Rachel Maddow covered a story Thursday that she said was "amazing" it hasn't been told before now. It's still a little hard to believe just a decade and some years later. Penny Severns was the woman who taught Barack Obama the ropes in the Illinois Senate and who would almost certainly have gone on to become nationally prominent if she hadn't been killed by breast cancer in 1998.


She was a pretty big deal in Illinois politics. In addition to serving in the state Senate, she'd also been Illinois secretary of state, and as a very young lass in 1972, she'd been the youngest delegate ever at the Democratic convention that nominated George McGovern. Oh, also, she was in a long-term relationship with an AP reporter lady at a time when coming out was still risky enough that it might have ended her political career.

So it was also big news last year when Illinois passed marriage equality, and the woman who introduced the bill invoked Severns and her LTR with Terry Mutchler. They considered themselves married anyway, because liberal pervs are like that. It's a hell of a story, a hell of a reminder of how far we've come in a short time, and Maddow has a lovely interview with Mutchler about their story, the subject of a new memoir.

Best part of the interview, for our money: Mutchler recalling that, all in all, they were a lot more worried about the dubious ethics of their relationship for Mutchler's job as a political reporter than the potential scandal for Severns.

Make sure you have a hankie handy, okay?

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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