Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Out Music: Brian Justin Crum "Show Me Love" Feat. Toy Armada & DJ Grind

Out singer Brian Justin Crum, who sang his face off during the recent season of America's Got Talent, absolutely kills on this remake of the 1995 Robyn hit “Show Me Love.”

The track is the 28 year old Broadway veteran's first single since AGT, and features Toy Armada and DJ Grind. Currently climbing the Billboard Dance/Club chart, you can find the track on iTunes here.

Via Twitter, Brian announced, "Here it is! The official video for "Show me Love" ft Toy Armada and DJ GRIND! Thank you to everyone involved!"

Watch the music video below:

Trump Still Erroneously Maintains Millions Voted Illegally In Presidential Election

Last night, President Trump spent several minutes telling congressional leaders from both parties that he still believes he truly won the popular vote in the presidential election because 3-5 million votes were cast illegally.

The issue remained in the spotlight today as reporters asked White House press secretary Sean Spicer about the issue:

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday confirmed that President Donald Trump believes millions of people voted illegally in November’s election, despite a total absence of evidence to support this view.

“The president does believe that. He has stated that before. I think he’s stated his concerns of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him,” Spicer told reporters at the daily press briefing.

Pressed for evidence to support the claim, Spicer said only, “I think the president has believed that for a while, based on studies and information he has.” He did not say what those studies or information were.

During the course of the press conference, Spicer grew visibly frustrated at the repeated questions about Trump’s false claim. “He believes what he believes based on the information he was provided,” Spicer told CNN’s Jeff Zeleny. Asked what Trump’s belief means for American democracy, Spicer snapped, “It means I have answered your question.”
Numerous studies have shown that there's no way such massive voter fraud took place.

What neither Spicer nor Trump have explained to date is, if Trump truly believes there was such astronomical voter fraud, why hasn't the president called for a massive investigation?

Health & Human Services Nominee Tom Price Dodges Question Whether People Might Lose Coverage Under Trump Plan

Congressman Tom Price of Georgia, President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, couldn't give a clear answer today during his confirmation hearing regarding how strenuously he would implement Trump's executive order to pull back on the Affordable Care Act.

He also couldn't promise that Americans wouldn't lose health coverage in repealing the ACA.

From Politico:

Price, Trump’s pick to run Health and Human Services, dodged questions from lawmakers Tuesday about whether Trump’s order would force people from their current Obamacare coverage, despite promises from many Republicans they want to ensure the 20 million people insured through the law wouldn’t be hurt by efforts to replace it.

He also wouldn’t say whether HHS would wait until Congress readies a replacement plan before taking steps to dismantle the health care law. Price told the Senate Finance Committee, which will vote on his nomination, that he would promise to put “patients at the center of health care,” declining to tackle the questions directly.

And according to USA Today, Price answered practically every question with some version of, “Every single American will have access to coverage that is affordable.”

To be honest, I have access to buying a million dollar home, but I can't afford one.

Trump Issues Executive Orders Greenlighting Oil Pipelines, Owns Stock In Company Building Dakota Pipeline

First, President Trump signed executive orders today that allow the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines to move forward:

President Trump signed two executive actions Tuesday that will advance construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. The actions follow months of protests by environmentalists and Native American groups in North Dakota against the Dakota Access project, a $3.8-billion pipeline that would bring crude oil from the state’s Bakken oil patch through the Midwest and into the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Construction on the project was halted in December after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in the area so it could explore alternate routes.

Now, with that in mind, from CBS News:

President-elect Donald Trump holds stock in the company building the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline, and pipeline opponents warn that Trump’s investments could affect any decision he makes on the $3.8 billion project as president.

Trump’s 2016 federal disclosure forms show he owned between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners. That’s down from between $500,000 and $1 million a year earlier.

But remember: he "has no conflicts of interest..."

Olivia Newton-John, Beth Nielsen Chapman & Amy Sky On BBC Radio 2

Prior to their concert tonight in Glasgow at the Celtic Connections Festival, Olivia Newton-John, Amy Sky and Beth Nielsen Chapman shared three songs from their critically acclaimed album, LIV ON, with BBC Radio 2. Listen below.

For more info about the album and concerts, click here.

Gallup: Donald Trump's Ranking Among New Presidents

(via FiveThirtyEight)

Reports Swirling That Sean Spicer Might Be On His Way Out As White House Spox

Rumors already swirling that the current White House spokesman may be replaced soon as the Trumpster is reportedly not impressed with "Sparky" Spicer's performance.

Or his fashion sense.

From Axios:

This West Wing is a tough neighborhood. Even AFTER Sean Spicer's successful get-back-on-the-horse presser yesterday, I'm told that a top White House official was discussing his possible replacement. On Day 4! With 1,457 to go in this term.

Unfortunately for Spicer, Trump is obsessed with his press secretary's performance art. Our Jonathan Swan hears that Trump hasn't been impressed with how Spicer dresses, once asking an aide: "Doesn't the guy own a dark suit?" Spicer looked a lot sharper yesterday than he did on Saturday — in a dark, bankerly suit.

And according to the Washington Post, Spicer wasn't Trump's gut choice:

"As Trump thought about staffing his administration following his surprise victory, he hesitated over selecting Spicer … He did not see Spicer as particularly telegenic and preferred a woman."

Funny: Randy Rainbow Interviews Kellyanne Conway "Alternative Facts"

Randy Rainbow "interviews" White House liar counselor Kellyanne Conway in this parody of the opening number from the hit musical, CATS.

Thank god we have Randy Rainbow to entertain us during this difficult time in US politics :)

The 2017 Academy Award Nominations Announced

Full list of the 2017 Academy Award nominations at Variety.

The blockbuster La La Land received 14 nominations.

My personal favorite, the coming of age film Moonlight, received 8 nominations including "Best Picture!"

Best picture:
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Manchester by the Sea”

Lead actor:
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land,”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Lead actress:
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Supporting actor:
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”

Supporting actress:
Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

Best director:
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival”

Monday, January 23, 2017

News Round-Up: January 23, 2017

Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims

Some news items you may have missed:

• Woofy out Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims has re-introduced legislation that would ban so-called ex-gay/conversion therapy. Could we love this guy any more?

• White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says he doesn't know if President Trump plans to retain or repeal the previous administration's executive order that bans anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors in place.

• US intelligence teams are investigating calls between Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump's national security adviser, and Russia's ambassador to the US in regarding Russian activities in the US. Ruh-roh.

• A Texas state lawmaker has filed legislation that would completely remove access to abortion in his state saying it would “force” women to be “more personally responsible” with sex. Seriously?

• Donald Trump is the first president to begin his administration with less than 50% approval rating in Gallup Poll.

• Happy 84th birthday, 2-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera! I've found the gayest & grooviest dance clip I could to celebrate. Watch below:

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Votes 11-10 For Rex Tillerson Sec. Of State Nomination

Voting straight down party lines 11-10, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced the nomination of Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State.

The only possible stray vote might have been Republican Sen. Marco Rubio who leaned in tough on Tillerson about civil rights violations around the world during confirmation hearings.

According to sources, Rubio says he voted for Tillerson because he didn't want to "create unwarranted political controversy."

The nomination now goes to the floor of the full Senate. It's pretty clear Tillerson will be confirmed.

Cartoon Of The Day: "Nice Hat"

Tweet Of The Day: Alyssa Milano

Responding to a tweet by President Trump, wherein he wrote, "Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly."

Milano's short and to the point response?

"We did. You lost popular vote by 3 million. 3 million marched. Connect the dots. And by the way, you're a celebrity, @realDonaldTrump.

Dan Rather: "These Are Not Ordinary Times"

Dan Rather

Iconic journalist Dan Rather shared an essay this weekend via Facebook addressing his concerns regarding the nascent Trump administration's loose relationship with the truth and the newly coined term "alternative facts."

Here's the full post which has now gone viral:

These are not normal times. These are extraordinary times. And extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

When you have a spokesperson for the president of the United States wrap up a lie in the Orwellian phrase "alternative facts”…

When you have a press secretary in his first appearance before the White House reporters threaten, bully, lie, and then walk out of the briefing room without the cajones to answer a single question…

When you have a President stand before the stars of the fallen CIA agents and boast about the size of his crowds (lies) and how great his authoritarian inaugural speech was….

These are not normal times.

The press has never seen anything like this before. The public has never seen anything like this before. And the political leaders of both parties have never seen anything like this before.

What can we do? We can all step up and say simply and without equivocation. "A lie, is a lie, is a lie!" And if someone won't say it, those of us who know that there is such a thing as the truth must do whatever is in our power to diminish the liar's malignant reach into our society.

There is one group of people who can do a lot - very quickly. And that is Republicans in Congress. Without their support, Donald Trump's presidency will falter. So here is what I think everyone in the press must do. If you are interviewing a Paul Ryan, a Mitch McConnell, or any other GOP elected official, the first question must be "what will you do to combat the lying from the White House?" If they dodge and weave, keep with the follow ups. And if they refuse to give a satisfactory answer, end the interview.

Facts and the truth are not partisan. They are the bedrock of our democracy. And you are either with them, with us, with our Constitution, our history, and the future of our nation, or you are against it. Everyone must answer that question.

Out Music: Ty Herndon "Fighter"

Out country star Ty Herndon shares the music video for his new single, "Fighter," from his album House On Fire with this warning via Facebook:

WARNING- The version of this video contains strong and disturbing images. I wanted to share this version of the video #FIGHTER with you guys. We did this powerful imagery for my performance The Trevor Project Trevor Live. Some of you may find it disturbing. I know i certainly did. Most of you know me as a country singer. I am also a man who believes in the power of love not hate. And I often sing about it. When I was first approached about using these images, I rejected it. Then after much thought and prayer I realized that this is the truth for many young LGBTQ youth in the world today. I see it often when I travel around making appearances for organizations like GLAAD Human Rights Campaign LA Pride Dallas Pride ChicagoPride.com & so many more. It is my greatest prayer that we can all stand together and love one another- No matter what color or shape our spots are. I know this one fact clearly- from my own journey- None of us are perfect. As my Maw Maw use to say, We are all just beautiful messes. So be strong and journey on with a big open heart - And pay it forward with grace- knowledge and love. Just a reminder that all proceeds from the download of this song go towards The Trevor Project.

Ty's new album, House On Fire, available here.

I previously shared the first single from the album, "That Kind of Night," here. It was also one of my Top 5 LGBT songs of 2016.

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