I’ll Show You What I Know

Here’s JCPenney’s response to the boycotting, caterwauling and whining about their use of Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson.

According to the company, the two men who appear in the ad are “real-life dads Todd Koch and Cooper Smith,” and the jubilant children are their kids, Claire and Mason.

In other news about gay parents, Eagle Scout Zach Wahls delivered a petition with 250,000 signatures to the leadership of the Boy Scouts of America, asking them to stop discriminating against gay parents. The petition was a response to the Scouts prohibiting the lesbian mother of a 7 year-old from being a Cub Scout den leader. Wahls is the author of My Two Moms, which explains how his mothers taught him the virtues of the Boy Scout Code. One of his mothers was his troop leader, because the Scouts leave enforcement of their anti-homosexuality clause to the discretion of local Scout organizations.

Wahls came to attention because of his testimony to the Iowa state legislature on the gay marriage bill. If you want to read the first book by someone who’s going to make a major impact in politics, My Two Moms is a good bet. This young man will do something great in politics if that’s the path he chooses.

64 replies
  1. 1
    Jebediah says:

    I need to go buy something from JC Penney.

  2. 2
    Pen says:

    I wouldn’t even bother with the Boy Scouts at this point. They’ve been taken over by the Mormon church and care about public opinion about as much as the Vatican. This is the same organization that’ll kick you out for being an atheist too, not just homosexual. They’ve turned a great organization designed to teach life skills and turned it into a Focus On The Family style “moral crusade”.

  3. 3
    middlewest says:

    Million Moms is batting 1000, DC comics just unveiled a new gay superhero.

  4. 4
    deep says:

    Moments like this, I’m proud of capitalism.

  5. 5
    Walker says:

    A former Eagle Scout, I quit the Boy Scouts 15 years ago when one of these witch hunts ousted one of the greatest scoutmasters (with 20+ years of service) that I have ever known.

  6. 6
    Kay (no, not that one) says:

    JCPenney has really stepped up on the marriage equality issue. I sure wish someone had a link to the original ad. I followed the links in this story and the links in the links, but I couldn’t find it. I like to show my support by purchasing directly from the ad (also sent them an appreciative comment).

    JCPenney also did a great ad for Mothers Day. I was forced to buy 3 Liz Claiborne tee shirts linked to that ad.

  7. 7
    WereBear says:

    Ah, the Achilles heel of commerce; we want to sell to all families.

    Great picture.

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    I agree with Pen. One of my sons badly wanted to join the Boy Scouts a few years back and I had to tell him No with a lengthy discussion of why I was uncomfortable with the organization and its values.

  9. 9
    Arclite says:

    And I agree with Beltane. NO way my son is joining BSA, even though I was a scout 30 years ago. Not that they’ve made their views known.

    As for Wahls, he was pretty good on The Daily Show a few weeks back. Smart guy. Hope he goes far.

  10. 10
    JPL says:

    OT..Bumpy ride on Wall Street today. Jobs data sucks.

  11. 11
    Walker says:


    Find some form of high adventure backpacking club and join that instead. The Boy Scouts have a notoriously bad reputation with being high impact campers. I was in a troop that understood low impact camping, but we often had to lie about our affiliation just to get permits.

  12. 12

    I have mixed feeelings about the Boy Scouts. Some local troops are great, while others are not. The national organizations sucks. Also, to get the Eagle Scout rank you need a recommendation from a religious leader. That might not work for my family. It’s a private organization, so they can do what they want with regards to religion, but it may exclude my family.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    Another reason to give J.C. Penney’s a try. Kohl’s has a nice niche and at least in GA their stores are located in strip shopping centers rather than malls. The model might work for Penney’s. I love the new ads.

  14. 14
    Ash Can says:

    This adorable photograph has brightened my whole morning. Next time I need to do department-store shopping, Penney’s is it.

  15. 15
    Pen says:

    @beltane: I have a two-year old son in a community that highly respects the Scouts. Former Eagle Scout myself, and I’m not looking forward to having to tell him why he can’t join up himself. Nobody that sees everyone that doesn’t fit their religious pigeonholing as second-class citizens is worthy of anything but contempt.

  16. 16

    I think of my kids, who came to my wife and I through adoption and see those kids with those two men and I think: How could anyone deny anyone the joy and love I have for my kids to anyone, especially when there are so many kids who would love to have those two guys as parents.

  17. 17
    russell says:

    right on. blow it out your shorts, bigots.

  18. 18
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Sweet, charming picture. Brightened up my morning.

    I’m going to try to get through the Friday without fighting about John Edwards. We’ll see how that goes.

    Happy First of June.

  19. 19
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @JPL: The JCP here in Rockwall is in a shopping center.

  20. 20
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:


    Good day for a picnic with Mr. Galt. On the upside, since the previous two months were adjusted down, it should pour cold water on the wingnut meme that Commissar Obama is tinkering with the numbers to hep himself get reelected. Plus, our resident nobama vultures should get a bellyful of dead wabbit.

  21. 21
    EconWatcher says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Well, let’s forget about John Edwards and start lamenting the jobs report. It is really, really bad:


  22. 22
    Mary Brown says:

    Outstanding. Penney’s has just gained another customer. What a nice way to start the morning.

  23. 23
    jo6pac says:

    @Jebediah: My thought also, good for JC Pennys

  24. 24
    Walker says:


    I do not understand why people like Kohls. I have never found their merchandise as good as other higher-end department stores (Macy’s etc.); indeed, they seem to be about the same quality as Target (though better than Wal Mart).

    I also do not understand Bed, Bath, and Beyond, as their quality is comparable to Wal Mart.

  25. 25
    Scott S. says:

    @middlewest: Great to see Less Than One Million Not-Moms fall on their face again…

  26. 26
    Egg Berry says:

    @EconWatcher: As long as they’re still adding jobs, I don’t consider it “really bad.” Not good, but not “really bad.” But that’s why I’m not a screaming banshee in the pits on Wall Street.

  27. 27
    EconWatcher says:


    Bed, Bath and Beyond amazes me by continuing to survive. Their quality is awful, and their prices are sky high.

  28. 28
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Walker: Kohls is competing with target, not Macy’s. Both are the step up from the discount stores like KMart or Wal-Mart. Their merchandise used to be better quality, Although kohls was always a bit stodgier. BBB lost its way, but used to be the store with some nice things that were aimed at middle class households that couldn’t yet afford to buy stuff regularly at crate and barrel or williams Sonoma. The quality of goods of these stores has gone downhill. Maybe because the actual lower middle class market they were aimed at shrunk.

  29. 29
    EconWatcher says:

    @Egg Berry:

    Not enough jobs were created to keep up with the size of the workforce, so unemployment went up, to 8.2%. This is really, really bad.

  30. 30
    xian says:

    how much of the badness is the undertow of continued public-sector job losses (aka, “austerity”)?

  31. 31
    JPL says:

    @Walker: Their stores are conveniently located. The house ware and linen section are better than Target. I made the assumption that the quality is the same as Penney’s but I really don’t know. I haven’t been in a Penney’s store in decades but I will give them another look based solely on their ads.

  32. 32
    EconWatcher says:


    Most of it.

  33. 33
    JPL says:

    @EconWatcher: Really, really bad. Boehner and Romney are smiling though.

  34. 34
    PeakVT says:

    @EconWatcher: It’s a bad report, but there was still some (seasonally-adjusted growth), so it’s not horrible. It’s not like the January 2009 report.

  35. 35
    rlrr says:


    Sort of unreported is much of the job loss is in the public sector…

  36. 36
    EconWatcher says:


    In January 2009 we were in the heighth of the storm. We’re supposed to be in recovery now, and we’re trying to reelect a president. This is really, really bad.

  37. 37
    mouse tolliver says:

    This picture is why Maggie Gallagher can’t have a real husband.

  38. 38
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    The only still decent thing about this jobs report, is 12,000 more manufacturing jobs were created. It’s not much a ray of sunshine for this months numbers, but it’s something.

  39. 39
    Suffern ACE says:

    @rlrr: Yep. Laying off those public sector workers doesn’t actually produce “real jobs.”

  40. 40
    redshirt says:

    I was so psyched to join Webelos, but that quickly faded when I learned most of our activities would consist of selling candy bars. Not fun!

  41. 41
    Schlemizel says:

    I was hesitant when my youngest said he wanted to become a Boy Scout. I had been a Cub & Boy Scout back in the 60’s and saw no real problem then but their religious phobia was really bubbling up at the time the boy wanted to join (the homophobia not so much yet).

    But I spoke with the Scout Master & a couple of his leaders about our families lack of church & he made it very clear that there was no requirement for a belief in any one God only an acceptance that there are powers in the universe beyond our own. Hell, thats an easy requirement.

    It was a great experience and it helped my son a lot. I got involved in the leadership and enjoyed it for the most part (although the higher up the org people were the more they were likely to be dicks so I avoided that). Those of you who want to deny your sons the opportunity I’d ask to reconsider. Ask around & see if there isn’t a troop in your area that is inclusive & accepting – its good for the kid & subversive to the leadership.

  42. 42
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    Sort of unreported is much of the job loss is in the public sector…

    All part of the wingnut’s unelect the Kenyan Usurper strategy, at the red state level. Or, set the house on fire, and maybe Mitt Romney will show up with a squirt gun and tax relief for the wealthy.

  43. 43
    HRA says:


    Kohls does carry name brand merchandise along with other merchandise probably found in Target and Walmart that does not wear or look well. I only go to BBB for the K cups. It’s the same as Kohls in merchandise, too.

    I will have to go to Penneys and see if it has changed at all.
    The last time I went there it was worse than Target and Walmart.

    Love the pic.

  44. 44
    Butch says:

    I guess the current actual membership count for one million moms is around 33,000.

  45. 45
    MikeJ says:

    How long until telling somebody you’re an eagle scout is like telling somebody hit a hole in one at a country club that doesn’t allow black people?

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Margarita says:

    he made it very clear that there was no requirement for a belief in any one God only an acceptance that there are powers in the universe beyond our own

    Well, not quite. It’s true that monotheism is not required by the Statement of Religious Principles they make you sign — they will accept Hinduism, for example. And even an organized religion is not strictly required. What is required is a belief in “God,” which you are permitted to define how you like.

    So, if you say, “I accept that there are powers beyond our own, but I don’t believe in quote-unquote ‘God,'” then you’re out.

    Of course, you can call anything you want “God,” and no one is supposed to cross-examine you about it. But then there’s the whole bullshitting, hypocrisy, and lack of moral integrity thing. Not to mention the creepy, “closeted” nature of the exercise and the resentment of literally being a second-class citizen.

    And that’s without getting into the elaboration of the requirement at the national level where, however you define “God” is fine, as long as it includes the properties of supernatural supreme being who created the universe and intercedes in its affairs. Alrighty then.

    The local people can be cool, but the national organization — which absolutely does not agree that the local people have discretion about gays and atheists — stinks.

  48. 48
    gbear says:

    I want to be happy about the changes at Penny’s except for that they’ve been putting my sister in a hard place by constantly cutting her hours to the point where she works less than 5 hours a week. The new management has decided not to focus on the department where she works so she’s been shoved back into a no-traffic corner and her sales are way down. Everyone here is talking about buying clothes from Penny’s. Please look into them if you’re considering window treatments (curtains and blinds) too.

  49. 49
    Rafer Janders says:

    @The Other Bob:

    Also, to get the Eagle Scout rank you need a recommendation from a religious leader.

    Easy enough. Get one from a Pastafarian minister.

  50. 50
    Pococurante says:


    I need to go buy something from JC Penney.

    Their marketing is ethically laudable but at heart cynically motivated as part of the company’s makeover, intended to cause controversy.

    They are laying off hundreds of older workers, requiring them to sign away their rights under age discrimination law in hopes of a severance package, keeping in place the middle management that got them in trouble, and slashing benefits for future younger workers. All part of Corporate America’s race to the bottom.

    Like Apple there is nothing inherently noble about JCPenney.

  51. 51
    kerFuFFler says:

    I’m glad to see someone doubling down on something other than stupid for a change.

    What a beautiful family. Their manifest joy is infectious and I feel happy enough now to go shopping! But our JC Penny’s left town years ago….

  52. 52
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Egg Berry:

    As long as they’re still adding jobs, I don’t consider it “really bad.” Not good, but not “really bad.”

    You’re not accounting for population growth. The US population grows year over year, and depending on how you count the economy needs to add between 90,000 to 125,000 jobs a year just to keep pace with the added number of job-seekers (and if you fall behind the rate one month, then the next month you need even more growth just to get back to even). Any growth less than that is, effectively, a negative, as the rate of population increase has outpaced the rate of jobs increase.

    So while yes, 67,000 is not “really bad”, it is still “pretty bad”.

  53. 53
    gaz says:

    @Jebediah: Seconded. It’s amazing to me that it’s JCPenny of all places that has consistently had the stones to stand by this in the face of the wingnut poutrage machine. (I say this considering JCPenny’s demographic – which as best as I can tell consists of soccer moms and younger people who need inexpensive gear to wear to an interview, and such). I figure they are world’s largest purveyor of mom jeans, cheap ties and crew socks.

    In any case, good on them. This ad is not only fun (as ads go), but it will send the wingers into paroxysms of faux-moral outrage. Good times.

  54. 54
    Egg Berry says:

    @Rafer Janders: I understand the population growth angle. I’m just saying that “really bad” is not the wording I’d use. “Bad,” fine. “Disappointing,” fine. Calculated Risk, which was linked earlier, was much more muted in terms used about the report, and I prefer a measured assessment. But it’s a positive number, and nobody in the news media (outside the economics blogs) is going to talk about population growth. Average Joe/Jane is going to see that jobs were still being added. When we start losing jobs in an election year, that will be “really bad.” And this is just my view, which means exactly squat except it’s a topic of discussion in the blog comments.

  55. 55
    yopd1 says:

    @Jebediah: THIS!

  56. 56
    Commenting at Balloon Juice Since 1937 says:

    @Jebediah: I did yesterday. I came to my annual realization that all the stuff I wear is really old and needed some replacements. There are three reputable stores on my way home so I chose Penneys.

  57. 57
    WereBear says:

    @gaz: I figure they are world’s largest purveyor of mom jeans, cheap ties and crew socks.

    Penney’s is one of the few home furnishing outlets left. When my brother was doing up his apartment (Polanski’s MacBeth was his inspiration) Penney’s was one of the few places with window treatments, comforters, and linens that would coordinate each other, at a reasonable price.

    I’ve always been happy with what I bought from Penney’s. Now Sears, they are slapping together reject lumber using spit and selling it as furniture. They are off my list forever.

  58. 58
    Gex says:

    That’s all fine and dandy, but does little in the face of organizations like CNN who will tell Americans that pedophilia and incest are not a choice, but being gay is.

    It’s fucking depressing. The power and status of the groups demonizing us terrifies me. The outcry over concentration camps and executions is underwhelming. I’m quite certain the Nazi’s didn’t open with “Let’s kill all the Jews.”. I’m pretty sure there were years and years of this sort of thing. Slowly building up a popluation’s ability to entail port or tolerate such actions.

    It’s really on this issue that I find that I did believe in American exceptionalism after all. I guess there really was a part of me that thought we were better than this.

  59. 59
    Gex says:

    Moderation help?

  60. 60
    gaz says:

    @WereBear: My favorite home furnishing outlet is Area 51, but as far as I know they are not a chain. Really great, unique furniture, surprisingly reasonable prices. No particle board – often glass and aluminum, or steel construction. I haven’t been in years, because I’ve got what I need at the moment, but I always hit it up first. =)

    ETA: some of there stuff is extremely pricey, I won’t argue that. It’s a hunt. You have to be selective.

  61. 61
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Egg Berry:

    When we start losing jobs in an election year, that will be “really bad.”

    I see that point, but not keeping up with the population growth number is, effectively, losing jobs. While in raw numbers we have more jobs, in raw numbers we have even more people, so we have in effect lost jobs.

    If you start with X jobs for X people, and then add both jobs and population so you wind up with 2X jobs but 3X people, you’ve gone from a 100% employment ratio to a 66% employment ratio, even though you technically have “more” jobs (2X > X) than you started with.

  62. 62
    WereBear says:

    @gaz: Thanks, nice stuff!

    Yes, unless it comes in a box with low shipping, like Overstock, our furniture needs to be local.

  63. 63
    shortstop says:

    As a volunteer with the Girl Scouts (and I don’t even have kids), I just want to smarmily point out that, unlike the Boy Scouts, we aren’t religiously bent and in fact are the target of certain religious leaders’ wrath (for our so-secret-we-didn’t-even-know-about-it connection to Planned Parenthood). Yay, it’s good to be a girl in this circumstance.

    Agree with those who suggest that parents who (understandably) don’t want their sons in the Boy Scouts find alternative, low-impact camping orgs. Nothing can replace the outdoors experience for kids–I know how much Scouting formed my outlook and interests in that regard–and we fortunately have more alternatives for giving it than we used to.

  64. 64
    LanceThruster says:

    Zach Wahls has floored me every single appearance I’ve seen him do to speak on the issue. What a truly remarkable individual and what wonderfully amazing parenting he enjoyed.

    It feels good to be on the right side history.

Comments are closed.