Asa Hutchinson is sending the Religious Freedom Restoration Act back to the legislature for a rewrite, to strike the right balance between religious freedom and tolerance for diversity. The Republican governor's reversal wasn't just about getting the content right: "it's also about communicating that we're a state ... that recognizes the need for non-discrimination'

Dear Dr. Fred:

My partner and I have a dilemma we don't ever recall seeing in your column before ... namely, our best friends are driving us crazy! We'll call them Hank and Harry here for privacy reasons. Hank and my partner are both nurses at the same hospital but work on different units. We all connected at the annual employee Christmas party 10 years ago and hit if off immediately. The four of us had so much in common and enjoyed each other's company so much that we soon became inseparable, dining out, theatre-going, golfing, and even vacationing together at the timeshare we bought with them. That's the good news.

The bad news is that Hank and Harry have some maddening "quirks.'' The most frequent one is that they're always correcting each other's stories, over details that don't even matter. Hank will say "We went to the antique mall last Tuesday," and Harry will butt in and say "No it was Wednesday," like the day actually matters. Then Hank will come back at him and argue the point until they're both shouting, and my partner and I have knots in our stomachs.
Another quirk is that they're constantly keeping score of what the other has done to be helpful. Harry will say "While you're up Hank would you pour me another cocktail?'' And Hank will say "I made the last one, so this one is your turn. '' Then of course, Harry will argue the matter. "Well, I made you three drinks last night and you didn't make me any." And off they go again.

Finally - and here's the biggest issue - for some time now they've been pestering us to have a four way. It all started last summer when we were on vacation at our timeshare, and things got a little flirtatious in the hot tub after a few too many drinks. Nothing really happened, just some switching partners and kissing, till we all came to our senses and stopped. But it seems that started something, and now they often hint about "wanting to finish some unfinished business with us," always after several cocktails. We just laugh and change the subject, but they soon bring it up again, and we're getting tired of it.

We really love these guys and cherish their friendship, plus we own a timeshare with them, so we don't want to do anything to damage the relationship. But how do we tactfully let them know they're driving us nuts, and we need them to make some changes in their behavior?

Sign us, "Over It"

Dear Mz. Pink,

My girlfriend talks to other girls on the phone, Facebook and in texts. I am uncomfortable with this, but when I tell her she tells me that nothing's happening. She says that since she is honest with me that I should just be happy that she isn't keeping secrets and she would never cheat on me. I don't know what to believe. I tell her I want her to stop, but she doesn't or she gets defensive and tells me she will just turn off her phone and delete her social media pages.

How can I deal with this in such a way that I won't look and feel stupid in the end? Should I even deal with this or should I nip it in the bud as soon as possible? I trust her, but I am also a little jealous, I don't know where the happy medium is with those two feelings. Please help?

Potentially cheated on


Dear Potentially Cheated on,

I would say if you trust her to just leave it at that and move on, but I know that answer isn't good enough since you have a lot of skepticism running through your mind right now. That said, if the move on answer is good enough, then you should just do that now, and know that she loves you and you love her; she trusts you and you trust her.
If you want an extended version of my answer here goes:
It is hard to trust someone who is doing things that are "normal" activities tied to people who cheat. I'm not saying all people who use social media, text or talk to the sex they are attracted to are cheating, but when you hear stories of a person cheating, they usually start with texts, secret phone calls and notes back and forth online so yes, I can understand your fears.
With that being said, first things first: Don't go snooping! Do not look for trouble!

You will be sure to find something offensive even if it's not cheating. Maybe the other person feels a certain way and is asking advice that you deem inappropriate for your woman to answer. BAM! Offended!

Do you see where I'm going with this? I have a few questions though. 1.) Are her interactions taking away from you? 2.) Are they interrupting personal time? 3.) How long does she normally chat with these other females? 4.) Does she tell you when or if they are inappropriate to her?
I ask these because if this is the case, then you need to have a real conversation with her and tell her how you feel (and why) and make her listen. Ask her if she'd feel OK if you were doing the same things.

I'm not a fan of ultimatums, but if she isn't listening, give her one. Tell her to choose them or you. It should be an easy decision. If it's not then you need to move on no matter how much you love her. Of course, she could be doing all of this to get a rise out of you. Maybe she likes to see you jealous and wants to make you jealous. If that's the case then don't feed in to the negativity. Try not to fuel any arguments or act a certain way when she tells you it's nothing.

I want you to stay strong in your convictions, but once you open the flood gate to accusations and extreme jealousy then you open the same gate to fights, tears and lies. If her chatting with these people isn't interrupting your lives (other than you don't like it) then maybe it is best you just trust her and take it at face value. Tell her you don't like it, but you trust her so as long as it doesn't get out of hand — that it's OK to keep chatting. I don't want you to make a mountain out of a molehill and then regret your decision, but only you know how you feel, what you can handle and what you want to tolerate so listen to your intuition. If it tells you something isn't right, then something isn't right no matter whether she's cheating or not. If you only have suspicions but you still trust her and love her then go with the flow.

Good luck,
Mz. Pink

rainbow-pc

This is about how much size matters. No, no, not that. Minds out of the gutters, please! This is about a recent 'emergency" call I got from a friend who told me he went from one internet service provider (ISP) to another and was baffled as to why his iPad quit working from his favorite chair.

"Did they change out your WiFi router?" I asked him.
"My WHAT?" he replied as if I'd asked something truly personal.
"Did the new company change your WiFi router and antenna?" I asked again.

Again I got very vague answers which told me he did not have a clue what I was talking about nor was he curious as to why he should care. I pried a bit more: "Did they put it where the old one used to be?" I asked.
"Nope, they told me that was not where their wiring came into my house so now its behind the TV in the living room by the fireplace. The old one was upstairs."

Lights in my head went off and I told him that was the whole issue: there simply was not enough signal to reach his easy chair reliably with the new location for his router. And on top of that, I wondered (and asked him) if their new equipment was as strong as what they took out. I could tell after a bit that I would be getting just as far speaking Swahili if I started to explain (which is what I plan to do for you readers) so in his case I gave up. The explanation, though, is simple (at least on the face of it) — the power and the location of your WiFi router will determine if things work and work well on the net in your house or wherever you are. If there's not enough strength, you will need to relocate the router or add a range extender. It's the same at the local restaurant or coffee shop only there, you don't own the place so if you can't connect (or connect well) just move tables or actually talk to those with you and switch off your computer, pad or other device for a bit.

PecsnCity
As a trainer, I need to keep my body in rockin' shape. Lead by example and all that. Besides, I never know if they're gonna call me for a reunion of Unicorn alumni, so I have to be ready at a moment's notice to strip down to a jockstrap. Like the Boy Scouts taught me: be prepared. Anyway, I try to watch what I eat, but every once in a while, a pizza sounds amazing. So last week, I ordered a pizza and as luck would have it, the delivery guv knocked on my door right when I was getting in the shower.

I wrapped a towel around me and opened the door and the boy who was standing there with my pizza was CW superhero beautiful. Dark curly hair, big green eves, muscles that look like they're ready to explode out of his tight t-shirt and a smirky half smile full of bright white teeth.
"You ordered the pizza with extra sausage?" he asked, his eves raking up and down my wet torso.
"Uh no, it was just a veggie pizza," I replied, my eves skipping down the veins in his biceps.
"I know" he said, reaching down to squeeze the tightly packed crotch of his jeans. "This is the extra sausage." He put his other hand on my towel and...

...

Pat Sajak sent out a tweet over the weekend that has people talking.

The tweet proclaims that the "Wheel of Fortune" host is "declaring" his heterosexuality.

 

Reading around the Internet, it appears this has upset several members of our community. What do you think about this "outburst" by Pat?

church1-250x250These “right to discriminate” bills, which would let just about anyone discriminate against just about anyone because God, have been popping up all across the country, but is there someone co-ordinating all this behind the scenes?

Becca Morn at America Blog may have the answer:

As reported by Al Jazeera America: Cornerstone in Idaho, the Kansas Family Policy Council, and the Center for Arizona Policy, which supports the bill there, are all part of a network of 38 state “family policy councils” pressing for these laws under the umbrella of Citizen Link, the advocacy arm of the conservative Christian powerhouse Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family is James Dobson’s hate-mill, by the way, now headed by Jim Daly. Another backer is the American Religious Freedom Program, headed by Brian Walsh — who disingenuously claims these efforts are nothing more than trying to ensure that priests and florists don’t have to participate in Big Gay Weddings. And the ARFP sounds familiar, that’s because it’s part of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think-tank and lobbying organization run by Ed Whelan, former Reagan official in the DoJ and also former clerk for Justice Scalia.

The fact that it’s legal to discriminate against LGBTs in many states is nothing new. Twenty-nine states already have some form of ‘religious exemption’. But now this AFRP group has drafted its wide-reaching bill, and according to reports in the Wichita Eagle, has been shopping it around to state legislatures around the country. Brian Walsh, executive director of the ARFP, which supports religious freedom measures, acknowledges that his group consulted with the legislators on the bill, but he says that lots of other groups did as well: “We gave them suggestions and they took some of them.” Walsh says that ARFP was contacted by legislators who wrote the Tennessee bill and that the group frequently talked to legislators in South Dakota about “religious freedom” but not the state’s specific bill. Julie Lynde, executive director of Cornerstone Family Council in Idaho, one of many state groups that are part of Citizen Link, a branch of Focus on the Family, told Al Jazeera America, “We’ve been involved in working on the language” of the Idaho bill. Another member of Citizen Link, the Arizona Policy Center, has been active in supporting the Arizona bill.

And why are these proposed laws written so broadly? Becca thinks that’s the point:

In my opinion, Whelan’s organization didn’t write a sloppy bill to shop around. I believe the bill does exactly what it means to do, which is something the far-right conservatives have been itching to do ever since the first sweeping civil rights bills were passed in the 1960s: Repeal them. Not just some, and not just to enable anti-gay and anti-trans discrimination, but all of the equal rights laws. Using ‘religious freedom’ as the cudgel to roll back women’s reproductive freedoms is just another prong of the attack.

It’s a great article, going into detail on all these laws, including some I was unaware of. Read the whole thing to get a better idea of what’s lurking below the surface of all these “right to discriminate” bills.

phil-robertson-532x670-250x250Before December of 2013, Duck Dynasty was a network’s dream: an inoffensive, semi-scripted reality program that received little attention outside of its core audience but still attracted millions of viewers. By any standard, Duck Dynasty was a smash. The season 4 premiere drew 11.7 million viewers. Even for a buzzed about scripted drama like Scandal, those numbers would be big. For a cable network, they were enormous.

The Duck Dynasty stars and A&E also cashed in on merchandising and branding, with their likenesses being found on anything from sweatshirts to coffee mugs and even a Chia Pet. This is an operation that could’ve chugged on for years, continued to make money for its network and stars, entertain the core audience, and be pretty much ignored by the rest of us. The nice smooth ride then came to a screeching halt in late 2013 in one of the biggest network PR Blunders in recent memory.

In an interview for GQ magazine, Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson had some extremely incendiary things to say regarding gays and the bible. When asked by reporter Drew Magary about what constitutes “sin” he stated: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers–they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Authored By Rob Snith – See the Full Story at Queerty

 

Conventional Beltway wisdom says Democrats will get walloped in November. Reading the pages of The Hill and Politico, one would think the elephant in the Capitol has already trampled its donkey counterpart. Even MSNBC’s screeching Chris Matthews has called the Senate for the GOP.
 
But Why?
 
Based on previous midterm elections during a president’s second term (where his party usually loses seats in both houses of Congress), the prediction is that Republicans will gain a larger majority of the House and possibly take the Senate, even if by a bare majority. There are rare exceptions to this rule: 1998, when the GOP lost ground in Congress after flirting with (and later getting) the impeachment of President Clinton; and 2006, when Democrats took the House after American dissatisfaction with the Iraq War reached new highs. Other than that, the president’s party takes a “shellacking,” as President Obama (in)famously said in 2010.
 
But the future is unwritten. It sounds cliché, but when it comes to historical precedent, we should simply acknowledge that that was then and this is now.
 
The world has drastically changed. That’s an understatement. For one, the unstoppable proliferation of the Internet across the planet has led to previously unfathomable connections. Breaking news, scandals, leaders’ faux pas, grassroots campaigns, Instagram pictures of cats in tuxedos – these have all reshaped how we see ourselves and our world. The fact that the two surprise elections of ’98 and ’06 happened within the last 16 years should only strengthen that point. The stats and recent history back the Democrats up.
 
More of us are connected to a global information network and for better or worse, we’re more aware of what’s going on in the world than we have ever been before. DC bigwigs and VIPs seem to ignore this important little fact. Young adults are at the forefront of this massive change. The elections of 2008 and 2012 brought out record numbers of us, mainly because nearly all of us have a social media account of some sort. When Mitt Romney made offensive comments about the 47 percent or when Rick Perry made a Moral Majority-esque video decrying the inclusion of gays in the military, young people noticed and turned out in droves to vote for President Obama…by 67 percent. As Gallup recently found, a large majority of us identify with the Democratic Party, even more so than previous generations did when they were our age. The challenge this November is making sure we turn out in high numbers, something we usually don’t do.
 
The youth vote isn’t the only necessary ingredient for a Democratic win. It’s no secret that the country is becoming more diverse. Seventeen percent of the nation is Hispanic (myself included) and nearly 65 percent of Hispanic voters cast their ballots for Democrats. In my home state of California, often seen as an “omen” of things to come for the rest of America, Hispanics make up nearly 40 percent of the Golden State’s 40 million residents. In both houses of the California legislature, Democrats have a supermajority and they have the governorship.
 
The Party of FDR also has the upper hand when it comes to registered voters in general. Forty-seven percent of registered voters identify as or with the Democratic Party (compared to 42 percent who are registered/lean Republican). In 2012, more votes were cast for congressional Democrats than Republicans. But thanks to gerrymandered districts, the GOP still held control of the House…but they did lose a chunk of their majority.
 
Since midterm voter turnout is typically older, whiter, wealthier and more conservative, the diversity of the country and Democratic Party don’t amount to much. In 2010, when Tea Party Republicans swept the House and several state legislatures and governorships, the number of registered voters who did not vote was substantially higher than the number who did. That year, four out of five voters were white. Seniors made up 21 percent of the electorate in the “Tea Party Tidal Wave” of 2010 and supported the GOP by nearly 60 percent.
 
The crop of newbies that went to Congress in 2010 pulled the GOP further to the right. From one manufactured crisis to the next, Tea Party extremism and incompetence have resulted in sluggish economic growth, a downgrade of the national credit rating, a government shutdown that siphoned billions of dollars out of the economy, unnecessary and burdensome restrictions on reproductive rights, and millions of low-income Americans left without health care insurance at the insistence of Republican governors. But hey, at least Ted Cruz got his fifteen minutes of fame, right?!
 
The ineptitude of the modern Republican Party has left quite the sour taste in the public’s mouth. Most Americans disapprove of the Republican Party. Though the GOP has largely recovered from the image-battering it got over the shutdown last year, it is still a very unpopular party, particularly in the eyes of young and minority voters. Congressional approval continues to hover at historic lows (it was higher when Democrats were in control of both chambers) and Tea Party quacks in the House and Senate continue to make excellent segments on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.
 
To be fair, President Obama’s favorability has suffered, too, thanks in large part to the disastrous rollout of the federal exchange website. But now that the website has (mostly) been fixed and nearly 10 million people have health insurance under the ACA (7 million enrolled in private plans), the president’s approval rating has stabilized and approval of the ACA itself is creeping upward. As more people discover the security of not playing Russian roulette with their health care by actually getting coverage, I’m pretty confident that both the ACA’s and the president’s popularity will continue to rise.
 
But, for a thought experiment, let’s say the President’s popularity declined to the low 30s and the ACA’s approval dipped as well, with even more people misunderstanding/not even knowing its basic provisions. Even in that scenario, it would still be possible for Democrats to retake the House. If enough voters turned out, it could be done.
 
That’s the usual problem – turnout. It is crucial that the young and diverse turn out in mass this November. Historical precedence may be against Democrats, but the possibility and diversity of the future is definitely “for” it. It seems like a Herculean task, but if Democrats can keep the focus on the benefits of the ACA, what it’s resulted in (hint: no commie takeovers or putting grandma to sleep), and continue to point out how extreme and out of touch the Tea Party-run GOP is, they should be able to drive a substantial amount of us out to cast our ballots on Tuesday, November 4th.

glee-proposalHot on the heels of yesterday’s gay marriage proposal out of the UK, we have another cute one – Glee-inspired, complete with Warblers jackets. How He Asked reports:

“It was Easter Sunday and my mom had been in town, visiting, all week. One of my best friends insisted on taking me out for a belated birthday brunch so that she could see my mom. Jackie was off with her family for church (or so I thought). My friend pulled up to pick me up and she had written all over her car, “Honk for the birthday girl” and “Happy Birthday Ann!” We took off and had a fun brunch gabbing over mimosas. Once we paid, my friend said she had one more surprise and that I had to wear a blindfold. Laughing, I obliged. Turns out she forgot the blindfold so she put a blanket over my head instead. Not knowing where we were going I tried to pester my friend and mother to give up the goods. They were tight lipped all the way. Once we arrived to the destination, my friend and mom helped me shuffle my way along until I was told to remove the blanket. I still remember the moment it took for my eyes to adjust to the sunlight and how everything was silent. After I focused on where I was I saw Jackie standing before me in a Dalton Warbler uniform (inspired by a scene in the TV show, “Glee”). Also, I saw 6 girls dressed in a similar fashion. Before I knew it Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” as performed by Darren Criss was being playing on loud speakers and Jackie and these “Warblers” began dancing in unison! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!”