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History was ushered in at 5:01 pm PST today as California began marrying same-sex couples, becoming the second state in the nation to do so.

Cake_3In San Francisco, 87-year-old Del Martin and 84-year-old Phyllis Lyon were married after being together for more than 50 years. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom officiated:

“Well-wishers cheered when they emerged outside Newsom’s office after the ceremony. Dozens of couples gathered outside the clerks offices in Alameda, Sonoma and Yolo counties, where hours were extended to accommodate gay couples who wanted to be among the first to marry. Derek Norman, 23 and Robert Blaudow, 39, from Memphis, were in the Bay Area for a conference and decided to get married at the Alameda County clerk’s office. ‘We might wait a long time in Tennessee, so this is our chance,’ Blaudow said. First in line to pick up a marriage license in Sonoma was Melanie Phoenix, 47, and Terry Robinson, 48, of Santa Rosa. They have been together for almost 26 years and plan to be wed in August.” Several Midwest states were flooded this weekend, forcing families to evacuate their homes and leave their communities.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by the floods.

The American Red Cross is providing relief efforts in Indiana, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and West Virginia. Almost 1,100 workers have been deployed to help out in the Midwest.

Throughout this campaign, we have seen time and again that when ordinary people act together, they can make a difference.

You can help out now by donating or volunteering at a local shelter. Visit the Red Cross’ website for more information on how to help in your town. Let’s rally together to help those who need us now.

AFP: Belgian-Brazilian brewing giant InBev wooed Anheuser-Busch on Thursday, vowing to respect its St. Louis heritage and not close any US breweries if it accepts a 46-billion-dollar (30-billion-euro) takeover bid.InBev, which already owns leading brands such as Stella Artois, Beck’s, Leffe and Brahma, offered 65 dollars a share for Anheuser-Busch on Wednesday, seeking to build an unrivalled global brewer.

Even though the St. Louis, Missouri-based company said it would “review the merits” of the takeover, InBev faces stiff opposition from local politicians and beer lovers, who were quick to attack the takeover.

The success of the takeover offer will ultimately be decided by Anheuser-Busch’s shareholders.

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CNN: Prime Minister Han Seung-soo and the South Korean Cabinet offered to resign Tuesday amid an uproar over an unpopular deal to resume importing U.S. beef, the Yonhap news agency reported.

It was unclear how many of the offers President Lee Myung-bak would accept, South Korean media reports said, but a major Cabinet reshuffling was expected, possibly claiming the prime minister and the ministers of agriculture and foreign affairs.

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AP: Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee did more than just give a speech at the North Carolina Republican Party convention. He also may have saved a life.

State GOP spokesman Brent Woodcox says the former Arkansas governor did the Heimlich maneuver on Robert Pittenger, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, at a lunch before Huckabee gave his speech Saturday.

Woodcox says Pittenger was walking by the front table of the lunch greeting people when he began to choke.

Woodcox says Huckabee jumped up to help Pittenger, who was able to walk away after the incident without medical assistance.

Phone messages left for Huckabee and Pittenger on Saturday were not immediately returned.

If you’re an Alabama reader or blogger (or not, we’d still like to communicate from you), please give us a shout. We wanna listen to your thoughts. We’d love to hear about how we can change Alabama. We’d be bedazzled to hear how we can change America in 2008 . And we’d soak up comments about how we can make The Plainsman Politico better. By all means, send us your comments.

– The Plainsman Politico

Link to The Plainsman Politico:

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The New Yorker has a fascinating little article about the dreaded hangover, and moreover, potential remedies from around the world.

New Yorker: Of the miseries regularly inflicted on humankind, some are so minor and yet, while they last, so painful that one wonders how, after all this time, a remedy cannot have been found. If scientists do not have a cure for cancer, that makes sense. But the common cold, the menstrual cramp? The hangover is another condition of this kind. It is a preventable malady: don’t drink. Nevertheless, people throughout time have found what seemed to them good reason for recourse to alcohol. One attraction is alcohol’s power to disinhibit—to allow us, at last, to tell off our neighbor or make an improper suggestion to his wife. Alcohol may also persuade us that we have found the truth about life, a comforting experience rarely available in the sober hour. Through the lens of alcohol, the world seems nicer. (“I drink to make other people interesting,” the theatre critic George Jean Nathan used to say.) For all these reasons, drinking cheers people up. See Proverbs 31:6-7: “Give . . . wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.” It works, but then, in the morning, a new misery presents itself.

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AP: Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled an online advertisement featuring Rachael Ray after complaints that a fringed black-and-white scarf that the celebrity chef wore in the ad offers symbolic support for Muslim extremism and terrorism.

The coffee and baked goods chain said the ad that began appearing online May 7 was pulled over the past weekend because “the possibility of misperception detracted from its original intention to promote our iced coffee.”

In the spot, Ray holds an iced coffee while standing in front of trees with pink blossoms.

Critics, including conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, complained that the scarf wrapped around her looked like a kaffiyeh, the traditional Arab headdress. Critics who fueled online complaints about the ad in blogs say such scarves have come to symbolize Muslim extremism and terrorism.

The kaffiyeh, Malkin wrote in a column posted online last Friday, “has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant (and not-so-ignorant) fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.”


Gawker: An email tipster discovered John McCain‘s family blog has been infiltrated at the deepest level by enemies of America. Meghan McCain, daughter of the Republican presidential candidate, is really into the keffiyeh, scarf of Middle Eastern Precious Freedoms Haters, and even wears it on the so-called Straight Talk Express, and also in the presence of her apparent sympathizer mom Cindy McCain! Republicans of course will murder McCain for this horrifying development, because they are fashion whores who know the keffiyeh is so over.

From Every Day with Rachael Ray
June-July 2006

Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 14 min


5 Kirby cucumbers, unpeeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
6 dashes Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt


1. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. In a fine-mesh strainer, toss the cucumbers with 1 teaspoon of the salt and drain over a bowl for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of the dill, the Tabasco sauce and the olive oil. Toss the shrimp in the seasoned oil and set aside.
3. Squeeze the drained cucumbers to release extra water, then place in a dry bowl and toss with the sweetened vinegar. Mix in the yogurt and the remaining 1/4 cup of dill and refrigerate.
4. Grill the shrimp until cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side. Serve the shrimp warm or at room temperature with the cold cucumber salad.