Homo homini rodentius est

Hey, look over there!

What Me Worry?Civilian massacres in Iraq, riots in Afghanistan, stagnant job growth turning negative and gas over $3 a gallon. The world’s going to hell in a handbasket, so what critical issue will George be talking about next week? That’s right: gay marriage.

There’s reason to think that not even the Red Staters will be taken in on this one. The [LA Times] quotes conservative activists expressing suspicion of the president’s real committment to one of their pet issues, and others say outright that the real burr under their saddles is fiscal irresponsibility and runaway spending. Well, they’re hardly going to get any action on that in an election year, are they? Hence the gesture toward denying Adam and Steve the honeymoon special at Sandals.

Rove may have finally lost his deadly touch. All the swift boats in the world won’t hold back the tsunami that seems to be heading for the GOP in the fall. John Zogby, using [Michigan as an emblem] says that he’s never seen such negative public sentiment and suggests tectonic shifts in political alignment on the way. Data on the Zogby site shows that the trends are definitely heading in the wrong direction for the Repubs:

Zogby chart

Still, don’t underestimate the remarkable ability of Democrats to walk into walls. As Zogby also points out, “The Democrats have no program on any issue, they have nothing to say that matters to anyone in the United States today.”

Everything old is new again

I scurried out of my burrow the other night to attend a talk at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan entitled “Love, Sex, Politics & Relationships”. This is the kind of provocative subject that brings liberal New Yorkers out in droves sniffing for controversy and more than a little titillation. The roster of speakers seemed to promise at the very least a serving of sparks: gay sex columnist Dan Savage, best-selling author and serial bride Erica Jong and the ubiquitous Andrew Sullivan.

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ET phone home

Liz TaylorScreen legend Elizabeth Taylor has broken her seclusion to publicly combat recent claims that she is suffering from senile dementia. Asked to comment on rampant rumors that she’s losing her marbles, the still elegant 74-year-old Academy Award winner responded indignantly, “Hi.”

Follow up questions were met with giggles.

Mutants among us

X-Men Angel

There’s a lot of hoohaw online among the Marvel fanbase about the creative liberties that Brett Ratner and the suits at 20th Century Fox took with X-Men: The Last Stand; about how Bryan Singer, who directed the previous installments, bailed on the script and the schedule (those damned suits, again!), leaving it to anyone else to deliver the mess; about the unforgivable appropriation of the revered Phoenix saga, used here as a flimsy plot device and excuse for lingering close-ups of a stolid Famke Janssen, and it’s all true, I’m sure. But the hardcore fans are missing just how significant the movie is. Even in the hands of anti-Wunderkind Ratner (whose previous credits include Santa Slay and Whatever Happened to Mason Reese — and if you have to ask who Mason Reese is, you are lucky), the story is powerful and the visuals are amazing. To boot, it’s slipping a nice little cultural timebomb right under the noses of our prissy conservative friends.
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A worthy cause

American FlagI just donated some money to these folks. They provide support to wounded vets of the Iraq war, initially in the form of backpacks full of needed stuff (did you know that hospitalized vets return stateside with little more than the clothes on their back?) and, later, with social support programs that aim to get them active again.

No matter your politics or views of the war, we have a lot of wounded soldiers coming home — because of improvements in triage the casualty ratios for this war are higher than ever. Do what you can.

[The Wounded Warrior Project]

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