Canasta for a good cause, this Sunday at Tony’s Corner Pocket

The American novelist Mary McCarthy once quipped that Canasta has the advantage of “doing away with the bother of talk after dinner.” But the classic Uruguayan card came popular among the aged and experiencing a rebirth among hipsters has much more to offer. While Canasta may not have the high-stakes glamor of Baccarat, or the back-room luridness of Poker it harkens back to the halcyon days of the 1950′s when it was first introduced to the United States, with smartly dressed men and more smartly dressed cocktails. It’s that paen for a more stylish age that has caused this once nigh-forgotten game to experience a rebirth of late.

If you’ve caught the Canasta bug there’s an opportunity this Sunday, Feb. 12, to indulge in all the melds your heart can muster at Tony’s Corner Pocket  (817 West Dallas). Brunch and registration start at noon with “Pick a Partner” at 12:30. Then at 1 pm single elimination tournament play kicks off. Canasta is played with teams of two, but don’t worry if you don’t have a partner to come with you. Single players are welcomed. Registration is $10, with half of the proceeds going to the tournament winners and the other half benefiting Montrose Grace Place, a non-profit helping homeless youth.

Register early by e-mailing houstonglbtcanasta@yahoogroups.com

—  admin

East coast victories for LGBT candidates

While we’re waiting here in Houston for the results of today’s municipal elections the Victory Fund reports of victories for LGBT candidates on the East coast where polls closed an hour earlier than Texas.

State Del. Adam Ebbin (D-District 30) was elected to Virginia’s state Senate today, making him the Commonwealth’s first openly gay senator.

“I am honored by the trust the voters have showed in me,”  Ebbin said in a statement. “During the campaign, I listened to the voters’ concerns and will work on behalf of the values we all share: improving our public schools, expanding our transit system and cleaning up Virginia’s environment. I will make sure their voices are heard…”

“Alex Morse, a 22-year-old graduate of Brown University, has just been elected mayor of Holyoke, Mass., a city of nearly 40,000 residents near Springfield…”

“Zach Adamson has won his race for city council in Indianapolis, giving the city its first openly LGBT city council member.”

“An incumbent on the Largo, Fla., City Commission who attacked her openly gay opponent over his sexual orientation has lost her reelection bid to him tonight. Michael Smith defeated Mary Gray Black, who has a history of anti-gay and anti-trans activism on the commission.”

—  admin

Wash. Post on new DADT legislation: ‘Friday’s bill is a Hail Mary’

It can be done, but won’t be easy:

Initiated by Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) a day after supporters of repeal saw their efforts defeated for the second time this year, the new bill uses the same language that had been tucked into the defense authorization bill.

The defense bill failed in a procedural vote on Thursday, which frustrated supporters who said the defeat was the result of bad timing rather than a lack of votes. They sharply criticized Majority Leader Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) – who is racing through a packed legislative agenda as the congressional clock winds down – for moving prematurely. A similar attempt failed in September.

Friday’s bill is a Hail Mary. Several Democratic senators are cosponsoring the new measure, and while Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) – key potential GOP votes – remain supportive of ending the ban, they are not expected to cosponsor it, according to Senate aides. The aides asked their names be withheld because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

It is a “Hail Mary.” But, sometimes Hail Mary passes actually work (Sports reference here: I remember watching Doug Flutie’s famous “Hail Mary” pass back in November of 1984.)

For success, everything has to go like clockwork. There can be no protracted discussion about amendments or time for debate. It’s got to be simple: The sponsors file cloture and there’s a vote. Collins and her colleagues can’t complain and whine when Democrats “fill the amendment tree.” They’ve got to agree to a seamless process in order to get an up-or-down vote in the Senate.

Collins has to bring Brown and Murkowski along. Those GOPers have to withstand the pressure from their leader, Mitch McConnell, and the volatile John McCain. The Republicans are in no mood to give Obama a win here.

If you start hearing that one of the GOP Senators needs time to offer amendments or isn’t happy with the process or needs to wail til something else passes on the Senate floor, this new bill won’t move. Since we’re using sports metaphors, Collins is not calling the plays. We’re in overtime.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Openly gay Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet is ready to unseat anti-equality Mary Bono Mack

Kudos to Adam Bink for taking the discussion of the mid-terms in a different direction.

I have gotten somewhat tired of hearing the woes of Dems this cycle from folks reading Politico and assuming the majorities will all but evaporate. There’s an intentional ignorance in the traditional media to forget about open Senate seats ripe for pickup in New Hampshire, Missouri, Ohio and Kentucky, and competitive seats in North Carolina and elsewhere. For a variety of reasons, there hasn’t been as much attention on the House, where I’m focusing on CA-45, a district where Obama won and we have a candidate that can do the same.

CNN has a profile up about Steve Pougnet, the openly gay mayor of Palm Springs, CA who is running to take down Mary Bono Mack, the Republican incumbent. Steve, who I profiled earlier here, would be the first married, openly gay parent elected two Congress (he and his partner are raising twins, Julia and Beckham).

We met Steve while at Netroots Nation this year (above photo), and this is one seat that is winnable, and Steve is a well-known and much respected official. Bono Mack is severely underperforming for her district; she’s simply not doing the job and thinks no one is looking. Even worse, she’s painted as some sort of moderate Republican. Don’t be fooled. This is not moderate:

* She voted against repeal of DADT;

* She has not co-sponsored ENDA (or even say whether she will support it;

* She supported the 1999 Largent Amendment that would have banned same-sex adoption in the District of Columbia;

* She even voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

If you see our friends at GOProud and LCR endorsing her, it’s a fair question to ask why her anti-equality positions are acceptable in 2010. Meanwhile, take a look at Pougnet’s first ad:

And the pitch…

Chip in on ActBlue here.

You can also tweet a donation to the campaign:

@adamjbink Donate @StevePougnet via @ActBlue to help air his first TV ad: http://bit.ly/bF5Lhy #LGBT #gay

Pougnet for Congress.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Peter, Paul & Mary to NOM: Cease and Decist

Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMThe remaining members of the folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary have sent a
cease and desist letter to the National Organization of Marriage, which
has been using one if their most iconic songs during its antigay
“Summer for Marriage” tour.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright