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But Enough About Cairo . . .

Hmm. Will the Republicans bite on that one and subpoena the dentist?

East Wing Shakeup

"First lady Michelle Obama has replaced her chief of staff, Jackie Norris, with a longtime friend from Chicago, Susan Sher."

What was the problem? Michelle wasn't getting good enough press?

Gay Frustration

Now that New Hampshire has become the sixth state to legalize gay marriage, Obama's man-and-a-woman position seems more cautious than it did in 2008. And that has not gone unnoticed, Politico reports:

"President Barack Obama's promises of change are falling short for one core Democratic constituency: gays and lesbians, whose leaders say Obama's administration isn't keeping up with the times.

"Gay rights campaigners, most of them Democrats who supported Obama in November, have begun to voice their public frustration with Obama's inaction, small jokes at their community's expense and deafening silence on what they see as the signal civil rights issue of this era.

"His most important campaign promises repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the military ban on openly gay and lesbian service-members have not been fulfilled.

"And the news, which emerged quietly earlier this year, that he'd supported same-sex marriage back in 1996, then changed his mind, especially rankles. As mainstream Democratic politicians such as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) move to support same-sex marriage, gay rights advocates say that the barrier-breaking president looks increasingly odd for opposing what they see as full equality."

Andrew Sullivan cites a Gallup poll showing that almost twice as many people who personally know someone who is gay favor same-sex marriage as those who don't:

"If gays are really serious about marriage rights, they need to accelerate the process of coming out. It's not often that a minority group has this option -- African-Americans don't. But gays, like Jews, can 'pass,' and by passing, we don't even give many people the option of changing their minds and hearts by better understanding who we are, and why our relationships and families strengthen society rather than weakening it."

But the New Republic's Jonathan Chait says it may be more complicated than that:

"I suspect the linkage between knowing somebody who's gay and supporting gay marriage is not a simple case of A causes B, but a third factor causing both. Gays are probably more likely to come out if they live somewhere that's fairly liberal -- that is, the kind of place that would be more likely to support gay marriage (say, New York City). They are probably less likely to come out if they live somewhere that's conservative (say, Smalltown, Arkansas.) So people in New York are more pro-gay marriage because they're more liberal, and more likely to know gays because they're more liberal."


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