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  1. Indian Summer Chicken 4 boneless, skinned chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 pounds), thinly sliced across grain 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 1-1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 1/3 cup slivered almonds 1/4 cup golden raisins 2 teaspoons curry powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground hot red pepper 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temp Combine half of the chicken breasts with 2 tablespoons of the flour in a plastic or paper bag; seal and shake to coat the chicken. Heat 1tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the floured chicken in a single layer; cook for about 2 mins or until deep golden brown. Turn the chicken breasts over and cook for 1 min more. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Combine the remaining chicken breasts and remaining 2 tablespoons flour in the bag and shake to coat. Cook the chicken in 1 tablespoon of the oil as in Step 2. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to the skillet. Bring to boiling, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet; cook until the mixture is reduced by about half, about 2 to 3 mins. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Clean out the skillet with paper toweling. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet over low heat. Add almonds; cook for 1 to 2 mins or until toasted. Remove almonds; reserve. Add raisins to the skillet; toss for 15 to 20 secs or until lightly browned. Add to the chicken. Stir together curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, red pepper, cloves and salt in small dish.Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook 10 secs. Stir in spice mixture; cook for 10 secs. Pour 3/4 cup of broth into skillet. Bring to boiling, stirring. Add chicken and raisins; cook for 1 min. Stir in the room temp sour cream; gently cook until chicken and sauce are heated through; do not let boil. Garnish chicken with toasted almonds. Makes 4 servings.
  2. movieguy

    A Thief

    A Thief A man was sleeping soundly when his wife shook him and said, "Wake up, someone is breaking in!" The man had gone through this same scenario almost every night of his marriage and he knew that the only way he would get any rest was to get up and go check it out. This time, however, he found that there really was a man with a gun who entered to rob the house! As the thief was about to flee, the man said, "Stop! You have to come with me and meet my wife." Surprised, the thief turned around abruptly and said, "Why would you want me to meet your wife"? The man replied, "She's been expecting you for 20 years." v
  3. Is It In to Out? Bloggers Have Targeted Gay Celebrities and Politicians for Outing Whether They're Ready of Not By MARCUS BARAM Nov. 7, 2006 — - "Come out. Come out NOW! Come out in droves!" When Neil Patrick Harris was forced to announce last weekend that he was "a very content gay man living my life to the fullest," he was responding to a recent onslaught of online speculation about his sexuality. The actor, best known for his role as teenage doctor "Doogie Howser" in the late '80s, had been relentlessly targeted by bloggers who have posted photos of Harris with his boyfriend and who exhorted the star to out himself. The experience mirrored that of Lance Bass, the former 'N Sync singer who outed himself in a People magazine cover story last July after years of online innuendo about his sexuality. And just two weeks ago, "Grey's Anatomy" star T.R. Knight revealed that he's gay after he became the target of months of rumors spread on PerezHilton.com and other gossipy blogs and Web sites. Among the most visible online gossips has been Mario Lavandeira, who runs PerezHilton.com. After Harris declared his sexuality, Lavandeira crowed on his blog: "And we are not done yet!!! We are throwing down the gauntlet and issue a challenge to all the closeted celebrities out there: Come out. Come out NOW! Come out in droves!" In addition, he posted a list of stars, including a cable news anchorman, an actress, two singers and some TV stars, declaring that they were his next targets. Start Spreading the News The so-called mainstream media is only too happy to eat up the headlines, but it appears that Lavandeira's quest is a lonely one. After posting his missive, hundreds of his readers angrily took to their keyboards to express their outrage at the outing of Harris. One fan commented: "Why are you picking on this guy? I don't think anyone has the right to out anyone else! It is up to the individual if they want to divulge their sexual orientation." Another one fumed: "So what if they choose to be closeted. Maybe their dad would have a heart attack if he knew -- you don't know." Online gossip columnists were just as outraged. E!Online's Marc S. Malkin says it was "spiteful" to out Harris. "You can't hide anymore because we're watching the world in real time, but I feel that we should allow these people to come out on their own," says Malkin. "That's their personal journey. ... But if you have some right-winger who's saying that gays should burn in hell and he's having gay sex, then that's fair game." Public Lives versus Private Lives Some gay activists agree that there is a difference between outing celebrities and exposing the sexuality of hypocritical politicians or preachers such as Ted Haggard, the evangelical leader forced to step down from the New Life Church last week after a gay escort revealed that he'd had sex with Haggard. Mike Rogers, who runs BlogActive.com, which he has dedicated to exposing gay politicians and political aides who endorse anti-gay legislation, denounced the outing of Harris. "If you care about gay people, why would you out them willy-nilly like that?" Rogers asks. "What did Neil Patrick Harris do if he doesn't want his personal life splashed all over the front pages? I don't out people. I just report on politics and the hypocrisy of politicians." Joe Solmonese, the president of Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, was loathe to condemn outing, but he does distinguish between targeting celebrities and politicians. And there are, of course, differences when it comes to outing public figures versus private citizens. Take the case of comedian Ellen DeGeneres. After months of speculation and innuendo about her sexuality, DeGeneres came out of the closet as a lesbian on her self-titled sitcom in 1997. Almost 10 years later, she's one of TV's most popular personalities, hosting a top-rated daytime talk show and gearing up to host this spring's Academy Awards ceremony. And then there's an example you probably didn't read about. Paul Bear, who ran a small bed-and-breakfast in the quiet town of Winnsboro, Texas, was outed in 2003 when a local newspaper ran an editorial about his love life. Two years later, constantly plagued by harassment and threatening phone calls, Bear went on a cross-country gambling spree that ended when he hung himself from a tree, where his lifeless body was discovered by local cops. Forced Out -- or Out by Choice? These experiences represent the two extremes of outing. At one end is a public figure pressured into revealing her sexuality, which DeGeneres did in her own words. And at the other extreme is a private individual whose sexuality was publicly mocked and who was not given a chance to play any role in his outing, which drove Bear to his tragic end. The difference between the two experiences brings up the question, Is it ever OK to out someone? "You have Ted Haggard and [former Congressman] Mark Foley, who are living lives of hypocrisy, and then you have those who are just living their lives," says gay rights advocate Solomonese. "Who are we to judge that their lives should be out?" But the president of Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation hesitated to condemn the practice. "We do not get involved in outing. We do not engage ourselves in such activity," says Neil Giuliano. "We take a neutral position." In the next few months, fans should expect more gossipy speculation about some of their favorite stars -- and more public declarations of their sexuality. "I would never out my neighbor, a churchgoer," vows Lavandeira. "But if you're a politico or a celebrity, then you're fair game." And what if those performers don't necessarily want to be outed? "They're choosing to live their private lives in the public eye. ... What are they ashamed of? The rules and the times are changing." Copyright © 2006 ABC News Internet Ventures links
  4. Neil Patrick Harris says he is gay Posted 11/4/2006 1:17 AM ET LOS ANGELES (AP) — Neil Patrick Harris is gay and wants to quell any rumors to the contrary. "(I) am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest," Harris tells People magazine's website. The 33-year-old actor said he was motivated to disclose his sexuality because of recent "speculation and interest in my private life and relationships." Harris stars on the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother. He started on TV as a teen, playing the namesake doctor on the series Doogie Howser, M.D. Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. links
  5. Key Evangelical quits amid gay sex claim By CATHERINE TSAI, Associated Press Writer 7 minutes ago The leader of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, resigned Thursday after being accused of paying for sex with a man in monthly trysts over the past three years. The Rev. Ted Haggard, a married father of five who has been called one of the most influential evangelical Christians in the nation, denied the allegations. His accuser refused to share voice mails that he said backed up his claim. Haggard also stepped aside as head of his 14,000-member New Life Church while a church panel investigates, saying he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations." "I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity," Haggard said in a written statement. "I hope to be able to discuss this matter in more detail at a later date." He also told KUSA-TV late Wednesday: "Never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife, I'm faithful to my wife." The allegations come as voters in Colorado and seven other states get ready to decide Tuesday on amendments banning gay marriage. Besides the proposed ban on the Colorado ballot, a separate measure would establish the legality of domestic partnerships providing same-sex couples with many of the rights of married couples. Mike Jones, 49, of Denver told The Associated Press he decided to go public with his allegations because of the political fight. Jones, who said he is gay, said he was upset when he discovered Haggard and the New Life Church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage. "It made me angry that here's someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex," said Jones, who added that he isn't working for any political group. Jones, whose allegations were first aired on KHOW-AM radio in Denver, claimed Haggard paid him to have sex nearly every month over three years. Jones also said Haggard snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience. Haggard and his attorney, Martin Nussbaum, did not return calls Thursday night from the AP. Jones said that he had advertised himself as an escort on the Internet and that a man who called himself Art contacted him. Jones said he later saw the man on television identified as Haggard. He said that he last had sex with Haggard in August and that he did not warn him before making his allegations this week. Jones said he has voice mail messages from Haggard, as well as an envelope he said Haggard used to mail him cash, though he declined to make any of it available to the AP. "There's some stuff on there (the voice mails) that's pretty damning," he said. Haggard, who is about 50, was appointed president of the evangelicals association in March 2003. He has participated in conservative Christian leaders' conference calls with White House staffers and lobbied members of Congress last year on U.S. Supreme Court appointees after Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement. After Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004, Haggard and others began organizing state-by-state opposition. Last year, Haggard and officials from the nearby Christian ministry Focus on the Family announced plans to push Colorado's gay marriage ban for the 2006 ballot. At the time, Haggard said that he believed marriage is a union between a man and woman rooted in centuries of tradition, and that research shows it's the best family unit for children. "Homosexual activity, like adulterous relationships, is clearly condemned in the Scriptures," the evangelicals association says on its Web site. The Bible says homosexuality is a sin that "brings grave consequences in this life and excludes one from the Kingdom of God." Haggard's resignation from the NAE seems unlikely to do lasting damage to the organization, an umbrella group for a diverse and independent-minded membership. At his own church, Haggard's decision to step aside — if it became permanent — would have a more profound effect. "One would hope and pray that this matter would be resolved expeditiously and quickly and he can be restored back to being the pastor of the church and the leader of the NAE," said Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative Washington think tank. New Life Church member Brooks DeMio, 44, said he thinks Jones is a liar and can't believe Haggard would engage in sex with a man. "He loves the Lord, homosexuality is a sin and that's not Ted," DeMio said. "His desire is to serve other people and uphold the word of God. ... I don't know him well enough to give a complete character description, but I know him enough to know it's not true." Carolyn Haggard, spokeswoman for the New Life Church and the pastor's niece, said a four-member church panel will investigate the allegations. The board has the authority to discipline Haggard, including removing him from ministry work. "This is really routine when any sort of situation like this arises, so we're prepared," Carolyn Haggard said. "The church is going to continue to serve and be welcoming to our community. That's a priority." ___ Associated Press writers Dan Elliott in Denver and Rachel Zoll in New York contributed to this report. ___ On the Net: http://www.nae.net/ http://www.newlifechurch.org/ http://www.tedhaggard.com/ links
  6. If They Married... If Yoko Ono married Sonny Bono, she'd be Yoko Ono Bono. If Dolly Parton married Salvador Dali, she'd be Dolly Dali. If Bo Derek married Don Ho, she'd be Bo Ho. If Oprah Winfrey married Depak Chopra, she'd be Oprah Chopra. If Cat Stevens married Snoop Doggy Dogg (hey! it's the '90's!) he'd be Cat Doggy Dogg. If Olivia Newton-John married Wayne Newton, then divorced him to marry Elton John, she'd be Olivia Newton-John Newton John. If Sondra Locke married Elliott Ness, then divorced him to marry Herman Munster, she'd become Sondra Locke Ness Munster. If Bea Arthur married Sting, she'd be Bea Sting. If Liv Ullman married Judge Lance Ito, then divorced him and married Jerry Mathers, she'd be Liv Ito Beaver. If Snoop Doggy Dogg married Winnie the Pooh, he'd be Snoop Doggy Dogg Pooh. How about a baseball marriage? If Boog Powell married Felipe Alou, he'd be Boog Alou. If G. Gordon Liddy married Boutros-Boutros Ghali, then divorced him to marry Kenny G., he'd be G. Ghali G. Nog (Quark's brother on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine") has no other name, so he uses it twice when getting a marriage license. If he married Howard Hughes, and then Pamela Dare, he'd be Nog Nog Hughes Dare. If Shirley Jones married Tom Ewell, then Johnny Rotten, then Nathan Hale, she'd be Shirley Ewell Rotten Hale. (This one may take a little longer to get) If Jack Handy ("Saturday Night Live" writer) married Andy Capp, then married Jack Paar, then moved on to Stephen King, he'd be Jack Handy Capp Paar King. If Javier Lopez married Keiko the whale, and Edith Piaf married Rose Tu the elephant, they would be Javier Keiko and Edith Tu. If Ivana Trump married, in succession, Orson Bean (actor), King Oscar (of Norway), Louis B. Mayer (of MGM), and Norbert Wiener (mathematician), she would then be Ivana Bean Oscar Mayer Wiener. If Woody Allen married Natalie Wood, divorced her and married Gregory Peck, divorced him and married Ben Hur, he'd be Woody Wood Peck Hur. If Dolly Parton married Tommy Smothers, then went even further back in show business and married Mr. Lucky, then divorced and married Martin Short, then divorced and married football kicker Ray Guy, we could all nod understandingly when we heard, "Dolly Parton Smothers Lucky Short Guy."
  7. What's wrong? The celebrant noticed that the bride was in great distress so asked her what was wrong. She replied that she was nervous and afraid she would not remember what to do. The celebrant told her that she only needed to remember 3 things. First the aisle, because that is what you'll be walking down. Secondly, the alter because that is where you will arrive. Finally, remember hymn because that is a type of song we will sing during the service. While the bride was walking to the wedding march, family and friends of the groom were horrified to hear her repeating these 3 words for herself. . . Aisle, alter hymn (I'll alter him!)
  8. Marines Strip To Raise Cash For Wounded Buddies by The Associated Press October 15, 2006 - 4:00 pm ET (New York City) A group of Marines and ex-Marines who fought in Iraq – including two wounded there – is featured in a beefcake calendar being sold to help wounded veterans. “It's a stopgap effort to help people where government programs leave off,” said Rudy Reyes, who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan and is on the calendar's cover. “This is a way for citizens to help citizens.” The “America's Heroes” calendar is being sold by Freedom is Not Free, a San Diego-based nonprofit group that helps injured service members and their families with such expenses as travel, mortgage and utility bills and special beds for burn victims. Reyes and the other men who appear in the glossy 2007 lineup served in Iraq in Marine reconnaissance units. Sgt. James Wright, 31, who lost his hands and part of his leg, appears on the back cover in full uniform, saluting with what's left of his right arm. Several members of the group, promoting the calendar on a cross-country tour, said they have medical conditions, ranging from combat stress-related symptoms to injuries to their feet, knees, hips and backs from carrying combat loads of more than 200 pounds. When service members come back, “many don't have the financial or emotional support to get back to daily life,” said former Sgt. Michael Saucier, 24, of Prior Lake, Minn., who served two Iraq tours and is now a carpenter's apprentice in Lake Tahoe, Nev. All but one of the men had to be coaxed to pose shirtless for the calendar. “I wasn't afraid to pose. This is the new-generation Marines,” quipped Sean Mickle, 31, a Marine platoon sergeant at Camp Pendleton, Calif. The $14.99 calendar promises that “100 percent of proceeds aid wounded heroes and their families.” Production expenses were covered by private donations to Freedom is Not Free, founded last year by entrepreneur David Dominguez. “There is a need,” he said. “Some Iraq veterans are so depressed when they get back they can't even fill out the papers required for benefits.” The calendar is the brainchild of his client Jean Hamerslag, a California advertising executive who suggested that the organization's fundraising needed something that would grab the public's attention. “Sex,” she said with a giggle. ©365Gay.com 2006 links
  9. Supreme Court Refuses Calif. Scout Case by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff October 16, 2006 - 2:00 pm ET (Washington) The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from a Berkeley, California Boy Scouts sailing group that lost free use of a public boat slip because of the Scouts' anti-gay policy. The court decision allows a ruling by the California Supreme Court upholding Berkeley's decision to stand. The city revoked free berthing privileges for the Berkeley Sea Scouts because the Boy Scouts bar atheist and gay members, which violates the city's 1997 policy to provide free berthing to nonprofits that don't discriminate. The Scouts had used the facility since the 1930s. The Scouts fought the decision up to the California Supreme Court which ruled in March that the city did not violate the rights of the young sailors. The justices ruled Berkeley could demand that a group receiving subsidies renounce a policy of "invidious discrimination." "We agree with Berkeley and the court of appeal that a government entity may constitutionally require a recipient of funding or subsidy to provide written, unambiguous assurances of compliance with a generally applicable nondiscrimination policy," Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar wrote for the court. City officials told the Sea Scouts that the group could retain its berthing subsidy, valued at about $500 monthly per boat, if it broke ties with the Boy Scouts or disavowed the policy against gays and atheists. The Sea Scouts, which teaches sailing, carpentry and plumbing, refused to do so and maintained that such an edict was unconstitutional because it compelled speech it did not agree with. The Supreme Court gave no reason for its decision not to hear the appeal. In 2000 the court ruled that the Boy Scouts have the right under the First Amendment to ban openly gay scout leaders. Following that decision Berkeley and a number of other cities across the country that have LGBT civil rights ordinances barred the Boy Scouts of America from using publicly funded facilities. ©365Gay.com 2006 links
  10. Gay Wrestler Wrestles With Coming Out by The Associated Press October 15, 2006 - 11:00 am ET (Highland Heights , Kentucky) A 10-year-old Chris Klucsarits dreamed of becoming a professional wrestler. But he would have to practice more than holds and punches. He would have to become practiced at hiding a secret: he was gay. He began his double life while a kid in Queens, N.Y., and would eventually take the last name Kanyon to achieve his dreams by becoming a star of World Wrestling Entertainment. He struggled to keep the secret. Who, he wondered, would want to employ a gay wrestler? If he told his fans and bosses, surely they would let him go. Which, he said, is what happened. Kanyon related his story to about 200 Northern Kentucky University students as part of National Coming Out Day on Wednesday, in which groups across the country garner support for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. Sponsored by Common Ground, the school’s Gay/Straight Alliance, speakers were featured throughout the day, including those from the Human Rights Campaign, Kentucky Equality and the AIDS Volunteers of Cincinnati. “You’re afraid to come out of the closet,” said Kanyon, 36. “I didn’t even realize how much of a relief it would be,” he said. “I thought, ‘I will get rid of the fear, I will get rid of the paranoia,’ just by taking that one step coming out.” Still, it took years and a suicide attempt to bring him to it. Kanyon tried to overdose on sleeping pills but didn’t take enough. “I thought, ‘What the hell have you done to yourself?”’ he said. When rumors of his homosexuality spread through the industry, Kanyon was convinced his bosses knew his secret. Shortly thereafter in 2004, he retired from the WWE. “I am convinced I fell out of favor because they knew I was gay,” he said. He needed to admit it. First, he told his brother. Then he told his parents. Earlier this year, in an independent wrestling match in Ontario, Canada, Kanyon admitted it to the wrestling community. “I’ve never been happier,” he told the crowd. The NKU campus has been divided over gay rights since August, when threatening messages were found on the door of Kentucky Hall resident assistant Jeremy Phillippi, a student who has said he is gay. Phillippi filed a complaint with the Florence-based Kentucky Equality Federation. “That was a big part of why I wanted to be here,” Kanyon said. “We need to educate people.” The university has since committed funds to groups like Common Ground to help spread awareness, said 21-year-old Katie Nelson, Common Ground co-president. The university also has pledged to fund “Safe Zone” training for faculty, staff and student leaders so they can learn how to help students struggling with their sexuality. ©365Gay.com 2006 links
  11. Why a Christian in the White House Felt Betrayed By DAVID KUO For Republicans who fear that the Foley scandal might keep Evangelicals away from the polls in November, here comes another challenge--in hardcover format. A new memoir by David Kuo, former second-in-command of President Bush's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, has the White House on the defensive with its account of an Administration that mocked Evangelicals in private while using them at election time to bolster its support. In this exclusive adaptation from the book, Kuo writes about how his White House experiences left him disillusioned about the role religion can play in politics. I stepped into the Oval Office to find President George W. Bush prowling behind his desk looking for something. "Kuo!" he said without looking up. "Tell me about this meeting." It was June 2003, and I was deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The office had opened in the West Wing in 2001 to support the President's campaign promise of $8 billion a year in new funding for both religious and secular charities that helped the poor. That money never materialized, however, and I was increasingly stuck with the task of explaining to religious groups why the White House was so bad at helping them do good. This meeting, with a group of prominent African-American pastors who had supported Bush's plan, promised to be no different. I began to brief the President on the pastors, recommending that he talk about the administrative reforms we had implemented, and the tax credits we were still fighting for ... He interrupted. "Forget about all that. Money. All these guys care about is money. They want money. How much money have we given them?" I never doubted the President's own faith or desire to help those who, like him, had once been lost in a world of alcohol or, unlike him, had struggled with poverty or drugs. Because I shared his faith and his vision of compassionate conservatism, I had been a very good soldier. When members of his senior staff mocked the plan as the "f___ing faith-based initiative," I didn't say a word. When his legislative-affairs team summarily dismissed our attempts to shoehorn our funding into the budget, I smiled and continued trying to work neatly within the system. When I heard staff privately deriding evangelical Christians because they were so easily seduced by White House power, I raised an eyebrow but not a ruckus. Like everyone else in the small faith-based office, I didn't speak too loudly or thunder too much. We were the nice guys. Today, however, I decided to choose honesty over niceness. Two months earlier, I had been diagnosed with a brain tumor that required intensive surgery and rehabilitation. This was my first meeting with the President and Karl Rove since my return. Something about undergoing brain surgery had made me reflect about whether I had really been doing a public service by pretending that our office had been living up to its commitments. I glanced over at Karl and turned to look the President in the eye. "Sir, we've given them virtually nothing," I said, "because we have had virtually nothing new to give." The President had been looking down at some papers about the event, but his head jerked up. "Nothing? What do you mean we've given them nothing?" He glared. "Don't we have new money in programs like the Compassion Fund thing?" I looked again at Karl. He seemed stunned at what I was saying. "No, sir," I told the President. "In the past two years we've gotten less than $80 million in new grant dollars." The number fell shockingly short of the $8 billion he had vowed to deliver in the first year alone. The President's staff didn't just bad-mouth the faith-based office behind closed doors. Their political indifference also kept us from getting the funding we needed so badly. No episode captured that more clearly than the 2001 negotiations over the President's $1.7 trillion tax cut. In those final negotiations with the Senate and House, the White House voluntarily dropped a centerpiece of the President's compassion promise: a provision to allow 80% of Americans to get credit for their charitable contributions. Now the President seemed shocked at the news that the Compassion Fund was a pittance. "What?! What do you mean?" he asked. Karl, still caught off guard, protested. "But what about the other money? You know, the money we've opened up to new charities." I hated any clash with Karl. Especially now. The morning after my tumor diagnosis, Karl was among the first people to call. "I know what you are going through," he said. "I've spent more days and nights of my life than I can count in a cancer ward." He explained that his wife was a double breast-cancer survivor, encouraged me for the fight ahead, and offered any assistance I needed. Now, less than two months later, I was standing in front of the President exposing an ugly truth that Karl would rather not have discussed: after two years in office, we had actually spent less than 1% of what Bush had promised. I was also contradicting our office's own spin. In an effort to divert attention from all the money that wasn't being given to faith-based groups, we had come up with the idea of highlighting the amount of money now "available" to faith-based organizations because of particular administrative reforms announced six months earlier. It was one of those wonderful Washington assertions that is simultaneously accurate and deceptive and just confusing enough to defy opposition. On the one hand, we had eliminated some ancient and patently absurd regulations, many of them promulgated under seemingly faith-phobic Democratic Administrations, that discriminated against faith-based groups simply because they might have a religious-sounding name. The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, for instance, was once denied the chance to apply for a federal grant even though it was an entirely secular organization. On the other hand, faith-based groups had actually been getting chunks of that money for decades, and the regulations we put in place really didn't tackle the biggest problem facing secular and religious nonprofits. That problem was the general bureaucratic unfriendliness of the Federal Government to small, local organizations--precisely the kind that compassionate conservatives like Bush (and I) thought could do the best job tackling ingrained poverty and hopelessness on the community level. We were supposed to give these small groups their first shot, but without any money, our office was resigned to making mostly symbolic changes. None of that had stopped the White House from trumpeting the changes as hugely significant and leading religious conservatives to believe they were highly consequential. Christian conservatives trusted President Bush. After two years in the White House, I had come to realize that regardless of where the President's heart lay on the matter, the back-office Republican political machine was able to take Evangelicals for granted--indeed, often viewed them with undisguised contempt--and still get their votes. G.O.P. operatives trusted that Christian conservatives would see the President more as their Pastor in Chief than anything else. Bush had long used the podium as a pulpit, telling voters that above all he was an evangelical Christian who had been saved from his drinking by Jesus and rebuilt his life around his faith. That inspirational story was carried throughout the country by a network of prominent evangelical pastors who had been quietly working since 1998 to recruit thousands of other pastors to join the Bush team. After the election, however, those same pastors became accomplices in their own deception by not demanding that the President's actions in office match their electoral fervor. This White House is certainly not the first Administration to milk religious groups for votes and then boot them unceremoniously back out to pasture. In his days as a notorious "hatchet man" for President Richard M. Nixon, before he had allowed Jesus to transform his life, Chuck Colson used to oversee outreach to the religious community. "I arranged special briefings in the Roosevelt Room for religious leaders, ushered wide-eyed denominational leaders into the Oval Office for private sessions with the President," Colson later wrote. "Of all the groups I dealt with, I found religious leaders the most naive about politics. Maybe that is because so many come from sheltered backgrounds, or perhaps it is the result of a mistaken perception of the demands of Christian charity ... Or, most worrisome of all, they may simply like to be around power." I finished the briefing. Yes, I told the President, because of new regulations there was technically about $8 billion in existing funding that was now more accessible to faith-based groups. But, I assured him, those organizations had been getting money from those programs for years and it wasn't that big a deal. "Eight billion in new dollars?" he asked. "No, sir. Eight billion in existing dollars where groups will find it technically easier to apply for grants. But faith-based groups have been getting that money for years." "Eight billion," he said. "That's what we'll tell them. Eight billion in new funds for faith-based groups. O.K., let's go." We headed out of the Oval Office, down a flight of stairs and over to the Old Executive Office Building, where the pastors awaited us. The President walked into the room, traded a few jokes and told the group that because of the faith-based initiative, billions of dollars in new funds were now available to faith-based groups like theirs. The pastors listened respectfully. Before the President left, they prayed for him. Karl stayed behind to share some thoughts and answer questions. "Before I get started, I want to say something. This initiative isn't political," he told them. "If I walked into the Oval Office and said it was going to be political, the President would bash my head in." Then the questions began. "Since the President brought up money, where, exactly is that money?" asked one pastor. "We've talked to the Cabinet Secretaries, and they say there isn't any new money." They peppered him with questions for several minutes. Finally he smiled at them and said, "Tell you what, I'm going to get those guys in a room and bash some heads together and get to the bottom of this. I'll be back in touch with you." He left confidently. At the meeting's end, several of the pastors said they wanted to pray for my healing. They placed their hands on my shoulder and called on God to hear their prayers on my behalf. I listened and loved it and said a prayer of my own: that I would have the courage to tell them what was really going on at the White House. That was more than three years ago. Their prayers have worked on my body. I am still here and very much alive. Now I am finding the courage to speak out about God and politics and their dangerous dance. George W. Bush, the man, is a person of profound faith and deep compassion for those who suffer. But President George W. Bush is a politician and is ultimately no different from any other politician, content to use religion for electoral gain more than for good works. Millions of Evangelicals may share Bush's faith, but they would protect themselves--and their interests--better if they looked at him through the same coldly political lens with which he views them. Copyright © 2006 Time Inc. All rights reserved. links
  12. Gay Congressman Implicated In First Page Scandal Dies by The Associated Press October 14, 2006 - 11:00 am ET (Boston. Massachusetts) Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay person elected to Congress, died early Saturday at Boston Medical Center, several days after he was admitted after collapsing while walking his dog, his husband said. Studds' fell unconscious on Oct. 3 because of what doctors later determined was a blood clot in his lung, his husband, Dean Hara, said. Studds regained consciousness, remained in the hospital, and seemed to be improving. He was scheduled to be transferred to a rehabilitation center, but his condition deteriorated on Friday and he died at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, Hara said. Hara, who married Studds shortly after gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts in 2004, said Studds was a pioneer who gave courage to gay people everywhere by winning re-election after publicly acknowledging his homosexuality. "He gave people of his generation, or my generation, of future generations, the courage to do whatever they wanted to do," he said. Studds was first elected in 1972 and represented Cape Cod and the Islands, New Bedford, and the South Shore for 12 Congressional terms. He retired from Congress in 1997. In 1983, Studds acknowledged his homosexuality after a former Congressional page revealed he'd had a relationship with Studds a decade earlier. ©365Gay.com 2006 links
  13. Evangelicals Bid To Energize The Right Despite Foley Affair by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff October 14, 2006 - 12:01 am ET (Boston, Massachusetts) Far right religious groups will attempt to unify their base Sunday in what is being described by foes as a gay-baiting to get out the vote. Called "Liberty Sunday" it is patterned after similar events just prior to the elections in 2000 and 2004. But this time conservatives are concerned that evangelical Christians, considered the core of the Republican Party, may stay home on election day to show their disgust over the GOP handing of the Mark Foley affair. Liberty Sunday this year will originate in Boston at the Tremont Temple Baptist Church and be broadcast by satellite to churches across the country. The list of speakers reads like a who's who of gay foes. It includes Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, Alan Chambers, President of the so-called ex gay group Exodus International, and video cutins from James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Gary Bauer from American Values, Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund and Don Wildmon of the American Family Association. It will also include a video presentation by Mitt Romney the governor of Massachusetts. "The ACLU's efforts to strip away parental rights and guarantee classroom access to homosexual activists will not go unanswered," said FRC President Tony Perkins in a statement promoting the event. "The Massachusetts experiment with same-sex 'marriage' continues to threaten the religious liberties of ordinary Americans. This is why we will be hosting a nationwide simulcast in Boston." Ironically in its promotion for Liberty Sunday organizers are not using a picture of the Tremont Temple but one of national historic site Old North Church which is known to be a safe and welcoming place for gay and lesbian persons. "It's possible to conclude that this right-wing political group is, once again, trying to co-opt for hateful purposes a national symbol that represents freedom and justice to all of us," said Mark Johnston, leader of The Gay and Lesbian Fellowship's Steering Committee at Old North Church. Opponents of Liberty Sunday say they will hold a prayer vigil and rally across the street from Tremont Temple to show that not all people of faith support limiting the rights of gays. ©365Gay.com 2006 links
  14. NYC Gay Hate-Crime Victim Dies by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff October 13, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET (New York City) Michael Sandy, the 28 year old gay Brooklyn man who was beaten and then chased into the path of a speeding car, died Friday, hours after his family instructed doctors to take him off a life-support machine. Sandy had been in a coma since the attack. Doctors at Doctors at Brookdale Hospital told the family Friday morning that Sandy would never regain consciousness and was brain dead. Three Brooklyn men have been charged with hate crimes in the attack on Sandy. John Fox, 19; Ilya Shurov, 20, and Gary Timmins, 16 are charged with assault and robbery as hate crimes. New York City Police said Friday afternoon that the charges will be upgraded to include murder. A fourth man man accused of being an accomplice is cooperating with police and reportedly led investigators to the other three. Police allege that Fox and Shurov posed as gay men, cruising an Internet chat room looking for a mark to rob. They met Sandy online. Chat messages between Sandy and the men were reportedly found on his home computer and a printout from his computer showing directions to Plum Beach, a popular cruising area, were found in his car. Police allege that Sandy arranged to meet Fox on a street corner in Sheepshead Bay. The two then drove the short distance to the beach where the other three were waiting. When the gang began beating him Sandy bolted for the nearby Belt Parkway with his attackers in close pursuit. They caught up with him in one lane of the highway and as Sandy broke free he was struck by a car, sustaining massive injuries. The attackers were last seen rifling through Sandy's pockets before fleeing. The car did not stop and police earlier this week appealed for the driver to come forward. ©365Gay.com 2006 links
  15. Report: Kolbe Now Under Investigation For Relations With Pages by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff October 13, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET (Washington) The Justice Department has opened a preliminary investigation into a camping trip Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) - the only gay Republican in Congress - took that included two teenage pages a decade ago, NBC news reported on Friday. A spokesperson for the Justice Department in Washington said that the U.S. attorney in Arizona has started a "preliminary assessment" of the trip, after an unidentified source made allegations about the congressman's behavior on the expedition. "The U.S. attorney is looking into allegations about the congressman taking a trip with the two pages," the spokesperson told NBC. The trip was made before Kolbe came out publicly. NBC said that the camping trip down the Grand Canyon in July 1996 was made with a group that included two 17-year-old males who had recently left the congressional page program. National Park Service employees also were on the three-day trip, along with several Kolbe staffers and the congressman's sister the network said. Kolbe's office issued a statement to NBC News denying that anything improper had happened. "The rafting trip back in 1996 consisted of five current staff, two former pages, and his sister," a spokeswoman for Kolbe said. "There is absolutely no basis and no truth to any [allegations of] inappropriate behavior," NBC quoted the statement as saying. The FBI declined to comment on whether it was heading up the probe for the Justice Department. The network said that one person on the trip, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was "creeped out" Kolbe's "fawning, petting and touching" the arms and shoulders of one teen. NBC said it had contacted both former pages, now in their late 20s. One declined to comment, the other said that Kolbe was a "gentleman" and never acted in an improper fashion. Gary Cummins, the deputy superintendent of the Grand Canyon National Park at the time — and who also was on the trip — told the network that he did not see anything inappropriate take place. The report comes as the House Ethics Committee investigates the handing of former Rep. Mark's Foley (R-Fla) over sexual emails with former pages. On Monday Kolbe said he confronted the Florida Republican as early as 2000 about "inappropriate" emails to congressional pages. (story) ©365Gay.com 2006 links
  16. Poll: Foley's Homosexuality Not Issue In Scandal by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff October 13, 2006 - 3:00 pm ET (Washington) The Human Rights Campaign released a new nationwide poll on Friday that shows the attempts by some anti-gay right-wing leaders and anti-gay groups to brand the Mark Foley scandal as a gay issue have failed. The new, nationwide poll shows that, by a 2-to-1 margin, voters believe that "this type of behavior is typical of politicians" over "this type of behavior is typical of gay men." The poll also showed support for either civil unions or marriage for same-sex couples at 66 percent, which is consistent with other polls on the same question, HRC said. "Some right-wing leaders and politicians have tried to divert attention from the congressional leadership's failure to investigate Mark Foley's abhorrent behavior, and their cover-up in order to hold on to power, by insisting that his being gay was the central issue," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Conservative politicians have tried to promote prejudice against gay Americans, rather than push for accountability in this scandal. Today's poll shows that Americans reject their outrageous claims." Since the scandal was made public on September 29, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Pat Buchanan and other conservative leaders have spoken out numerous times to national media outlets pushing the idea that the affair is a gay issue, in what LGBT groups and Democrats call an attempt to shift the public's perception of Foley's inappropriate behavior and alleged cover-up by the Republican leadership on gays. Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc. conducted a poll of 806 registered voters nationwide from October 9-11, 2006. Solmonese said that the Human Rights Campaign has been monitoring "what seems to be a coordinated effort to place blame on the gay community and equate Mark Foley's disgraceful behavior to the fact that he is gay." On October 2 Tony Perkins in a mailing to supporters of his Family Research Council said: "Democrats seeking to exploit the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) are right to criticize the slow response of Republican congressional leaders to his communications with male pages. But neither party seems likely to address the real issue, which is the link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse." The next day the conservative think tank The Arlington Group issued a statement saying: "We are very concerned that the early warnings of Mr. Foley's odd behavior toward young male pages may have been overlooked or treated with deference, fearing a backlash from the radical gay rights movement because of Mr. Foley's sexual orientation." Pat Robertson on his "700 Club" television show on Oct 5 said: "The news is the Republicans have formed a circular firing squad, and they're firing away. It's just insane, this atavistic spirit to find blame just before an election. They'd be better to say, 'Well, this man's gay, he does what gay people do, and so don't worry about it.'" A day later Pat Buchanan said: "If the Republican House leadership is guilty of anything, it is of being too tolerant, of allowing Political Correctness, a fear of being called homophobic, to trump common sense. Whether we admit it or not, many male homosexuals have a thing for teenage boys, which is why so many of them wind up with black eyes when they try to pick them up." ©365Gay.com 2006 links
  17. Foleygate: Overseer Of Pages Grilled by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff October 13, 2006 - 11:00 am ET, Updated 1:00 pm Et (Washington) The chief congressional overseer of House pages, who says he tried to stop ex-Rep. Mark Foley from e-mailing a Louisiana page in late 2005, was questioned Friday by House investigators. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., who testified behind closed doors, has said he kept the two other House members overseeing the pages in the dark as he confronted Foley last fall. Shimkus, chairman of the House Page Board, said he was following the wishes of the boy's parents by not telling the other two lawmakers who oversee the high school page program. A four-member ethics investigating panel, operating in closed session, is hearing key witnesses with knowledge of how Republicans handled several alarms raised about Foley's conduct over the past five years. The Florida Republican resigned Sept. 29 after he was confronted with sexually explicit instant messages sent to former male pages. Foley's one-time chief of staff testified before the investigative panel for nearly five hours Thursday. Kirk Fordham has said publicly that he raised alarms with House Speaker Dennis Hastert's top aide nearly three years ago. Fordham would not comment on his testimony. His extensive knowledge of Foley's actions include the Florida Republican's attempt to enter the page dorm while drunk several years ago, one of the events that triggered several alarms raised by Fordham with House officials, according to a source familiar with Fordham's actions and knowledge. Hastert, R-Ill., has said he learned of inappropriate approaches by Foley in late September and his aides found out in the fall of 2005. Hastert's chief of staff, Scott Palmer, has denied that Fordham contacted him at least three years ago, contradicting Fordham and creating one of the major conflicts the committee must resolve. Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean said after Fordham's testimony: "The ethics committee is investigating this matter and we are confident in its ability to determine the real facts. The speaker has said that any person who is found guilty of improper conduct involving sexual contact or communication with a page should immediately resign, be fired, or be subjected to a vote of expulsion." Fordham has made several public statements on his actions and has been questioned by the FBI. The Page Board consists of three lawmakers and two House officers who set policy for the program that brings teenagers to Congress to attend school and perform errands in the chamber during sessions. The board does not, however, provide daily supervision of the pages, leaving that to House staff members. Shimkus' office said that he and then-House clerk Jeff Trandahl - who also was on the board - confronted Foley in his office last fall after hearing from Hastert's aides about the overly friendly e-mail to the former Louisiana page. Shimkus said he told Foley to cease all contact with the teenager. The uninformed members of the page board were Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Mich., and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. "I think Congressman Shimkus acted in an expedited manner to find out what happened," while respecting the wishes of the family, Hastert said in support of Shimkus' decision to keep the two other lawmakers out of the loop. ©365Gay.com 2006 links
  18. Ice Cream Bats INGREDIENTS: 4 (3 1/2 inch) soft oatmeal cookies 4 large Scoops of chocolate ice, cream Assorted candies for decoration, such as candy - candy corn, licorice whips, jellybeans, fruit rolls PREPARATION: For the wings, place cookies on a cutting board. Cut cookies into halves. Using a teaspoon, cut a slightly scalloped edge on the straight side of each cookie; set wings aside. For the body of the bat, place a scoop of ice cream on each of four serving plates. Using a knife make a cut about 1/2-inch deep on each side of the scoops of ice cream. To assemble the ice cream bats, insert the end of cookie wing into cuts on sides of ice cream scoops. Place so they look like wings. Decorate ice cream with candies to create the bat's face. Use licorice pieces for the ears, jelly beans for the eyes, candy corn for the fangs, or use your own imagination. Serve immediately or freeze for up to two hours before serving. Serves 4.
  19. Exclusive: Book says Bush just using Christians ‘Tempting Faith’ author David Kuo worked for Bush from 2001 to 2003 By Jonathan Larsen "Countdown" producer MSNBC Updated: 6:00 p.m. CT Oct 12, 2006 More than five years after President Bush created the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, the former second-in-command of that office is going public with an insider’s tell-all account that portrays an office used almost exclusively to win political points with both evangelical Christians and traditionally Democratic minorities. The office’s primary mission, providing financial support to charities that serve the poor, never got the presidential support it needed to succeed, according to the book. Entitled “Tempting Faith,” the book is not scheduled for release until Oct. 16, but MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” has obtained a copy. “Tempting Faith’s” author is David Kuo, who served as special assistant to the president from 2001 to 2003. A self-described conservative Christian, Kuo’s previous experience includes work for prominent conservatives including former Education Secretary and federal drug czar Bill Bennett and former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Kuo, who has complained publicly in the past about the funding shortfalls, goes several steps further in his new book. He says some of the nation’s most prominent evangelical leaders were known in the office of presidential political strategist Karl Rove as “the nuts.” “National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as ‘ridiculous,’ ‘out of control,’ and just plain ‘goofy,’” Kuo writes. More seriously, Kuo alleges that then-White House political affairs director Ken Mehlman knowingly participated in a scheme to use the office, and taxpayer funds, to mount ostensibly “nonpartisan” events that were, in reality, designed with the intent of mobilizing religious voters in 20 targeted races. Nineteen out of the 20 targeted races were won by Republicans, Kuo reports. The outreach was so extensive and so powerful in motivating not just conservative evangelicals, but also traditionally Democratic minorities, that Kuo attributes Bush’s 2004 Ohio victory “at least partially … to the conferences we had launched two years before.” With the exception of one reporter from the Washington Post, Kuo says the media were oblivious to the political nature and impact of his office’s events, in part because so much of the debate centered on issues of separation of church and state. In fact, the Bush administration often promoted the faith-based agenda by claiming that existing government regulations were too restrictive on religious organizations seeking to serve the public. Substantiating that claim proved difficult, Kuo says. “Finding these examples became a huge priority.… If President Bush was making the world a better place for faith-based groups, we had to show it was really a bad place to begin with. But, in fact, it wasn’t that bad at all.” In fact, when Bush asks Kuo how much money was being spent on “compassion” social programs, Kuo claims he discovered the amount was $20 million a year less than during the Clinton Administration. The money that was appropriated and disbursed, however, often served a political agenda, Kuo claims, with organizations friendly to the administration often winning grants. More pointedly, Kuo quotes an unnamed member of the review panel charged with rating grant applications as saying she stopped looking at applications from “those non-Christian groups,” as did many of her colleagues. “Tempting Faith” contains several other controversial claims about Kuo’s office, the Bush White House and even the 1994 Republican revolution in Congress. Calls and e-mails to the White House have not been returned. Many of those revelations and others will be the topic of discussion on Thursday night’s edition of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.” Watch “Countdown” each weeknight at 8 p.m. ET © 2006 MSNBC Interactive URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15228489/
  20. Foley Aide Disputes Hastert's Account by The Associated Press October 12, 2006 - 3:00 pm ET (Washington) The House ethics committee Thursday questioned the one-time chief of staff to ex-Rep. Mark Foley, who challenged Speaker Dennis Hastert's account of his office's first notification of Foley's conduct toward male pages. Kirk Fordham gave crucial testimony behind closed doors as investigators sought to learn who is telling the truth. Fordham said he gave the information to Hastert chief of staff Scott Palmer in 2002 or 2003, but Palmer has disputed Fordham's account. Hastert's office said his staff was first told about Foley last fall. Before Fordham appeared, a Republican member of the House page board, which oversees the program for teenagers, said she was never told about Foley. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said after her questioning, "I'm a member of the page board who was not informed of the e-mail messages that were sent. I want the investigation to go forth quickly and reach a conclusion." Capito's Democratic opponent had earlier accused her of failing to protect the high schoolers in the page program. Keeping Capito out of the loop would raise questions about whether other Republicans tried to tell as few people as possible about Foley as part of a cover up. She is one of three members of Congress who serve on the page board. Rep. Dale Kildee of Michigan, the lone Democrat, also said he was not told about Foley. Capito's testimony preceded that of Foley's chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, who was ready to directly question the truthfulness of Speaker Dennis Hastert's top aide. Fordham said he could demonstrate that he warned Hastert chief of staff Scott Palmer about Foley's approaches to male pages in 2002 or 2003. Palmer has challenged Fordham's description of events. Capito said she knew nothing about the allegations until Sept. 29, when Foley's conduct became a major Capitol Hill scandal. "It disturbs me greatly. I am very upset about it and I think it is disgusting, quite frankly," Capito said in a West Virginia debate Wednesday after her opponent accused her of shirking her responsibility. She has called for more members on the page board, more training for those members, and peer counseling for the pages. According to a timeline released by Hastert, the speaker's office was informed about an overly friendly e-mail that Foley sent in the fall of 2005. Subsequently, the clerk of the House and Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., head of the page board, met with Foley, who assures them he was only acting as a mentor to the boy. Shimkus ordered Foley to cease contact with the boy, apparently without notifying Kildee or Capito. Shimkus will testify Friday. At a recent news conference, the speaker said that Shimkus was following the wishes of the parents of the former page by not telling other page board members about it. "I think Congressman Shimkus acted in an expedited manner to find out what happened, again with what the framework of what the family concern was," Hastert said. Shimkus also said he did not inform the other board members because he was following the wishes of the boy's parents. Meanwhile, House Majority Leader John Boehner has been invited by the ethics panel to testify, but no date has been set. Boehner has said he informed Hastert about Foley and was told the matter was being handled. Hastert has said he doesn't recall the conversation. Hastert's aides said they first learned of an overly friendly Foley e-mail to a former page in the fall of 2005 _ and never knew about sexually explicit messages to others until late last month when they became public. The FBI also is investigating, trying to determine whether any crimes were committed by Foley. While the ethics committee will try to learn who's telling the truth, the court of public opinion appeared to be moving against the Republicans, who hold majorities in the House and Senate. Polls show most Americans say the House Republican leadership worried more about politics than the safety of teenage pages. However, most also say Democrats would not have handled the situation better. Several polls also show a split on whether Hastert, R-Ill., should step down, with just under half of those surveyed saying he should. More than half in several polls said Hastert tried to cover up what he knew about Foley. Next week, the ethics panel also is to hear from Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., whose testimony also is poised to raise questions about how GOP leaders handled the Foley problem. A former page he sponsored from Louisiana received friendly e-mails from Foley that were not sexually explicit but raised questions about Foley's motives. The former page contacted Alexander's office about Foley in fall 2005. Foley, R-Fla., had asked the boy's age _ then 16 _ and his birthday. Foley also requested a photo. There is no dispute that Alexander's chief of staff, who also will be questioned, called Hastert's office. This, according to a report by Hastert, was the initial notification that something was wrong. Last spring, Alexander mentioned the Foley situation to Boehner, R-Ohio. Alexander said Boehner referred him to Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Republican campaign organization. Both Boehner and Reynolds said they spoke with Hastert, who says he cannot recall those conversations and raised questions about whether they occurred. Boehner initially quoted Hastert as telling him the Louisiana page's complaint "had been taken care of." Foley resigned Sept. 29 after his sexually explicit instant messages to former pages became public. ©365Gay.com links
  21. Schwarzenegger Waffles On Anti-Gay Prop 22 by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff October 12, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET (San Francisco, California) California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger won't say if he would support overturning Proposition 22 a measure which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. In a meeting with the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle the governor hesitated, then said "I will get back to you on that." In a follow-up question he also refused to be pinned down on what he would do if voters did overturn the law. The editorial board asked if he would sign a gay marriage bill if the proposition were overturned. "I have so many things to think about every day, I am not thinking at all about those hypotheticals," is all he would say. Proposition 22 was overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2000. Since then LGBT activists have been pushing to have the law overturned. Last year Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill passed by the legislature that would have allowed same-sex marriage. At the time he said his hands were tied because of the controversial proposition. "Put it on the ballot - maybe they've changed their mind," Schwarzenegger said. "Because I think the polls are different today than they maybe were five years ago. It could easily be that they favor gay marriage in California." A legal challenge to California's ban on gay marriage is expected to be taken up by the state Supreme Court sometime next year. One of the issues the court will have to determine is the constitutionality of Prop 22. By refusing to answer the editorial board's questions on the issue of same-sex marriage, Schwarzenegger continues to walk a thin line as a "moderate" attempting not to anger either the far right of the Republican Party or moderate Democrats who he needs for re-election. Polls so far show he is way out in front of his Democratic challenger Phil Angelides. ©365Gay.com 2006 links
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