[Eleven] days ago, The New Yorker’s Daily Comment blog published an essay by Michael Specter titled “What Young Gay Men Don’t Know About Aids,” in which Specter points to the increase of “unprotected anal intercourse among gay men,” claims that “the rates of HIV infection will surely follow,” and then identifies the cause of this shift as the ignorance of my generation, who weren’t around to see the AIDS epidemic for themselves. The piece is a call to arms of sort, stating the need for increased public funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, and concludes by quoting Larry Kramer’s famous 1983 warning, “1,112 and Counting.” It’s a familiar argument—one that, in my lifetime, I have heard repeated ad nauseam and, I fear, largely misses what AIDS means to me and many other young gay men.
The last time any party had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate was 1977-1979. With Arlen Specter's announcement that he is switching parties and Al Franken's recent court victory all but guaranteeing his victory in Minnesota, the Democrats will have a filibuster-proof 60 seats in the Senate. Eight years ago, Jim Jeffords switched parties to change control of the Senate from a 50-50 tie (resolved by VP Cheney in favor of the GOP) to Democratic control. [more inside]