Friday morning this and that open thread

Good morning, everyone. Really early morning, as in 5:15 AM. When this post goes live I will have been at work since 6:15 AM. ZZZzzzzzz. Need a hot cup of English Breakfast tea.

A few random headlines…

* Senate votes to expand federal hate crimes.. We heard that good news last night, but the open issue now is that Republicans will have the opportunity to changes to the hate crimes bill on Monday, though it will not affect its status as part of the must-pass defense bill. I’m sure we’ll see ample fundie outcries today. If you find a few, post them in the comments.

* Blasts at Jakarta Ritz, Marriott kill 8, wound 50. Suicide bombers kiled eight and wounding at least 50 at the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta.

* Gov. Mark “AWOL” Sanford preaches fiscal frugality, but officials are finding out he shed his conservative values when it came to traveling on the Palmetto State citizen’s dime. What a surprise.

Sanford, who once criticized other state officials for costly travel, charged the state more than $37,600 for one first-class and four business-class flights overseas since November 2005, expense records show. Other state employees flew in the back of the plane at a fraction of the price, according to the documents…His spokesman defended the governor’s state travel as “very judicious.”

* Speaking of straying politicians, in Mississippi, the wife of former U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering (need I mention he’s a Republican at this point), has charged the social conservative pol with carrying on an affair with a former college friend while  living in a building where several Christian lawmakers reside on C Street near the U.S. Capitol. Pickering doesn’t deny it.

He cast himself as a defender of decency, particularly on television and the Internet, and was among House members urging then-President George W. Bush to declare 2008 “the National Year of the Bible.”

* Weirdo story of the day: Man tries to fix airbed, blows up apartment.

The 45-year-old man used tire repair solvent to plug a hole in his airbed and left it overnight. But it blew up when he went to inflate it the next day. “A spark from the electric air pump ignited it,” a fire brigade spokesman said. The blast pushed his living room wall into the building’s stairwell and caused extensive damage to walls, windows and furniture.

* Gay activist and former Clinton aide David Mixner rates the Blend as on of his Five Favorite LGBT Blogs (along with Joe.My.God:, PageOneQ: and Queerty:).

You can find important news on Pam Spaulding’s blog that you will not find in any of the other sites. I would love to be able to tap into her network and know where she gets her tips. She has uncovered many stories on the religious right, has excellent coverage of the Trangender Community and is the best on lesbian coverage of all the blogs. This well written blog, often with a cutting sense of humor, is crucial to read to be fully informed of what is happening in the LGBT community. Pam’s House Blend is never boring and always informative. Pam has a take no prisoners approach to the enemies of the LGBT community and her powerful voice has broken new ground.

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