Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients Visit the Briefing Room

alex01thumbThe sixteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, this country’s highest civilian honor, were awarded their medals today in the East Room of the White House. I was lucky enough to cover it today, even though I ended up, as per usual, behind everybody. Good pictures were hard for someone without a professional setup to come by – out of about 250 I took all day, I think maybe 30 are passably good. Gallery of acceptable shots to follow.

About an hour after the ceremony concluded, Billie Jean King herself came down to visit the briefing room, and consented to answer a few short questions. “I want to give everyone who made my medal possible a piece of it, but I wouldn’t have enough pieces!” she said to the press as she turned the medal over, revealing the engraved name on the back: Billie Jean Moffitt King. “I don’t deserve it, though. Harvey Milk deserved it,” she added. “This is the first time, I think, the LGBT community has really been honored by the White House.” Continue reading

Cripes, Not Another Book Challenge

alex01thumbI only had to read the lede to know that this story was going to make me angry:

A fight over books depicting sex and homosexuality has riled up a small Wisconsin city, cost some library board members their positions and prompted a call for a public book burning.

Are these people for real? “We don’t like this book, so we’re going to have it banned/burned”? I am actually speechless. Then again, I usually am when my favorite medium is so disrespected. A sane person would argue, “If you don’t like what these books say, you don’t have to read them. Nobody is holding your eyes open, A Clockwork Orange-style, and forcing you to read Rainbow Boys.”

Of course, why would anybody listen to reason when it’s so much more fun to damn the torpedoes and hide things you personally disagree with from public view? Continue reading

Don’t Make Charlie Crist Angry, You Wouldn’t Like Him When He’s Angry

Earlier this week, Markos Moulitsas wrote a post about the possibility of Republican Florida Governor Charlie Crist, seeing his path blocked by his more conservative opponent, former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio, will, like Arlen Specter, decide to run as a Democrat.

Currently Crist is believed to be politically dead, and he must let the world think that he is politically dead until he can find a way to control the raging spirit that dwells within him. I, however, believe that the governor of my former state will not only stay a Republican, he will prevail. Continue reading