Echidne of The Snakes: Conservatives are up in arms over Nancy Pelosi's decision to wear a head scarf during her recent visit to a Syrian mosque. Echidne sasses back: "It is called manners, my friends." The Mahablog offers a photographic rundown of other female politicos who have donned a head scarf during similar missions -- including First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Associated Press: New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has made an about face -- he now says he will veto the state bill that would have required that all sixth grade girls receive an HPV vaccination. He'd previously said that he would sign the bill, but ultimately decided it was premature. "While everyone recognizes the benefits of this vaccine, there is insufficient time to educate parents, schools and health care providers," Richardson said. To his credit, he has already signed a bill requiring that health insurance companies cover the vaccine for girls.
More AP: It turns out hormone treatment during menopause isn't as risky as a previous study suggested -- at least for women in their 50s. Though note: "The pills -- either estrogen alone or a combination of estrogen-progestin -- don't get a complete stamp of approval because of stroke risks for both and breast cancer risks for the combination pill."
The Nation: A reader tipped us off to this profile of John Amaechi -- "the first former professional basketball player to be openly gay" -- with the note: "One of my heroes of the week." Amaechi's touring the country promoting his autobiography and preaching intolerance of hate speech: "One of the major problems we have is that people need to stand up, be counted and say, 'Unacceptable that in my high school kids get assaulted with the word gay, meaning stupid or bad or wrong or dumb. Unacceptable that the F-word is being used on a regular basis in workplaces. Unacceptable that coaches talk about throwing like a girl.'"
TMZ: A woman and her husband claim porn star Ron Jeremy reached under her shirt, grabbed her breast and "signed his name on it" without permission during a Miami Beach porn convention. We're staying out of this fray, but Jeremy's response is good for an uncomfortable laugh: "I probably signed about 150 boobs that weekend, all of which I sign 'RJ with a heart' and if I would've touched a breast, I might have cupped it while I signed. Rules of the convention were that you can not expose a breast, so I never did. And if this was a couple, I always ask permission of the male to sign the breast before I do it. Some people waited an hour for me to sign their breast."