Saturday, September 27, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - September 27, 2008

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New York Times
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-British Invasion? No, Just Two Lads Playing Dress Up - Little Britain
On their most recent visit to New York, the British comedians Matt Lucas and David Walliams were pleased to meet a woman they described as "our fan in America." This admirer, they recalled, had never watched their hit BBC show "Little Britain," but had seen the pair on Jay Leno's show the night before, adored their accents, and told them, "I love Brit humor."

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Ireland: New 'hidden history' of homosexuality
A new "hidden history" book about homosexuality in Ireland has provided "an invaluable template" for gay people and future researchers examining the subject. Jeffrey Dudgeon, a founding member of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association, was referring to Terrible Queer Creatures - Homosexuality in Irish History at the publication's launch in Dublin last night. "Just as the women's movement sparked an interest in the hidden history of women, so it is argued that the hidden history of homosexuality has its role to play in the onward struggle for freedom from ignorance and prejudice," Mr Dudgeon said.

-Deborah Orr: I'm all for gay rights.
I'm also for the right to use London's parks
If heterosexuals began carving up common land in every town so they could shag each other with no strings attached, no one would consider it a great idea' Some years ago, when George Michael was arrested in a US lavatory, he found that people were surprisingly sympathetic about his sexual proclivities. Everything was laughed off, in a way that was rather cheering. It was all a sign that the population was relaxed, and that the battle for gay acceptance was being won. This week, however, Michael felt the need to apologise "for screwing up again" after he was caught with crack cocaine in an underground loo on Hampstead Heath, one that is well known to be a meeting place for gays. Maybe it is only the drugs that Michael is pologising for. But maybe he, and some other gay men, ought to start thinking again about the way in which they conduct their sexual lives also. Until recently, there were good reasons why men met in the dark, in sheltered public spaces, in secret, to have illegal encounters, and many people felt sympathy with what was rightly seen as a desperate plight. Now, after years of fighting for gay equality, men and women can marry others of their own gender and live happily ever after. They can pay, if they wish to, to go to clubs or spas where they know that not very discreet sex is on the agenda. They can advertise in the papers, in magazines, or on the internet. They are free to indulge in what Father Ted Crilly once called "the rough and tumble of homosexual life". But there appears to be no decline in clandestine activity.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Most testifying at Senate hearing favor DP benefits for federal workers
Howard C. Weizmann, deputy director of the federal Office of Personnel Management, during a Senate committee hearing on a bill to offer domestic-partner benefits to federal workers, cited "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," an Adam Sandler movie in which two men pretend to be a couple to get health insurance, as evidence that fraud could be a problem if the government were to offer the benefits, according to Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson. Weizmann was the only witness out of five to voice any objections to the measure, which reportedly requires a higher level of proof of eligibility for LGBT workers than it does for their straight counterparts.

Steve Rothaus
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-Fox affiliate won't let TV anchors emcee Orlando gay pride event
Organizers of Come Out With Pride, a gay pride event scheduled for Oct. 12 in Orlando, are scrambling to find a new emcee for the event: Fox affiliate WOFL-TV won't let news anchors Mike Dunston and Amy Kaufeldt appear at the event. Too political, a station rep told Mary Meeks, media/rally chair for Come Out With Pride.

-'Married with children' an option for gay men
Despite the high costs and legal complications, many gay men -- such as singing star Clay Aiken, a recent single dad who this week confirmed his sexual orientation -- are starting families.

-McKellen takes gay tolerance message to schools
Sir Ian McKellen has taken on a new role, giving talks to schoolchildren about homosexuality.

The Advocate
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-Palm Beach Schools Increases Domestic-Partner Benefits
The Palm Beach County School District has agreed to insure the children of its employees' domestic partners. As Floridians prepare to decide on Amendment 2 -- an initiative that could constitutionally ban same-sex marriage in the state -- on November 4, Palm Beach made a bold statement of gay tolerance by offering increased domestic-partner benefits.

-T.G.I. Friday's Fined for HIV Discrimination
The company that owns T.G.I. Friday's restaurants has been fined $5,000 for a Virginia outlet's wrongful termination of an HIV-positive employee. Alexandria, Va., city manager James Hartmann fined T.G.I. Friday's parent company, Carlson Restaurants, for violating the city's Human Rights Code in the case of former Friday's employee James McCray, according to the Southern Voice.

Pink News - UK
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-Nations pledge to support gay rights at UN meeting
Several countries have responded positively to recommendations on gay rights at the 8th session of the UN Human Rights Council. During the session Ireland and Slovenia expressed concern at the maintenance of the death penalty for homosexuality in Iran and criticised Nigeria for failing to follow up on recommendations to repeal the death penalty for consensual sexual conduct.

-Ugandan activists detained in "pattern of police harassment"
Two human rights advocates in Uganda were held for a week without charges after police accused them of "recruiting homosexuals."

-Indian government argues to retain ban on gay sex
A row between two government departments in India over the decriminalisation of "un-natural" sexual acts has resulted in a victory for those who oppose the change. The Home ministry has won out over the Health ministry, who are strongly in favour of liberalisation on the grounds that it will help the fight against HIV.


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NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - September 27, 2008

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New York Times
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-Obama and McCain Display Stark Contrasts
Barack Obama and John McCain mixed disdain and often caustic remarks as they set out sharply different views of how they would manage the country and confront adversaries.

-The First Debate: A Win for Obama
Any analysis of the first presidential debate in Oxford, Miss,. must begin with a simple question:What was each candidate trying to achieve? For Barack Obama it was all about the half of all Americans who still think he lacks the requisite qualifications to be president. Would he seem knowledgeable and effective in talking about serious foreign policy issues? Would he be able to reassure them that they can trust him with the nation's most powerful job? Would he be able to go toe-to-toe with John McCain.

-Up in Arms
The National Rifle Association is airing an anti-Obama ad in Pennsylvania and the Obama campaign doesn't like it. So campaign lawyer Robert F. Bauer is threatening legal action against any station that airs it, and Jesse Walker at Reason doesn't like that: As a political move, this is stupid. Not only does it cast the campaign as a bunch of speech-squelching bullies, but it makes the ad itself into a story and thus guarantees that more people will see it.

-Palin's Words Raise Red Flags
If Gov. Sarah Palin's fumbled interviews are an accurate reflection of her qualifications, John McCain should find a replacement on the ticket.

-Thabo Mbeki's Fall
After stepping down as president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki leaves a legacy of significant failures. His successor, Jacob Zuma, must do better.

-I'm Your Pastor, and I Approved This Ad
Call it an act of faith or call it a political ploy, but 33 ministers plan to endorse a presidential candidate from their Sunday pulpits in defiance of federal law. [...] The law restricting churches' support of political candidates is not about limiting freedom of speech, but about limiting the pulpit's influence on elections.

-Conservatives Viewed Bailout Plan as Last Straw
The seeds of the House Republican revolt over the financial industry bailout were sown in an e-mail message circulated Monday night as internal animosity built quickly over the Bush administration's request for $700 billion to prevent an economic collapse.

-S.E.C. Concedes Oversight Flaws Fueled Collapse
The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a longtime proponent of deregulation, acknowledged on Friday that failures in a voluntary supervision program for Wall Street's largest investment banks had contributed to the global financial crisis, and he abruptly shut the program down.

-Pakistan's Faith in Its New Leader Is Shaken
A week after the bomb attack on the Marriott Hotel here, Pakistan is struggling to deal with a financial meltdown and a terrorism threat that has moved to the nation's heart and badly shaken confidence in the new government among Pakistanis, diplomats and investors alike.

-Somalia Pirates Capture Tanks and Global Notice
For a moment, the pirates must have thought that they had really struck gold - Somalia-style. The gun-toting, seafaring thieves, who routinely pounce on cargo ships bobbing along on the Indian Ocean, suddenly found themselves in command of a vessel crammed with $30 million worth of grenade launchers, piles of ammunition, even battle tanks.

-Russia Flexes Muscles in Oil Deal With Chávez
Russia continued its international muscle-flexing on Friday,
strengthening its ties to Venezuela through a $1 billion military loan and a new oil consortium as it announced an upgrade of its own military focusing on nuclear deterrence and permanent combat readiness.

-Many Arabs were shocked and appalled earlier this month
when a prominent Saudi cleric declared that it was permissible to kill the owners of satellite TV stations that broadcast "immoral" material.

-Wachovia, Looking for Help, Turns to Citigroup
As concern spread Friday that more banks might run into trouble even with a $700 billion rescue for the financial system, Wachovia, one of those hardest hit by the housing crisis, became the latest to reach for a lifeline.

-Swapping Land for a Road to Somewhere Divides Alaskans
Among the many bills Congress is considering before it recesses for the November elections is a proposed land swap between the State of Alaska and the federal government that would allow a gravel road to be built through a remote national wildlife refuge.

CBS News
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-Katie Couric interviews Sarah Palin - #1

-Katie Couric interviews Sarah Palin - #2

Washington Post
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-What They Really Said
Former secretary of state and national security adviser
Iranian nuclear military capability is unacceptable for the following reasons: It would stimulate a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, the most dangerous region in the world. It would strengthen Iran's capability to encourage and support jihadism. It would undermine the credibility of the international community, which has demanded that Iran not develop nuclear weapons.

-The Debate: Budget Balancing?
Jim Lehrer did his usual great job of moderating last night, but in one of his questions, to which he returned several times, he voiced an economic viewpoint whose support among establishment opinion-makers is as broad as its actual merits are narrow. The question, posed to both candidates, was what they would give up from their programmatic wish list, inasmuch as they would take office at a time when the budget deficit, swelled by the financial bailout congress soon will pass, will be very large.

-The Debate: An Edge for Obama
Instant polls are, well, instant polls. You can take them with a grain of salt. But such polls often influence the commentary and what people think (or think they think) about presidential debates afterward. A CBS News Poll of 500 undecided voters tonight gave Obama an advantage over McCain. Here's the top of Brian Montopoli's account of the survey: CBS News and Knowledge Networks conducted a nationally representative poll of approximately 500 uncommitted voters reacting to the debate in the minutes after it happened.

-Hanging With the Palins? Not for Me.
I still listen when Bill Clinton speaks, and this week the former president got off a few lines that really got me thinking.

-McCain's High Horse Meets Obama's High-Mindedness
John McCain wore the more presidential tie -- that much can be said for him -- but Barack Obama displayed the more presidential temperament, or the kind of demeanor people presumably would want in a president, when the two candidates met at the University of Mississippi last night for their first debate of the campaign.

-BAILOUT NEGOTIATIONS: How McCain Stirred a Simmering Pot
When Sen. John McCain made his way to the Capitol office of House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) just past noon on Thursday, he intended to "just touch gloves" with House Republican leaders, according to one congressional aide, and get ready for the afternoon bailout summit at the White House.

-Rep. Barney Frank Dives Right In On the Bailout
You wanna know what Barney Frank thinks? Oh, Barney Frank will tell you what he thinks.

-Air Force Instructor Details Harsh Interrogations
Colonel Tells Senate Panel How U.S. Training Program Was Adapted for Use Against Iraqi Detainees
The techniques themselves -- forced nudity, sleep deprivation, painful shackling -- had been used for years to prepare U.S. fighter pilots for possible capture by an enemy. But Col. Steven Kleinman, an Air Force instructor, said he was shocked in 2003 to see the same harsh methods used haphazardly on Iraqis in a U.S. prison camp.

-Joe Biden: Leaders Who Met With Palin Praise Biden
Foreign leaders from three continents this week provided Gov. Sarah Palin with personal tutorials on world affairs, exchanging views on everything from international security to Alaskan energy policies. But they also sought to show they weren't taking sides in the American election contest, going out of their way to tell reporters how much they think of Sen. Joseph Biden.

Wall Street Journal

-Who Won Friday Night's Debate on Foreign Policy?
Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain finally debated face to face on a topic that their campaigns and surrogates have done from afar - which candidate has shown better judgment on the war in Iraq?

-Bailout Compromise Gets New Life
Negotiations Resume, With Nod to Conservatives' Objections
The Bush administration and Congress closed in on a new compromise aimed at stabilizing U.S. financial markets, a move designed to assuage conservatives who one day earlier had staged a revolt against the controversial $700 billion project.

-U.S., Russia Agree to Criticize Iran
The Bush administration and Russia agreed Friday to push forward a new United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Iran's pursuit of nuclear technologies, but without any new economic sanctions.

Fort Report
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- Democratic Registration Far Outpacing GOP In Multiple Battleground States
In a development that could have a significant impact on the presidential race, the rise in registered Democrats has far outpaced Republican registration in many key swing states, giving Dems a clear registration advantage in a lot of them, while wiping away one-time GOP registration advantages in a couple others.

-Klein: Obama Wins Debate On Tactics and Strategies
Toward the very end of tonight's debate-which was quite a good one, I believe-John McCain laid out his rationale in this election in just a few words: Senator Obama, he said, lacks the "knowledge and experience to be President." The presidency will turn on whether the American people agree with McCain on that-but on this night, Obama emerged as a candidate who was at least as knowledgeable, judicious and unflappable as McCain on foreign policy ... and more knowledgeable, and better suited to deal with the economic crisis and domestic problems the country faces.,8599,1845114,00.html

-Cheers, Jeers - But How Many Minds Changed?
At Presidential Debate-watching Parties, Cheers, Jeers - But How Many Minds Changed?
At a hip downtown theater in liberal San Francisco, Sen. John McCain's assertion that "we've got to have offshore drilling" raised loud jeers. But in Sandy Springs, Ga., Republicans chortled at his laugh lines, especially when used as a pointed jab at Sen. Barack Obama.

-Kathleen Parker: After Interviews, Palin Should Bow Out
Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, admitting that until recently she was a vocal supporter of Sarah Palin, now says the vice presidential nominee should bow out: Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick -- what a difference a financial crisis makes -- and a more complicated picture has emerged.

-Congress' failure leaves energy policy up in air
Few issues have been debated as long or as heatedly in Congress this year as energy policy - with so little result. Inaction means the debate over offshore drilling, how much the federal government should offer in new alternative energy incentives and whether higher fuel economy standards are needed is left to next year. There won't be presidential politics then or members of Congress seeking re-election. That could increase chances for consensus.


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FLORIDA DIGEST - September 27, 2008

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Palm Beach Human Rights Council

Palm Beach County School District to Insure Domestic Partners' Children
The School Board of Palm Beach County has agreed to extend health insurance coverage to include the children of employees' domestic partners. School District employees will be given information on the coverage for children of domestic partners when open enrollment begins in October, according to Dianne Howard, the School District's Director of Risk and Benefits Management. "The School Board's pro-family policy of insuring the children of domestic partners could not have come at a better time," said Rand Hoch, President of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. "In these uncertain economic times, all families need access to affordable health insurance." At the Council's request, the School Board first voted to offer domestic partner heath insurance for its employees in 2005.


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- Ex-sheriff Ken Jenne to leave prison for a simpler life
After a stint in federal prison on a corruption conviction, former Broward County sheriff and political power broker Ken Jenne will come home Monday to simpler concerns: his garden and dog. "He's looking forward to leading a normal life," said Jenne's son Evan. "He's just going to be an everyday citizen.",0,4614241.story

-Local Muslims fear controversial DVD could spark backlash against Islam
During Ramadan, the Islamic holy month that started Sept. 1, believers are urged to control their tempers - a special challenge for Safiah Khan when she opened her newspaper last week.,0,6488471.story

-Tri-Rail feeder buses in Broward face extinction
Tri-Rail passengers who use free feeder buses to travel to and from the stations soon may have to change their commuting plans.,0,2478060.story

-FBI searches Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty's home
Delray Beach - Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty's home was searched Friday by the FBI, making her the latest county official to come under scrutiny by federal investigators.,0,7671511.story

Miami Herald
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-Law puts thousands of Florida voter IDs in question
Florida's controversial 'no-match' law has already called into question thousands of new voter registrations.

-Broward sees rise in free school meals as proverty level rises
As Broward County becomes increasingly metropolitan, the number of students applying for free meals at schools zooms upward.

Supervising Attorney at Broward's Legal Aid Service Resigns
George Castrataro, supervising attorney at Plantation-based Legal Aid Service of Broward County, has resigned effective Oct. 24 and plans to open his own law firm in Wilton Manors in November. Castrataro, known as a champion of foreclosure and mortgage fraud victims, submitted a resignation letter Thursday to agency executive director Anthony Karrat. Castrataro announced his resignation at today's meeting of the Broward County Foreclosure Task Force.


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Friday, September 26, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - September 26, 2008

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Washington Post
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-DEAR AMY: In three months, my wife and I will celebrate our daughter's first
Two of our friends are getting ready to adopt their first child soon, and we couldn't be more thrilled for them, but I am hesitant about having my immediate family attend our daughter's party with this couple.
My mother is a very conservative Catholic, and our friends are gay men. To put it simply, I'm afraid my mother will embarrass us by making a scene at what is supposed to be a joyous occasion for our baby and us. Mom knows we associate with people whom she disapproves of, but I have never told her that we are friends with a gay couple who are adopting a child.
My mother helps us out by baby-sitting during the week (a huge savings for us). I'm afraid her outrage at having her granddaughter exposed to what she would
consider an abnormal lifestyle would be detrimental to the relationships.
Should we have two separate gatherings (one for our conservative families and one for our more open-minded friends), exclude our friends or family, or allow everyone to come and turn my daughter's birthday into a political statement? -- Birthday Dad

-Zulus Defy Virginity Test Ban
South Africa's progressive constitution collides with tribal customs.
The debate over virginity testing is an example of the clash common throughout Africa as governments try to regulate traditional practices that have long held sway, particularly in rural areas. Legal experts say the topic is particularly complex in post-apartheid South Africa, where patriarchal tribal cultures have dusted off long-stifled traditions under one of the world's most progressive constitutions, which lauds diversity but requires cultural customs to bend to individual rights.

-Gay stars thriving but await A-list company
"American Idol" singer Clay Aiken tiptoed out of the closet this week into a world where American gay and lesbian celebrities are thriving, but still awaiting the company of an A-list star. Aiken, 29, confirmed what most people in the music business have long believed when he told People magazine he was gay in an interview released on Wednesday.

South Florida Blade
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-Happy Friday! Italian rugby players in their skivvies
New ad campaign strips ruffians (almost) bare
Speaking of scantily-dressed men, after discussing TFabiano...have you seen the new Dolce & Gabbana ad campaign? ...featuring the Italian rugby players? We won't waste any more time writing about it. Just click here. Then click on either "video" or "gallery." [...] A split gay vote could have been an advantage for State Representative Jack Seiler, one of three race frontrunners. "Now the [gay] vote is more unified," said Albetta. Albetta said he is now shifting his endorsement to Trantalis. He said he does not consider Rynerson to be a threat.

The Advocate
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-Iraqi Gay Activist Murdered in Baghdad
A coordinator of an Iraqi LGBT advocacy group was assassinated Thursday. The 27-year-old university student, known only as Bashar, was assassinated in a barbershop in Baghdad. Militia members burst into the barbershop and "sprayed his body with bullets at point blank range," Peter Tatchell of the U.K gay advocacy OutRage! told the Guardian newspaper. The student organized safe houses for gays and lesbians in Baghdad, where many seek refuge from militias that seek out and kill LGBT people. Iraqi LGBT, which Bashar led, houses about 40 gay men between the ages of 14 and 28, according to Newsweek.

-Pepsi Gives $500K to PFLAG
In a move many gay activists are expecting might anger conservatives, the PepsiCo Foundation renewed its relationship with Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays earlier this week to the tune of a $500,000 grant. The grant was earmarked to support Straight for Equality, a national education campaign created to help straight allies stand up for gay people in their families, communities, and workplaces, and PFLAG chapter support.

-Is Famed Architect Richard Meier Gay?
The son of famed architect Richard Meier, designer of a slew of world-class buildings around the world, is claiming his dad's gay. Joseph Meier, 28, also says that when he told Richard he knew his secret, his father committed him to a New York City psychiatric hospital for five days, the New York Post's Page Six column reports. "I think that the kid of Clay Aiken is very lucky," Joseph told Page Six. "He probably won't risk being fired by his father or be canceled from his will." The latter reference concerns Joseph's contention that his father is trying to disinherit him for "outing" Richard.

-Transgender 'Top Model' Contestant Booted Off Show
Willowy model Isis King, who gained notoriety for being the first transgender woman to compete on America's Next Top Model, was eliminated from Tyra Banks's reality competition on Wednesday night. Banks and her three fellow judges decided King had to go after too many uninspiring photo shoots and catwalk sessions. King's last photo shoot required her to wear a bikini, which made her noticeably uncomfortable. The 22-year-old handled her elimination with grace, but was clearly sad to leave the show. King was the fifth contestant (out of 14 finalists) to leave Top Model, currently in its 11th season. King -- a pre-operative transgender woman -- endured mocking from some of the contestants, support from others. Her inclusion on the popular show -- airing on the CW network, whose viewer demographic skews younger than most networks -- was seen as a breakthrough in transgender acceptance. Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, called King's position on the show an "unprecedented opportunity." (Neal Broverman, The Advocate)

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Xenophobic, homophobic or just afraid?
I have kept quiet for quite some time, reading and listening about the whole Queer Sarajevo Festival issue. Now, I fear that I don't belong in this country any more! The first time I heard abut the given festival I thought it was an interesting thing and a sign that our society - no matter how conservative or closed it seems - was actually tolerant, unlike the picture it often portrays about itself. But, oh. how wrong was I! The fire, from all sides, came storming in. I was quite shocked to see how intolerant people in Bosnia and Herzegovina are towards people who. that. which. hmm. hmmmm. what do I say here... Can I actually say: whom they do not have everything in common with?

-PM against gay unions as a matter of policy
Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates has this week appeared to turn down a proposed law change which was intended to legalise gay unions and which will be debated in Parliament next month. During a bi-monthly debate in Parliament, the Prime Minister confirmed this proposition was neither on the Government's nor the Socialist Party's political agenda. "Homosexual unions are not on the political agenda", he said, reiterating what he said three years ago during electoral campaigning. "It is not in the Government's programme and the PS will not being instructed by other parties".

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Young, black, gay and vulnerable
At 20, you should be getting dressed at midnight to go to a party, harassing your friends to help put gas in your hooptie, falling in and out of love. The last thing you should be doing is sitting in a doctor's office reading phrases like "viral load" on the wall. But that's exactly where Nkosi Figueroa found himself in 2002 -- young and HIV-positive. "It was hard because I thought I knew how HIV worked," said Figueroa, who was working as an outreach worker at a center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth. But, like many gay African-American men ages 13-24, he didn't know enough to avoid the virus.

-Court: Sex With Sheep Does Not Warrant Registration as Offender
The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that a Battle Creek man who pleaded no contest to sodomizing a sheep does not have to register as a sex offender after his release from prison.

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-'These kids are invisible': An LGBT youth shelter in words and pictures
It's a gorgeous mid-September Tuesday evening in New York City and the setting sun warmly glows over the streets of Midtown. Chelsea, New York's gayest enclave, shifts into party mode just a few blocks south. To the northeast, the world is starting to queue up for Broadway hits. Meanwhile, commuters rush to the comforts of home.

-Queer Streets: Where are they now?
The two years since the filming of Queer Streets may not have been easy for any of the seven young people profiled in the film, and indeed tragically they proved impossible for one.

-Ex-college basketball player sues university over gay comments
A former Southern Methodist University women's basketball player is suing the school for $2.5 million, claiming she lost a scholarship after complaining her coach made inappropriate comments about her sex life.

-Study: Gays important resource in reducing children in state care
A study released Thursday by a non-partisan adoption group says that states need to tap into the gay and lesbian community to reduce the number of children up for adoption.

-Siciliano: LGBT teen homelessness is an epidemic
As National Coming Out Day approaches, I find myself wondering if the LGBT community is failing too many of the teens who come out.

-Religious leaders call for fast in support of gay marriage ban
Hundreds of pastors have called on their congregations to fast and pray for passage of a ballot measure in November that would put an end to gay marriage in California.

Marriage Equality News
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-CA: Unmarried opposite-sex couples claim discrimination; Maggie Gallagher provides unintended irony
Link: Press Enterprise
Michael Imel wants to put his girlfriend on his health-insurance policy. But the Bermuda Dunes man's employer declined his request because the couple is not married. To Thomas Coleman, Imel's case exemplifies how unmarried people face pervasive discrimination under federal, state and local laws. The group that Coleman heads, Glendale-based Unmarried America, sponsors Unmarried and Single Americans Week, which began Sunday.

-CA: Um, Sorry Prop 8 Folks, but the vote was to OPPOSE
Link: Box Turtle Bulletin
The supporters of Proposition 8 seem to be finding it difficult to extend their endorsements beyond their base. Yes they have all of the Republican State Senators and and 19 of 32 Repubican Assemblymen, but no Democrats or Independants. And they can't get either of the two statewide elected Republicans, the Governor and the Insurance Commissioner. Yes, they have the Church of Scientology of San Diego, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc., and Creation Research of North America but they have yet to win the endorsement of any major newspapers or mainstream voters group.

-CA: Levi's joins fight to defeat marriage ban; S. Cal. business group joins battle
Link: San Jose Mercury News
Levi Strauss & Co. is putting its famous pockets behind defeating a ballot initiative that would outlaw same-sex marriage in California. The San Francisco-based jeans maker said Thursday it will co-chair with Pacific Gas & Electric a group trying to drum up opposition to Proposition 8 in the business community. Chief Executive Officer John Anderson said the move is consistent with Levi's long history of supporting civil rights causes.

-Miami mayor fighting marriage ban
Link: Orlando Sentinel blogs
Yesterday, black leaders in Tampa lined up behind the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage known as Amendment 2. Today, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz is joining the fight against the ballot measure. Diaz, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, was announced as hte "honorary statewide co-chair" of the SayNo2 campaign to defeat the ban organized by a group called Florida Red and Blue. The other co-chair is former Tampa congressman and gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis. "I don't see how this amendment protects anything," said Diaz in a statement. "Even worse, its vague language could actually take away important existing benefits like health care from Floridians."

-Help Needed in Four States
Link: Gay City News
Much of the political focus in the LGBT community is on electing Barack Obama and defeating the constitutional amendment in California that would end marriage equality, which became legal earlier this year under an order from that state's high court. There are three other measures that are struggling for support. In Florida, where same-sex marriage is already barred, an amendment is on the ballot to ban it in the Constitution. Proponents of the measure need 60 percent of the vote to ratify it. In Arizona, the only state to defeat a ballot initiative versus same-sex marriage in 2006, partly because it also banned any partner benefits, an amendment that would just ban same-sex marriage is up this November. Like the California initiative, it requires a simple majority. And in Arkansas, where the courts have ruled that the state cannot discriminate against gay couples in adoption, there is a ballot measure to ban all unmarried couples from adopting.

-CA: Pro-Prop 8 LDS Leaders--"The Work Depends On Us"
Link: Box Turtle Bulletin
Amid continuing reports of heavy Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints'
involvement in anti-marriage campaigns in California, and Arizona, a Wiki website has released a document which provides further evidence that the nuts and bolts of the Prop 8 campaign in California is almost exclusively an LDS-driven effort. The brief document, which was on document posted on Wikileaks earlier this week, appears to be brief notes for a meeting of LDS officials working to defeat California's Prop 8. According to the document: The brethren emphasized that there wasn't much participation from non-LDS people. The work depends on us.

-Another Brazilian Wedding
Link: Made in Brazil
The first gay wedding in the northeastern state of Paraíba took place this past weekend. Edvaldo Brasil and Luciano Mondego signed a contract of stable union during an Afro-Brazilian ceremony in a packed auditorium at the state's public university. Watch the news as they aired on local TV on the video below. [In Portuguese.]

Pink News - UK
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-Gay Canadians urged to vote Conservatives out of office
A leading gay and lesbian media group in Canada has published a 16-page expose of the Conservative party alleging that they "pandered to antigay, faith-based groups to win a minority government in 2006."

-Iranian President attacks US acceptance of homosexuality
The President of Iran has admitted in an interview that there may be "a few" gay people in his country, but attacked homosexuality as destructive to society.

-New report shows rise in hate crimes across Europe
A human rights group has published research into incidents of violent hate crime against minority groups in 56 North American and European states. New-York based Human Rights First said that targeting of minority groups is increasing or occurring at historically high levels in many of the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) member states.

-Labour party votes overwhelmingly for trans inclusion
A change to the Labour party rule book that adds trans inclusion has been backed at the annual conference by more than 98% of delegates. Labour's general secretary Ray Collins said the trans inclusion motion had the support of the party's National Executive Committee.

-Bosnia gay festival closes after attacks at opening event
The organisers of a Queer Festival in Sarajevo have decided to close after some participants were attacked by an angry mob last night. "We cannot guarantee the safety of visitors," organiser Svetlana Djurkovic told Reuters.

-Senate to consider same-sex benefits for US federal employees
A new report ahead of a US Senate hearing into The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act has costed the introduction of benefits for the same-sex partners of federal employees. More than 30,000 employees with same-sex partners would benefit if Congress enacts this bill, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law reported.

-London to host Muslim LGBT conference
The tenth anniversary of the establishment of a leading Muslim lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans support organisation will be celebrated with a conference in London next month. Imaan is the largest network for Muslim LGBT people outside the USA.

-Awards celebrate contributions to black gay community
Individuals and organisations that have made a difference to the lives of black lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people have been honoured at the second Black LGBT Community Awards. Advocacy group UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, actor Dean Atta, health promotion group Big Up and newspaper Pink Paper were among the award winners.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Palin's Alleged Library Censorship Opens Up Wider Debate
by Scott Stiffler | EDGE Contributor | Edge Boston
Past actions by Sarah Palin as the mayor of a small Alaskan city have ignited a wider debate as to the role of public libraries, socially progressive authors and conservative organizations. Sometimes, it seems all three disparate groups find themselves on the same page in their call for access to information. Meanwhile, the Republican vice-presidential candidate faces scrutiny for a twelve-year-old series of events that call into question her yen for censorship and penchant for terminating employees who don't toe the line.

-Bush "Conscientious Refusal" Puts Us All at Risk
by: Dr. Wendy Chavkin | RH Reality Check | Truthout
Today is the last day for public comment on the Bush administration's proposed stronger job protections for doctors and other health workers who refuse to participate in abortions because of religious or moral objections. (Photo: Plamen Petkov / SELF magazine) Imagine a lifeguard at a public beach who sees a swimmer caught in a riptide but feels he cannot rescue her because his faith prohibits contact between the sexes. He calls for his partner who does not share his beliefs, and the woman is saved. The government hears about this and intervenes - not by demanding that the lifeguard rescue all swimmers but by telling him that he does not need to notify another guard, regardless of the consequence for half of the world's swimmers. Deciding that religious freedom is what needs saving, the government proposes antidiscrimination regulations that extend its version of the right of refusal to the people who repair the lifeboats, train the guards and insure the beach.

-These Sisses May Be Crying (or Laughing) All the Way to the Bank
Gay & Lesbian Times
The near-tears testimony of one of four firefighters suing San Diego for being forced to participate in the 2007 Pride parade isn't generating a lot of sympathy in our office (surprise!). Firefighter Alex Kane, who, along with Capt. John Ghiotto, Capt. Jason Hewitt and firefighter Chad Allison, had to take a break from testifying Tuesday, after describing the anger, confusion, humiliation, embarrassment and abandonment he felt during the parade and in its aftermath. Confusion, humiliation, embarrassment and abandonment are big words for a little man. We thought the firefighters and their lawsuit couldn't disgrace this city any more; turns out, we were wrong. Kane's on-the-stand stunt Tuesday drew ire on The San Diego Union-Tribune's Web site from users saying this cash-grabbing bunch needs to toughen up or find a new life calling. Allison, who volunteered for search and rescue at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, said the stress and anxiety he felt following the Pride parade prompted him to seek counseling.

-Republican Source: Lesbian Rumors Ruined Condoleezza Rice's VP Chances
by PageOneQ
It was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, not Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, that was the first choice for Senator John McCain's female running mate, according to a mid-level member of the Republican National Committee. "Once [Democratic presidential nominee, Illinois Senator] Obama selected [Delaware Senator] Biden" instead of Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), the source told journalist Ian Halperin, "they had this theory that Condi was the perfect candidate to put up against him. She's tough, conservative and a hawk, not to mention a football fanatic, which would be more than enough for white men. "They never expected traditionally Democratic Blacks and women to vote for her in large numbers, but argued that if she could just sway 5-10% of Blacks and 10% of women to defect, it could be enough to tilt the election towards McCain in a number of crucial swing states. At this point, Palin still wasn't on anybody's radar screen."

-Transsexual Turkish singer defends self in court
Associated Press | International Herald Tribune
ANKARA, Turkey: A transsexual singer charged with illegally criticizing mandatory military service in Turkey said in court Wednesday she would say the same thing again. Singer Bulent Ersoy has acknowledged saying on television that if she had children she would not want them to join the army to battle Kurdish rebels who are fighting for self-rule. "I spoke in the name of humanity. Even if I were to face execution, I would say the same thing," the state-run Anatolia news agency quoted Ersoy as telling the court in Istanbul. In Turkey, defendants are not expected to enter a plea before a panel of judges hears testimony at a trial and returns a verdict. Ersoy questioned the fairness of a law making it a crime to criticize Turkey's mandatory 15-month military service for all men over 20. If found guilty, she could face two years in prison.


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NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - September 26, 2008

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

New York Times
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-Bailout Talks to Resume After Impasse
Bush Urges Parties to Come Together
President Bush tried to assure Americans on Friday that an agreement would be reached on a proposal to rescue the country's financial system.

-Government Seizes Washington Mutual
In the largest bank seizure in U.S. history, pieces of Washington Mutual
were sold to J.P. Morgan Chase.

-McCain Leaps Into a Thicket
The day's events raised questions about why Senator John McCain had called for postponing the first debate. At the bipartisan White House meeting that Mr. McCain had called for a day earlier, he sat silently for more than 40 minutes, more observer than leader, and then offered only a vague sense of where he stood, said people in the meeting. [...] He now finds himself in the middle of an ideological war that pits conservative Republicans, loath to spending so much taxpayer money on Wall Street, against the Bush White House, which, with the support of Democrats and a sizable number of Republicans, sees a bailout package as essential to averting a potential economic disaster.

-What About the Rest of Us?
Political theater delayed the passing of the $700 billion bailout package, but the wait will be worth it if keeps Americans in their homes. [...] It is simply outrageous that every type of secured debt - except the mortgage on a primary home - can be reworked in bankruptcy court.

-Where Are the Grown-Ups?
The grown-up thing to do is to rescue the financial system. If Henry Paulson isn't the grown-up we need, are Congressional leaders able to fill the role? [...] Furthermore, one non-rank-and-file Republican, Senator John McCain, is apparently playing spoiler. Earlier this week, while refusing to say whether he supported the Paulson plan, he claimed not to have had a chance to read it; the plan is all of three pages long. Then he inserted himself into the delicate negotiations over the Congressional plan, insisting on a White House meeting at which he reportedly said little - but during which consensus collapsed.

-Thinking About McCain
What disappoints me about the McCain campaign is it has no central argument. His proposals don't add up to more than the sum of their parts. [...] One day he's a small-government Western conservative; the next he's a Bull Moose progressive. The two don't add up - as we've seen in his uneven reaction to the financial crisis.

-Russia, Georgia and the Space Station
If the Senate does not extend a waiver allowing NASA to buy seats on Russia's space vehicles, the United States could lose access to the International Space Station. [...] The catch is that an arms-control law bans payments to Russia for activities related to the space station until Moscow takes steps to prevent the flow of weapons technology to Iran and others. Congress granted NASA a waiver through 2011. NASA needs an extension now because the Russians want a contract signed three years before any launch so they can produce the necessary hardware.

-Wasilla Watch: Sarah Palin and the Rape Kits
Voters should know if sexual-assault victims in Wasilla, Alaska, were being billed for the cost of rape kits and forensic exams while Sarah Palin was mayor. [,,,] The rape-kit controversy is a troubling matter. The insult to rape victims is obvious. So is the sexism inherent in singling them out to foot the bill for investigating their own case. And the main result of billing rape victims is to protect their attackers by discouraging women from reporting sexual assaults. That's why when Senator Joseph Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, drafted the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, he included provisions to make states ineligible for federal grant money if they charged rape victims for exams and the kits containing the medical supplies needed to conduct them. (Senator John McCain, Ms. Palin's running mate, voted against Mr. Biden's initiative, and his name has not been among the long list of co-sponsors each time the act has been renewed.)

-Poor Sarah
I spent the past week in New York, helping my mother recover from surgery.
It was a new role for me, taking care of my mom. It must, I think, have been somewhat destabilizing.

-What the World Wants to Know
Leaders and writers from around the world pose questions they'd like to the presidential candidates to answer at the debate in Oxford, Miss.

-It All Comes Down to Experience
Barack Obama continues to hold a 4- to 5-point national lead over John McCain in a race where the economy and change are the two dominant issues for the electorate. Questions about Mr. Obama's experience continue to hold back the Illinois senator and have kept the race relatively close in an election where Democrats have the clear political advantage. These words could have been used to describe the presidential campaign back in June as well. Despite all the back-and-forth of the last month on the campaign trail, the fundamentals of the race are much the same and the impressions of the two candidates are largely unchanged from the beginning of the summer.

Washington Post
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-Pakistan warns US troops after exchange of fire
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan warned U.S. troops not to intrude on its territory Friday, after the two anti-terror allies traded fire along the volatile border with Afghanistan.

-Carbon Is Building Up in Atmosphere Faster Than Predicted
The rise in global carbon dioxide emissions last year outpaced international researchers' most dire projections, according to figures being released today, as human-generated greenhouse gases continued to build up in the atmosphere despite international agreements and national policies aimed at curbing climate change.

-Dobson, Whoopi and Waffles
Christian Right icon James Dobson went on the air Tuesday to scold Whoopi Goldberg and ABC's "The View" for linking him and his organization, Focus on the Family, to a gag product that ridicules Barack Obama, African-Americans, Hispanics and Muslims. Goldberg and her co-hosts discussed the product, Obama Waffles, last week on their show. "Last Saturday, conservative groups American Values and Focus on the Family sponsored a Values Voters Summit that offered something called Obama Waffles for sale," Goldberg told viewers while showing pictures of the product. A co-host asked, "Who did this? Dobson's Family Council?" Goldberg said yes.

-The Photo McCain Wanted
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
John McCain's sudden intervention in Washington's deliberations over the Wall Street bailout could not have been more out of sync with what was actually happening. He lamented that "partisan divisions in Washington have revented us from addressing our national challenges." But for days, bipartisanship has been the rule on both sides of this argument. Republicans and Democrats alike were highly critical of President Bush's proposal to inject $700 billion into the financial system.

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-Report: Activist who applied to protest in special Olympic zone detained by Chinese police
Ji Sizun disappeared Aug. 11, three days into the Olympic Games, and hasn't been seen since, the overseas Chinese Human Rights Defenders group said. On Thursday, police from Fuzhou City in southeastern Fujian province told a friend of Ji's that he had been detained, the group said.,0,4907642.story

-David Letterman keeps up verbal assault on McCain
He described socialite Paris Hilton -- Thursday's guest whose celebrity was once used in a McCain campaign ad to mock Obama -- as McCain's first choice for a running mate. "Here's how it works: you don't come to see me? You don't come to see me? Well, we might not see you on Inauguration Day," Letterman said. Noting that McCain wanted to postpone Friday's first debate with Barack Obama, Letterman said running mate Sarah Palin wanted to put off her debate with Democrat Joe Biden until after Election Day. Letterman said McCain taking Palin to meet world leaders at the United Nations was like "take-your-daughter-to-work day.",0,4183003.story

Wall Street Journal

-The Public Deserves a Better Deal
The Treasury plan to buy illiquid financial assets has been widely criticized as being unfair to taxpayers, who will have to bear losses ahead of shareholders of the institutions that will be bailed out.

Miami Herald
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-Alaskan senator's trial begins
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, is accused of lying on financial disclosure forms.
Sen. Ted Stevens used one of Alaska's biggest employers as his ''own personal handyman service'' and never paid Veco Corp. for hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of work done on his home, a federal prosecutor charged Thursday as she outlined the government's case for finding the Alaska Republican guilty of lying on financial disclosure forms. ''You'll learn that the defendant never paid Veco a dime for the work on the chalet. Not a penny,'' the Justice Department's lead prosecutor, Brenda Morris, told jurors in the opening minutes of Stevens' trial.

Inside Higher Education

-Barriers to Student Voting
Every four years, like clockwork, two declarations make the rounds: (1) This is the most important election of our generation, and (2) young voters will help determine the outcome. Usually, proponents of both claims end up disappointed. But, given the increases in turnout seen during this year's primaries, there's reason to think that this time, at least first-time voters, and especially college students, could play a decisive role in November's political contest. And that possibility is motivating nonprofit groups and members of Congress to take a closer look at the dizzying jumble of local and state election laws that could affect - and in some cases, discourage - students' participation in the electoral process.

Pew Research center
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-Gender and Power
Women Call the Shots at Home; Public Mixed on Gender Roles in Jobs
They say it's a man's world, but in the typical American family, it's the woman who wears the pantsuit. Still, Americans retain strong traditional gender preferences with respect to some job roles. Read more

-Who's the Boss?
Before you read the report, find out where you fit by taking our Couples Quiz. Who makes the decisions in your house? Take our quiz

-Foreign Policy Politics
Support for Global Engagement Declines Even as Optimism About Iraq Surges The public's top long-term foreign policy goals are decidedly America-centric. Defending the country against terrorism, protecting U.S. jobs, and weaning the country from imported energy all draw extensive bipartisan support. Read more

-Picturing the Candidates
The Candidates: In a Word
View "word clouds" of voters' impressions of the candidates based on one-word descriptions from a recent Pew survey. Read more

-McCain's Image Falls as Economic Worries Rise; Public Awaits Debate
Independents' views of McCain have become significantly less favorable in the last few days, but they still expect him to win the coming foreign policy debate. Read more

-Online Connections
Networked Workers
More than six-in-ten workers now use the internet or email on the job. But many find technology a mixed blessing as they are able to do their jobs more efficiently but also report higher rates of working at home. Read more

-Daily Number
46% - Don't Know Obama is Christian
Nearly half of Americans (46%) are unable to correctly identify Barack Obama as a Christian including 13% who still maintain that he is a Muslim and another 16% who say they have heard different things about his religion. Check back every weekday for another number in the news. Read more

Fort Report
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-NM GOP official quits over remarks about blacks
The chairman of the Republican Party in New Mexico's most populous county resigned Thursday, nearly a week after saying "Hispanics consider themselves above blacks" and won't vote for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

-Mental-health-parity bill clears U.S. House
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill requiring health-insurance providers nationwide to cover mental-health treatment on an equal basis with medical care, a concept known as mental-health parity. The Senate included similar legislation in a massive tax relief bill it passed Tuesday. The two versions must be reconciled before Congress adjourns for the election or the measure will die.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill requiring health-insurance providers nationwide to cover mental-health treatment on an equal basis with medical care, a concept known as mental-health parity.


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FLORIDA DIGEST - September 26, 2008

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.


South Florida Blade
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-Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson announced Monday that she is suspending her campaign for mayor of Fort Lauderdale to pursue "job opportunities outside of public office." Hutchinson, who had received great support from the gay community, said she decided to drop out of the race because she could not afford to live on the $35,000 mayoral salary. "The main reason is economics," Hutchinson said Tuesday. "The salary is only five thousand dollars more than what I make as a commissioner. Public office in the city [of Fort Lauderdale] doesn't pay enough." [...] Hutchinson's campaign raised concerns within the GLBT community that the gay vote would be split between Hutchinson, a dependable backer of gay issues, and twoopenly gay candidates: former city commissioner Dean Trantalis, and Earl Rynerson, owner of a tile store in Fort Lauderdale.

From Dolphin Democrats
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Come Watch Barack Debate His Way To The White House (Debate Watch Party) Join us for the first of many wonderful Pot Lucks To The Presidency! Bring something scrumptious, register to vote, chat with other BO supporters, pledge to early vote, sign up for Volunteer shifts and learn our plan to win Barack the White House from right here in Broward County! It is the 2 story building in the back left, enter through the door on the north side. GLBT GOTV Center (Wilton Manors, FL) - 2040 N. Dixie Hwy - Wilton Manors -
Friday, September 26 at 8:15 PM.

Fort Report
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-When we deny rights, we give up rights
By forbidding gay and lesbian residents from either marrying or adopting children, Florida law bans them from forming families - at least legally recognized ones. Think about that, and tell me it's not the most outrageous civil rights violation inflicted on any group of citizens in our state.

-Geoff Oldfather: Foley should pay penance
Mark Foley wants absolution. When a two-year investigation into his sexually charged text messages to House pages was closed last week, he "prayed for forgiveness."


Delray Beach
Join us this coming Friday evening and watch Barack Obama go up against John McCain in the first debate of this Presidential election.
Sure, you could watch it on CNN at home, but, when you are in a large comfortable, air conditioned room with your fellow Democrats with the debate being projected on a large movie screen and as many of your friends as you can bring along with you... the comments, cheers and gasps from the audience will help to make this the most exciting political event you've been to in a long time. As always the freshly popped pop corn is free and there are plenty of snacks and beverages available... Every month, the Palm Beach Democratic Party shows excellent documentaries that inform while they entertain and inspire activism. There is room for 200 of us, so, get pumped-up and bring plenty of your friends to watch the debate with us. Then in future months, please come back for our critically acclaimed Movie Night series. Doors will open at 7pm and the event will start at 7:30pm. Those who show up at the beginning will help to decide f we will watch the debate "warm up" on CNN or see a short, powerful documentary before the debate starts at 9pm. The debate will end at 10:30pm and for those who want to see the pundits commentary following the debate, we will show that too. There will be free popcorn and plenty of other snacks and beverages but feel free to bring your own if you so choose. Thanks in advance for your support! I look forward to seeing you.
Rick Neuhoff

Last chance to register to vote!
In less than two weeks, an important deadline in Florida will pass -- the last chance to register to vote.
Supporters across the state have helped build this campaign for change with hard work. Every day, groups of volunteers have walked neighborhoods, university campuses, and community festivals -- all to bring more people into our political process by registering new voters. Registering voters has been one of our top priorities -- it is crucial to winning Florida for Barack and Democrats up and down the ticket. But Monday, October 6th, is the final day to register new voters, and we need to make sure all of our friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family are registered. Our team recorded a special video showing how easy it is to get involved and register new voters. Watch the video and learn how you can make a difference in Florida this weekend:

Fort Report
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-State Senators demand transparency in Alligator Alley lease talks
Florida Sens. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres and Burt Saunders, R-Naples, will hold a press conference on Friday to discuss enforcing transparency in the Florida Department of Transportation's plans to lease Alligator Alley.

-Group pressures Crist to stop 'dirty tricks'
Progress Florida today has begun a statewide petition drive urging Gov. Charlie Crist to prevent efforts to "confuse and disenfranchise voters this election." At issue is a mailer, first reported by the St. Petersburg Times, that Republicans sent asking voters to double-check their "unconfirmed" party affiliations while asking for money. A letter signed by John McCain tells the Democrats: "We have you registered as a Republican."

-New voter registration overloads state elections office
Fueled by a historic presidential campaign, a wave of new voter registrations has swamped the Florida elections office - and prompted state officials to turn to counties for a lifeline.,0,2141179.story


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - September 25, 2008

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

Washington Post
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-D.C. Aims to Publicize City's HIV-AIDS Epidemic
The District will embark on a large-scale "social marketing" campaign to publicize the facts of its staggering HIV-AIDS epidemic and the plans to help curb it, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said today.

Miami Herald
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-Fans react as Clay Aiken reveals that he's gay
The revelation that Clay Aiken is gay hasn't fazed Simon Cowell. [...] The "American Idol" judge reacted in typically sarcastic form, telling the entertainment news show "Extra": "Wow. That's a shock. It's like being told Santa Claus isn't real. Unbelievable." Getting serious, Cowell said: "Good for him. If he said it, it's the right thing for him. ... I don't think anyone cares. Let's face it. It's 2008. You know. Who cares?" [...] Kevin Jennings, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, said he hopes Aiken's announcement will help promote tolerance for families headed by gay parents. "If you're gay, once you have a kid, it's everybody's business, whether you want it to be or not," Jennings said. "All of our members who are gay parents say that what they didn't anticipate was as soon as they had a kid, staying in the closet was impossible. Because what do you say when you go to parents' night?" The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation also applauded Aiken's public admission. [...] Aiken, who considers himself a born-again Christian, said he knows he may turn off some fans with his admission and his decision to have a child outside traditional marriage.

Go to this link for the following articles:

-Religious leaders call for fast in support of gay marriage ban
Hundreds of pastors have called on their congregations to fast and pray for passage of a ballot measure in November that would put an end to gay marriage in California.

-Besen: No more gay Republicans
Until now, I have always thought there was a place for the Log Cabin Republicans within the GLBT movement. There was a need for a group that could advocate from inside the belly of the beast and do the dirty work that few intellectually honest people wanted to do. The logic behind this organization was that it made more sense to fight for the soul of the Republican Party than run away and support the Democrats - which members of this organization have traditionally disagreed with on fiscal and national security matters.

-Gay man shot on Baltimore street
A gay Baltimore man is in critical but stable condition after being shot in what police say is a suspected hate crime. Police say the victim, whose name is being withheld for his own security, was walking with his partner when they approached by a man on a bicycle.

The Advocate
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-McInerney Family Seeks Firing of Public Defender; Court Representative Appointed
A California judge Tuesday appointed a guardian to protect the interests of 14-year-old Brandon McInerney, the accused killer of openly gay 15-year-old classmate Lawrence King, the Ventura County Star reports. The move came after McInerney's family said it wanted to fire the public defender's office, which is currently representing McInerney, in favor of a private law firm that has reportedly agreed to defend the case for $1.

-New Study Puts Cost of Federal DP Benefits at $43.5 Million;
Senate Holds Hearing
A new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA has found that providing domestic-partner benefits to federal employees in a same-sex relationship would add $43.5 million to the federal budget in the first year of coverage and about $675 million over the course of the next decade.

-Gay Survivor Spills a Reality Secret
Twenty-nine-year-old Charlie Herschel, who makes his reality-TV debut on Survivor: Gabon Thursday night, was a confidant of Clay Aiken's before Aiken decided to come out of the closet this week. Here, Charlie talks to The Advocate about their friendship, impending television fame, and how he managed to take seven weeks leave from his New York law firm to film in Africa.

-The Right Hook
With no foreign policy credentials, next to no national profile, and having served in the statehouse for less than two years, Palin has such a thin record -- both legislatively and in terms of public statements -- that it's difficult to predict just what sort of vice president she might soon become. As for issues affecting gay Americans, there's only a handful of legal decisions -- made early in her tenure as governor -- that can help us divine where she stands.

Marriage Equality News
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-Poll: Same-sex marriage ban not wooing voters
Link: San Francisco Chronicle
Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, is in dire straits, with 55 percent of likely voters opposed and 41 percent in favor of the ban. Making it even tougher for the measure's supporters, only 4 percent of those surveyed were undecided. "That 55 percent looks pretty strong," Baldassare said. "Now the supporters not only have to convince the undecided voters, but they also have to convince people who already have decided to vote no."

-Film: "Saving Marriage"
Link: On Top Magazine
Before Del Martin and Phillis Lyon became the first gay couple to marry in California and Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's picture perfect gay wedding landed on the cover of People magazine, there was gay marriage in Massachusetts. Saving Marriage documents the first big win for gay marriage advocates in the United States - and the fight that followed to keep it legal in the State.

-Federal Office of Personnel Management opposes domestic partnership benefits bill
Link: Government Executive
A top official at the Office of Personnel Management told a congressional panel on Wednesday that extending federal health and retirement benefits to the domestic partners of same-sex couples could lead to insurance fraud. Howard Weizmann, OPM deputy director, said the agency opposes a bill (S. 2521) offering such benefits to gay and lesbian federal employees' partners because OPM requires state-issued marriage certificates to prove that heterosexual couples are married in case of a question or dispute -- and no comparable documentation exists for many same-sex couples. He said OPM would have to rely on sworn affidavits from couples in long-term committed relationships, and that some might not report the end of a relationship to keep insurance benefits.

Pink News - UK
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-Bosnia must respect gay rights to join EU say MEPs
The European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights has condemned the violence at the Sarajevo Queer Festival yesterday as "cowardly behaviour."

-Public bodies told to embrace equality ahead of new legislation
Police authorities, health trusts and care homes for the elderly should start working to promote equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people, a government official has said.

-Serbian official praises police response to gay festival violence
An independent ombudsman that protects the rights of citizens and controls the work of government agencies in Serbia has defended the rights of gay people to hold public gatherings.

-London professor condemns fundamentalists for misinterpreting his research
A leading British academic has spoken out after his work into homosexuality and depression was presented as proof that gay people are mentally disordered.

-Website for gay men newly diagnosed with HIV launched
A new interactive website aims to tackle the isolation many gay men feel when they are first diagnosed as HIV+. 'What next?' is the first web resource of its kind in the UK.

-Czech vote on discrimination bill delayed until after elections
A key parliamentary vote that would bring the Czech Republic into line with other EU nations has been delayed.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Media Reporting on Palin's LGBT Record Misses the Mark
by Cindi | GLAAD Blog
Despite Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's clearly stated opposition to providing spousal benefits to same-sex couples, mainstream news media have been reporting her 2006 veto of such a bill as a sign of her support for LGBT people. The Associated Press, in an August 29th article, wrote: She brings a strong anti-abortion stance to the ticket and opposes gay marriage-constitutionally banned in Alaska before her time-but exercised a veto that essentially granted benefits to gay state employees and their partners.

-We Made It-The Equality Ride Will Roll Out
Your Ongoing Support Will Be Crucial as 18 Riders
Travel to 15 Schools Over The Course of 7 Weeks
Katie HigginsToday Soulforce came together and lifted the Equality Ride up like never before. As one of the many people who has been working on this Equality Ride day and night, I cannot tell you how scary it was to wake up one morning and realize that it may all be gone by day's end. But YOU stood up and did not let this inspiring chance to empower young adults slip away.

-Family Equality Council on Clay Aiken
The following can be attributed to Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director for the Family Equality Council.
""Much like Rosie O'Donnell, the announcement that Clay Aiken is gay reinforces a simple reality: the American public can no longer say it Does not know a gay or lesbian parent. Clay Aiken's desire to raise a child in an open and honest manner will make his life, and his son's, all the better. We hope he and his son find all the happiness they deserve, and the Family Equality Council will work toward the day that Clay and Parker Foster Aiken can enjoy the same rights as other American families."

-Has Sarah Palin Been Picked as the Titular Head of the Coming Police State?
By Naomi Wolf | Huffington Post | AlterNet
Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah "Evita" Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state. You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand "Palin Power." A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections - but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control. Remember, Russia has Presidents; Russia holds elections. Dictators and gangs of thugs all over the world hold elections. It means nothing. When a cabal has seized power you can have elections and even presidents, but you don't have freedom.

-Methane 'Fart' from the Earth Poses Enormous Global Warming Risk
By Steve Connor | The Independent UK| AlterNet
The first evidence that millions of tons of a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere from beneath the Arctic seabed has been discovered by scientists. The Independent has been passed details of preliminary findings suggesting that massive deposits of sub-sea methane are bubbling to the surface as the Arctic region becomes warmer and its ice retreats. Underground stores of methane are important because scientists believe their sudden release has in the past been responsible for rapid increases in global temperatures, dramatic changes to the climate, and even the mass extinction of species. Scientists aboard a research ship that has sailed the entire length of Russia's northern coast have discovered intense concentrations of methane - sometimes at up to 100 times background levels - over several areas covering thousands of square miles of the Siberian continental shelf.

-Rape, Torture and Humiliation in Women's Prisons: A Global State of Crisis
By Lys Anzia | Women News Network | AlterNet
"The strategy used in women's prisons now is one of humiliation rather than rehabilitation," said Jane Evelyn Atwood in her 2007 Amnesty International video documentary, "Too Much Time." For nine years, Atwood photographed and documented the conditions for women in 40 women's prisons worldwide including the US, Europe and Eastern Europe. In numerous locations around

the world the plight of women in prison is going unheeded.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Young men attack gay festival in Bosnia
Bosnian police clashed on Wednesday with young men attacking the country's first gay festival in Sarajevo. Police said at least eight people were injured when attackers dragged some people from vehicles and beat others in the street. A policeman was also injured.

-Link to BBC video report from Sarajevo in Bosnia

-Sexual cleansing in Iraq
Islamist deaths squads are hunting down gay Iraqis and summarily executing them
by Peter Tatchell
Some of the links in this article will take you to sites containing images of violence which you may find disturbing
The "improved" security situation in Iraq is not benefiting all Iraqis, especially not those who are gay. Islamist death squads are engaged in a homophobic killing spree with the active encouragement of leading Muslim clerics, such as Moqtada al-Sadr, as Newsweek recently revealed. One of these clerics, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a fatwa urging the killing of lesbians and gays in the "most severe way possible". The short film, Queer Fear - Gay Life, Gay Death in Iraq, produced by David Grey for Village Film, documents the tragic fates of a several individual gay Iraqis. You can view it here. Watch and weep. It is a truly poignant and moving documentary about the terrorisation and murder of Iraqi lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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$50,000 gift jump-starts training, networking and grants program
Unprecedented support will strengthen LGBT online movement Blogger Michael Rogers today announced the formation of the National LGBT Blogger and Citizen Journalist Initiative to support training and grants for the country's leading and emerging online voices. The program, established with a leadership gift of $50,000 from Jonathan Lewis, will bring together the online world with traditional organizations throughout the country. To date, over $70,000 has been committed to the Initiative.

-Judge Who Used Sex Device in Court Disbarred
The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday disbarred a former judge who served prison time for using a sexual device while presiding over trials. Former Creek County District Judge Donald Thompson, 61, was accused of using a "penis pump" in court and convicted in June 2006 on four counts of indecent exposure. Thompson was released in April after serving 20 months of a four-year prison term and has had to register as a sex offender. He was suspended from the bar association in late 2006.

-Looking past the "Down Low:" New research
EDITOR'S NOTE: Earlier this month, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report from the HIV Incidence Surveillance System that identified several U.S. subpopulations as being at increased risk for contracting HIV. The report confirmed that black men who have sex with men, including those who also have sex with women, were among those at highest risk. Indiana University sexual health expert Brian Dodge has conducted research involving bisexually active men, and he co-edited a special section of the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, available now, that addresses this important issue.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The popular media in the U.S. have focused too much on moral issues surrounding black bisexual men who do not disclose their same-sex behaviors to female lovers, otherwise known as men "on the Down Low," with this focus creating a stigma that interferes with effective public health strategies, says Indiana University sexual health expert Brian Dodge.

-Black leaders organize for gay marriage ban
Could this be what puts the proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage over the top?, the group pushing the amendment, says African-American leaders and pastors from across the Tampa Bay area will make a "major announcement" at 12:30 p.m. news conference today at Beulah Baptist Institutional Church in Tampa. "The press event will feature local leaders and special national guests," a flier reads. A new St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9 poll shows 58 percent of overall voters approve the proposal to define marriage as between a man and woman, just short of the required 60 percent. Support among African-Americans is even higher, 65 percent, reflecting more conservative views toward homosexuality.

New York, NY - On October 6th at 7:00 pm, the Ali Forney Center will host its first annual "A Place at the Table" event to benefit its ongoing work with New York City's homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. The event will take place at the Chelsea Art Museum and is co-hosted by Honorary Chairs Carson Kressley, Alan Cumming and Justin Bond. The evening includes a cocktail reception, an auction and a performance by renowned comedienne Sandra Bernhard. VIP guests will also enjoy a champagne reception and Open House at the Ali Forney Day Center.


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NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - September 25, 2008

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

New York Times
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-Bush and Candidates to Meet on Bailout
Sense of Urgency From White House
President Bush invited the presidential candidates to the White House for talks on the economic crisis and called on Americans to support the recovery plan.

-For the Nominees, New Roles and New Risks
Congress looked to John McCain and Barack Obama for political cover on the financial rescue. Above, a media center at the site of Friday's scheduled debate.

-Absence of Leadership
It took President Bush until Wednesday night to address the American people about the nation's financial crisis, and pretty much all he had to offer was fear itself.

-Ten States With a Plan
Until Washington takes more responsibility for addressing global warming, the states should take the lead.

-Palin's American Exception
Sarah Palin loves the word "exceptional." She may be onto something in her batty way: the election is very much about American exceptionalism.

-Bush Aides Linked to Talks on Interrogations
Senior White House officials were central in discussions on using harsh interrogation techniques, documents show. [...] In meetings during that period, the officials debated specific interrogation methods that the C.I.A. had proposed to use on Qaeda operatives held at secret C.I.A. prisons overseas, the documents show. The meetings were led by Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, and attended by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Attorney General John Ashcroft and other top administration officials.

-North Koreans Bar Inspectors at Nuclear Site
The move left the country on the verge of restarting a nuclear weapons program whose shutdown was portrayed as a significant diplomatic achievement. [...] Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that the United States still hoped to preserve a hard-won agreement that called for the North to dismantle its nuclear reactor. But North Korea has refused to resume talks, and no new ones are planned.

-Former trade unionist elected as SAfrica president
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -- A former trade unionist and freedom fighter was elected South Africa's president on Thursday, assuming what many believe will be a brief caretaker role after Thabo Mbeki was ousted in a power struggle within the governing party.

-As Homes Are Lost, Fears That Votes Will Be, Too
More than a million people have lost their homes through foreclosure in the last two years, and many of them are still registered to vote at the address of the home they lost. Now election officials and voting rights groups are struggling to prevent thousands of them from losing their vote when they go to the polls in November.

-Washington Mutual May Be on Block
Federal regulators are moving quickly to broker a deal for Washington Mutual as the savings-and-loan comes under mounting financial pressure, according to people briefed on the talks.

-Iraq Passes Provincial Elections Law
BAGHDAD - After months of negotiation, Iraq's Parliament passed a crucial election law on Wednesday, but only by setting aside for future debate the most divisive political issues.

-A Heroine From the Brothels
Sex trafficking is widely acknowledged to be the 21st-century version of slavery, but governments accept it partly because it seems to defy solution., [...] The perfect counterpoint to that fatalism is Somaly Mam, one of the bravest and boldest of those foreign visitors pouring into New York City this month. Somaly is a Cambodian who as a young teenager was sold to the brothels herself and now runs an organization that extricates girls from forced prostitution. Now Somaly has published her inspiring memoir, "The Road of Lost Innocence," in the United States, and it offers some lessons for tackling the broader problem.

Washington Post
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-Candidates' Performances a Matter of Debate
Joe Lockhart was watching the instant feedback from focus groups during the final presidential debate four years ago, and the reaction showed that his candidate, John Kerry, was beating President Bush.

-Benefits for Same-Sex Partners Focus of Senate Hearing
For Brendan Doyle, it's a matter of equal pay for equal work. Doyle, 57, has been in a committed same-sex relationship for 21 years. As a high-level information management civil servant at the Environmental Protection Agency, he pays $120 a month for health insurance. His self-employed partner dishes out $700 for insurance with no prescription coverage.

-North Korea's Reverse
The framework for dismantling the world's most dangerous nuclear program is

-Credibility Test for Congress
In the greatest crisis to confront the American economic system in three-quarters of a century, it is notable that the leaders of the two elected branches of the federal government have not been calling the signals.

-First Debate's Fate Unclear As Obama Resists McCain's Call to Postpone
Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama will abandon the campaign trail today for a bipartisan meeting at the White House, as the financial crisis gripping the nation roils the presidential race and leaves the first debate between the nominees in limbo.

-Don't Lend Despots the Veneer of Peace
Five religious organizations have invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be guest of honor at a dinner this week in New York. While these groups may have the best of intentions, the result will be to burnish the Iranian leader's legitimacy and help cleanse his reputation as a purveyor of hate.

Wall Street Journal
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-Joint Statement of Sens. Obama and McCain on the Financial Crisis
Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain issued the following joint statement on the financial crisis, about six hours after agreeing to do so:
Joint Statement of Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain
"The American people are facing a moment of economic crisis. No matter how this began, we all have a responsibility to work through it and restore confidence in our economy. The jobs, savings, and prosperity of the American people are at stake. "Now is a time to come together - Democrats and Republicans - in a spirit of cooperation for the sake of the American people. The plan that has been submitted to Congress by the Bush Administration is flawed, but the effort to protect the American economy must not fail. This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country."
* * *
In addition, Sen. Obama appended the following statement of principles he wants in the legislation, and asked Sen. McCain to support them as well. Obama campaign officials say Sen. McCain's campaign rhetoric suggests he agrees with the principles. I believe that several core principles should guide this legislation. First, there must be oversight. We should not hand over a blank check to the discretion of one man. We support an independent, bipartisan board to ensure accountability and complete transparency. Second, we need to protect taxpayers. There should be a path for taxpayers to recover their money, and to turn a profit if Wall Street prospers. Third, no Wall Street executive should profit from taxpayer dollars. This plan cannot be a welfare program for CEOs whose greed and irresponsibility has contributed to this crisis. Fourth, we must help families who are struggling to stay in their homes. We cannot bail out Wall Street without helping millions of families facing foreclosure on Main Street. Fifth, we both agree that this financial rescue package should move on its own without any earmarks or other measures. We have different views about the need for other action, but this must be a clean bill. This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe. This is not a Democratic problem or a Republican problem - this is an American problem. Now, we must find an American solution.

-McCain, Obama Still Close in Poll
The race remains a dead heat amid the financial turmoil, with 48% favoring Obama and 46% favoring McCain, according to a new WSJ/NBC poll.

-Poll Shows Doubts About Palin
The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows nearly half of voters harbor doubts that Republican vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin is qualified to be president.

-Offshore-Drilling Ban to Expire
Congress will let a decades-old ban on drilling off the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts expire at the end of the month, in an effort to kick the partisan fight over oil drilling beyond the Nov. 4 election. House Democratic leaders passed a stopgap budget bill Wednesday that doesn't extend the offshore-drilling ban, bowing to Republicans who have scored election-year points with voters by calling for more drilling to counter rising oil prices. The Senate is expected to approve the bill, without extending the drilling ban.

-The First Debate Could Be Decisive
Presidential debates are important -- and the first debate is the most important of all, establishing an arc of opinion that persists unless jarred loose by big mistakes or dramatic events. So whether this year's first presidential debate between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain is Friday night or postponed a few days, it may be the fall's most critical event. In the nine first debates since 1960, the perceived winner of the debate averaged a 4.2 point net swing in the Gallup poll.

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-Delta, Northwest shareholders to vote on combination today
With little doubt about the outcome, Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. prepared to make their case to shareholders on why they should approve a combination that would create the world's biggest carrier and swallow whole an 82-year-old company in the process.,0,2997582.story

Fort Report
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-A look at the Electoral College map
An analysis of the state-by-state race to 270 electoral votes between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

-Friday's debate: A bizarre game of chicken
McCain is now unlikely to show up for the first scheduled showdown with Obama. Master stroke or campaign in meltdown? John McCain is once again proving himself to be the fastest gun in the West -- the presidential candidate most likely to shoot up the saloon on a Friday night. Or, in this case, the first presidential debate slated for Friday night, in Oxford, Miss. With a flair for the dramatic, McCain suddenly announced Wednesday afternoon that he was suspending his campaign (attack ads included) because of the financial crisis -- and called for postponing the Mississippi Mixer "until this crisis is resolved."


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