Tuesday, January 16, 2018

News Round-Up: January 16, 2018

Austin Wolff shirtless selfie gym pic

Some news items you might have missed:

• Just found out I'm going to be on the same Atlantis cruise later this month with this guy (above). #WoofForWolff

• George Michael made secret donations to Project Angel Food in Los Angeles totaling more than $650,000 after the death of his partner to HIV-related causes in 1993.

• The state of Florida will offer HIV prevention treatment PrEP for free statewide by the end of 2018.

• The ABC hit TV sitcom Modern Family will probably come to a close after it's 10th season next year. The LGBT-inclusive series has won 22 Primetime Emmy Awards to date.

• Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen apparently doesn't know if Norway is a predominantly white country. #SRSLY

• Jax Jones recently dropped his latest dance bop, "Breathe," featuring vocals by Ina Wroldsen.

With a catchy chorus, the melodic house track jumped to #6 in just a few weeks on the UK Singles chart. Listen below - bet you bounce.

Former Trump Adviser Steve Bannon Gets Hit With TWO Subpoenas

Donald Trump (L), Steve Bannon (R)
After telling the House Intelligence committee he would not answer questions about his time in the White House, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon got slapped with a subpoena in an effort to force his testimony.

From Politico:

Bannon appeared before the committee as part of its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, speaking just weeks after a falling-out with Trump over comments he made in an explosive new book.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) confirmed Tuesday that he issued a subpoena for Bannon.

“Of course I authorized the subpoena," he told reporters. "That’s how the rules work.”

According to the person familiar with the interview, Bannon's attorney told the committee he wouldn't discuss anything about his time in the White House or during the transition after the 2016 election. During that period, Trump allegedly sought a pledge of loyalty from then-FBI Director James Comey and later fired him.

The source said Republicans lawmakers — including Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and former federal prosecutor Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) — were frustrated that Bannon was not more forthcoming. Bannon did not invoke executive privilege, the source said.

Bannon was quoted extensively in the explosive new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which was none too kind to the Trump administration.

Some feel Bannon's performance today was an attempt to curry favor again with the Trumpster by demonstrating his loyalty.

In addition to the House subpoena, The New York Times reported today that Bannon was hit with a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation last week calling him to testify before a grand jury.

That subpoena marks the first time Mr. Mueller has subpoenaed a member of the Trump inner circle in his investigation into Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election.

Basically, from here on out, Bannon will be testifying under oath. #DangerWillRobinson

Sen. Cory Booker Is Not Suffering Fools Lightly Today

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey was not about to suffer fools lightly this morning as Donald Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, claimed that she couldn’t remember if Trump called Haiti and African countries "shitholes" in an Oval Office meeting last week.

After listening to earlier testimony bu Nielsen, Booker decided to use his time to address his thoughts saying, in part, "Your silence and your amnesia is complicity."

Just an excerpt from Booker's comments:

“I had tears of rage. And for you not to feel that hurt and that pain and to dismiss the questions of my colleagues, with tens of millions Americans hurting right now because they're worried about what happened in the White House."

Watch Sen. Booker's full comments below.

Dr. Mathilde Krim, Founder Of AmFAR, Passes Away At 91

HIV/AIDS activist Peter Staley shared via Facebook last night that Dr. Mathilde Krim, who founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR), passed away at the age of 91.

My greatest AIDS hero died a few hours ago. Dr. Mathilde Krim, founder of amfAR, warrior against homophobia and AIDS-related stigma, dedicated defender of science and public health, and mother-figure and mentor to countless activists, will leave a deep hole in the continued fight against AIDS -- a fight she dedicated her life to. She as 91.

Watch AmFAR's 2011 tribute to her below.

And don't let the stoic photo fool you. According to Staley, she clearly enjoyed life to its fullest.

Daily Dog

I don't know how she taught him how to do all this... but it's amazing :)


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Bans "Bump Stocks" On Last Day In Office

Gov. Chris Christie
Color me surprised by outoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

From NJ.com:

New Jersey has now banned “bump stocks,” controversial firearm accessories allegedly used by the shooter in last year’s Las Vegas massacre.

The devices can be affixed to semiautomatic rifles to allow them to fire bullets, mimicking automatic weapons.

But under the new law — which takes effect immediately — anyone who owns one has 90 days to surrender them to authorities. Retailers have 30 days.

Christie, a Republican, signed the law even though he has long opposed new gun-control measures in the state.

Poll: 35% Of Voters Give Donald Trump An "F" For His First Year As President

A new poll by Morning Consult/Politico shows 35% of those surveyed give Donald Trump an "F" for his efforts after his first year in office.

From The Washington Examiner:

Thirty-five percent of voters asked give Trump an "F" after his first year in office, while about half of that, 18 percent, gave him an "A," according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll released Tuesday.

The Jan. 4-5 survey found that 17 percent said Trump was worthy of a "B," 14 percent gave him a "C," and 11 percent thought he earned a "D" grade.

The pollster also found Trump's disapproval rating had jumped 14 percent from 37 percent in a Jan. 20-22 poll last year, to 51 percent last week at the conclusion of his first full year in office.

Meanwhile, the Gallup Daily Tracking poll shows Trump in his usual neighborhood of 38% job approval and disapproval at 57%.

According to Gallup, Trump's average approval rating for his first year was 39%. That's the lowest of any modern president.

The previous "lowest approval" average for a first year president was Bill Clinton, and he well outpaced Trump with a 49% average.

Monday, January 15, 2018

News Round-Up: January 15, 2018

Bodybuilder Bruno Tarchetti shot by photographer Leo Castro

Some news items you might have missed:

• Monday Man Crush - bodybuilder Bruno Tarchetti (above) via Instagram shot by photographer Lëo Castro. A little sweat, some fur, a big tire, great lighting - what's not to like?

• A new study at the University of British Columbia suggests smelling your partner's shirt can reduce stress levels. #TotallyBelieveThat

• According to a survey of 200,000 iPhone users, a whopping 77% of Grindr users feel "unhappy" after using the gay dating app.

• Showrunners for the upcoming TV series Rise have changed the sexuality of one of the based-on-real-life lead roles from gay to straight.

• Conservative Christians are suing the University of Iowa for the right to discriminate against LGBTs while using school funds. #NotGonnaHappen

• Newsflash - Donald Trump announces he "is not a racist." That's what we've come to, kids.

• Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was quickly disarmed by MSNBC host and reporter Katy Tur when she asked Scaramucci about Trump's long list of racially inflammatory statements.

When Scaramucci tried to deny any race-based comments by Trump, Tur began reciting just a short list of the Trumpster's past remarks. "I can keep going," Tur said as Scaramucci tried in vain to change the narrative.

Watch the exchange below.