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The Supreme Court and The Future of Marriage – With four months to go until the election, msnbc.com is presenting a weekly series, Briefing Book: Issues ’08 which will assess issues and controversies that the next president must confront once he takes the oath of office.

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Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 7th:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Publicity Still

  • Sneak Peek: First Look At New Harry Potter Film – The Harry Potter trio are back to save Hogwarts from dark forces in the eagerly anticipated sixth film in the series. A year after the last Potter film, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, JK Rowling’s creation is back in British cinemas in November.
  • Fred Barnes: McCain Better Step Up ‘Homo-Bashing’ As Strategy – Pam’s House Blend: I guess the talking heads on Fox just get right to the point — the GOP is bankrupt of any ideas or actual accomplishments to run on in 2008, so the flagging McSame campaign better drag out the tired homo straw man, according to Right S
  • Andrew Sullivan: A Long Way From The Green Iguana – It’s funny to watch the partisan right out-do each other to declare Obama a cynic while Charlie Crist gets engaged to a woman at the height of McCain’s veep search.
  • Study: Military Gays Don’t Undermine Unit Cohesion – Congress should repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy because the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win, according to a new study released by a California-based research center.
  • A Major Speech in Berlin?: Obama Refines Plans for Germany Trip – Barack Obama’s planned European tour might make a major whistlestop in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The candidate’s schedule isn’t set, but a Berlin appearance before the end of July looks likely.
  • Borat’s Alter Ego Dupes Former Mossad Agent – It’s unclear whether his Mossad retirement benefit card will be confiscated, but former spy and current political analyst Yossi Alpher is certainly feeling sheepish after being fooled by actor Sacha Baron Cohen, aka Borat.
  • Federal Investigation Launched into Obama’s MD-80 – The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that it is investigating what caused Senator Barack Obama’s plane to make an unexpected landing today in St. Louis.
  • Iraq May Set Timetable For U.S. Withdrawal – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki raised the prospect on Monday of setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops as part of negotiations over a new security agreement with Washington.
  • Webb Says No To Being VP – You can officially scratch off Sen. Jim Webb’s name from the list of Barack Obama’s potential running mates.
  • ABC News: Md. Plantation Attic Holds 400 Years of Documents – For four centuries, they were the ultimate pack rats. Now a Maryland family’s massive collection of letters, maps and printed bills has surfaced in the attic of a former plantation, providing a firsthand account of life from the 1660s through World War II
  • Miami Herald Covers Media Swirl Around Crist – And Avoids The Obvious – I’m not sure how you can explore Florida governor Charlie Crist’s shameless self-promotion for McCain’s consideration as VP (after all, the long-time “bachelor” is willing to get married to pass muster) without going into the ample number of stories about

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 7th:

Ted Koppel interviews villagers in Qiejiajie, in the Chongqing province, with his interpreter, Mao Sai Feng.

  • Changes In China: Koppel Investigates – The image of Ted Koppel interviewing world leaders is so ingrained that it feels odd to see him wearing a hardhat for a nervous trip into a Chinese coal mine, or sitting in a Chongqing karaoke bar where teenage girls are hired to “entertain” male customer
  • Bush To Meet Russia’s Medvedev – US President George W. Bush on Monday holds his first face-to-face talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a chance to weigh up Vladimir Putin’s heir and tackle outstanding disputes.
  • McCain Promises To Balance Budget – Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) plans to promise on Monday that he will balance the federal budget by the end of his first term by curbing wasteful spending and overhauling entitlement programs, including Social Security, his advisers told Politico.
  • McCain Struggles to Regain Footing – John McCain calls himself an underdog. That may be an understatement. The GOP presidential candidate trails Democrat Barack Obama in polls, organization and money while trying to succeed a deeply unpopular fellow Republican in a year that favors Democrats
  • FDA Reports More Cases Of Salmonella Illnesses – The government on Saturday increased the number of people reported being sickened in a record salmonella outbreak in which tomatoes are the leading suspect although investigators are testing other types of fresh produce.
  • UAE To Cancel Iraq’s $7 billion Debt – Dubai has forgiven the nearly $7 billion Baghdad owes it, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced Sunday.

Rafael Nadal

Salt tears flowed in the locker room after Rafael Nadal lost to Roger Federer in last year’s Wimbledon final.

Sobbing, he told his scowling coach and uncle, Toni, that he might never be in that position again. He truly believed this, but Toni knew better. Rafa was only 21 years old.

“I told him his life does not change because he has not won this match,” Toni said.On Sunday, after a 4-hour, 48-minute marathon, Nadal approached the net to shake Federer’s hand with tears in his eyes. This time, after myriad opportunities eluded him, Nadal was a 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7 winner.

It was the longest men’s singles final on record at the All England Club, going back to 1877. And certainly, it was one of the finest. Sublime is the word that comes to mind.

more about “Changing Of The Guard: Rafa Becomes F…“, posted with vodpod

Discovery will begin airing a four-part series, “The People’s Republic of Capitalism,” beginning July 9, profiling the role China’s growing economy will affect the global economy.

Nominated for Best Documentary at the 2006 GLAAD Media Awards, WE ARE DAD is the story of a gay couple who are pediatric AIDS nurses that become foster parents to infants who are HIV positive, and decide to challenge the State of Florida’s law banning adoption by gay people.

The film follows the lives of a most unusual family: Two white HIV negative gay men and their family of five kids. Four of them have AIDS, three are black, two come from a backwater cult in Oregon, and one of the children has been in the middle of one of the most hotly debated issues in this country: gay adoption. We follow these delightful men through the highs and lows of their 18 year struggle to raise this amazing family.

Red State Update takes up the subject of John McCain’s rumored marriage infidelities.

John McCain, speaking at a townhall meeting in December 2007.

more about “McCain: I Hate The Bloggers“, posted with vodpod

The Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 6th:

  • Al-Maliki: Iraq Defeated Terrorism – Iraq’s prime minister said yesterday that the government has defeated terrorism in the country, a sign of growing confidence after recent crackdowns against Sunni extremists and Shiite militias.
  • Nadal Dethrones Federer At Wimbledon – Rafael Nadal ended Roger Federer’s five-year reign at Wimbledon on Sunday, winning a riveting, five-set marathon to claim his first title at the All England Club and signal a changing of the guard in men’s tennis.
  • Man Rips Off Hitler’s Head at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – A man tore the head off an Adolf Hitler wax figure at Madame Tussauds’ new branch in Berlin in what appeared to be a symbolic protest on the museum’s opening day Saturday, officials said.
  • Poll: Founding Fathers Would Be Disappointed In America – As Americans celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, an overwhelming majority say the 56 signers of that document would be displeased at how the country has turned out.
  • Americans Prefer Candidates Strong On Science – A new poll conducted by Scientists and Engineers for America indicates an overwhelming majority of voters prefer candidates who support research into science and technology, with emphasis on the three E’s: education, environment, and energy. Nice to know,
  • Kerry says McCain lacks judgment to be president – John Kerry Says Republican John McCain Doesn’t Have Judgment To Be President

Rafael Nadal ended Roger Federer’s five-year reign at Wimbledon on Sunday, winning a riveting, five-set marathon to claim his first title at the All England Club and signal a changing of the guard in men’s tennis.

Nadal held off a stirring comeback by Federer from two sets down to prevail 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7. He became the first man to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year since Bjorn Borg in 1980.

Nadal, the first Spaniard to win Wimbledon since Manolo Santana in 1966, avenged his losses to Federer in the last two finals here and snapped the Swiss star’s All England Club winning streak at 40 matches and overall grass-court run at 65.

The rain-delayed match ended in near darkness after 4 hours, 48 minutes of play — the longest men’s final in Wimbledon history — when Federer slapped a forehand into the net on Nadal’s fourth match point and second of the game.

Nadal fell onto his back in exhilaration at the baseline. With his shirt caked with turf, he congratulated Federer and climbed into the players’ box to embrace his entourage. He had tears in his eyes as he grabbed a Spanish flag and walked across the television commentators’ booth to the edge of the Royal Box to shake hands with Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain.

“It’s impossible to explain what I felt in that moment,” Nadal said after receiving the winner’s trophy from the Duke of Kent. “Just very, very happy to win this title. For me, (it) is a dream to play in this tournament. But to win, I never imagined something like this.”

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 6th from 01:20 to 02:00:

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 5th through July 6th:

  • Tablet ignites debate on messiah and resurrection – A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days.
  • The United States of Fat – CalorieLab has out their annual “fattest States” and it’s no surprise. Folks just keep getting fatter, so much so that they had to change the categories slightly so it wasn’t a wash of red, fat, states.
  • Israel weighs Jerusalem separation – Israel should cut off outlying Arab neighborhoods from Jerusalem, Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon demanded Thursday, a day after a Palestinian construction worker from one of those districts went on a deadly rampage in the city center.

Venus Williams has won seven majors in her career.

Venus Williams beat sister Serena 7-5, 6-4 Saturday to win her fifth Wimbledon title and seventh Grand Slam championship.

It was Venus’ first win over her younger sibling in a Grand Slam final since the 2001 U.S. Open, and evened their career record at 8-8.

Roger Federer and Raphael Nadal, the top two seeds on the ATP side, meet tomorrow in the men’s final for the third time.

I’m an uncle!

Landon was born at 7:56 a.m. on July 4th, weighing in at 10 lbs, 2 oz., and 23 inches in length. YAY. I’m already searching online for Obama onesies!

https://i1.wp.com/www.tampabay.com/multimedia/archive/00015/b4s_cristwomen_0323_15502c.jpeg

CRIST TO MARRY!?!?: Florida’s most powerful bachelor is getting hitched.

Gov. Charlie Crist, single for nearly three decades, on Thursday morning became engaged to his girlfriend of nine months, Carole Rome.

“She’s special in every way. She’s brilliant, beautiful and sweet. I’m very, very lucky,” Crist told the St. Petersburg Times in an exclusive interview.

“PREGNANT MAN” THOMAS BEATIE GIVES BIRTH

Thomas Beatie, the transgender man who made headlines as the so-called “pregnant man,” gave birth Sunday to a healthy baby girl, ABC News has learned.

CONSERVATIVE ICON JESSE HELMS DEAD

Jesse Helms, the firebrand United States senator whose outspoken, conservative views polarized North Carolina and U.S. voters for decades, died at 1:15 a.m. Friday in Raleigh, according to John Dodd, president of the Jesse Helms Center.

ANNIE LENNOX JOINS LATEST RUMOR MILL ON QUANTUM OF SOLACE THEME SONG

With recent rumors swirling around Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Jack White and Duran Duran, now you can add Annie Lennox to the mix of artists who will potentially lend vocals to the theme of the 22nd and latest James Bond film, “Quantum of Solace.”

NATIONAL SPEED LIMIT TO HELP SAVE GAS?

Retiring Sen. John Warner (R-VA) has a rather stupid idea to help save costs. By adding another band-aid to our addiction to oil, by creating a national 55mph speed limit, instead of creating real change.

Here’s a happy story, thats kinda reminds me of the San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders’ reversal on gay rights. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ) has reversed his stance on gay marriage, after his step-daughter came out to him as a lesbian. Rothman then joined the House’s GLBT Caucus.

Homophobia irks me. Being gay and being born and raised in the Deep South, there’s a deep divide over how people think, based on what they’re taught, and what they’ve actually experienced. I can assure you my extended family, who despite my pleasure, occasionally use the N-word, and repulse from news about “the gays,” continue to do so because they don’t have friends or acquaintances who are African-American, or who are LGBT, or Jewish… or Muslim… pretty much anything not really shouting out its existence in Dixie… and don’t fundamentally understand why their views are so offensive to me.

Now, I can’t blame my 88 year-old grandmother for her archaic use of language. She’s of a different generation that I am, and all I can do is gently educate her about how the world actually works. There are, in fact, gay people in America, and they tie their shoes just like you do. And that you ABSOLUTELY do not use slurs or slanders, ever. I only this week managed to get her to remove her lawn jockey from her front yard, and that thing has made me queasy since I realized what it stood for. When I was 12.

My uncle, who I wouldn’t give two cents for when it came to voting for a Democrat in the first place, and I’m sure has a USB cord attached from Fox News to his brain, has twice tried to educate me on Barack Obama. That Obama is a Muslim, that he’s a closet terrorist. He’s constantly sending out emails about Barack Obama and his craziness. I’ve just started forwarding him back snopes.com articles debunking urban legends, or direct material from all kinds of sources. When a cousin asked who I was voting for, I knew where the conversation was leading. I said, “Obama,” and looked upon his astonishment. “Why?” he asked in a condescending way. “Because I believe in the Constitution. Because I believe we need a direct change from the policy of Dubya. Because I don’t promote the politics of hate and exclusion.”

I walked out of the room, not even wanting to engage the idiot in any type of educational exercise, only because I know he is an avid hunter, was wearing camo at the time, and was probably locked and loaded from the oversized gas-guzzling SUV he drove in on… (on Father’s Day. Not gay-chic.) Sure enough, within 10 seconds, I hear n-word this, muslim that.

My point is… desensitize people. I prolly should have had a sit down, and maybe that will come one day. But still, it irks me.

Rumor has it San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who’s famously made news in recent years around gay marriage, launched a 2010 exploratory bid for California Governorship on Tuesday. That move puts him ahead of the Democratic pack to replace Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is term-limited.

I wonder out loud if the Governator would then look to take on Barbara Boxer or Diane Feinstein in a U.S. Senate race, but I get the feeling Arnold would rather be an executive, and not one of a group of 100 senators.

Other Democrats expected to run include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who faces re-election in 2009, and may be in for trouble because of his divorce and subsequent relationship to a television reporter.

Sneaky snapshots from Prince Harry’s tour of Iraq Afghanistan are surfacing.

Har_09

Hat tip to TowleRoad.com.

Yes, its now official. “Monster Head” Barry Bonds’ home run ball has made it to Cooperstown. Go A-Rod!

AP: Now branded with an asterisk, the ball Barry Bonds launched for his record 756th home run nearly a year ago landed Tuesday night in the Hall of Fame.

The souvenir arrived in Cooperstown, N.Y., after a strange day of back-and-forth statements between its owner, fashion designer Marc Ecko, and the shrine.

“We are very happy to receive the baseball as a donation, and not as a loan,” Hall spokesman Brad Horn said. “We look forward to adding this ball to our permanent collections.”

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