NEWS: Sarkozy Down But Not Quite Out; A New, Tougher iPhone; What Killed Andrew Breitbart, Pastoral Guitar (VIDEO)
Sarkozy loses to Hollande, and both edge out right-winger Marine Le Pen. France preps for run-off election:
Exit polls also showed Green candidate Eva Joly with 2%, the right-wing eurosceptic Nicolas Dupont-Aignan at 1.8%, far-left candidates Phillippe Poutou and Nathalie Arthaud at 1.2% and 0.7% respectively, and off-beat candidate Jacques Cheminade winning just 0.2%.
A run-off between Sarkozy and Hollande is scheduled on May 6, with opinion polls largely favouring the Socialist Party candidate.
iPhone 5 to be cased in "metallic glass."
Robin Gibb emerges from his coma.
This is handy: HuffPo wraps up last week's 17 worst anti-gay moments.
Whoodathunkit? Andrew Breitbart died of plain old heart failure:
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office reported that the 43-year-old has a negligible amount of alcohol in his system when he collapsed near his Brentwood home on March 1, but no prescription or illicit drugs were found.
Jesus and the lynching tree.
Gay Romney spokesman Richard Grenell busy deleting all his lady-bashing tweets:
ThinkProgress noted Grenell’s tendency to make cutting remarks about the appearances of prominent women in media and politics, including his tweet advising MSNBC host Rachel Maddow “to take a breath and put on a necklace,” and another suggesting she resembled a Justin Bieber.
In another tweet, Grenell wrote that “Hillary is starting to look liek Madeline [sic] Albright.” He discussed First Lady Michelle Obama working out and “sweating on the East Room carpet.” He also asked whether Callista Gingrich’s “hair snaps on,” and on another occasion, commented how Gingrich’s third wife “stands there like she is wife #1.” Politico flagged more examples and noted Grenell’s “old pastime” of “ridiculing the Gingriches.”
James Fenton's "For Andrew Wood" makes stirring appearance at the Christopher Hitchens memorial:
What would the dead want from us
Watching from their cave?
Would they have us forever howling?
Would they have us rave
Or disfigure ourselves, or be strangled
Like some ancient emperor’s slave?
I think the dead would want us
To weep for what they have lost.
I think that our luck in continuing
Is what would affect them most.
But time would find them generous
And less self-engrossed.
And time would find them generous
As they used to be
And what else would they want from us
Than an honoured place in our memory,
favourite room, a hallowed chair,
Privilege and celebrity?
And so the dead might cease to grieve
And we might make amends
And there might be a pact between
Dead friends and living friends.
What our dead friends would want from us
Would be such living friends.
If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.
Commanders at Fort Knox have decided against allowing the "Motor City Madman" to take the stage at the base in June, the latest fallout over Nugent's comments that he would be "dead or in jail" if President Barack Obama were re-elected.
"After learning of opening act Ted Nugent's recent public comments about the president of the United States, Fort Knox leadership decided to cancel his performance on the installation," according to an announcement posted Saturday on the base's Facebook page.
The Nuge had already been investigated by the Secret Service as a result of his remarks. The Secret Service apparently decided that, although he is heavily armed and obviously deranged, Nugent poses no actual physical threat to the president or his family.
The Fort Knox concert was part of the "Midwest Rock'n'Roll Express Tour," which also features REO Speedwagon and Styx. No word yet on whether the others acts' performances will go ahead. Nor is there word on why the Army ever thought Fort Knox would be an appropriate performance venue for someone already famous for threatening to sodomize both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with machine guns. (If you've never heard the Nuge make those threats before, check him out AFTER THE JUMP. Beware, his language is rather coarse.)
Lady Gaga is currently in South Korea, where she'll launch her Born This Way Ball tour on April 27th in Seoul's Olympic Stadium. Many thousands will be in attendance, but Seoul's most devout protestants will not be among them. Indeed, if the protestants had their way, nobody would see Gaga, and the pious are petitioning their deity to prevent the concert from going ahead.
From Raw Story:
About 300 Protestant church members will gather in downtown Seoul Sunday night to hold a group prayer against the concert in the capital, Kang Ju-Hyun, a prayer organiser told AFP.
“We will pray to God that the concert will not be realised so that homosexuality and pornography will not spread around the country,” he said.
Kang, who leads a group called Alliance for Sound Culture In Sexuality, said other major church groups would join his campaign by holding protests around the Seoul headquarters of Hyundai Card, the concert organiser.
The Korean Association of Church Communication vowed last month to take “concerted action to stop young people from being infected with homosexuality and pornography.”
Last week, the Alliance for Sound Culture In Sexuality set up "street banners" around Seoul, which accused Gaga of spreading sin and sodomy with her "lewd lyrics and performances." The banners were removed by the city, but that's only a partial defeat for the Alliance: they and their censorious fellows have already succeeded in limiting concert attendance to fans 18 years of age and older.
Raw Story points out that South Korea is East Asia's second most Christian country after the Philippines. The Born This Way Ball will visit the Philippines in a few weeks, but the devout there are mostly Catholics, and less likely to be offended by pageantry.
Yesterday, i linked to this PinkNews article about Australian House Speaker Peter Slipper, who's become ensnared in what most media outlets are calling a "gay sex scandal," though nobody claims any actual sex was involved. CapitalFM News ably sums up the accusations:
Weekend reports alleged Peter Slipper harassed former staffer James Ashby, including telling him to shower with the door open when he stayed at his home, and “moaning” in a sexual manner after asking him for a massage.
The married Slipper, 62, was also accused of misusing taxpayer-funded taxi services.
The ABC said 33-year-old Ashby, who is openly gay, had launched legal action under the Fair Work Act detailing alleged explicit text messages, unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate comments towards him.
Separate reports said he was seeking compensation in the Federal Court as well as orders for his former employer to undergo counselling and anti-discrimination training.
Just to be clear, the person to whom Slipper is married is a woman.
The Slipper scandal broke in the newsmedia on Friday as Slipper wrapped up a trip to America. Upon his return to Australia on Sunday, he issued a statement in which he denied all allegations, but agreed to temporarily step aside as Speaker. Capital FM quotes Slipper's statement:
“The allegation is incorrect and once it is clear they are untrue I shall return to the speakership. In relation to the civil matter, there will be an appropriate process that will resolve the matter in due course.”
The situation for Slipper gets grimmer. Slipper's not only a professional politician and family-man; he's a priest in the Traditional Anglican Communion. Now his alleged friend, the Archbishop John Hepworth, is asking him to step down from that position as well. From The Australian:
"It is right for anyone accused of serious misconduct in public life, whether in church life or political life, to stand aside until the processes of justice reach a conclusion," Archbishop Hepworth said.
"Ministers of the crown and cardinals of the church have followed this sound principle in recent years in Australia; otherwise, the integrity of our core institutions is eroded, and our expectations of public morality further decay.
"As Peter Slipper's archbishop, I applaud his decision to stand aside as Speaker, and am seeking a similar decision in relation to his public functions in the church."
Slipper's stepping down from the Speakership has already cost Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her Labor Party their one-vote majority in the House of Representatives. Opposition leader (and enemy of LGBT rights) Tony Abbot is surely thrilled, but is affecting outrage, as he must.
AFTER THE JUMP, Bill Maher explains the secret and subtle process by which the modern GOP creates its talking points ...
Andy reported on Friday that Mitt Romney has hired openly gay communications strategist Richard Grennel to be his campaign spokesman. You'd think Republicans would welcome the news. Grennel's hiring shows that Republicans are generous enough to uncomplainingly rub elbows with sinners, and the promulgation of that message could (who knows?) attract a few gay and gay-friendly votes.
That logic either never occured to or doesn't suffice for the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, who yesterday tweeted this message:
Romney picks out & loud gay as a spokesman. If personnel is policy, his message to the pro-family community: drop dead.
Horrible as Fischer is, this is still rather shocking. Fischer has never before said that moral employers oughtn't hire gays, nor is it currently a plank of the American Family Association's platform that LGBT folk should be denied the dignity of work. And maybe that's not what Fischer believes, either -- maybe he believes only that politicians oughtn't work in close quarters with gays, lest we corrupt their ethics. Either way, I hope he elaborates.