Transcript of Face the Nation book panel with Isabel Wilkerson (“The Warmth of Other Suns”; JD Vance (“Hillbilly Elegy”); actor Diane Guerrero (“In the Country We Love”); Amani Al- Khatahthbeh (“Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age”
It would be a place by the water, preferably running water, like a river or waterfalls, because I love water; maybe it’s the Pisces in me. It would be neither too hot nor too cold. MaybeVictoria Falls, in September.
2. Where did you come up with the name of your blog?
There was a long-running radio talk show called Rambling with Gambling, from which I got the Ramblin’ part. The Roger part, I have no idea.
3. How do you define blogging success?
It really does vary. While I don’t especially care, when my Times Union blog is trending, or when Chuck Miller declares it one of the week’s 10 best, I enjoy that.
But the real success is that I find people with whom to have reasonable, usually rational, dialogue. Such as with New York Erratic.
4. What is your favorite type of “going out” entertainment?
I like going to the movies because I like seeing movies in the theater. Watching videos often creates the temptation to pause it and do something else. That’s OK with something I’ve seen before, but not the first time. That’s why I ultimately canceled Netflix; I had The Hurt Locker for four or five months, and never found two solid hours to watch it without The Daughter around, or being too tired, or too busy.
5. How many states (name them) have you lived in?
North Carolina (for four months). New York (the rest of my life.)
6. What is your favorite holiday and why?
Ash Wednesday. Let me say that while Thanksgiving and Christmas are wonderful and all, there seems to be a lot of sense of obligation. The beginning of Lent is a time of quiet reflection. When I was a kid, it was only the Catholics I knew that got the ashes on the forehead, but lots of Protestant churches, including the last two I’ve belong to, participate, and I think it’s an easy, but symbolic, way for religious rapprochement.
7. What’s your favorite number and why?
I really do like zero. It’s nothing, yet it’s massive in combination. It’s that dividing line between the positive and the negative. What’s not to like?
8. What would be your dream vehicle to own?
Some motorized bicycle that I’d turn on for hills, and pedal otherwise.
9. What is your favorite hobby?
I suppose it’s singing, though, until you brought it up, I never thought of singing as a hobby, but rather just WHAT I DO, WHO I AM. Or blogging.
10. How do you try and keep your blog fresh?
I change the blog filter every 3,000 miles. Cereally, I actually plotted out 2014, or parts of it. I decided on my ABC Wednesday topics for every week in Round 14, back in October; didn’t write them, of course, but knowing what I was going to write about gets the brain working. Then I found the half dozen people who turn 70 I want to write about. Then there are holidays and observances. And anything I find interesting I don’t have anything to write about, I link to at the end of the month. This leaves the rest of the time for movie reviews and life experiences. In other words, I throw the blog against the wall and see what sticks.
11. Where do you do your best thinking?
In the shower, or riding the stationary bike. Or when I first wake up, which is why I like to blog when I first wake up (and don’t particularly like to blog at night).
Mitt Romney let religious right activists bully his campaign over its hiring of an openly gay foreign policy staffer, Richard Grenell. After the campaign froze him out of press briefings to quell the controversy, Grenell finally quit…, with no effort by the presumptive nominee to persuade him to stay.
* President Barack Obama said: I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:
I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.
But over the course of several years, I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.
What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.
Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn’t dawn on them that their friends’ parents should be treated differently.
So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.
I’m not a single-issue voter, but on this issue, the courage and cowardice are clear.
I’ve read suggestions that Charlotte, North Carolina should be stripped of the Democratic National Convention this summer, in response to the state’s vote; whether it should or shouldn’t, it’s not going to happen. Planning national conventions take months of preparation for security and other considerations. ** Gay Pride events, mostly in June
*Mark Evanier wrote: “My friend Shelly Goldstein…on this blog, writes a monthly column for a Gay Rights website arguing for more tolerance and also some of those ‘equality’ things like marriage. When I mentioned her gig to someone once, he furrowed his brow and said, ‘She’s not gay, is she?’ No, she’s not and it’s sad that there are some people out there who can’t seem to grasp the concept of taking a stand on behalf of others, as opposed to your own immediate self-interest.”