federal law from discrimination based on race, gender, religion and age.
The Senate is expected to vote on ENDA this week with bipartisan support. However, it still must work its way through the House of Representatives and faces some Republican opposition. Here are five things to know about this very important bill! Keep reading »