Pam Spaulding's blog

Sharing stories with the Chapel Hill HS Gay-Straight Alliance

Cross-posted at Pam's House Blend.

On Monday I attended the regular meeting of the Gay-Straight-Alliance at Chapel Hill High School and it was a wonderful experience, being surrounded by so many self-aware, talented and insightful young people who were willing to share with me what life is like for them as LGBTs and allies in 2008.

I was invited by the advisor for the GSA, chemistry instructor and strong ally Alan Rissberger (known as "the Riz" to the folks). He has created a casual, comfortable and nurturing environment for the young people to share their stories. I think it's a huge testament to Rissberger and out gay social studies teacher and co-sponsor Tom Greene, that the students were able to open up to me during my visit with the group.

There's a long way to go to bring some of these mountain folk over to Obama

A version of this is cross-posted at Pam's House Blend.

Barack Obama was in Asheville today, an oasis of Blue in an otherwise pretty Red part of the state. About 20 miles away is Hendersonville, and look at what a local real estate agent decided to place on his business sign:

Someone actually called the realtor up:

i just talked with this guy for over a half an hour. his position, and i paraphrase, is that obama is egotistical and will sell out america to foreign interests for more power. the guy's worldview is shaped by too much fox news, especially the coverage of reverend wright. we talked about the history of the republican party selling out the american people to corporate interests, and how mccain will do far more to help the rich than help the american worker. he was receptive to what i was saying, but is quite ignorant. he thinks that this is going to create reasonable debate and create dialogue. i encouraged him to find a specific policy of obama's, or a situation or quote where obama was being elitist or concerned only about his own self interest and then criticize that. i hope other people will call him and not react to the sign, but try to explain a little bit about how the world works. i'm convinced that if enough reasonable, intelligent people call him and try to tactfully explain the situation and that his knowledge is only shaped by what media conglomerates want him to hear, he might even switch sides. somebody needs to explain the nuances of socialist economics to him and tell him that obama isn't going to make this a communist country. it's an uphill battle people, but i think you can do it. if anybody has a decent conversation with him, email me at jgild84 at hotmail dot com and tell me about it.

Below the fold is a clip from Sunday's Obama speech in Asheville, and a look at something even more distressing.

An Obama-loathing fundie serves up hellfire on a pizza box at NC Pride

Crossposted on Pam's House Blend.

UPDATE: Mandy Carter spoke about the importance of the LGBT vote (I just added that video below the fold). Also, I forgot to mention that we also had one pathetic McCain supporter on the sidelines screaming "McCain, McCain, McCain." She couldn't even manage to round up a few friends to make a decent show of things.

Kate and I went to the NC Pride parade on Saturday, and it was definitely the largest turnout we've seen. There was a lot of Obama support out there (right: this was my favorite T-shirt of the day). We marched in the Obama Pride section this time around. It was a wild assortment of progressive allies, members of the LGBT community, and very strong corporate support (Suntrust, US Air, Bank of America, Best Buy, Glaxo, to name a few).

We had a flock of unhinged fundies this year. Operation Save America and Flip Benham didn't show, but it looks like one of the local black churches sent out some members with handmade signs with tired "wages of sin" kind of phrases on them. They just stood silently. By contrast, the most vocal and unhinged fundies were white, that was kind of odd; I'm not sure what's going on there. I should note that there were more gay-affirming churches of all denominations marching in the parade than ever before.


I wonder what the hateful crowd thought about that.

I was accosted by one young woman who wanted to save me from eternal damnation as I marched, so naturally I had to go over and film her. It was hilarious - her schtick was that Obama wasn't going to save us from the hellfire. I asked her why she wasn't out there protesting divorce. This got her briefly off message, then the cops told me to move along. Here's the video of her and the rest of the fundies:

A slideshow of other photos from Pride and more fundie footage are below the fold.

McCain's 'Truth Squad' to counter attacks on Palin includes Foxx, Myrick

Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up...this bit of Truthiness landed in my inbox from the folks with only a casual relationship to the truth, the RNC and the McCain/Palin camp. Note the lack of prominent Republican women (or men for that matter) on this list (where's Kay Bailey Hutchison?) ; this was the best they could scrape up. I'm not surprised that GOP tool Virginia Foxx, is on the list, and as far as fact-checking goes, Sue Myrick’s from NC, not FL.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Press Office
Tuesday, September 9, 2008


ARLINGTON, VA -- With today's Wall Street Journal report that pro-Obama Democrats have "airdropped a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers into Anchorage" to dig for dirt on our vice presidential nominee, the McCain-Palin campaign today launched the Palin Truth Squad to counter recent attacks on Governor Sarah Palin, her family, her friends and her record of accomplishment. The Palin Truth Squad will set the record straight against Internet and liberal smears of Governor Palin.

"We're proud of Governor Palin's leadership in Alaska and record of taking on entrenched special interests and the good old boys network," said former Governor Jane Swift. "Governor Palin's commitment to reform is well-known but there are those who would seek to distort that record with vile rumors and smears against her, her husband, her children and her friends. We will not allow those on the left and in the media to smear a woman who has always served her constituents with honor. We know the truth and are committed to ensuring it as well."

In the event of false attacks, rumors and smears against Governor Palin, the Palin Truth Squad will issue alerts and statements to voters and the media to set the record straight. Additionally, the Truth Squad will be available to respond to inquiries from the media.

National Members Of The Palin Truth Squad:

· Former Governor Jane Swift (R-MA)
· Governor Linda Lingle (R-HI)
· Lt. Governor Sean Parnell, (R-AK)
· Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
· Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
· Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
· Congresswoman Thelma Drake (R-VA)
· Congresswoman Mary Fallin (R-OK)
· Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
· Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX)
· Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
· Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI)
· Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-FL)
· Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
· Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM)
· Jo Ann Davidson, RNC Co-Chair
· Rosario Marin, Former U.S. Treasurer
· Meg Stapleton, Former Aide To Governor Palin
· Kristan Cole, Lifelong Friend Of Governor Palin

NYT article on convention bloggers features Pam's House Blend

A couple of days ago I mentioned that I was interviewed by Amanda Millner-Fairbanks of the New York Times for a feature. She told me that it was likely to run Sunday, but it actually published today on its web site.  It will be in the print edition tomorrow (on page ST1 of the New York edition).

The article, "The Year of the Political Blogger Has Arrived," is about bloggers and the 2008 Democratic National Convention, focusing on some of the logistical and financial hurdles faced by bloggers to cover the event. She also spoke with the DNCC about the challenges of including new media/citizen journalists as members of the credentialed media.

Other bloggers are interviewed, including Phillip Anderson from The Albany Project and John Odum of Green Mountain Daily.

'Black Republican PAC' fronts for direct mail wingnut welfare

Originally published on Pam's House Blend. This has a North Carolina tie because it involves Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC), who has received contributions from the "Black Republican PAC."

I recently received a direct mail piece from a Blender that is unbelievable. It is from an entity called the "Black Republican PAC," headed up by Edward Cousar. Here is a taste of what's in the mailing:

"Because what we conservatives need right now more than anything else is someone and some group who can speak the truth about Obama without being intimidated by the "racist" label.

I am that man and Black Republican PAC is that group.

I'm dedicated to exposing Barack Obama's liberalism before it's too late for America.

It goes on for four pages of garbage. I decided to surf around and see who Cousar was and what this organization was about. What I found was revealing; a strategy that not only uses black Republicans as a cover for the above, but is at its base a group white GOP operatives using funds raised by this and other web of PACs to line their incestuous direct mail companies' coffers.

Jim Neal: Kids in NC get thrown under the bus

Former NC U.S. Senate candidate Jim Neal shared a very personal story on Pam's House Blend that conveys why an anti-bullying bill should have passed in our state.

As has been reported the NC Senate's failure to pass anti-bullying legislation despite having the votes intact is disappointing shows a disturbing and unacceptable lack of courage and compassion. They threw kids in the state of North Carolina under the bus when they had an opportunity to protect them.

Surreal Netroots Nation moment starring Bob Barr

I come out of a session at Netroots Nation and guess who is standing in the hall being interviewed -- Libertarian candidate Bob Barr. It's bizarre enough that he'd show up at a lefty conference, but the mind-boggler is that he's also in Austin to speak at the sad-sack right-wing blogger "counter-event," the Right Online Summit (sponsored by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, just look at the agenda and the speaker list), along with the diva of wingnuttery, Michelle Malkin. Here's Bob, and my reaction:

Anti-bullying bill killed

Unbelievable. Let's just look at this from the 30,000-foot view. How on earth is it controversial to protect children from harassment and violence? (N&O):

Sen. Doug Berger, a Franklin County Democrat, said the bullying bill will not be approved this session.

The bill was controversial because it listed "sexual orientation" and other characteristics as reasons schoolchildren might be the targets of bullying. Groups such as the Christian Action League and the N.C. Family Policy Council did not want the term in state law, saying that gay-rights groups would use it to leverage other rights.

Sexism and racism - what lies beneath...

In looking back at the MSM treatment of Hillary Clinton over the course of the primary season, there was an expected eruption of misogyny -- from Chris Matthews Greatest Hits and The Tweety Effect, to the infamous Hillary nutcracker -- yet what I found most interesting was the handwringing over the whole matter. Similarly, there was desperation by some on the left (and right) to declare 2008 a "post-racial" election; they saw their hopes dashed as the bloody chum was tossed out to the hungry media sharks by Clinton surrogates and the usual GOP shills, rife with allusions, counter-charges and just plain old race-baiting idiocy (see Geraldine Ferraro, Andrew Cuomo, Bob Johnson).

More after the jump.


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