Aug 2 2011

 

-The National NAACP National Convention held a session on LGBT rights which was a huge breakthrough for the organization. Moderated by CNN's Don Lemon and on the panel was Wanda Sykes, Julian Bond and NAACP National Chair Benjamin Jealous. Watch the video above for an enlightening discussion.

-The William Institute at UCLA continues to do outstanding research for the LGBT community. In a recent study they found that 25% of all LGBT employees have experienced discrimination within the past five years. A very high 33% are still in the closet at work. Clearly the community has a lot of work to do.

-On another survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a report showing that only 30% of American LGBT workers have access to same-sex partners benefits. Who says we don't need ENDA?

-Openly gay candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination Fred Karger is like the energizer bunny. He never runs down. He has now reached the 1% point in the new Zogby poll. Not impressed? Well it is the exact same percentage as Newt Gingrich and only 1% behind Pawlenty and Santorum. Go, Fred!

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-Good Ole Arkansas never disappoints. The center of rampant homophobia has not lost touch with its racism either. McGehee High School's senior with the highest GPA was Kymberly Wimberly (photograph) and thus earning the spot of class valedictorian and speaking honors. Not so fast in the celebration! Kymberly is African-American and the school administration was not thrilled with that option so appointed a white student with a much lower GPA to be co-valedictorian. Here is a report on the lawsuit filed by her parents:

According to the equal protection lawsuit Kymberly’s family has filed, administrators and teachers routinely discouraged Black students, who made up nearly half of the high school’s enrollment this year from taking honors and AP classes.They would use school-wide assemblies to make the course work sound daunting, then pull individual White students aside to encourage them to sign up for the more rigorous classes. As a result, Kymberly was the only Black student in her AP literature class and one of two in her calculus class.

-Am very grateful for all the kind words about my one man show "From the Front Porch...." and the money we were able to raise for good causes. The talented team made me look good. New York Magazine even placed us in their famous Approval Matrix! Thanks everyone.

-Incumbent Republican Senator Dick Lugar is facing a tough challenge from Tea Party candidate State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. They think Lugar is too liberal for the Republican Party. In a new Basswood Research poll they were virtually tied.

-You gotta love my New York Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchaz (photograph). After the strike he told management that he would be willing to restructure his own lucrative contract to make more room for other talent. That is the essence of team spirit. Go, Jets.

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New York Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez!

-Karen Ocamb of LGBTPOV has a really good interview with new Equality California's Executive Director Roland Palencia. Take a minute and read this excellent interview .

-The Italian Parliament voted against basic LGBT rights. Marriage was not even involved with the vote. The vote as 293 to 250 to deny Italian LGBT citizens basic protections from discrimination.

-Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry will face his first electoral test this weekend in Colorado. The Republican Party has added his name to their straw poll at the State Convention. Perry will be speaking at the Convention.

-President Obama continues to lead Governor Mitt Romney by 4% in the Public Policy Polling in the state of Virginia. All the other Republican candidates run considerably further behind the President.

-What had looked like a tight race is opening up for Michigan's Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow. In the latest poll she has a 9% lead over her nearest Republican opponent.

-The same poll showed President Obama leading Mitt Romney by 5% in Michigan which is a state that historically been good to the Romney family over the years.

-A list has just been released of the "cleanest countries in the world." Do you think Norway , Iceland, Sweden or Finland won the title?

-Think you are having tough economic times? Poor George Washington was struggling with such financial difficulties that he had to borrow $200 to travel from Mt. Vernon to New York for his own inauguration. Part of my summer reading is Ron Chernow's "Washington, A Life" and it is simply brilliant.

-BroadwayWorld.com polled theater goers and its readers about what Broadway musical they most would like to see made into a movie. The runaway winner with 71% of the vote is "Book of Mormon."

-Talented actor Lee Pace is heading from Broadway's "The Normal Heart" to be in the hottest movie in town - "Lincoln." The movie, with a script by Tony Kushner, is to be directed by Steven Spielberg and will star Daniel Day Lewis as Honest Abe and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln.

-Openly Gay Mayor Sam Adams of Portland, Oregon has announced that he won't seek re-election.

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-The Grand Old Oprah can be too happy with Rosie O'Donnell saying her new show might just save Oprah's struggling network, OWN. Hmmmm.....

-July was the hottest month ever for Washington, DC and Philadelphia! Many cities along the East Coast had the hottest days in their history including Newark at 108 degrees. Poor Dallas has had 30 straight days where the temperature has been above 100 degrees. Kill me.

-Daily Kos has an impressive list of 90 accomplishments of President Obama's that are not reported by the media.

In the "oh please God, no" department, actor and right wing Republican Kelsey Grammar is thinking of running for Mayor of New York City. (via JoeMyGod).

-HSBC reported a record $11 BILLION profit and also announced at the same time they will lay off 30,000 plus workers. Is that lovely .

-To help us stay cool in this summer's brutal heat this baby hippo puts on a water ballet for us. Enjoy!