Why not just go to a diner?

I don't generally find it amusing when celebrities break down before our eyes. Frankly, all it does is confirm my suspicion that it's not good for people to be famous. Thus, I don't mean to poke fun at Charlie Sheen's very public flame-out. However, one particular salacious detail stood out for me.
Before police were called to his suite in the Plaza, Charlie was out to dinner at Daniel with a group of friends and their escorts including porn star Capri Anderson, who charged him $12,000 for the night, according to Radar.

"At one point he convinced Capri to go to the bathroom with him. When they got into the bathroom he started snorting cocaine and then took off his pants," a source told the website. "Charlie wanted to have sex with Capri and tried but she stopped him and demanded her $12,000. He didn't have the money on him so she left him in the bathroom!"

I've only been to dinner at Daniel once. I was there by the grace of a generous friend. (You know who you are.) I will remember the exquisite food most of all, but there's another detail I'll never forget.

The middle-aged guy at the next table (straight out of central casting for "fat cat banker") was accompanied by two women who were very obviously... working that evening. It was several years ago, but I recall the styles of the time well enough to know that they were attired in a manner particular to their profession.

Now, I realize that this little study of mine now has an n of 2. But still, that's enough to prompt the question -- why on earth would a person go to a world-class restaurant like Daniel with an obvious sex worker? It's not the kind of joint where one blends in under those circumstances. I'm not here to judge people's private lives, but wouldn't one feel horribly exposed?

Further, if your goal is just to get high and then get freaky in the bathroom, why waste your cash at a fancy establishment? You're clearly not there for the food, so why bother? While I'm sure Sheen has plenty of cash to burn, this still seems silly to me.

But then, I kept my pants on the whole time I was there, so what do I know?

Why I'm voting for Libby Mitchell

The race for governor in Maine has not drawn a great deal of national attention. This hardly surprising, given its small population and relative obscurity. Neither of our Senators are up for reelection, and both of our members of the House are safe. There's not a lot of glamour in the race for the Blaine House.

However, regular Bleakonomy readers (both of you) might be curious who gets the Official Blog Endorsement, particularly given the way the numbers are shaping up for the three major candidates:
In Maine... the Democrat, Libby Mitchell, whom voters had never warmed to, has seen some of her support shift instead to Eliot Cutler, the independent candidate, who has pulled even with her in some polls.


It certainly seems, then, that the race is Mr. LePage’s to lose; the model has his chances improved to 84 percent. I would caution that the model has to do a lot of guesswork with respect to three-way races, which haven’t been common in the past, and so its results probably need to be approached more skeptically than usual. If anything, though, I suspect that Mr. LePage’s chances are a bit better than 84 percent — although also, that Mr. Cutlers are at least somewhat better than the near-zero chance that our model gives him.
Let us dispense with the idea that I would ever consider voting for Paul LePage. There's no way marriage equality happens with him in Augusta, unless it's by long-shot affirmative referendum. I shudder to think what he'll do to Maine's social services. With no offense meant to any readers in Waterville, his tenure as mayor there doesn't stir any great desire on my part to see him do for the state what he did for the city. I would just as soon write in a vote for my cat.

That leaves Mitchell and Cutler. I've not met Mr. Cutler, but a person I know and trust has. She has experience as a legislator in Maine, knows and cares deeply about both the state and its policy, and her word carries a lot of weight for me. (Not having discussed the matter of this blog post with her, I'll have to keep her anonymous.) She assures me that Mr. Cutler would govern in a manner I would support. I seriously considered voting for him based upon her endorsement.

However, I'm voting for Libby. This is not merely because Cutler has next to no chance of beating LePage. I'm voting for Mitchell because she's earned it.

I've personally met her several times, and have worked directly with her in support of a (doomed) measure that would have allowed Maine workers to earn paid sick days for themselves or to care for their children. (This measure simply makes sense, and it's confounding to me that it and similar measures have failed in every state in this country where the issue has been considered. Ask yourself how much you'd like the cook in your favorite restaurant to show up with the flu.) I trust that her agenda comports with mine.

Further, I support Maine's Clean Election Act, and think it speaks to the strength of Mitchell's character that she is the first candidate for governor to run as a Clean Elections candidate. It's all well and good to pass a law, but it's much more impressive to actually run with its constraints as a matter of principle.

But, more than anything, I am voting for Mitchell because she stood up for families like mine. While Cutler may very well have done the same thing had he been in a position to do so, he wasn't. She was, and she did. There's been a lot of press about LGBT disillusionment with President Obama, which I share to some extent. However, as President of Maine's Senate, Mitchell shepherded through the legislation that would have allowed me to get married had it not been overturned by referendum. It took courage to do that, and her courage on my behalf demands my loyalty.

On Tuesday, I will be voting for Libby Mitchell.


That won't fly in Farmingdale

Not so long ago, I questioned how effective a woman famous for wearing a dress made of meat would be as an advocate for overturning Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Sad to say, Sens. Snowe and Collins were apparently unmoved by Lady Gaga's exhortations, and failed to vote for cloture on the measure to repeal the policy.

Maine, LGBT equality and imperfect spokespeople are back on my mind this morning. From the not-entirely-flattering profile of vocal DADT critic Lt. Dan Choi in the Village Voice comes this quote:
He butts heads with activists on the most local of levels. When organizers in Maine didn't want him going door-to-door on behalf of gay marriage because they'd "done a poll, and Mainers only trust eighth-generation Mainers," Choi says, he thought, "That's a very subtle way of saying 'No Asians.' "
Well, no. That's actually a very straightforward way of saying "Mainers only trust other Mainers." While being Asian isn't necessarily a plus in that regard, Lt. Choi's flaws as a spokesperson for marriage equality have far less to do with his race than with his behavior as a firebrand-waving outsider.

I worked very hard on the marriage equality referendum, and I got to see the campaign from the inside. Many people did a lot of hard, hard work, and I think we lost mainly because the people of Maine just didn't favor equality. (Whether or not a civil rights issue should be the subject of a referendum is a different question.) However, as I understand it, the main push of the campaign was to get like-minded voters to the polls, and not to change people's minds. Clearly, that strategy didn't work.

And that's where my trouble with Lt. Choi comes in. From the Ambinder post linking to the profile comes this:
He's everyone's favorite gay-discharged Army soldier; he met his current boyfriend at a bathhouse; he's for sexual liberation, too; unabashed and in your face.
Let me be clear -- I could not possibly care less about how Lt. Choi conducts his private life. I don't care who he sleeps with, or how he met them. What I do care about is when self-appointed spokespeople for causes I strongly support behave in a manner that alienates other potential supporters.

I have nothing but admiration for Lt. Choi's zeal, nor would I ever question his service in the Army. In many ways, he's a great advocate for the cause. But it seriously undermines the fight for equality when he pushes himself into the limelight (which, frankly, I suspect has become an end unto itself) and then conforms to the hyper-sexual stereotypes about gay men. If you're going to become a lightning rod, do us all a favor and cancel your "Grindr" account.

I may not be an eighth-generation Mainer, but I lived in a part of the state expected to vote for marriage equality that didn't. And I am firm in my belief that the people who voted marriage equality down won't change their minds if we claim to live lives just like theirs and then very publicly live lives that confirm their worst suspicions.

Since I'm on this tear, and am criticizing someone I mostly still support, I'll just go whole-hog and defend Carl Paladino. Paladino is a lunatic, and has no business getting within a country mile of the New York governor's mansion. I have no doubt that his real feelings are probably closer to those of the ultra-orthodox rabbis whose support he was seeking than New York politics will allow. But I can't totally disagree with this:
He hammered Cuomo for bringing his teenage daughters to a gay pride parade earlier this year.

"Is that normal?" he asked on ABC's "Good Morning America." "I don't think it's proper for them to go there.

"Any father who would take his children to such things is not really thinking of the fatherly perspective and is more interested in politics."

His pearl-clutching is a bit much, in that I think teenagers can probably handle most of what a gay pride parade can dish out. That being said, let's all just be honest. I have now marched (fully-clothed, for the record) in the New York gay pride parade twice and the Boston parade twice, and anyone who disputes the presence of family-inappropriate behavior is being disingenuous. There is no shortage of scantily-clad men and women (some in retina-searing garb [or lack thereof] that makes me cringe), interspersed with progressive religious groups and civic organizations, etc etc etc. Plenty of people take the opportunity to let their freakiest flags fly. While it may offend our liberal piety to say so, much of it is really not appropriate for children.

We need to be honest with ourselves and figure out what our goals are. Some of those goals are likely to conflict. We may simultaneously want to be liberated from sexual confines placed upon us by religious or societal pressures and to be treated like normal members of society. But if we want to reach those goals and change people's minds, we can't just label them all as homophobes if they want us to put some pants on.


Presumably an anti-unicorn referendum is also on the ballot

Via Ambinder:
One of 11 ballot initiatives in [Oklahoma] this November, State Question 755, better known as the "Save Our State" constitutional amendment, would prevent courts from using international or Sharia law. The question made it to the ballot by passing the state Senate 41-2 and the House 82-10. In addition to potentially rallying the conservative base to the polls, the initiative, which bans something that is nearly impossible statutorily, is worth watching because the GOP may employ it in swing states two years down the line.

At the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. in September, Newt Gingrich positioned himself perhaps to the right of Sarah Palin in a potential bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination by saying, "I am opposed to any efforts to impose Sharia in the United States, and we should have a federal law that says under no circumstances in any jurisdiction in the United States will Sharia [law] be used in any court to apply to any judgment made about American law."


Those opposed to the ballot initiative believe it is a preemptive strike against a non-threat. They call the law xenophobic. They even cite the fact that even the amendment's sponsors and strongest supporters cannot statutorily cite a case in which Oklahoma courts have applied Sharia law in any ruling. Yet supporters of the amendment, borrowing George W. Bush's "with us or against us" formulation, speciously claim that those who don't support the amendment are actually for Sharia law. [emphasis added]
Oh, I just love excluded middles.

Next up, a law forbidding gnomes from holding public office. Those who object will be easily identified as being in the pocket of the gnome lobby. Because what other possible explanation could there be?

I can't wait to see all the new laws that will spring up to solve problems that don't exist. Why stop at Sharia? Why not outlaw the only-slightly-less-implausible use of elvish divination in deciding court cases? You're not in favor of those fey weirdos settling American law, are you? Are you?


In which I ramble

I was musing a bit the other day after writing my criticism of Andrew Sullivan. (And I think we can all agree that his silence in the face of my take-down can only because I have totally rocked his world. Right? RIGHT???!!?) For good or ill, he looms huge in the political blogosphere, and I would honestly keel over for joy if he were to ever actually link to something I wrote here. But I am willing to bet that the vast majority of Americans, including most who watch the news and pay attention to politics, have no idea who he is. It was a reminder that the world of political blogging is ultra-tiny, and still not all that meaningful outside of its little echo chamber.

Somewhat tangentially, I was amused to notice yesterday that Sully had linked to an article by Maria Bustillos in defense of hipsters. Now, Maria Bustillos probably doesn't have any recollection of who I am, but I wasn't surprised to find that she and I have very different opinions of hipsters. She thinks genuine hipsters are delightful, while poseurs are horrid; I find them both equally obnoxious. I could have guessed that she and I would disagree, because we both participated in the online group read of 2666. She loved it. I hated it.

Maria and I have never met, and she's probably forgotten whatever impression she had of me. But in this strange little world of online intellectual cross-currents, I now have an impression of her as someone whose cultural insights don't congrue with mine and who considers literary ipecac great art, and she (in so far as she may remember me at all) probably thinks of me as someone who wouldn't know a great contemporary novel if the author came up and hit me with it.

It fascinates me how we can connect and communicate with each other, with such fragmented impressions and one-way conversations, and how big our small little corner can seem.

Sorry this doesn't have much of a point, but for some reason I felt like sharing these meandering thoughts of mine.

I won't cancel my pledge, but...

NPR was wrong to fire Juan Williams.

For an excellent essay that perfectly mirrors my feelings on the issue, I refer you to Jeffrey Goldberg. I'm taking the quotes that got Williams fired from that source, but you can find them everywhere:
I mean, look, Bill [O'Reilly], I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.
First of all, as I've read somewhere or other, if you start a sentence with "I'm not a bigot, but..." you should probably not finish that sentence.

However dumb and impolitic Williams was in making this statement, he's not actually saying that all Muslims are terrorists. He's acknowledging an anxiety of his own. Given that he was voicing these feelings on Fox News Channel, where the rhetoric dial is always set at "overheated," it's easy to conflate those two things, but if he's going to get fired it should be for making a statement that's actually bigoted instead of just being ignorant.

I won't miss Williams on NPR, where I never found him particularly enlightening. (I should be honest and admit that part of my dislike for him is probably based on his being a conservative commentator, with whom I am likely to disagree as a matter of course.) But his statement does not rise to the level of firing offense, and giving him the axe has only made him the latest conservative media martyr.

Update: Strong work, Sen. DeMint, for taking a situation where liberals look back and going completely off the deep end, thus reminding me where my loyalties ultimately lie.


My favorite thing about Rand Paul

Of all the Senate races this year, the one in Kentucky isn't keeping me up much at night.

First of all, the race is to fill the seat being vacated by the retiring Jim Bunning. Suffice it to say, I have a hard time envisioning anyone being anything but an improvement over Sen. Bunning, and it seems plenty of his soon-to-be-former colleagues would agree. At worst, we'll be replacing one hard-right GOP party-line voter with an Ayn Rand acolyte with a cussed streak. I can't think of anyone I'd rather sick an unruly underling on more than Mitch McConnell.

So, while I'm not eager to have Dr. Paul in the Senate (where I fear he'd try to destroy Medicare, abolish the Dept of Education and auction off the National Archives), neither do I think his election would be the Worst Thing Ever. And his opponent's recent ham-handed attempts to turn Christian conservatives against him has only endeared him to me.

For those of you unfamiliar with this phrase "Aqua Buddha," here's a precis:
The race for U.S. Senate in Kentucky got heated last week after Democrat Jack Conway ran a TV ad accusing his opponent, Rand Paul, of being part of a "secret society" that "mocked Christianity" and forced a woman to "bow down before a false idol."

Much of the ad's content came from an interview GQ conducted with an anonymous former college classmate of Paul's, who said she was the victim of a bizarre prank at Baylor University in 1983.

According to the August issue of GQ:

Paul and his friend put her back in their car and drove to the countryside outside of Waco, where they stopped near a creek. "They told me their god was 'Aqua Buddha' and that I needed to bow down and worship him," the woman recalls.
My one qualm about this incident is that I don't really like the idea of two guys coercing a woman to go somewhere. However, it seems that she knew it was a prank the whole time, and never feared for her safety.
"Yes, he was in a secret society, yes, he mocked religion, yes, the whole Aqua Buddha thing happened," she said. "There was a different side to him at one time and he's pretending that it never existed. If he would just acknowledge it, it would all go away and it wouldn't matter anymore."

However, she also said that Conway's ad went too far in depicting college pranks as something frightening, and added that the topic wasn't consequential enough to drive the Senate race.
If she wasn't frightened, then there goes my only problem with this story. Is Rand Paul trying to convince religious conservatives that he's one of them when he really isn't? Probably. That would put him in the same boat as Reagan, Bush (both I and II) and McCain. Somehow someone putting one over on the Religious Right fails to break my heart.

Furthermore, I think the whole Aqua Buddha story is hilarious. It's exactly the kind of thing my buddies from med school would think of while sitting around getting baked. That Paul chafed under the yoke of the profoundly religious authority of Baylor University and expressed his ire by staging a prank this random and absurd endears me to him in a way almost nothing else could have. If I didn't know he'd sell off the Smithsonian for scrap marble, I'd even consider voting for the guy.

Andrew Sullivan, schmuck

Over at The Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan has recently been basking in the adulation of his blogging peers on the occasion of his tenth year of blogging. And really, I don't have any trouble with this. His blog is among the most influential and widely-read, and it would be churlish to begrudge him the praise he is due for building it. (Lord knows, I was over the moon when he once linked to a piece I had written.) It's also a bit ridiculous for me, a blogger with literally tens of readers, to hurl brickbats at a blogger of his stature.

However, Sully is not without his... eccentricities. His thing for beards is probably something best kept private. His over-heated rhetoric on the subject of male circumcision is tiresome. And his (probably not entirely non-sexual) attention to Levi Johnston was something from which I wanted to avert my eyes.

That last had a lot to do with Johnston's very public falling out with his erstwhile potential mother-in-law, Sarah Palin. Sully haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaates Sarah Palin. And while I think she may possibly be the worst thing to happen to American public discourse since I started being aware of it, even I find his unalloyed loathing hard to take.

But before he hated Palin, he hated Hillary Clinton. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaated her, in a manner that bordered on the unhinged.

His latest salvo makes me ill. Sec. Clinton, whatever you may think of her, has recorded a video message as part of the It Gets Better project. This project, allied with The Trevor Project, is meant to reach out to gay and lesbian teens who are contemplating suicide as a result of bullying and depression. In it, both celebrities and non-famous folk record videos to encourage suicidal teens to hang on, and tell them that it gets better. Because it does. (The Better Half and I are considering doing one ourselves.) Sec. Clinton's video is below. [I can't view video from the computer I'm using just now; someone let me know in comments if there's viewing trouble.]

Want to know Sully's final thought on this?
I also can't help wondering if it's part of a campaign to solidify her hold over gay voters in 2016. (Bad Sully. No pot pie!) [italics in original]
"Hold over gay voters"? Because we're so damned impressionable that a web video recorded six years earlier will sway our vote in 2016?

What a despicable lack of class. How about this, Andrew? Maybe a person you hate did something nice. Maybe she did it for reasons having nothing to do with your reasons for hating her. Maybe she did it because she thought it was the right thing to do. And maybe only an utter horse's ass would fail to see that.

Oh, and also your cutsie-poo italicized pseudo-self-admonishment only makes your attack more galling.

Kudos to Sec. Clinton for taking the time to post this video. It was the right and decent thing to do, as is being grateful for her effort.


Someone please help me understand

I don't get this (via TPM):
At a Joe Miller for Senate campaign event today in Alaska, members of Miller's private security team 'arrested' journalist Tony Hopfinger of the Alaska Dispatch. Hopfinger later told local TV news station KTUU that he was asking questions when he was told by Miller's security detail that he was under arrest and placed in handcuffs. The security guards kept Hopfinger in custody pending the arrival of Anchorage police. But when police arrived they released Hopfinger and said no charges would be filed.

William Fulton, one of Miller's security guards, released a statement claiming that Hopfinger became belligerent and menacing to the candidate while asking about the scandal surrounding Miller's work as city attorney for Fairbanks North Star Borough in 2007 and 2008. The security guards were apparently part of a team provided by "Drop Zone", the Anchorage-based private security firm hired by the campaign.

Miller said last week that he would no longer answer press questions about his personal or professional background. [emphasis added]

If Miller refuses to answer questions about his "personal or professional background," then why on earth would anyone vote for him?

Let me try to draw a parallel here. A few months ago, I started a new job. Among the requirements for the job was getting admitting privileges at a few well-known Boston hospitals, as well as a license to practice medicine in the state of Massachusetts. Meeting these requirements involved a lengthy vetting process, during which time I had to submit mountains of paperwork verifying my qualifications to practice and assuring the licensing board and hospitals in question that I actually deserved the privileges requested. While the hospitals in question are particularly prestigious ones (and yes, I'm mentioning that because I'm chuffed to be working there and this is my way of tooting my own horn a bit and if you don't like it well sue me), this is SOP for just about any doctor practicing anywhere.

I'm sure the same kind of process applies to most professions, though some are probably a bit less onerous. And, as tedious as it was to fill out reams of paperwork, I don't question the importance of having done so.

So why on God's green earth are voters (who function in lieu of employers per se) willing to vote for someone patently unwilling to discuss his qualifications for the job? He has a decent shot at winning, and I find that completely baffling. (Never did I think I would root for Lisa Murkowski, but we live in strange days.) It's as though I had sent in the paperwork to the credentialing committees with the words "trust me" scribbled on them. And I'm just one doctor working in a hospital with scads of highly-trained medical professionals looking out for my patients' well-being. As we've seen, one lone Senator can pretty much bring the important business of the Senate to a screeching halt for any reason.

It is not so much the conservatism of this year's crop of Tea Party nutcakes that drives me so blind with rage. It's that they are poised (inexplicably) to win while flipping the bird to the very people who will be electing them.

Update: Sully's take here.


A small request for the President

Dear Mr. President:

As you can see, I still remain a supporter for the most part. I listen to you with sympathetic ears. And I need you to so something for me.

Your rhetorical dichotomy "Wall Street/Main Street" has become impossibly hackneyed. You start a sentence with a clause referencing those reprobates on Wall Street [crowd: *boo, hiss*], and without fail follow it with a conclusion referencing all those cold, shivering Mom and Pop store owners getting evicted on Main Street [crowd: *wipe away pious tear*]. Not once have I heard you mention the former without immediate segue to the latter.

This must end. The fillip has lost its piquancy. If it's making me roll my eyes, imagine how it sounds to those who've begun to sour on you.

You should chuck this in whatever bin gets all your depleted boilerplate, right next to "Yes, we can" and "Fired up/Ready to go!"

Thank you.


Thoughts this go-round

In Elizabeth's recent post, she mentioned the wonder wrought by the likes of Palin, O'Donnell, Angle et al. (As to her broader point about the nauseating, smug sanctimony oozing from Slate's "Who Gets to Be a Feminist?" conversation, I am in whole-hearted agreement.) As is meet and proper for his role in these parts (and hey, I'm sincerely glad we have any commenters left, given the tumbleweeds that have started rolling through this blog), Official Bleakonomy Gadfly John decided to ignore the main topic and issue a paean to those lovely ladies of the lunatic Right.

And so, to GJ and his like-minded ilk, I say "Good luck." Go for it.

I understand that the economy is in the crapper. I understand that the jobs market continues to smell like last week's sardines. I understand that people are freaked out by deficit spending, no matter what certain economic theories say. And yes, I even understand that the GOP is doing a decent job of flogging these issues, despite being noticeably short on ideas that would actually make things better.

Now, from my perspective, the President and Congress (the latter largely at the end of the last presidential administration) have done a creditable job of trying to stabilize things. TARP seems to have done its work. The auto industry didn't implode. Our economy didn't go into wholesale collapse. Things could maybe be better, but considering the crap sandwich the President was handed upon taking office, I think things could plausibly have been a whole hell of a lot worse.

Which brings us to the current election cycle. People are mad as hell that things aren't better, and they blame the man in the White House. Fair enough, I suppose. But what do they intend to do about it? It seems decent percentages want to vote for candidates that are flagrantly insane.

I'm sorry that New York Republicans somehow managed to nominate a man for the gubernatorial race so odious that even Al D'Amato called him "dangerous" and "unfit for office," but that's what they did. And it seems a third of New Yorkers are willing to vote for him anyway. Doubtless sane Republicans in Delaware wish their party had gone with someone other than a resume-fabricating neo-Puritan without even a semblance of a clue. (I actually watched the O'Donnell/Coons debate on C-SPAN, and I defy anyone to change my opinion that the woman is an abject moron.) But lo and behold, about 35% of voters in her state are going to vote for her anyway. And those are just the races where the maniacs are going to lose. In Nevada, admittedly lackluster Harry Reid could easily lose his seat to a woman who has suggested that armed revolution is a workable option for angry Americans.

All of this brings to mind a favorite quote of mine from H. L. Mencken: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." Or the campaign slogan of Bill and Opus when they ran for the White House in 1984 under the banner of the Meadow Party: "This time, why not the worst?"

Why not, America? Why not?

I survey the panoply of "Tea Party" candidates and see a motley collection of demagogues, cretins and raving lunatics. (And I haven't even mentioned their deranged queen.) It seems plenty of Americans see worthwhile candidates for higher office. And so, voters in Nevada and Alaska and Kentucky and Delaware, etc etc etc in saecula saeculorum, you want 'em? Go for it.

Let's see what happens when the Congress gets the new members America richly deserves.

Update: I hadn't read Eugene Robinson's column for today when I wrote this, but suffice it to say I agree with every word he says.

Update II, Son of Update: Also, Steve Benen.


Squirrels refuse medical care. Film at 11!

I am totally perplexed that this appears to be an actual non-parodic article in the major daily newspaper of our nation's capital. Can someone explain this?


Why I Am Uneasy with the Left

Every so often, after Christine O'Donnell and Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle have wrought their magic upon the world, I think to myself...you know what? I am on the Left. It's just that simple. I am happy. I belong.

And then I read something like this. The litmus test for being a feminist is, apparently, being pro-choice.

If I want to figure out whether a being is a person, I would look at that being. How is looking at anyone else going to tell me about that being? Abortion is a moral issue. Whether or not the fetus is a person deserving of moral protection is actually a separate question from who is surrounding and supporting the fetus. If the fetus is a person (which is not AT ALL a stupid question), then even if we really really want to support the person is surrounding it, we have to talk about how we balance the interests of those two people. It's not a measure of how much I hate women if I am convinced that the bright line of personhood occurs earlier in the developmental process.

The tone bugs me too. The smug, snide confidence that there is one way to be and these women have found it. Bleah.