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The former Arkansas Governor today announced his second Presidential bid while speaking from his hometown of Hope, Arkansas. The town is also home to former President Bill Clinton. A point of origin is about all these two men share, however, as many, including Huckabee, were quick to point out. Huckabee made an unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2008, using his strong following among Evangelical Christians to catapult him to success in the Iowa Caucus and finish a strong second in the South Carolina primary. He would go on to lose the Republican Party's nomination to Senator John McCain who was of course defeated by Barack Obama and his message of "hope." Indeed, "hope" was center stage during today's announcement in more ways than one. After frequently name-dropping his home-town and his connection to it, he went on to talk about President Obama and what he termed as the president's failure to deliver on his message of hope and change:
"You know it was 8 years ago that a young, untested and virtually unknown freshman senator made great speeches about hope and change. But eight years later our debts more than, and the country is more polarized than ever in my lifetime...we were promised hope. But it was just talk."
The Clintons also figured squarely in Huckabee's speech. He noted that he came to power in Arkansas at a time when the state was dominated by the "Clinton machine" and it was that experience which taught him to be a leader:
"I governed in a state that was the most lopsided and partisan in the country," he told supporters. "No Republican governor had more Democrats and fewer Republicans. I challenged the deeply entrenched political machine that ran this state. It was tough sledding, but I learned how to govern and how to lead."
As the AP notes, "Huckabee sees himself as an economic populist and foreign affairs hawk who still holds deeply conservative views on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage." That image seems to match public perception.
Just last week, speaking of the Supreme Court's consideration of whether to overturn all same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional, Huckabee commented,
"I respect the courts, but the Supreme Court is only that - the supreme of the courts. It is not the supreme being. It cannot overrule God. And when it comes to prayer, when it comes to life, and when it comes to the sanctity of marriage, the court cannot change what God has created."
Watch Huckabee's announcement, AFTER THE JUMP...
New Music is brought to you by Deadly Music! which covers mostly independent indie, alternative, electro pop, post rock and ambient music, with a bit of everything else deadly thrown in for good measure.
Dublin-based electro pop punk act Fight Like Apes have announced the release of their eponymous 3rd album.
Due out on May 18th, it would appear that Fight Like Apes have finally embraced the nascent epic pop hooks that they may have backed away from to an extent in the past.
Known for their occasionally snarling take on pop punk, the songs on their latest release retain the rough around the edges approach but add in an element of pure pop that could well – and should by all rights – do the unheard of and find a brand new audience at a late stage in their career while keeping existing fans happy.
The transformation isn’t quite as extreme as that of DIY act We’ve Got A Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It!! into Fuzzbox but with songs like “Numbnuts,” “Pretty Keen on Centerfolds” and the verging on glam rock “Carousel,” this is an explosive return for a band that could have gone awry many moons ago.
Tracey Thorn - The Falling
After a fairly quiet couple of years following 2012’s sublime Christmas album Tinsel and Lights – apart from writing award winning books obviously – Tracey Thorn (one half of Everything But The Girl) is making her inimitable presence known once more.
Following on from a rather lovely cover of Kate Bush‘s “Under the Ivy” back in December, Thorn is back with The Falling, a 16-minute soundtrack to accompany British filmmaker Carol Morley’s first full-length feature, which stars Maisie Williams (above).
“I’d seen [Morley's] two previous documentary films, The Alcohol Years and Dreams of a Life, and I tweeted about how much I liked them. She saw that and came to a book signing I was doing for Bedsit Disco Queen.”
After Thorn appeared in one of Morley’s dreams, the director reached out immediately. “When I said that I’d never done a film soundtrack before and didn’t really know how to do it, she said, ‘Perfect.'”
Thorn’s goal was to provide music that could have been made by the schoolgirl characters, a creative process unexpectedly brought her back to some of her own early recordings:
“It sounds more like music I made with the Marine Girls or on my first solo album, A Distant Shore. I think that’s because I was deliberately trying to inhabit the mindset of these teenage girls. So it took me back into myself, in a way that I found really enjoyable.”
Listen to new tracks by LÁ BAS, itsabrightlight and The History of Colour TV, AFTER THE JUMP...
Yesterday, Guy Benson, a conservative talk radio host, contributor for Fox News, and political editor for Townhall.com, came out in what he calls a "footnote" in his new book End of Discussion: How the Left’s Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun). Benson (30) was also interviewed by BuzzFeed, telling them, “Gay rights is not something that dominates my attentions — or my passions — and that may seem incongruous, that may seem counterintuitive to a lot of people."
Last night, Benson sat down with Fox's Megyn Kelly for a one-on-one about Benson's coming out. Kelly began by letting Benson know, "You're in a safe place here." Benson then commented to Kelly,
"I just want to acknowledge, quickly, that I recognize that I am so fortunate to live in a country and an era where we can be having this exact kind conversation on national television. And I recognize that a lot of that is due to the fact that I'm standing of the shoulders of people who've worked very hard for a very long time, who probably don't share my political persuasion. So I just want to give them some credit in this. But I think when that crosses some threshold into punishing and purging dissenters and trying to exact punishments on people for not agreeing, that is not what we should be about in this country. I think we should be better than that in this country."
What exact "punishments" the gay left are looking to enact on him and other so-called "gay conservatives" for "dissenting" is not made clear.
As Joe.My.God notes, however, Benson's particular form of "dissent" with the LGBT left is perhaps of particular interest to the LGBT community because the website he is political editor of, Townhall.com, is notoriously anti-gay. So the backlash he has experienced thus far may have more to do with his seeming lack of concern for gay rights (as implied in the BuzzFeed interview) and/or his tacit agreement with the anti-gay viewpoints spewed on the site of which he is an editor than with whether he labels himself a conservative or a liberal. Thus, it is the mere payment of lip service to the civil rights legends who fought for his rights while having no concern for them himself that seems, to use Megyn Kelly's word, anathema to being a gay man in 2015.
Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...
Today we're thrilled to feature the third author in our TowleREAD reading series (now sponsored by Audible), in which LGBT authors (and other authors, if they have relevant books) read excerpts from their works.
Today's reading is by Kenny Porpora, whose new memoir The Autumn Balloon chronicles his coming-of-age in a family troubled with addiction issues — a heroin-addicted uncle and an alcoholic mother who took Kenny from their home in Long Island in search of a better life in Arizona — and how he turned to writing to save himself.
Kenny spoke to Towleroad about the clip you're going to hear:
There’s a scene early on in my first memoir, The Autumn Balloon, where I’m 7 years old, and my mother is unconscious in her chair, drunk and unresponsive, and I think she’s died. When she finally awakens, there’s a rerun of Cheers on the TV, and the sight of Frasier Crane and Norm drive her into a drunken Tourettic fit. Later, she’s on the toilet, lifeless and too drunk to wipe herself, and she asks me to help her. I remember when I wrote the scene, my agent had asked me if I had any idea how dark it was, which was surprising because, for so many months, I thought I had been writing a comedy.
Some readers and reviewers have found the book's details of addiction and poverty to be harrowing,and I can understand that, but I prefer to focus on the story’s funnier side — the outrageous and often absurdist and (hopefully) funny characters that populate this story. I can’t deny the book has darkness and sadness and loss; it does. But that’s what my family was — they were sad and funny, messy and ridiculous, they were fuck ups and addicts, but they were also hopeful in the face of bleak madness, they were mothers and brothers, fathers and uncles, and ultimately, they were too broken to survive the many addictions that plagued them.
Most of them didn’t make it out of this story alive, but when we remember them, even today, we remember the way they made us laugh. Those are the memories that are the most enduring, and my hope is that, when you finish the book, you’ll remember those moments of light, too.
I decided to share this passage because it sets up the story in a lot of ways, showing the two sides of my mother: the first, a warmhearted woman getting her little boy ready for school, making him breakfast, and loving him in an unconditional way. And the other, a foul-mouthed, belligerent alcoholic in the throes of great pain, loss, and depression. When the chapter begins, she has just lost her youngest sister. Throughout, we meet my father, who was 70-years-old when I was in second grade and singing love songs to dementia patients, my drug-addict uncle in his karate gi and his quixotic scheme to get us rich, and my dog, Wozels, a small, quiet friend who proved to be a guardian for me throughout what became our outlaw journey throughout America.
I hoped the chapter would paint a portrait of a family on the precipice of ruin, held together by love, but losing a unwinnable battle against addictions of all sorts.
This excerpt is from Chapter 1 of The Autumn Balloon.
As part of its sponsorship of TowleREAD, Audible is offering a free download of The Autumn Balloon at Audible.com with a 30-Day Trial membership for Towleroad readers.
Make sure not to miss these recent readings from our TowleREAD series:
Coming hot on the heels of the faux Star Wars holiday, May the 4th, the men over at Magic Mike (or rather, their publicists and graphic designers) decided to share a Star Wars-inspired movie poster for the upcoming stripper sequel that hits theaters this summer. The poster was shared on Twitter with the caption, "They've got all the force you need. #MagicMikeXXL #MayThe4thBeWithYou."
They also shared a teaser of the boys in action with a promise for a full trailer coming tomorrow. Peep the full poster and watch the teaser, AFTER THE JUMP...
As we reported earlier, a cake celebrating the adorable promposal shared by Nevada teen best friends Jacob Lescenski, straight, and Anthony Martinez, gay, was censored by a local Walmart bakery that refused to give Martinez's aunt a cake with the word "gay" on it.
Sandoval said the initial associate told her she couldn't write that on the cake because it included the word "gay," and that was against store policy. She then asked to speak with a supervisor.
"[The] Supervisor takes my phone, looks at it, and was like stuck for a minute, and she was like, 'OK, I'm sorry, we can't use this'. And then I said, 'I'm going to ask you what I asked her because you're the supervisor. Why can't I use this? I don't understand. It's one word. It's gay,'" Sandoval said.
Not able to use her original idea, Sandoval instead had "You matter, Prom Kings" written on the cake.
According to Fox 5 News, Walmart claims "proper management wasn't contacted" during the incident and that "nowhere in their store's policy does it say the word 'gay' can't be written on a cake":
A store manager is set to contact Sandoval to make this wrong right. Sandoval said although she appreciates the gesture, it's a little too late.
"It wasn't hurtful. It was to make my nephew happy, to see a smile on his face. I love that smile, to see that smile, that's all I wanted, and I'm disappointed. I really am," Sandoval said.
Watch the news report from Fox 5, AFTER THE JUMP...