Movie Monday: ‘Warrior’ in wide release

Here’s the beef

There are worse ways to spend two hours in a movie theater than watching hulking, half-naked man-meat wail on each other — in fact, it’s hard to imagine a better way. That’s at least part of the appeal of Warrior.

Set in the world of mixed martial arts, it’s a fiction film (it’s from Gavin O’Connor, the director of Miracle, about the real-life 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team) about two estranged brothers who face off for the ultimate glory: One (Joel Edgerton), a family man in financial straights, the other (Tom Hardy), a troubled Gulf War veteran with something to prove. If that sounds cliched, just try watching it.

No really, do — because, as predictable and manipulative as Warrior is, it’s also damned entertaining, in the way only the hokiest of sports movies can be. I grew up in a sports household, so have long held a soft spot for movies like Million Dollar Baby, Rocky III and The Fighter, all of which this resembles more than passingly.

Read the entire review here.

DEETS: Starring Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton. 139 minutes. PG-13. Three stars.

—  Rich Lopez

Mixed bag open thread: pedophiles, pathetic GOPers, a busted ex-gay therapist, and more

Here’s a look at what I’ve been Tweeting and Facebooking today.

* After Promising To ‘Repeal And Replace’ Obama’s Health Law, Republicans Have No Replacement. Gee, is anyone surprised? Think Progress:

When Fox News contributor Juan Williams challenged [The Weekly Standard's Bill] Kristol to explain “what are you going to replace it with?”, Kristol told Williams not to worry, because there would be hearings in a few months and Republicans would probably come up with something by then.

* Karen Ocamb @ LGBTPOV: Does Sen. John McCain Owe Gay Servicemembers an Apology?

* Joe My God – This Week In Holy Crimes. So many pious pedophiles – from all around the country – it gives you agita. Just one example -

Florida: Pastor Gordon Libby charged with kidnapping a 14 year-old from a Walmart and then masturbating in the victim’s presence. Libby is the founder of the clergy recruitment firm Pastors4U.

* Is the Black Church Dead? Debate Flares Among African-American Christians. This is about the “prosperity gospel” ministers of black megachurches:

They’re pastors, but they’re really in the Halloween costume of a Fortune 500 CEO. And in the process they’re trick-or-treating the people,” Jonathan L. Walton, an assistant professor of African-American religion at Harvard Divinity School, told an appreciative audience three days earlier at Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta.

* David Badash: Best Palin “Surveyors Marks, Not Crosshairs” Debunking Ever.

* QNotes: S.C. GOP strategist: Gays want ‘special protected class’. Consultant Wesley Donehue:

There are many Republicans in the General Assembly who will flat out try to kill any bill providing more gay rights. They aren’t the problem for the S.C Alliance (sic). Their problem will be the many forward-thinking Republicans who are sympathetic to their cause, but won’t go for putting more laws on the books and creating a special protected class.

Matt Comer of QNotes:

Unfortunately, Donehue is right on one point: Many South Carolina Republicans (and even some Democrats, mind you) will fight tooth-and-nail to stop pro-equality legislation. What’s sadder is that some legislators, like state Rep. Greg Delleney (R-Chester), will also fight to specifically exclude LGBT people from what should be relatively non-controversial health and education legislation.”

* MetroWeekly: A Kinder, Gentler DOMA? News Analysis: DOJ’s continued defense of DOMA may have taken on a softer tone, but it can’t erase the sharp underpinnings of the discriminatory 1996 law.

* Towleroad: Tea Party Holds Anti-Same-Sex Marriage Rally In Iowa.

The marriage debate in Iowa continues to heat up. About 35 people gathered in Council Bluffs, Iowa yesterday as part of a Tea Party sponsored rally in support of a ban on same-sex marriage in that state. Headlining the event was wingnut freshman Republican State Representative Kim Pearson who, along with Republicans Tom Shaw of Laurens and Glen Massie, has helped draft legislation to impeach the remaining four justices on the Iowa Supreme Court.

And this money quote from Pearson:

“The definition of marriage is between one man and one woman. God is our ultimate lawgiver.”

* And how about this great news from across the pond: Christian therapist who claims she can help gay men go straight faces faces being stripped of her psych accreditation.

Lesley Pilkington, 60, will appear before a professional conduct panel and faces losing her accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

…Mrs Pilkington, a devout Christian who says she ‘understands the issues’ because her son is gay, has treated around ten patients using the controversial Sexual Orientation Change Efforts programme over the past decade.

In tapes of her sessions with Mr Strudwick he asks her if she views homosexuality as ‘a mental illness, an addiction or an anti-religious phenomenon’.

She replies: ‘It is all of that.’

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Mixed Messages From Cindy McCain

Cindy McCain x390 (Fair Use) I Advocate.comWhere does the wife of Republican senator John McCain stand on repeal
of “don’t ask, don’t tell?” After starring in a NoH8 video condemning
the policy, Cindy McCain tweeted Friday night that she “stand[s] by
[her] husband’s stance on DADT.”
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

NOM Election Report Card: Anti-Gay Investment Continues to Deliver Hate with Mixed Results

Although voters were resoundingly focused on the economy this midterm election – and ranked social issues, to include same-sex marriage dead last– the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a Washington D.C.-based anti-gay, fringe organization, put an estimated million into the 2009-10 election cycle to influence the outcome in dozens of federal and state races, according to campaign finance filings, NOM and press reports.

While NOM made significant investments this cycle, its electoral win/loss record is decidedly mixed. In fact, NOM lost more races than it won. NOM endorsed at least 29 candidates. As of Wednesday afternoon, NOM had lost 19 of these races, won eight, and the remaining two (the Minnesota governor’s race and a New Hampshire statehouse candidate) were undecided. With the exception of a judicial election they hijacked in Iowa, NOM lost its most expensive and high-profile gambits in California and New Hampshire and all of its races in Maine and the District of Columbia. And it fought campaign finance laws all along the way.

Read the full analysis of NOM’s 2010 activities.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

Mixed District Court ruling for NOM; or as they’ll surely call it: partly activist, partly okay

Not sure what to make of this mixed-bag decision, really:



PORTLAND — A U.S. District Court judge has delivered a split ruling that backs disclosing the names of out-of-state donors who helped repeal a gay marriage law in Maine.

Saying a state law requiring that the names of donors be disclosed within a certain time frame is “unconstitutionally vague,” U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby nevertheless said the request by the state Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices that the National Organization for Marriage disclose names of donors who gave money to defeat a gay marriage law in Maine is not a burden on NOM’s freedom of speech.

But Hornby took shots at some of Maine’s campaign finance disclosure rules. The judge said rules requiring 24-hour disclosure of independent expenditures over 0 — not just before an election, but whenever they occur — “has not been justified … is impermissably burdensome and cannot be enforced.”

Judge: Names of gay-marriage foes must be disclosed [Portland Press Herald]

So it seems good, but with some caveats. Still chewing on it; see below and form your own thoughts.

**The full opinion:



Dbh 08192010 1-09cv538 Natl Org for Marriage v Mckee




Good As You

—  John Wright

Keith Olbermann: There is no ‘Ground Zero Mosque; Eleveld on Obama’s other mixed messaging problem

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

And from Politicususa.com, a good summary of Keith’s remarks (no transcript yet). A snippet:

Olbermann described the Right’s campaign as, “Yet in a country dedicated to freedom, forces have gathered to blow out of all proportion the construction of a minor community center to transform it into a training ground for terrorists, and an insult to the victims of 9/11, and a tribute to the Medieval Muslim subjugation of the West. There is in fact no Ground Zero Mosque. It isn’t a mosque. A mosque technically is a Muslim holy place where only worship can be conducted. What is planned for 45 Park Place New York City is a community center. It’s supposed to include a basketball court and a culinary school. It is to be thirteen stories tall, and the top two stories will be a Muslim prayer space. What a cauldron to terrorism that will be, terrorist chefs and terrorist point guards.”

Olbermann pointed out that since 9/11 Muslims have been at greater risk of being victims of US terrorism than non-Muslims. After he debunked Newt Gingrich’s fear mongering over the name Cordoba House, which he called a figment of Gingrich’s imagination, and the MSNBC host pointed out that the community center will be open to all New Yorkers.

He also knocked down the falsehood that the community center is located on Ground Zero, “This place Park 51 is not even at Ground Zero, not even right across the street. Even the description of it being two blocks away is generous. It is two blocks away from the northeast corner of the World Trade Center site, from the planned location of the 9/11 Memorial, it is more like four or five blocks even.” Olbermann showed that there is no view of the World Trade Center visible from the community center.

***

On a related note, Kerry Eleveld’s latest column in The Advocate points out that “Obama’s mixed messaging on the mosque proposed near Ground Zero leads one to wonder why the White House is so unwilling to touch other hot-button issues.”

Like “The Homosexual Agenda“?

Well, he sure likes taking our money, huh? Just doesn’t like to step on that third rail (other than to send David Axelrod out to bleat out incoherent messaging about equality and marriage).

Obama’s position – that he defends the right to build without supporting the project – mirrors national polling numbers. While one poll found that about 64% of voters believe proponents should be able to build, another poll found that 68% oppose the plan itself.

The situation brings several questions to the fore.

First, what exactly is the administration’s communications team doing? They either miscalculated the national mood or they misjudged how the president’s words would be received on Friday. But they unquestionably should have seen flashes of the firestorm to come from Sarah Palin and her cronies eons before they sent the president out to carry the torch for democracy.

Or is it possible that the president and his advisers understood exactly where this was headed but just couldn’t take the heat once they stepped into the pit? No matter what the answer, the White House squandered the president’s most precious commodity: his word – his compact of trust with the American people.

And here’s another stumper. The same CNN poll showing that more than 2/3 of Americans opposed the project was also the very first poll in history to find that a majority of Americans (52% to 46%) believe gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.

Now marriage polls do see-saw even as they continue to trend toward equality and a Public Policy Poll late last week found that 57% of voters still think same-sex marriage should be illegal. But the fact remains that both of those polls show less opposition to marriage equality than to the Mosque project, and I can’t help but puzzle at the White House’s willingness to broach one subject while they continue to run away from the other as if it’s too hot touch.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright