Sunday, May 29, 2016

Antiquarium's Tom Rudloff dead at 76; Omaha institution a pillar of support for artists and musicians

Rudloff, circa 1970s; photo via estate of David Sink. Sink, who
passed away in 2012, once drolly suggested that Rudloff install
a huge neon sign atop the Antiquarium, alternately flashing the
Update 4: Video of Tom's memorial service in Omaha has been added to the bottom of this post. A Brownville memorial celebrating Tom's life will be held Sunday, August 18th at his store there at 309 Water St., at 1 pm. It is a potluck.
Update 3: There WILL be a memorial service for Thomas F. Rudloff at John A. Gentleman Mortuary at 1010 N 72nd St. in Omaha on Friday, June 3, 2016.
     Family will receive friends two hours earlier than previously announced, starting at 2, not 4 pm. Service to begin at 5 pm. 
No reception will be held on June 3.
     A second memorial service, followed by a reception, will be held in Brownville, NE, at a later date, TBD.
     We'll post that information as soon as we receive it.

Several close friends of Tom Rudloff, cofounder, with his sister, Judy, of Omaha's Antiquarium Bookstore, have informed AKSARBENT that he passed away this morning of heart failure following pneumonia contracted after chemotherapy for a third bout with cancer.
     His used bookstore opened in 1969 in what is now downtown's Eugene Leahy Mall, moving later to 1215 Harney on the northern edge of Omaha's Old Market to make room for the mall, and, in 2006, was moved to an empty school in  Brownville, Nebraska.
     The Antiquarium's huge stock of used books beckoned generations of Omahans and was augmented by a second-floor art gallery named for sculptor Bill Farmer.
     The store's record shop grew to fill the building's basement. Dave Sink, its manager, became a prime behind-the-scenes mover and local legend in his own right in the development of Omaha as a center of Indie Rock and in the rise of such acts as Simon Joyner, Bright Eyes and the brilliant solo career of Conor Oberst.
     After building the store's record shop into a formidable attraction in its own right, Sink passed away in January, 2012.
     In the 1970s, the Antiquarium, Rudloff, and Omaha itself were the benefactors of an Eastern Airlines "Wings of Man' radio commercial narrated by celebrated film director Orson Welles.
     AKSARBENT was passed a cassette tape of the ad years ago and added the following video (in which Welles' name is misspelled in a subtitle):

At 2:06:55 in the video below, Rudloff explains how Young & Rubican, Eastern Airline's ad agency, picked the Antiquarium to be featured in its nationwide radio ads and how it took fifteen years for him to be paid for the release he signed for appearing in the advertisement.

     In 2014, the son of the late Luther Jones, Atiim, perceptively interviewed Rudloff over the course of two hours about the history of his bookstore and art gallery.

     Some high points from the interview, which doesn't really get started until the 14:44 mark, include Rudloff explaining why he moved the Antiquarium to Brownville, how he fell into the book business, the fact that he started the Farmer gallery to save Bill Farmer's art from Farmer himself, and why he decided not to become a priest.
     Here's how he wanted to be remembered:
You know, I'm not sure that my view of how I want to be remembered is more important than how people choose to remember me. And for that reason, I'm not sure that I have an answer to that. Obviously there's none of us that does not want to be liked. And always, it comes down to what point do we choose not to do x, y and z even though they're not going to like us when we don't do x, y and z. I think, because of my enormous admiration for Bill [sculptor Farmer] and [wife] Marge, I think what I would probably have to say — and I'm not giving this full throat — I would like to say that I would like to be remembered as someone who at least tried to accept people the way they were.
A Personal Aside:
     AKSARBENT has patronized the Antiquarium for 30 years and has spent many happy hours there listening to the discourse over art, politics, books, and more politics presided over by the erudite Rudloff who spoke English, French, German and Spanish. Sports and music were the province of the downstairs record shop kingdom, ruled by the ascerbically witty Sink, a devotee not only of popular music, but of baseball lore and history, and a business mentor to many local bands, whose efforts he somehow was able to persuade John Peel to play on the BBC's Radio 1 "Sessions" broadcasts that Peel hosted.
     As for Rudloff, music was not his first, second, third, or fourth love. Once during a game of "Who am I?" AKSARBENT chose Renee Fleming, causing a stumped Tom to say, "Well, who ever heard of HER?" and, in response, a book-browsing woman called out from the second floor stacks: "I HAVE!"
     Of the thousands of posts AKSARBENT has made, this is by far our most reluctant effort, as the death which necessitated it has made our world smaller and less joyful. Most of the friends and acquaintances we made in Omaha since moving here from Lincoln in the late 1980s were of people met at the Antiquarium or their friends. It would be impossible for us to estimate the synergies forged, relationships born, and art, political and entrepreneurial alliances made at Tom's "business."
     He was socialist in outlook, not just politically, but personally: his lifelong generosity kept the wolf from the doors of many people who had nowhere else to turn.
     He never bought any goods or services from a big box store if he could get them from someone he knew personally, even if it was more expensive that way. The implicit lesson — keep your money local; support your friends and community — is one he underscored every day of his life, always by example rather by pontificating, though he never shied from the latter on other subjects.
     If you have an anecdote about Tom or a memory of the Antiquarium, please share it below in the comments (allow up to 24 hours for your comment to appear, pending review by our obscenity/libel/spam gatekeepers).
     Below: Memorial service for Tom held June 3rd, 2016 in Omaha.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Father Knows Best jerked our chain again today

The episode was The Great Experiment, first broadcast in December of 1958, in which, according to IMBD, paterfamilias Jim:
...attends a meeting where the speaker's topic is to get more out of life and find out what is going on their [sic] world. Jim becames enthused and tries to pass this philosophy on to his family...
We ask you: Does the skeevy schemer in the middle
look like a relative of Perez Hilton or what?
     Good enough. Anyway Jim Anderson's break-out-of-your-comfort-zone marching orders to son Bud involved a map to a door with a secret knock code, which describes either a speakeasy in the 20s or, in the 50s, a gay bar!
    Naturally Bud took along his hotter best bud, Kippy, and both were admitted by a nerd with a evil leer who promptly relocked the door.
     Fabulous! We really liked where this seemed to be going...
     Alas, it turned out to be some kind of lame secret math club where a handsome teacher got Kip and Bud going... about the math involved in calculating the sun, solar flares, distances from earth and zzzzz.
     We've never seen such a terrific setup wasted on so cruel a bait and switch. That episode where Bud flirted a little with Dad before heading out to the baths had a much better payoff.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Here's a talent you'll never see at a damn Trump beauty pageant

Why don't girls ever think of stuff like this? What's WRONG with them? We invite your comments and explanations below. In fact, we just trolled for them, didn't we?

That one time when Dagwood rattled Blondie with a reference to dudes making out

It may have been indirect, but it was unmistakable. Dagwood even managed to shock the dog, Daisy, with the only known homosexual reference in the history of that comic strip. Betcha Jake Gyllenhaal never dreamed Brokeback Mountain would permeate Americana that effectively.

Peter Thiel's creepy apologist: Dilbert creator Scott Adams

Peter Thiel, the greed-is-good cofounder of PayPal and financial Godfather of Facebook, on whose board he sits, was just outed as funding Hulk Hogan's suit against Gawker, which outed Thiel as gay in 2007 to a much wider circle than those he had already informed.
     Print and Internet media are not amused. As the story blew up today, headlines and tweets like the following, abounded:
  • Get ready for a serious chilling effect if billionaire funders begin bankrolling cases against media companies
  • "Thiel’s tactics in going after Gawker are very, very frightening for anybody who believes in freedom of speech"
  • The First Amendment exists precisely to stop people like Peter Thiel 
  • Secretly taking out a website because it was mean to you is "philanthropy."  
  • Thiel is a Trump supporter. He seems to be doing exactly what Trump has said he wishes he could do more w/ the media
  • Wow. Peter Thiel didn’t look for lawsuits to fund, he funded lawyers to look for Gawker victims to file lawsuits.
     So at the end of the day it is gay: 1, gay: zip. (Nick Denton, Gawker's publisher, is also gay.)
     At least, reprehensible as it may have been, Thiel's revenge was within the law. Which brings us to Dilbert Creator Scott Adams' blog post about the Thiel revelation:

     Adams' sinister innuendo doesn't specify legal or illegal means, which is one of the intimidating advantages of making vague threats, isn't it?
     Adams, who frequently lauds Donald Trump though he said in 2015 he wouldn't "endorse" anyone this election, had more to say about making the world a better place by doing whatever he could to "destroy" publications (Salon, Huffpo and Gawker) that he thinks wronged him.
     Here's Keith Olberman ridiculing Thiel's tax evasion scheme, "seasteading," a few years ago.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Quick. Name a question your state googles more than any other state

In Massachusetts, home of many elite private universities, the question is: "How many beers in a keg?" In Texas, home of the most politically stupid electorate outside neighboring Oklahoma (Is Obama Muslim?), the question is "Where is the Internet?" (Tell them it's in Massachusetts at Harvard University, run by drunks.)
     How did Estately, a real estate search firm, find all this out? Methodology here.
     In the Cornhusker State, folks google "What is Tinder?" more than any other state because everybody in Nebraska is gay and uses Grindr. HAHAHAHA.

Brad Paisley parodies antiTrans HB2 bathroom bill

The NFL, 160 companies, and dozens of celebrities have spoken out against HB2. Many entertainers, like Bruce Sprinsteen, Ringo Star and Jimmy Buffet will no longer perform in North Carolina. (Despite his ridicule of HB2 Paisley has not cancelled an upcoming performance in the Tar Heel State.
     Country stars, as a group, have been comparatively reluctant to mock antagonists of their gay fans.
     Exhibit A: Dolly Parton, an icon in some gay quarters, has not once publicly opposed any of the various bills in the legislature of her state targeting LGBTs.
     The Dollywood mogul, who kicks off her current tour in Greensboro, NC, had this to say about antigay legislation (via Queerty):
     When pressed for her reaction to the current wave of anti-LGBT legislation in states like North Carolina and Mississippi, Parton repeated her intention to play all the shows on her 2016 tour. “Through the years everybody has known that I have an open, generous heart and I believe that all people should be treated with respect,” she reiterated. “I really don’t like to get caught up into controversial issues, and I certainly don’t think it’s fair to the public. I can address whatever my thoughts are, if need be, from the stage.”

Monday, May 23, 2016

Hospital wheels dying patient outside to allow his two horses a farewell

Roberto Gonzalez, shot and paralyzed in Vietnam in 1970, nevertheless became a horse rancher. Here, his two horses, Ringo and Sugar, say goodbye.

CBS reports on firing of Padres contractor who sandbagged and humiliated gay chorus

After the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus assembled on the field, a taped rendition of the national anthem was played, leaving the players nothing to do except be escorted off the field to jeers from the crowd.

After assembling on the field a taped rendition of the national anthem was played, leaving the players nothing to do except be escorted off the field to jeers from the crowd.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Biggest NE newspaper worried antiLGBT vow by state GOP may cause NCAA to move College World Series

A 2012 drive around the College World Series venue:

     The College World Series, due to begin June 18th, has been held in Omaha for the last 66 years. In 2009, the NCAA and College World Series of Omaha, Inc. announced a 25-year contract extension keeping the CWS in Omaha through 2035.
     But today, the Omaha World-Herald wondered, in a front page story whether the hostility toward LGBTs displayed by the state's GOP at its convention last LGBTweek could change that. Last week, the Nebraska GOP added a plank to its platform last weekend calling for a law restricting transgender people to restrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their birth certificate gender.
     In an April 27th press release, headlined "Board of Governors approves anti-discrimination process for championships bids," the organization declared "Hosts must demonstrate environment will safeguard dignity of participants, spectators." Unlike North Carolina and Mississippi, Nebraska has no laws enabling "religious liberty" enabled discrimination of LGBTs. On the other hand, unlike neighboring Iowa, the state has no laws protecting LGBTs from discrimination. Omaha's municipal ordinance now protects LGBTs from job and public accommodations discrimination, but not from housing discrimination, a loophole supported by the current GOP mayor of Omaha, Jean Stothert, who was on the city council during passage of the ordinance change and who was hostile to any LGBT antibias measures.

The World-Herald aired its concern thusly, today:
     Passing a transgender bathroom law could jeopardize Nebraska’s long history with the College World Series and its hopes of hosting future volleyball championships and basketball regionals.
     The Nebraska Republican Party called for such a law at its state convention last weekend.
     But the proposal could collide with a new NCAA policy opposing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
     The college sports organization’s board of governors adopted the policy April 27, after North Carolina and some other states passed laws allowing people to be refused services based on being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
The Herald's alarm (usually economic and rarely driven by social justice) extended to:
     ...TD Ameritrade Park, which is slated to host the College World Series through 2035, and the CenturyLink Center, which has hosted three NCAA volleyball championships, plus volleyball and men’s basketball regional tournaments. CenturyLink will host the regional finals of the men’s basketball tournament in 2018.
     Lincoln’s Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Devaney Center have hosted some regional NCAA events as well, arranged through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
     The paper also wondered how the GOP threat would affect bidding on NCAA "tournament sites for volleyball, men’s basketball, wrestling and other sports in December."
Above: tweet from Nebraska's
Democratic Party Chairman, Vince Powers
     Governor Pete Ricketts, a foe of gay marriage in Nebraska even when he jetted to Chicago to attend his gay sister Laura's Big Gay Wedding in Illinois, is the multimillionaire scion of TD Ameritrade, which paid millions for naming rights to the College World Series venue in Omaha.
     Were the series and its attendant TV cameras, radio microphones and print reporters and photographers to move elsewhere, TD Ameritrade's return on its naming rights investment would be next to worthless.
     Despite that, Gov. Ricketts, who has never given LGBTs in Nebraska the time of day, took the following (public) stance:
     Ricketts said the NCAA policy or the potential loss of NCAA events would not affect the positions he takes.
     “They need to make rules as they see fit, but it doesn’t impact my thought processes on what we need to do here in Nebraska,” he said.

Batshit crazy GOP Sen. Kintner,
of Papillion
Reliably loose cannon State Senator Bill Kintner of Papillion told the Herald there is no reason for Nebraska to consider the NCAA policy or the possibility of losing out on hosting events when legislating.
“Economic terrorism is not a reason to make laws,” he said. “The NCAA is a bunch of left-wing loonies.”
Nate Grasz, a policy analyst for the Nebraska Family Alliance, said that the state should not bend to the NCAA policy.
“We’re well known as being welcoming, friendly and respectful to everyone,” he said. “If they (the NCAA) felt for some reason they couldn’t come here, it would be their loss.”
     This, from a representative of an organization which gathered 10,000 signatures to kill an LGBT rights ordinance in Lincoln.

     Finally, Omaha's local sketch comedy show, Omaha Live! hilariously (and impressively) weighed in on bathroom bills last night:

SNL's brilliant Clinton, Sanders sendup

This is SNL at its very, very best with talent-without-boundaries Kate McKinnon (literally) leading the way. It's as inspired an opening as we've ever seen in the history of the show. The take-no-prisoners viciousness of the Hillary vivisection is redeemed only by the writers' hilarious, infectious glee in doing so. Bernie again gets a pass, as his parody remains unfailingly affectionate.
     By the way, AKSARBENT saw another terrific parody this weekend, which you probably didn't if you don't live in Omaha. Not to worry, we have the video. Check out the hijacking of a venerable showtune in an elaborately-staged takedown of bathroom bills.

A gaspingly funny musical parody of bathroom bills

AKSARBENT doesn't usually brag on its city, but this is fantastic! We've seen nothing better anywhere on this issue. A giddy delight from start to finish. (Sample: "Lindsay Graham? So's your old man!")

Here's the original for you non-show queens, that you may better understand how cleverly Ya Got Trouble from The Music Man, was hijacked and repurposed above.

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Coweta Co., Ga prosecutors wouldn't release video of man tased to death by sheriff's deputies; the New York Times got it anyway

As we watched this revolting scene, the adjectives which came to mind were: incompetent, hot-headed, unprofessional and homicidal. The Times noted that the two sheriff's deputies employed their tasers 15 times before Mr. Sherman stopped breathing; after which, the extent of their remorse on the video was a fear voiced by one that he would lose his job. Sherman was apparently wacked out on synthetic marijuana ingested days earlier and became fearful of his surroundings.

     Neither of the Coweta Co., Georgia sheriff's deputies has been fired; in fact neither has even been suspended.
     “For four minutes and 10 seconds after he said ‘I quit,’ they still tased him and kept him on the ground,” he added. “That’s torture, and they killed him.”
     Mr. Sherman’s death was initially investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which made the evidence it collected available to the district attorney of Coweta County, Peter J. Skandalakis.
     Mr. Stewart said the prosecutor’s office told him this week that the deputies had not been suspended and were still working.

Doris Kearns Goodwin threw cold water on relationship between Honest Abe and Joshua Speed; Andrew Sullivan isn't having it

Goodwin says Speed and Lincoln slept together for three years. We've read six, seven and even nine years, but we'll take her word for it, not being historians.
The argument that he might have been gay rests on two things. One, that he slept in the same bed as his great friend Joshua Speed for three years. And second that he wrote affectionate letters to Speed, ending with “Yours forever,” or “Hope we are friends forever.” Well, as you look back in that era I can see all my guys, Seward, Stanton, Chase and Bates, they all slept in the same beds with people. It was a sense of privacy unlike what we have today. 
     She expanded on male-male customs in the 1800s here.
     Sullivan argued the contrary here:

     Lincoln's 1829 poem about a boy who married a boy is here. Don't tell Goodwin.
     AKSARBENT's favorite Lincoln story is from Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents: What Your Teachers Never Told You about ... 

Friday, May 20, 2016

The gay-hating judge Trump shortlisted for SCOTUS, called unfit for bench by Atlanta and D.C. newspapers, may have a gay porn past

The New Civil Rights Movement had this to say:
     Among the list of eleven potential Supreme Court nominees Donald Trump has just released is a federal circuit court judge who was named “the most demonstrably anti-gay judicial nominee in recent memory” by Lambda Legal when opposing his nomination by then-President George W. Bush.
     William Pryor, who now sits on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, has "made comparisons between the rights of gay people and 'prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia,'" according to the well-respected LGBT civil rights legal organization. Raw Story was the first to note the group's remarks today.
     Upon his confirmation in 2005, Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart in a statement said Pryor "has a record of blatant hostility to fairness for gay people." 
     Both the Atlanta Constitution-Journal and the Washington Post have called Pryor "unit to judge."

The AKSARBENT smoothie

We came across an old Ann Landers clipping with her second most famous recipe (I think she only published two) — the one for pound cake. I don't want to know how many calories or how much cholesterol it has (it was from the 60s) but it's delicious and bad cook proof.
     (By the way, Ann Landers' only child, Margo, a successful newspaperwoman and advice columnist in her own right, though now retired, is active on twitter. Don't follow her at @Margoandhow unless you want to bask in the wit of the sassy chick who coined the phrases "clown car" and "starter marriage.")
     Pursuant to our rediscovery of the aforementioned pound cake, we decided to publish our smoothie recipe, the result of tinkering dozens of times with ingredients we find appealing. If you make it, follow quantities slavishly and throw ingredients into the blender in the order listed for quicker, better blending:

1 good-sized carrot, cut up
1/2 of a medium, cored Jonathan or Fuji apple (don't bother to peel it), cut up
1/2 cantaloupe
1 banana (pick the biggest in your bunch, or two petite ones, but no more)
5 strawberries (5 3 mutantly large, 2 medium to large; or equivalent quantity)
1/2 bag of spinach (4 oz.)
Add milk to at least half the depth of ingredients
(If you and yours won't consume the entire amount upon completion, then use Vanilla Soy Milk, plain or lightly sweetened. Soy milk won't be curdled by the fruits and change flavor in the refrigerator.)


Randy Rainbow 'interviews' Donald Trump

When Betty Bowers looks in her rearview mirror, she probably sees Randy Rainbow gaining on her.

WV weatherman freaks out over spider on monitor

Notice how quickly and self-consciously Mr. Hughes readjusts his voice to an appropriately male broadcast register after circumstances beyond his self-control fail to escalate.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

House GOP gets 7 Republicans to switch votes to allow federal contractors to discriminate against LGBTs

Did your congressional representative vote to allow LGBT discrimination by federal contractors based on the "religious freedom" of for-profit corporations slopping at the federal trough? Find out here.

Iowa's GOP Rep. David Young was apparently among the turncoats who knuckled under to GOP pressure to sell out his gay constituents.

For Immediate Release:May 19, 2016
Contact:Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after House Republicans held a vote open to make their Members change their votes in order to defeat an amendment that would ban discrimination against LGBT Americans:
“Today, House Republicans defeated an amendment by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney that would ensure that federal contractors cannot discriminate against LGBT employees.  Several Republican Members initially cast votes in favor of Rep. Maloney’s amendment but shamefully changed their votes after it was clear the amendment would pass, leading the amendment to fail by just a single vote.  Not only did they vote against equality and inclusion, but those who switched their votes did not even have the courage to do so openly in the well of the House.  They did so quietly from the back benches, contrary to established practice that requires vote-switching to be done in person at the Clerk’s desk, and House Republican leaders held a two-minute vote open for nearly eight minutes.
“But the action they hoped would slip quietly under the radar will instead surely be heard loudly and clearly across the nation as a rallying cry to all who cherish equality, justice, and civil rights – that those who stand against the full inclusion and protection of LGBT individuals and their families ought to be called out and held accountable.  House Democrats will continue to hold them accountable for their anti-LGBT record and their actions as long as it takes to ensure that the words of our Declaration ring true across this land:  that all ‘are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’”

Oh, look: Hillary bros are rude, sexist mofos too!

And if Hillary doesn't immediately offer an abject apology to every Bernie supporter and his or her unborn progeny and beam it to every corner of the known universe, then she obviously supports this kind of abuse!

Which House members voted to allow antiLGBT bias by federal contractors?

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Here's the vote, directly from the clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Iowans may be interested in knowing that their GOP representative, David Young, was among those who knuckled under to GOP leadership pressure, selling out his gay constituents.
     In respect of Nebraska, Adrian Smith was the only House member to vote to allow antiLGBT bias among federal contractors. Republican Jeff Fortenberry and Democrat Brad Ashford voted to protect their LGBT constituents from such bias.
     Members voting "Yes" on the Maloney Amendment voted to narrow so-called "religious freedom" exemptions by corporate defense contractors.
     Members voting "No" (who prevailed by one vote) were voting to allow virtually unchecked discrimination against LGBTs on the flimsiest of pretexts. 

     Below: outraged House members register their outrage at the GOP leaderships switcheroo:


(Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents underlined)

      H R 4974      RECORDED VOTE      19-May-2016      11:32 AM
      AUTHOR(S):  Sean Maloney of New York Amendment
      QUESTION:  On Agreeing to the Amendment


---- AYES    212 ---

Bishop (GA)
Boyle, Brendan F.
Brady (PA)
Brown (FL)
Brownley (CA)
Carson (IN)
Castor (FL)
Castro (TX)
Chu, Judy
Clark (MA)
Clarke (NY)
Costello (PA)
Curbelo (FL)
Davis (CA)
Davis, Danny
Doyle, Michael F.
Emmer (MN)
Frankel (FL)
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Heck (NV)
Heck (WA)
Hurd (TX)
Jackson Lee
Johnson (GA)
Kelly (IL)
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lieu, Ted
Lujan Grisham (NM)
Luján, Ben Ray (NM)
Maloney, Carolyn
Maloney, Sean
Murphy (FL)
Price (NC)
Rice (NY)
Ryan (OH)
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Scott (VA)
Scott, David
Sewell (AL)
Smith (WA)
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Van Hollen
Wasserman Schultz
Waters, Maxine
Watson Coleman
Wilson (FL)

---- NOES    213 ---

Bishop (MI)
Bishop (UT)
Brady (TX)
Brooks (AL)
Brooks (IN)
Carter (GA)
Carter (TX)
Clawson (FL)
Collins (GA)
Collins (NY)
Davis, Rodney
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Ellmers (NC)
Franks (AZ)
Graves (GA)
Graves (LA)
Graves (MO)
Hice, Jody B.
Huizenga (MI)
Hurt (VA)
Jenkins (KS)
Jenkins (WV)
Johnson (OH)
Kelly (MS)
Kelly (PA)
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kinzinger (IL)
McMorris Rodgers
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Mooney (WV)
Murphy (PA)
Poe (TX)
Price, Tom
Rice (SC)
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rooney (FL)
Scott, Austin
Smith (MO)
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Thompson (PA)
Walters, Mimi
Weber (TX)
Webster (FL)
Wilson (SC)
Young (AK)
Young (IA)
Young (IN)

---- NOT VOTING    8 ---

Herrera Beutler
Johnson, E. B.
Johnson, Sam
Swalwell (CA)

NE AG: equal bathroom access for the transgendered would "retraumatize" sex assault victims

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson has freely and frequently tapped public money to advance his antigay agenda, filing legal action after legal action from Nebraska and in conjunction with other attorneys-general.
     His latest action was a letter sent Tuesday to federal officials vowing that his office "will do everything in its power to resist" Obama's guidelines to protect transgendered students.
     Some excerpts:
     ...Your May 13, 2016, joint guidance letter regarding transgender students, will likely create a more threatening environment to students who are prior victims of sexual exploitation...
     ...The proposed guidance puts prior sexual exploitation victims at risk for retraumatization. According to reports promulgated to the U.S. Department of Justice, one in four females under the age of 18, and one out of six males, will be sexually assaulted. Approximately 23% of those sexual assaults will be inflicted by a person under the age of 18. Sadly, the victimized child will not report the majority of these incidents to authorities. The Departments' [sic] guidance, which seeks to require schools to allow students in restrooms, locker rooms, or showers designated for members of the opposite sex, may exacerbate the traumatization of these young victims. This is not to suggest that transgender students are more likely to commit assaults...
     Nebraska's GOP governor, Pete Ricketts, piled on, urging local school boards and the state's Department of Education to reject the Obama administration's guidelines. He added that, "as a parent" he would worry if his children were using a restroom with a student of the "opposite sex."

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Violent homophobe offers to be Donald Trump's spiritual adviser

Duck Dynasty dry drunk Phil Robertson's old man sancti­mony has a nasty, violent provenance but Robertson blames that history on Satan and a permissive 60s culture — not himself — insisting that outside forces were responsible for the eight years of liquor and substance abuse in his 20s during which he savagely beat a bar owner and his wife over a rent dispute, sending them to the hospital and forcing his wife and small sons to fend for themselves while he hid in the woods of a neighboring state from the Louisiana State Patrol for four months.
     After repeatedly kicking his wife and kids out of the house, Robertson finally straightened up.
     Now, Robertson is offering his spiritual counseling services to Donald Trump, since his first choice, Ted Cruz (who attended an Iowa confab at which at least two "death to gays" preachers spoke), is presidentially indisposed for the foreseeable future.
     Here's what an Atheist husband and father thinks of Phil Robertson's version of morality.

Here's that brutal video of Hillary "lying for 13 minutes straight"; first up: gay marriage

Here's Hillary's State Department email complaining about changing
"mother and father" to parent 1 and parent 2 on passport applications
to accommodate gay parents. To read, click to enlarge.
     If you thought the outrage displayed by Sanders supporters at the Nevada Democratic Convention was brutal, you obviously haven't seen this viral video, now approaching 7 million views.
     The Hillary boosters who are twisting reality into an innuendo pretzel attempting to burn Bernie on gay marriage are not going to like the first part of this at all.
     The video comes with the following disclaimer: "This is not a pro-Trump video. Don't worry — he's next."

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Literate country songwriter Guy Clark dead at 74 of cancer

The Tennessean described Clark, a native Texan who died in Nashville this morning as:
...gravel-voiced troubadour who crafted a vast catalog of emotionally charged, intricately detailed works that illuminated and expanded the literary possibilities of popular song.
     The obituary mentioned that his work was recorded by Johnny Cash, Ricky Skaggs, Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Bobby Bare, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson "and legions of others."
     In the "others" category would be Clark's longtime friend, the great Jerry Jeff Walker, whose cover of L.A. Freeway is probably the best known of all Clark's songs. Here is Walker performing it:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Is there a subtext in that billboard, Phonecia, or is it just happy to see us?

Dog whistle or not, control freak Mayor Stothert must have approved it, right?
     Regardless, boys and girls, know this: if you're LGBT and kicked out of your apartment solely for that reason by a homophobic landlord, you needn't bother calling the Omaha Human Rights and Relations Department, because you're not covered.
     Across the river, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, you would be, so yeah, in Omaha, in housing, for LGBTs, fairness really is a fairy tale.

Big Pharma wants you to think only bad actors are price gouging. Don't believe it

The PR narrative of the pharmaceutical industry is that bad actors like Turing Pharmaceuticals' greed poster boy/CEO Martin Shkreli are giving their business a bad name. But Reuters recently reported that:
     Prices for four of the nation's top 10 drugs increased more than 100 percent since 2011, Reuters found. Six others went up more than 50 percent.
Now, there is evidence of cruel price gouging on naloxone — an antidote to opioid overdoses. (The DEA says that half of the 46,471 drug-related deaths in 2013 were caused by prescription painkillers and heroin.)

      Five versions of naloxone are now on the market — no failure there — and still, its price keeps rising.
      The list price of Kaleo Pharma’s auto-inject version – specifically approved for a people without medical training to use in a life-threatening crisis — soared from $575 to $3,750 per two-dose package in just two years, according to Truven Health Analytics. Amphastar’s product cost $66 for two syringes at the end of 2014, nearly double the price a year earlier. Two vials of Hospira's generic, which cost $1.84 in 2005, shot up to $31.66 by 2014.

Which Nebraskan did Nixon hate more, Cavett or Carson?

Our money, based on released audio tapes, would be Nixon's namesake...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

'What a bitch!' Reaction to Roberta Lange's 'monkey business' at NV Dem Convention

With motions pending, Chair Roberta Lange ended the Las Vegas convention in the following manner, according to a witness: "Makes a motion. Seconds her own motion. Passes her motion. Runs off the stage."
     Clinton supporters apparently challenged the credentials of enough Sanders supporters (about 64) to give themselves a 33-delegate edge.
From The Hill:
     Leslie Sexton, a convention credentials committee co-chair, took the microphone just after the final results were read and said she had a minority report but was not allowed to give it.
     The crowd started up loud chants of “Let her speak” and “recount,” and after a few minutes a DNC committee member gave her the podium.
     Sexton reported that nearly 64 Bernie Sanders delegates to the state convention were excluded from the convention process. Sanders only had 33 fewer delegates than Clinton in attendance. 
     “The credentials minority report is based on the challenge of 64 Sanders delegates. Contrary to the procedures and precedents set by the committee, nearly none of these 64 people were presented with the opportunity to be heard by the committee or to demonstrate that they are registered Democrats," Sexton said. "Without the opportunity to be heard, no delegate could be stricken. The actions of the credentials committee violates the spirit of the Nevada state delegate plan which encourages full participation in the democratic process, and it violates the spirit and values of our state and our nation."
     The DNC committee member said the report would be submitted to the DNC.

CA Rep.: FBI detained former Sen. at airport to keep him from getting 28 pages of 9/11 report declassified

Read the Tampa Bay Times article
 From The Hill:
     ..Rep. Gwen Graham (D-Fla.) and her father, former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham (D-Fla.), were detained by the FBI in 2011 at Dulles International Airport outside Washington. The message from the agents, according to the Grahams, was to quit pushing for declassification of the 28 pages.
     The FBI "took a former senator, a former governor, grabbed him in an airport, hustled him into a room with armed force to try to intimidate him into taking different positions on issues of public policy and important national policy, and the fact that he wasn’t intimidated because he was calm doesn’t show that they weren’t trying to intimidate him," Sherman said in an interview with The Hill's Molly K. Hooper.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Advertising: 'different' son outs self to daddy, asks 'You never wanted to try it?'

Some people are saying this mocks coming out. We'll only say that it could have been a lot funnier in the right hands.

(Via JMG)

Maher: Libs may be responsible for man-buns, but Trump is your problem, conservatives

 Closer: When did the party of personal responsibility become the party of "Look what you made me do!"

(Via Towleroad)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Transman to ADF: You weren't so concerned with privacy rights when you defended sodomy laws

Hari Sreenivasan, on PBS's News Hour, refereed Jeremy Tedesco of the Alliance Defending Freedom and transman Alex Myers of Phillips Exeter Academy, who said this to the spox of the right wing pressure group which has recently become terribly worried about the sanctity of "privacy" in public, open bathroom, shower and changing facilities:
      In terms of privacy rights, I think you might be looking at modifying particularly locker room facilities to allow every student, cisgender and transgender, for more privacy. And I think that what you will find largely is that transgender want to go into restrooms, want to go into locker rooms, they want to use those facilities, they want to use discreetly, and they value their own privacy.
      And they are not likely to intrude on others. I would also add that I find I rather ironic that, at this point in time, the conservative movement is mentioning privacy as a right, when, for so many years, they enacted and enforced sodomy laws, which had no respect for people’s privacy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

PGA's Greg Owen strips to shorts in Players practice round, takes birdie

The birdie was a baby Blue Jay which fell out of a tree and was flailing in a pond. AKSARBENT's grandmother also liked Blue Jays; one really liked her back because she would let it drink good Scotch out of her glass on the deck.

     Golfers who remove their pants in public are an important world phenomenon that AKSARBENT will continue to monitor assiduously. Lest you think us trivial, know that Glenn Beck also takes this very seriously.
     We last wrote about this in 2013, when adorable Danish golf pro Andreas Hartø, competing on the 14th hole in the European Tour's Trophée Hassan II tournament, dropped his pants to chip from the water rather than taking a drop.

American Counseling Association rips Tennessee for new antiLGBT law; cancels Nashville conference

The ACA did not mince words in the following video explaining its action.
Of all the state legislation impacting counseling during my 30 years with ACA, the new Tennessee law, based on Senate Bill 1556. House Bill 1840 is the worst...
From the YouTube annotation:
Richard Yep, Chief Executive Officer of the American Counseling Association, explains ACA's decision to relocate the 2017 Conference & Expo. Learn more at

(h/t Towleroad)

Monday, May 9, 2016

If this husky isn't the world's biggest crybaby, then we don't know what

We'll never complain about the cat's reluctance to relinquish our chair again.

The YouTube description:
This is why they say huskies are stubborn! They're very smart but they have low motivation to please their owners. Zeus loves playing in the water in the bathtub and wants the water turned on. Even though it's time for his walk he howls in protest because he wants to play in the water!

Video and transcript: U.S. Atty Gen. Loretta Lynch, a native North Carolinian, explains federal civil rights suit against NC over HB2

Lynch changed the prepared remarks, which read "my state of North Carolina" to "my home state of North Carolina. Lynch was born in Greensboro. Gov. McCrory is from Ohio.

Remarks as prepared for delivery
Good afternoon and thank you all for being here.  Today, I’m joined by [Vanita] Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice.  We are here to announce a significant law enforcement action regarding North Carolina’s Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, also known as House Bill 2.  
     The North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 2 in special session on March 23 of this year.  The bill sought to strike down an anti-discrimination provision in a recently-passed Charlotte, North Carolina, ordinance, as well as to require transgender people in public agencies to use the bathrooms consistent with their sex as noted at birth, rather than the bathrooms that fit their gender identity.  The bill was signed into law that same day.  In so doing, the legislature and the governor placed North Carolina in direct opposition to federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity.  More to the point, they created state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals, who simply seek to engage in the most private of functions in a place of safety and security – a right taken for granted by most of us.  
     Last week, our Civil Rights Division notified state officials that House Bill 2 violates federal civil rights laws.  We asked that they certify by the end of the day today that they would not comply with or implement House Bill 2’s restriction on restroom access.  An extension was requested by North Carolina and was under active consideration.  But instead of replying to our offer or providing a certification, this morning, the state of North Carolina and its governor chose to respond by suing the Department of Justice.  As a result of their decisions, we are now moving forward. 
     Today, we are filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state of North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the University of North Carolina.  We are seeking a court order declaring House Bill 2’s restroom restriction impermissibly discriminatory, as well as a statewide bar on its enforcement.  While the lawsuit currently seeks declaratory relief, I want to note that we retain the option of curtailing federal funding to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the University of North Carolina as this case proceeds.
     This action is about a great deal more than just bathrooms.  This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we, as a people and as a country, have enacted to protect them – indeed, to protect all of us.  And it’s about the founding ideals that have led this country – haltingly but inexorably – in the direction of fairness, inclusion and equality for all Americans.
     This is not the first time that we have seen discriminatory responses to historic moments of progress for our nation.  We saw it in the Jim Crow laws that followed the Emancipation Proclamation.  We saw it in fierce and widespread resistance to Brown v. Board of Education.  And we saw it in the proliferation of state bans on same-sex unions intended to stifle any hope that gay and lesbian Americans might one day be afforded the right to marry.  That right, of course, is now recognized as a guarantee embedded in our Constitution, and in the wake of that historic triumph, we have seen bill after bill in state after state taking aim at the LGBT community.  Some of these responses reflect a recognizably human fear of the unknown, and a discomfort with the uncertainty of change.  But this is not a time to act out of fear.  This is a time to summon our national virtues of inclusivity, diversity, compassion and open-mindedness.  What we must not do – what we must never do – is turn on our neighbors, our family members, our fellow Americans, for something they cannot control, and deny what makes them human.  This is why none of us can stand by when a state enters the business of legislating identity and insists that a person pretend to be something they are not, or invents a problem that doesn’t exist as a pretext for discrimination and harassment.
     Let me speak now to the people of the great state, the beautiful state, my state of North Carolina.  You’ve been told that this law protects vulnerable populations from harm – but that just is not the case.  Instead, what this law does is inflict further indignity on a population that has already suffered far more than its fair share.  This law provides no benefit to society – all it does is harm innocent Americans. 
     Instead of turning away from our neighbors, our friends, our colleagues, let us instead learn from our history and avoid repeating the mistakes of our past.  Let us reflect on the obvious but often neglected lesson that state-sanctioned discrimination never looks good in hindsight.  It was not so very long ago that states, including North Carolina, had signs above restrooms, water fountains and on public accommodations keeping people out based upon a distinction without a difference.  We have moved beyond those dark days, but not without pain and suffering and an ongoing fight to keep moving forward.  Let us write a different story this time.  Let us not act out of fear and misunderstanding, but out of the values of inclusion, diversity and regard for all that make our country great. 
     Let me also speak directly to the transgender community itself.  Some of you have lived freely for decades.  Others of you are still wondering how you can possibly live the lives you were born to lead.  But no matter how isolated or scared you may feel today, the Department of Justice and the entire Obama Administration wants you to know that  we see you; we stand with you; and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward.  Please know that history is on your side.  This country was founded on a promise of equal rights for all, and we have always managed to move closer to that promise, little by little, one day at a time.  It may not be easy – but we’ll get there together. 
     I want to thank my colleagues in the Civil Rights Division who have devoted many hours to this case so far, and who will devote many more to seeing it through.  At this time, I’d like to turn things over to Vanita Gupta, whose determined leadership on this and so many other issues has been essential to the Justice Department’s work.

Watch: NC Gov. McCrory's presser on suit against fed demand that state not enforce HB2, antiLGBT law

Yesterday, HRC had this to say about Gov. McRory's complaints that the federal government wasn't giving his state enough time to comply with the Justice Department's demand that HB2 be repudiated and not enforced:
     “If HB2 was passed in a day, it can be repealed in a day, too. Pat McCrory’s excuse that he needs more time to comply with the Department of Justice after he rammed through and signed HB2 in the dark of night in a matter of hours doesn’t hold water,” said HRC Communications Director Jay Brown. “Pat McCrory even admitted on national television that his biggest excuse for passing HB2 is a lie. He couldn’t cite a single example of threats to public safety from non-discrimination ordinances like the one in Charlotte. That’s because they do not exist. HB2 is breaking federal civil rights laws and has put billions of dollars in federal funding on the line. It must be fully repealed immediately.”
     “Failing to meet the deadline set by the DOJ jeopardizes billions of dollars in federal funding for North Carolina. This is not the time to play political games. Governor McCrory needs to make the repeal of HB2 his number one priority before the deadline expires.” said Equality NC Director of Advancement Matt Hirschy. “HB2 was passed in a under a matter of 12 hours and was signed by Governor McCrory in the dead of the night. After months of economic havoc, and now with billions of dollars in federal funding hanging in the balance there is simply too much on the line to delay a full repeal of HB2.”
Today, HRC and Equality North Carolina issued the following press release following McCrory's earlier announcement that he (not the state's attorney general, who refuses to defend HB2) would sue the federal government to forestall enforcement actions against North Carolina after passage of HB2.
     Today, the Human Rights Campaign and Equality NC issued the following statements in response to the news that Governor Pat McCrory has filed a lawsuit defending his deeply discriminatory HB2.
     "North Carolina's HB2 law is blatantly unconstitutional and violates federal civil rights law,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The Department of Justice has already been clear that it violates the civil rights of North Carolinians. The idea Governor McCrory is going to waste even more time and millions more taxpayer dollars defending it is reckless and wrong. HB2 is a vile law attacking transgender North Carolinians and leaves many more unprotected from discrimination. Rather than defending it, Governor McCrory should be working with state lawmakers to fix the mess he’s created."
     "The lawsuit that was filed today is just another tactic to delay a decision and is a continued waste of taxpayer dollars when it is already very clear that the only option is a full repeal of HB2,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “The 4th circuit court has already provided guidance on this and continued litigation by the state is simply wasteful. The state house and senate must fully repeal HB2 with Governor McCrory's leadership."
North Carolina has already lost more than a half billion dollars - and counting - in economic activity just from companies canceling or reconsidering plans to come to the state, and in cancelled conventions, concerts, and other lost tourism dollars. That doesn’t even include potential economic development that now just won’t happen in North Carolina because of HB2’s discriminatory provisions, or the potential catastrophic loss of federal funding for schools, roads, bridges, and other essential services.
     The U.S. Department of Justice determined North Carolina’s discriminatory HB 2 violates federal civil rights law -- including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 -- and gave McCrory and state officials until today to address the situation “by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB 2.”
     HB2 has eliminated existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and prevents such protections from being passed by cities in the future. The legislation also forces transgender students in public schools to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity, putting 4.5 billion dollars in federal education funding at risk. It also compels the same type of discrimination against transgender people to take place in publicly-owned buildings, including in public universities, convention centers, and airports. It also eliminated the ability of North Carolinians to be able to sue if they experienced discrimination in the workforce, including on the basis of race, religion, national origin and sex.  Lawmakers passed the legislation in a hurried, single-day session, and Governor McCrory quickly signed it into law in the dead of night.
     North Carolina has the unfortunate distinction of becoming the first state in the country to enact a law attacking transgender students, even after similar proposals were rejected across the country this year -- including a high-profile veto by the Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota.

Two comedians salute GOP race dropout Ted Cruz

And a belated bonus: Rainbow's fond goodbye to Marco Rubio

Pastor Weasel, stopped in airport with loaded handgun, asks god why he made this mistake again

This time they're going to throw the book at him and it won't be a bible.
     "When it occurs twice with the same individual, it warrants prosecution," Omaha interim city prosecutor Tom Mumgaard said.
     Mumgaard charged Weasel with a misdemeanor: carrying a concealed firearm in a restricted area.
     "If you have a concealed weapon permit, you have an additional responsibility that comes with that permit and that is to at all times know where your weapon is," Mumgaard said.
Weasel, AKA "Dobie" (!), told KETV that he has asked god why he made this mistake twice and now he knows: it's not his fault, it's god's:
"...perhaps he's trying to use this so others can learn from my mistake and then perhaps he's using this to teach me, so that something worse wouldn't happen,"
Weasel isn't the only Omahan who has had trouble keeping track of his gun.