Folks, just letting you know that I will be on vacation until August 12th. I shall return to tweeting and posting and showing up on your tube then.
In my latest essay for Time Magazine’s IDEAS online, I write:
Sally Ride was the first American woman in outer space. Upon news of her death last week, media outlets and celebrities alike celebrated Ride as a hero. But under federal law, Ride’s domestic partner of 27 years will not receive death benefits or Social Security payments. Is that any way to treat a hero?
Even though the majority of Americans now support the right of same-sex couples to marry and more states are embracing marriage equality, 1,138 federal benefits including Social Security and family medical leave are still denied to same-sex couples even if they’re married because of the Defense of Marriage Act enacted in 1996. And while 60% of Fortune 500 companies offer domestic partnership benefits to employees— so unmarried same or opposite-sex partners qualify for health insurance, paid family leave and more — the federal government does not.
You can read the entire piece here, get outraged, and share it.
In the wake of the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado, I joined Megyn Kelly and former George W. Bush deputy assistant Brad Blakeman to talk about the need for common sense gun laws in America.
And here’s the coverage of the segment from Mediaite, which called the discussion “enlightening”.
In my latest piece for Newsweek’s Daily Beast, I look at the fact that while Republicans are great at the attention getting spectacle of politics, Democrats today? Not so much….
When Mitt Romney attack-dog-of-choice John Sununu this week called Barack Obama corrupt, his campaign “stupid,” and explained that the president “has no idea how the American system functions,” it was further proof that Republicans excel at attention-getting theatrics.
If Obama wants to win, he doesn’t have to learn how to be an American (he already is one, damn it). What Obama does have to learn is how to be a queen.
I don’t pay that much attention to politics,” says San Francisco drag queen impresario VivvyAnne ForeverMORE! “But I know how to get people’s attention.”
“Democrats think the right idea will hold everyone’s attention,” says ForeverMORE! They’re wrong.
Especially when the audience isn’t entirely on board—say, straight tourists who stray into a gay bar, or swing voters—that’s when theatrics matter most. “They might not like the fact that a guy is wearing a dress and singing,” says ForeverMORE!, “but if I shoot glitter out of my head or stand on my hands, they love it.”
Sometime after President Obama took office, Republicans commandeered the political stage.
The article goes on to give advice to the Obama campaign about getting its dramatic mojo back. You can read the rest here.
In my first article for Salon, I examine why so-called “foodies” seem to care more about how the food on their table has been treated than the workers who put it there.
Here’s an excerpt:
The food industry employs one in five private sector workers. Yet only an estimated 13 percent of those workers make a living wage. Thanks to lobbying by the National Restaurant Association (once led by Herman Cain), the national minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 per hour. Many warehouse and farm workers are paid by the piece, which can amount to even less. And so, in a situation riddled with irony, food-system workers rely on food stamps at double the rate of rest of the U.S. workforce.
That’s right: That $22 dish of line-caught halibut with organic pea shoots and avocado gelée? The worker who washed the plate it’s on can’t afford to feed his family.
“We’ve always assumed that when we support organic farmers, we’re supporting people — not only taking care of the land but also taking care of the people who work the land,” says Alice Waters, the chef-owner of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., considered the fairy godmother of the foodie universe. But more and more, we’re seeing the fallacy of that assumption.
I hope you’ll read the whole piece, share it using the links on Salon’s site and pass it around. And I hope it influences your dining and consumer choices.
In my latest column for Fox News, I address attacks on President Obama’s taken-out-of-context remarks about the role of public infrastructure alongside individual effort in creating private sector success in America. I tell the story of my grandfather, a small business owner, and how he worked hard and also relied on public schools and roads and laws to build his business.
By grandfather was not rich, certainly not by today’s standards. But when Ronald Reagan was president, my grandfather paid almost 50% of his income in taxes to help make sure that good public schools and safe streets and the things we all need to succeed in America would be available for the next generation. Today, hedge fund managers and big business CEOs pay lower tax rates than middle class families. In fact, the tax rate for the very wealthy is the lowest it’s been in over 60 years.
That’s what this debate is about. Everyone agrees that hard work and entrepreneurship are key to business success. But government also plays a vital, supporting role. A generation ago, those who did well in America did their part, paying even more than the rest of us to ensure that infrastructure was available to the next generation. But today, those who are succeeding the most in our country are paying the least. It’s not right.
I hope you’ll read the rest of the essay here and share it widely.
Is all press really good press? From Mediaite:
On Fox Business Network on Monday, host Don Imus called out liberal columnist Sally Kohn for expressing skepticism that a story Imus read in the Drudge Report was true. When a producer pointed out that Drudge only linked to a news services wire story, Kohn said if she did not express skepticism over the Drudge headline she could later be accused of validating a misleading story.
You can read the full story here.
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