Saturday, December 16, 2017

News Round-Up: December 16, 2017

(via Instagram)
Some news items you might have missed:

• I've been fascinated by this pic of fitness model Quin Bruce (above). I find his expression captivating.

• A Tennessee county commission is planning a symbolic resolution condemning same-sex marriage after the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land. #Whatever #WhyHate?

• All credit to Boy Culture for revealing not only did Democrat Doug Jones win the special Alabama Senate election this week, but Jones has a hottie gay son.

• A new poll shows a clear majority of Americans believe Donald Trump is guilty of sexual misconduct.

• Out actor and Teen Wolf star Charlie Carver has joined the cast of the upcoming all-star Broadway production of the groundbreaking gay play, The Boys in the Band, as "Cowboy." The production is slated to run April 30-August 12 at the Booth Theatre on Broadway.

• The rumor around Washington DC is Donald Trump may fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller before Christmas. If that happens, watch hell break loose.

• I was just down in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, celebrating my hubby's birthday and ran into underwear designer Andrew Christian. So in his honor, let's celebrate a bit of the holiday season with his hottie models. Watch below.

I Love Animals - How Sweet Is This?

CDC Issued "Banned Words" List By Trump Administration: Transgender, Diversity, Science-Based

The Center for Disease Control has been issued a list by the Trump administration of banned words in official documents in preparation for next year’s budget.

• Fetus
• Transgender
• Diversity
• Vulnerable
• Entitlement
• Science-based
• Evidence-based

How does a health agency not use the words evidence-based?

Or science based?

From The Washington Post:

The question of how to address such issues as sexual orientation, gender identity and abortion rights — all of which received significant visibility under the Obama administration — has surfaced repeatedly in federal agencies since President Trump took office. Several key departments — including HHS, as well as Justice, Education, and Housing and Urban Development — have changed some federal policies and how they collect government information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

In March, for example, HHS dropped questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in two surveys of elderly people.

HHS has also removed information about LGBT Americans from its website. The department’s Administration for Children and Families, for example, archived a page that outlined federal services that are available for LGBT people and their families, including how they can adopt and receive help if they are the victims of sex trafficking.

First Same-Sex Weddings Take Place In Australia

Amy Laker and Lauren Price
History was made today in Australia as the first same-sex marriage, between Lauren Price and Amy Laker, took place in Sydney.

The couple had been planning a commitment ceremony on the date for a long time. But with Ms. Price's family having already traveled from Wales in the UK and the recent legalization of same-sex marriage, the couple asked for special permission to marry before the new law is to take effect next month.

Another couple, Amy and Elise McDonald, surprised their 60 guests gathered for a commitment ceremony with marriage vows today as well.

Originally planned as a commitment ceremony, the couple realized they qualified for an exemption from the waiting period on financial grounds in that McDonald's family had traveled from Asia and the United Arab Emirates for the ceremony.

Watch the TV coverage below.

Congrats to the happy couple! And to Australia!

Christmas Music: Straight No Chaser "12 Days Of Christmas"

Going way back to almost the beginning of the aca-awesome group, Straight No Chaser performs their unique "12 Days of Christmas" for the first time, on December 7th, 1998, in the Musical Arts Center at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana.

Great arrangement. Clever, funny, and smart.

If you don't know these guys, make sure you check out their many holiday albums as well as their cover versions of pop songs here.

Sen. Bob Corker Flips From "No" To "Yes" On Tax Bill Thanks To Real Estate Investment Clause

Sen. Bob Corker
Short version: GOP Sen. Bob Corker, who is retiring, was a "no" vote on the current tax reform legislation.

He's a multi-millionaire thanks to real estate investments.

Last minute language inserted into tax bill gives a big tax break to real estate investors.

Corker is now a "yes" vote.

From The International Business Times:

The new tax provision would specifically allow owners of large real estate holdings through LLCs to deduct a percentage of their “pass through” income from their taxes, according to experts. Although Trump, who became famous for his real estate holdings, has transitioned into branding in recent years, federal records show Trump has ownership stakes in myriad LLCs.

The new provision was not in the bill passed by the House or the Senate. Instead, it was inserted into the final bill during reconciliation negotiations between Republicans from both chambers. The provision, said experts, would offer a special tax cut to LLCs with few employees and large amounts of depreciable property assets, namely buildings: rent generating apartment and office buildings.

Sen. Bob Corker, who was considered a potential “no” vote on the bill, abruptly switched his position upon the release of the final legislation. Federal records reviewed by IBT show that Corker has millions of dollars of ownership stakes in real-estate related LLCs that could also benefit.

Corker won't have anyone to answer to once he's out of office next year except his bank account.

This entire tax reform bill has been cobbled together with NO public hearings in a matter of weeks. Republicans released the legislation at 4:30pm on a Friday with plans to vote on the bill next week.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Podcast: Christmas Tipspalooza With Lifestyle Expert Candi Fox

Author and lifestyle expert Candi Fox joins me for tons of decorating, travel, cooking and entertaining tips to make your holiday season the very best it can be. Some ideas to help save money, and some to help celebrate the holidays in new ways.

We also have suggestions for taking care of yourself and ways to reduce stress throughout the season.

Plus, we share some Christmas music from out musicians Ann Hampton Callaway, Bright Light Bright Light and Matt Zarley to make your season bright. Take a listen then go support these awesome out artists.

For many years, Candi and I were The Candi & Randy Show on BlogTalkRadio where we racked up over a million downloads of talk radio episodes.

Among the most popular shows were our annual roundup of holiday ideas woven in between some of our favorite Christmas songs. I'm thrilled to have Candi join me again.

Hit the play button below and listen as we share new ideas to celebrate the holiday season.

ELLEN: Alabama Peanut Farmer Who Protested Roy Moore On Behalf Of His Lesbian Daughter

Alabama peanut farmer Nathan Mathis, who criticized U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore this week for calling gays perverts, appeared on ELLEN today.

Mathis picketed outside Moore’s Midland City rally earlier this week with a sign which read:

Judge Roy Moore called my daughter Patti Sue Mathis (who committed suicide) a pervert because she was gay. A 32-year-old Roy Moore dated teenage girls aged 14 to 17. So that makes him a pervert of the worse kind.

In honor of Patti Sue, Ellen donated $25,000 to The Trevor Project which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth, courtesy of Shutterfly.

I won't spoil it for you, but Mathis is beyond touching in his honesty talking about his daughter as well as exceedingly charming in the way he expresses his world views.

Make sure you hit play below and watch. You'll be very glad you did.