Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"I'm going to get you a present no one else ever has..."



Not sure why meeting a sloth was so emotional for Kristen, but she's pretty charming here...

CNN's Erick Erickson: "Watching A Hippie Protester Get Tased Just Makes My Day"



Watching someone get "tased" just makes his day?

How about I write this: "Watching a conservative political pundit get sent to the hospital just makes my day..."

That sound good?

Joe Manganiello on the set of "White Collar"



Thanks Candi for the tip.

Maryland 14 year old asks legislators to vote 'no' on gay marriage

The Maryland Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on Tuesday from advocates and opponents of the marriage equality bill currently pending in the state legislature.

Among those testifying were 14-year-old Sarah Crank, who told legislators that it “would be the best birthday present ever if you would vote no on gay marriage.”

“I really feel bad for the kids who have two parents of the same gender,” she said. [...] “They have no idea what kind of wonderful experiences they miss out on.”

“People have the choice to be gay, but I don’t want to be affected by their choice. People say they were just born that way, but I’ve met really nice adults who did change.”

Listen -- audio courtesy of Think Progress:







"It's rather scary to think that when I grow up the legislature or the court can change the definition of any word they want," she added.

"If they could change the definition of marriage then they could change the definition of any word," said the home schooled teen.

Imagine being 14 years old and asking - as a birthday present - that legislators deny equal rights to other people.

Just think about that.

Think about the parents that raised a child to stand in front of the world and ask that people be denied equal rights.

Please think about it. And after you think on that, please tell me you're sad.

I was raised in Texas where I COULD have had a red-neck, bigoted father who might have beat me for being who I am. Thank god my father was the amazing man he was.

This little girl... wish her good luck.

That's all I got....

One Man Phantom of the Opera - Nick Pitera



The amazing Nick Pitera's one man (three man?) take on "Phantom of the Opera"

Trailer: HBO's "Game Change"



This new HBO film follows John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, from his selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, to their ultimate defeat in the general election. "Game Change" premieres on March 10th.

Five former NJ Governors support passage of same-sex marriage


Five former governors of New Jersey are on record supporting gay marriage, while sitting Republican Gov. Chris Christie remains opposed.

Democrats Brendan Byrne and James Florio told NBC New York Monday they endorsed efforts in the Legislature to pass it.

"I think the climate is right on a basis of civil rights," said Byrne, the oldest of the former Garden State governors. "I would ask that the Legislature pass it."

Florio told NBC New York, "I have no difficulties with it."

"There are already people living together, as good neighbors and good people and contributing to the economy of this state, and I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be able to continue with the blessing of marriage," Tom Kean said.

Former Govs. Jon Corzine and Jim McGreevey are both on record as supporting gay marriage.

Vanessa Williams on the set of Desperate Housewives



One word: Gorgeous!

Bette Midler tweeting poems about Newt Gingrich


She's been tweeting them all day.  Check out her Twitter account here.

She credited the poems to "When Pigs Fly" by the great late Howard Crabtree and Mark Waldrop 1990.

Bravo to the Divine Miss M!

Lead sponsor of Washington state marriage equality confident of passage


From the Advocate: Ed Murray, the lead sponsor of Washington State’s marriage equality bill in the Senate, told The Advocate Tuesday afternoon that he expects the measure to pass during a floor vote tomorrow. Twenty-five senators, including two Republicans, have pledged their support as of last week, and they represent the minimum number needed to pass the legislation.

“We believe we have the votes to pass the bill and to defeat any attempt to put it on a referendum,” said Murray, one of six openly gay legislators in Washington. “My guess is that probably towards the end of next week, the bill will be signed by [Gov. Chris Gregoire].”

Washington law mandates a 60-day period after a bill is passed before it goes into effect, which allows anyone in the state to ask for the measure to be put on the ballot. Murray said marriage equality opponents have already pledged to do so the same day the bill would be signed, and said he’s “absolutely” sure they’ll hold to their promise.

“It’s going to be a pretty ugly and tough campaign ahead,” Murray said.

Marriage equality opponents, including the National Organization for Marriage and local antigay groups, have vowed to stop the bill’s passage. NOM has pledged $250,000 to fund primary challenges to any Republican legislator who supports the bill.

But Murray said he’s confident about tomorrow’s vote, and with the help of Washington United for Marriage — the key group working on grassroots support for the measure statewide — the bill will passed into law during November’s election season if it does go to a public vote. If that happens, Washington would be the first state in the nation to pass marriage equality in both the legislature and on a ballot.

Happy Birthday Carol Channing!



My dear, wonderful Carol Channing is 91 today! As the New York Times said in it's review of the last revival of Hello, Dolly! - "Celebrate her!"

Dori Bernstein's wonderful documentary on the life and career of Carol - "Carol Channing: Larger Than Life" - opens this weekend in NYC at the AMC Empire (42nd and 8th).

The film also opens in San Francisco at the Landmark Opera Plaza Cinema and Landmark Shattuck Cinemas.

The DVD will be out end of April. AND the film will also air on Showtime sometime soon.

Until then, how about a few choice videos of the singular sensation herself?





School suspends 17 year old cancer survivor for growing hair to donate

A charter school near Flint, Michigan is refusing to make an exception for a 17-year-old leukemia survivor who is growing out his hair to donate to other cancer patients.

Officials at Madison Academy in Burton suspended J.T. Gaskins over a week ago after they determined that his hairstyle violated the school’s policy.

At the age of 8 weeks old, Gaskins was diagnosed Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. After years of chemotherapy, he was declared cancer free in 2003.

“I fought cancer my entire life; I’m going to keep fighting this,” he told The Detroit News. “I’m not going to not give back just because my school says no.”

Gaskins’ mother, Christa Plante, launched a petition on Change.org that had over 45,000 signatures by Tuesday afternoon.

“[J.T.] has decided to give back to commerate his Journey and success, and has decided now is the time, to give back, his decision is to grow his hair out and donate to other children and families battling the same fight he did,” she wrote.

“Female students can grow and donate their hair, yet boys cant not, we’re asking for an ammendment to this policy, my son has now been kicked out of school, until he agrees to cut his hair, we are simply asking for compromise and to allow not only my son, but anyone wanting to donate to be allowed to do so, to allow the boys the same rights and freedoms as the girl students.”

More at RawStory.com

New Music: Madonna's new CD cover art


I hear she's also performing during some football game Sunday...

Definition: Fox News

Tennessee Sen. Stacey Campfield now says "he's" the victim

After attacking the rights of the LGBT community with his discriminatory legislation - "Don't Say Gay" bill in TN - and his unfortunate twisting of facts regarding HIV on the Michelangelo Signorile Show - "HIV came from a gay man having sex with a monkey in the 1980s"), Stacey Campfield was asked to leave a Knoxville restaurant by the owner.

The owner, Martha Boggs, denied service to the Senator for his outrageous political views and statements - which was within her right as a business owner. Bigotry isn't a "protected class."

Now the Senator has written on his blog about how he not only allows gays and blacks to rent his properties (see, he's not discriminatory - he'll take money from black people too...) but his grandfather sat "with the blacks" in the 1960s (somehow that's supposed to mean he's not discriminatory because of genetics?).

From Senator Stacey Campfield's blog:

"As you may have read I was asked to leave a restaurant in Knoxville because my beliefs did not support the owners beliefs on homosexuality. I had not said anything. I was just standing there waiting for a table when the owner came up and started yelling at me calling me names and telling me they were not going to serve me because of my alleged beliefs saying I hate gays. I said in as calm a way as I could that I don't hate gays and the things I have said were backed up by the CDC. I offered to send her the links.

"I have been quite open and clear on my beliefs and have backed them up with facts from the CDC and others. Unfortunately some people do not let facts get in the way of their prejudice. [snip] The cries of 'Ha ha. we showed him!' fall flat to me. It is not I who lost out. My friends and I still had a good meal. We just gave our money to a more gracious host. What was showed was a lack of professionalism."

X Factor: Paula Abdul. Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones not returning

Sources tell E! News that Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones aren't the only ones not coming back to X Factor next season.

Believe it or not, Fox has informed Simon Cowell's longtime friend Paula Abdul she won't be needed for the series' next installment.

MORE: More X Factor Drama: Nicole Scherzinger Also Not Coming Back!

"She found out today," says a show source. "At this point, the only ones staying are Simon and L.A. Reid."

Another source confirms to E! News that both Paula and Nicole were not renewed, "Simon wants to take the show in a different direction," says the insider.

Read more at E! News

Monday, January 30, 2012

Marriage News Watch - January 30, 2012

Swing States poll: Romney and Obama tied; Gingrich trails


A new USA TODAY/Gallup Swing States survey shows Mitt Romney and President Obama at a statistical tie (48%-47%). However, Newt Gingrich fares much worse against President Obama.

In a head-to-head race, Romney leads Obama by a statistically insignificant percentage point, 48%-47%, the survey finds.

But Obama leads Gingrich, 54%-40%. The president's standing against him has risen nine points since early December; Gingrich has fallen by eight.

Gingrich fares less well than Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who trails Obama by seven points, 50%-43%, and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who also trails by seven points, 51%-44%.

50% of Marylanders support same-sex marriage


Half of Maryland residents now favor the legalization of same-sex marriage, but support varies significantly along the sensitive lines of race, religion and age, a Washington Post poll has found.

Overall, the Post poll found that 50 percent of Marylanders support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry while 44 percent are opposed.

The new poll found a sharp divide among Maryland Democrats based on race. Among whites, 71 percent support same-sex marriage, while 24 percent do not. Among blacks, 41 percent are supportive, while 53 percent are opposed. Maryland has the largest concentration of African Americans of any state outside of the Deep South.

In recent public appearances, O’Malley has sought to stress that “religious exemptions” included in his bill are intended to reassure religious leaders that they will not be forced to perform same-sex marriages.

The poll found that nearly three-quarters of those opposed to gay nuptials say their views stem primarily from their religious beliefs — a factor that makes lobbying on the issue more challenging.

As in other parts of the country, there has been a trend in recent years of growing support for gay unions in Maryland, driven in part by the views of younger people.

The mindset of Daniel Carlin-Weber, 23, is fairly typical of his generation. A Dundalk resident who works at a film and video production company, Carlin-Weber got married in August and said he sees no reason why gay couples shouldn’t enjoy the same rights as he and his wife.

“We’re allowed tax benefits, things like that, and it’s a nice seal of approval — you know, these guys are a couple,” he said. “I feel everyone else should be treated the same way. There’s no reason not to do that.”

Among Democrats in Maryland, support has grown more rapidly among whites than blacks. During the past five years, support among whites has edged up, while support among black has been flat.

“It’s mostly a religious thing,” said Margaret Turner, 34, a Silver Spring resident who is a manger at a McDonald’s restaurant.

Read more at the Washington Post

Mitt Romney promises to propose US constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage


Mitt Romney, in a discussion with Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, said last week that he would propose a US constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

“There’s been an assault on marriage,” Romney said in the Faith and Freedom teleconference. “I think he [Obama] is very aggressively trying to pave the path to same-sex marriage. I would unlike this president defend the Defense of Marriage Act. I would also propose and promote once again an amendment to the constitution to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.”

What ever happened to "and liberty and justice for all..."

Funny: Women for Santorum



Parody ad for GOP presidential "hopeful but not gonna happen" Rick Santorum.

"Matthew's Day Off" - Extended Version



For their 2012 Super Bowl commercial, Honda brought Ferris Bueller's Day Off back with Matthew Broderick as himself, skipping out on a day of acting work and living it up in his all-new CR-V.

Be sure to check out the Easter eggs in the clip – did you spot Grace, the secretary, and the guy in a trench coat playing the clarinet?

Think you're a true fan of Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Honda hid over two dozen references to the movie throughout the commercial. Some are obvious, some are VERY subtle. See how many you can find.

Sen. Stacey Campfield asked to leave Knoxville restaurant



The internet is buzzing today after news spread that Tennessee Sen. Stacey Campfield was asked to leave a Knoxville restaurant in response to inflammatory, anti-gay comments on the Michelangelo Signorile Show on Sirius XM Radio.

Campfield sponsored a bill that would bar teachers from discussing homosexuality in the classroom, dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill, and he recently said in an interview that it is "virtually impossible" to contract HIV from heterosexual sex and that AIDS originated by a man having sex with a monkey.

Martha Boggs, the owner of Knoxville's The Bistro at the Bijou, asked Campfield to leave after he tried to dine at her establishment.

Following the incident, Boggs posted a status on her restaurant's Facebook page which read, "I hope that Stacy (sic) Campfield now knows what it feels like to be unfairly discriminated against."

Metropulse reports that Boggs later clarified her actions in an interview. "I didn't want his hate in my restaurant," she said. "I told him he wasn't welcome here. ... I feel like he's gone from being stupid to being dangerous, and I wanted to stand up to him."

Martha Boggs called in to the Michelangelo Signorile Show to discuss exactly what happened in her restaurant. You can listen to the interview above.

Good for Martha Boggs for standing up to a bigot.

And whenever you're in Knoxville, make sure you eat at her restaurant.

Cynthia Nixon now says being bisexual "is not a choice"


Cynthia Nixon recently set off a firestorm when, in discussing her current lesbian relationship to the New York Times, she declared that  for her, being gay is a "choice."

Today she issued a statement to clarify:

"My recent comments in The New York Times were about me and my personal story of being gay. I believe we all have different ways we came to the gay community and we can't and shouldn't be pigeon-holed into one cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering. However, to the extent that anyone wishes to interpret my words in a strictly legal context I would like to clarify: While I don't often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have 'chosen' is to be in a gay relationship." - Cynthia Nixon

David Beckham does H&M underwear commercial



Yeah! Happy Monday!

This is H&M's Super Bowl commercial.

Thanks Fritz for the tip.

Kansas House Speak Mike O'Neal asks House GOP to pray for Obama’s death

Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal is under fire after asking Republican House members to pray for President Barack Obama’s death. O’Neal made the request via an email he forwarded to GOP colleagues in the House. In an email sent in December, O’Neal asked his fellow Republicans to pray Psalm 109, which contains the following lines:

Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

The email has become the subject of a mini-media frenzy. Numerous major news outlets began reporting the details surrounding the disturbing prayer request on Friday.

The relevant verse from Psalm 109 is considered a prayer for vengeance, a prayer for the death of a leader. The most damning part of the prayer is lines 7-12:

'When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.
Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labor.
Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favor his fatherless children.'

Think Progress reports that O’Neal forwarded the prayer with his own message:

“At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!”

For a government official to pray for the death of President Obama, and encourage other government officials to do the same, is not only morally reprehensible, it is also treason.

I know there are reasonable Republicans out there. Is this the kind of political statement you guys like? Praying for the death of an American President?
(source)

AIDS Memorial Park Design chosen: 'Infinite Forest'

Click pic to view larger 

The design for the AIDS Memorial Park in NYC's West Village has been chosen.  Click the pic above for a larger view of the chosen design.

The act of memorializing the AIDS epidemic with a physical gesture goes beyond remembering and honoring the dead. AIDS is not a war, nor a disease conquered. There are no definite dates or victims. In our design process, we emphasize the changing and varied ways through which AIDS affects us personally and as a society. It is important to create a space that conveys our sense of solemn respect, remembrance and loss, without resorting to symbolism around a date, image, or names.

Read more about the project here.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Candi & Randy Show: Welcome Back


Sunday night on The Candi & Randy Show we talked about my recent adventure 'down-under' to Australia for the premiere of Olivia Newton-John's new movie "A Few Best Men" - which opened this weekend to the best box office numbers for an Australian comedy in 12 years!

Click here to listen to the show.

We also talk about the men of Australia, my stay at Olivia's fantastic award-winning Gaia Resort and Spa, go on a walking tour of Melbourne with Olivia and a few other adventures along the way.

Plus we play a few tracks from the soundtrack of "A Few Best Men" featuring Olivia.

So hit play and find out what a movie red carpet is like, plus what it's like to almost miss your international plane ride home.

If you'd rather download from iTunes for free and listen at your leisure - here's the link.

(There's a mandatory ad at the beginning that the player doesn't play, just give it about 15 seconds...)

Melbourne and the Shrine of Remembrance

Recently while in Melbourne, Australia, Michael and I went on a walk with Olivia Newton-John as she showed us one of her favorite parks in Melbourne - the Royal Botanic Gardens - and the view of Melbourne from the Shrine of Remembrance.

Gorgeous botanic gardens, and the Shrine is amazing.  One the most recognizable monuments in Melbourne, it's dedicated not only to the Australian soldiers of WWI, but also to the Australians who stayed behind but supported their troops.  Amazing view of Melbourne from the top of the Shrine. (As always, click on any pic for a larger view).

Michael and I at the Shrine of Remembrance

Michael and I at the Shrine of Remembrance

Olivia and I with the city of Melbourne in the background

Michael and I with Melbourne behind us

20 years of GOP strategy in one small cartoon


Thanks Bill N. for the tip

Rep. Allen West says President Obama needs to "get the hell out of the United States of America"



I have never heard the President be so rude or disrespectful to any member of Congress the way this man does here.

I'm appalled. Have your differences, but no elected Democrat ever said President Bush needed to "get the hell out of the United States of America."

Sad.

Sh*t Homophobic People Say



Bigotry
noun, plural -ries.
1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.

Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, do the math...

'Ab Fab's' Edina and Patsy pose in new jewelry campaign



New York jewelry designer Alexis Bittar booked Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley to star in his latest advertising campaign as their Absolutely Fabulous alter egos, Edina Monson and Patsy Stone.

“Such a fabulous shoot in the glorious jewelry from Alexis,” said Lumley. “ It was sensational and I am thrilled with the pieces I have from his generous talented hands. Patsy was transfixed by the quality and wants lots more forever. I hope the campaign rocks: I am a fan for life.”

Watch Patsy and Edina pose, pout, and ham it up for the camera in Vogue’s behind-the-scenes footage of the campaign shoot.

New Chris Evans as Captain America still

Let's just study this a while, shall we?
I'd be his Bucky any day...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Entitlements

FB status of the day: Michael Cerveris in rehearsals for EVITA


Michael will be Juan Peron in the upcoming Broadway revival of EVITA.

Love Michael C's sense of humor.

Looking forward to seeing the show.  Don't miss it.

Too cool for the stairs



Welcome to Polish nightlife.

Lord...

Novak Djokovic shirtless

While visiting Melbourne, Australia, during the Australian Open, I realized not only was I staying in the same hotel as Novak Djokovic - the #1 male tennis player in the world - but I was in the room directly beneath him.  

I instantly realized that I would be able to say "I slept beneath the #1 male tennis player in the world for two nights."

Let's face it, he's pretty hot.



Tom Judson at The Metropolitan Room

Tom Judson suits up for
"The Tom Judson Show"

After performing his show all summer long in Provincetown, Tom Judson brings his new solo cabaret act, "The Tom Judson Show", to The Metropolitan Room in New York City.

Getting back to his musician roots, Tom's new show is reminiscent of the sparkling entertainments that were once found at every smart supper club in Manhattan. Utilizing the skills that landed him on Broadway, Tom croons at the piano in a vintage tuxedo and sings an eclectic selection of songs from well-known standards to some surprising obscure gems. From Harold Arlen to Alan Cumming to Victor Herbert. And he peppers the musical selections with anecdotes and stories about some of the celebrities he's crossed paths with during his career.

Directed by Michael Schiralli, "The Tom Judson Show" is an evening of song and story so entrancing that Michael Musto writing in the Village Voice insisted, “Let's get this man a show at the Carlyle or the Algonquin. I'm serious!”

Tom Judson has appeared onstage as a singer, musician, actor and -- in earlier days -- as an object of lust and adoration as "Gus Mattox", GayVN Award-winning adult film star. He has composed music for off-Broadway ("Vampire Lesbians of Sodom") film (Whit Stillman's "Metropolitan") television ("Sesame Street") and has written songs for the likes of Ann Magnuson, Lisa Kron and others too numerous to mention. Tom appeared in the Broadway show "Cabaret" and the "42nd Street" National Tour and many off-Broadway and regional productions. His one-man show “Canned Ham” has been touring the country for the past two years.


Tom Judson away from the piano

The 7 Biggest Economic Lies - in 2:30



Any questions?

Rick Santorum: "In it for the long haul"

"Is that Maude?"



Seriously, what was better than the Carol Burnett Show?

Thanks Gary Jaffe for the tip :)

Family Values

Friday, January 27, 2012

GLEE: Santana and Sebastian "Smooth Criminal"



The Michael Jackson covers keep on comin' from the kids of McKinley High -- and today, they're taking on the MJ classic "Smooth Criminal."

In a just-released clip from next week's "Glee" episode, Santana (Naya Rivera) and Sebastian (newcomer Grant Gustin) have a sing-off set to the 1988 hit.

Love the cellists and the arrangement of the song -- plus, anything Santana is in is good in my book.


Check out the original riff on this here.

Funny: Reporting from Sydney



I meant to upload this while in Australia, but slow internet made it difficult.

I made this during the days I was in Sydney and thought it might be of interest to The Randy Report readers.

As you can imagine, I loved the scenery and local "flavor" from all over Sydney, Australia.

Governors Gregoire and O'Malley on marriage equality



Democratic Governors Martin O’Malley (MD) and Chris Gregoire (WA), who are both pursuing marriage equality bills in their state legislatures this session, appeared on MSNBC this morning to join the growing outcry against Gov. Chris Christie’s (R-NJ) suggestion that voters should decide if gay and people can marry:

– O’MALLEY: “I think the best resolution of these sorts of things… best that it happened legislatively. Sometimes, we have to go to court to get that done as a country. Other times, it’s a combination of several steps — courts, the people deciding, but ultimately, Americans resolve these issues by extending rights more fully and more equally to all individuals.

– GREGOIRE: : “I don’t want [lawmakers] to say instead of taking the tough vote, send it to the voters. They were elected to make these decisions, it’s time for them to do so.”
(source)

Good review for Olivia Newton-John in "A Few Best Men"


From ABC Radio National: An English lad marrying an Australian girl from a well heeled family invites his English flatmates to support him and be best men at his wedding.

The latest film from Stephan Elliott gives us very broad, sometimes crass comedy, and many jokes about drugs and a kidnapped sheep.

Xavier Samuel plays David, who meets Australian Mia on a Pacific Island. Jonathan Biggins plays her pompous father, a senator devoted equally to his prize ram Ramsy and the idea of founding a political dynasty.

The standout moments are all with Olivia Newton-John, who steals the show as the mother of the bride, and the resentful wife of a politico husband. When she’s onscreen the whole thing lifts.  She still has an extraordinary magic.

There are some nicely wrought bit performances, but I guess I just didn’t take to The Lads. The screenplay is by Dean Craig, who also wrote the wonderful comedy Death at a Funeral.

If you compare the two, what made Death at a Funeral funny was the restraint of director Frank Oz, who let people get into their characters and then let the absurd situations speak for themselves.

The direction here is encouraging everyone to go way, way over the top: I’m afraid I have to agree with an English critic who wrote: this is the Stephan Elliot of Welcome to Woop Woop, rather than the Stephan Elliot of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

But hey... if your taste runs to lots of crass: it may give you a good night out. At least to see Olivia Newton-John swing from a chandelier. It’s rated MA.

Listen to the review here.

Tom Brady shirtless

Click for larger view

I hear he plays football...

Super dramatic anti-Romney ad



From the pro-Newt Gingrich PAC.

Wow. Talk about dramatic.

GLEE - Darren Criss "Wanna Be Startin Somethin"


From the upcoming January 31 Michael Jackson episode.

In related news, Matt Bomer - hunky star of White Collar and the upcoming Magic Mike movie - is close to a deal to guest on GLEE as Darren Criss' brother. AND it looks like he will be singing.

Original Les Miz stars will join the movie in featured roles

Colm Wilkinson and Frances Ruffelle
with producer Cameron Mackintosh
The original stars of the stage version of musical Les Miserables will join Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe in the big-screen version, which begins rehearsals on Monday.

Colm Wilkinson, who was the first Jean Valjean, and Frances Ruffelle, who created the part of Eponine, have been given feature roles in the movie.

Wilkinson will play the Bishop of Digne. ‘He shows Valjean the road ahead, after Valjean has robbed him of silver candlesticks,’ says Cameron Mackintosh, who produced the musical on stage and who is also involved with Working Title and Universal in making the picture, which Oscar-winner Tom Hooper will direct.

Wilkinson, who played Valjean in London and on Broadway, said that as he takes on the role of the bishop, his journey with Les Miserables has ended ‘and I have come full circle’.

Cameron also revealed that Ruffelle will play ‘the most fabulous whore’ in the movie, and while she won’t have a song of her own, she will be part of the group of prostitutes who sing the number Lovely Ladies.

Some 27 years after Les Miserables was first staged at the Barbican, the show is still running — now at the Queens in the West End.

Russell Crowe, playing Inspector Javert, will also be arriving next week, along with Anne Hathaway (Fantine), Eddie Redmayne (Marius), Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) and Aaron Tveit (Enjolras).

Florida GOP debate in 100 seconds

Jon Stewart on Newt Gingrich's proposed moon base


So one of Newt Gingrich's "big" ideas to address big problems in America is to build a moon base station by the end of his "hoped-for" second term as president.

Everything else going on in this country - and on the planet - and that's what Newt is proposing?

SRSLY?

As always, Jon Stewart is hysterical.

Mario Lopez for 'Body By Jake's The Solution'


click for larger view 
Umm... it's been a while, but does it look like Mario is cruising you from across the gym?

Just saying'...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gov. Chris Christie on voting on civil rights

"The fact of the matter is, I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South. It was our political institutions that were holding things back. I don't think there's anything necessarily so special about this particular issue that it must be handled by a legislature. Why would that be? I don't understand how anybody could argue with letting the people decide this issue. Let's stop hiding behind this 'we don't put civil rights on the ballot' thing. Ya know, please. These folks would put anything on the ballot if they thought they could win." - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

NJ Dems respond:

NJ Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver: "It’s impossible to ever conceive that a referendum on civil rights in the South would have been successful and brought justice to minorities. They were fighting and dying in the streets of the South because the majority refused to grant minorities equal rights by any method. It look legislative action to bring justice to all Americans, just as legislative action is the right way to bring marriage equality to all New Jerseyans."

NJ Assemblywoman Bonnie Coleman: "His words defy history and were extremely insensitive to the struggle for equality of African-Americans and other minorities in this country. Fighting and dying in the streets of the South was not a choice, Governor, it was the only way."

Robert Heyges, of 'Welcome Back, Kotter' fame passes away



1970s TV sitcom star Robert Heyges - of 'Welcome Back, Kotter' - passed away today.

Heyges, who played Jewish Puerto Rican wheeler-dealer Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein on the 1970s classic "Welcome Back Kotter," died from an apparent heart attack after suffering chest pains at his Metuchen home this morning. He was 60.

Hegyes, who also co-starred on "Cagney and Lacey" and taught occasional master classes at his alma mater, Rowan University, was best known for his work on "Kotter," in which he performed alongside a young John Travolta as one of the tough remedial students known at the Sweathogs. Hegyes and nearly all of the original cast members reunited last year at the TV Land Awards to recognize the show's 35th anniversary.

Watch Robert and fellow cast members on Good Morning America here.

Tweet of the night: FL GOP debate

"Why I vote Republican"

Senator Al Franken for Americans for Marriage Equality

Joe Manganiello guest stars on "White Collar"


While you wait for new episodes of True Blood to air, don't miss Joe Manganiello as a guest star on White Collar, airing Tuesday, January 31 at 10pm on USA.

Washington state marriage equality bill moves forward


A Senate committee on Thursday approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state, moving the measure one step closer to passage.

The Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee approved the measure with a 4-3 voice vote split on party lines. The bill is expected to head to a floor vote next, though a date has not yet been determined.

Several Republican amendments were rejected, including one that would have required that the measure be sent to the November ballot.

Minimal Marvel comic book character posters

Love the idea of minimalist reinterpretations - stripping icons to their barest elements and still being recongnizable to a mass audience.

Enter Marko Manev's series of minimalist Marvel posters, which includes icons such as Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, The Thing, Silver Surfer, and more.

Spider Man

Iron Man

The Human Torch

Airman Randy Phillips gets a haircut



I like this guy.

He gets a haircut every week to ten days? Wow. No wonder he looks good all the time, and I kinda don't. Haircuts are one of those things that I get when it's obvious things are going south hair-wise. I should pay more attention perhaps...

Maryland State Bar endorses marriage equality


The Maryland State Bar Association has announced its endorsement of a same-sex marriage bill sponsored by Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley.

“I could not be prouder of our endorsement, which while protective of religious sensibilities and prerogatives, clearly and emphatically extends those civil rights embodied in our fundamental belief that ‘all men are created equal’ — and not simply ‘all heterosexual persons are created equal’ — to our entire citizenry,” said Maryland State Bar Association President Henry E. Dugan Jr. in a statement.

The bill is scheduled for a formal hearing before the Senate on Tuesday.

The Senate passed marriage legislation last year, but the the Maryland House of Delegates didn’t have enough votes to pass the measure.

Marriage equality back on the ballot in Maine for 2012


This afternoon, EqualityMaine and GLAD will deliver over 100,000 signatures to Maine's Secretary of State that will put the freedom to marry on the ballot this November.

Marriage advocates in Maine have worked hard to reach this point, knocking on thousands of doors, having conversations and changing hearts and minds around the state. Once the signatures are delivered today, Maine will become the first state to ever proactively pursue marriage for same-sex couples via a ballot initiative.

Freedom To Marry's Evan Wolfson released this statement this morning:

“Over the past few years, marriage supporters have knocked on doors, chatted around kitchen tables and in church basements, and talked with their neighbors about their lives, loved ones, and kin, and why marriage matters. Mainers have seen that same-sex couples and their families, like all other families, are working their hardest to take care of their families in tough economic times, sharing in life’s joys and challenges, and doing the work of marriage day to day. That’s why a solid majority of Mainers have opened their hearts and made up their minds in support of the freedom to marry. And while a minority should never have to ask the majority to vote on whether all of us should have the same freedoms under the law, because of how the law and politics work in Maine, this is the only path forward for couples seeking to share in the legal commitment of marriage.”

A lot has changed in Maine since 2009 when a marriage bill passed in the Legislature and was narrowly overturned on the ballot in November. Thanks to the smart work of EqualityMaine and GLAD, public support for the freedom to marry has risen from approximately 48 percent to 54 percent.

Gareth Thomas' Big Brother TV stint endears him to wider audience

Welsh rugby favourite Gareth Thomas is capturing the hearts and minds of the television viewing public as well – as he emerges as odds-on favourite to win Celebrity Big Brother. Thomas earned the respect of the world by coming out as gay in 2009.

Former Wales captain Thomas, known affectionately as Alfie, showed his softer side this weekend when he broke down in tears in the house diary room – after receiving a letter from his mother.

And it seems the emergence of the rugby beefcake’s softer side has won an army of new fans – with PR experts yesterday saying that it could be the start of a new chapter in the Bridgend-born star’s career.

Publicist Max Clifford said that Alfie’s appearance on the show provided him with a golden opportunity to make a name for himself outside the rugby world.

“What it does is give him a window to broaden the awareness of himself,” he said.

“A show like this gets everybody connected with him, they know him. The way that he came out took a lot of courage and gained him a lot of respect, and you can see people think he is popular."

Music: "Gaia" - Olivia Newton-John

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Talk about timing.

I've just returned from Australia where I spent an amazing few days at Olivia Newton-John's retreat and spa named Gaia.

I just got a notice that her 1994 CD "Gaia" has been re-released in the US by Green Hill Music.  Great CD that never really got a wide release here before; for years I was under the impression that the songs were very new age due to the title and original packaging.  Wrong.

All of the songs were written by Olivia as she was coming to the end of her cancer journey.  But these are really strong pop songs (Olivia would find her New Age voice in the later, fabulous "Grace and Gratitude").

"Trust Yourself," "Not Gonna Give In To It," "Don't Cut Me Down" and "No Matter What You Do" are favorite tracks for me.

Check it out on Amazon.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker opposes a popular vote for equal rights

While NJ Gov. Christie would like to put marriage equality rights to a popular vote, Newark Mayor Cory Booker says leaders are elected to make difficult decisions, not submit to a public referendum.

"I shudder to think what would have happened if the civil rights gains, heroically established by courageous lawmakers in the 1960s, were instead conveniently left up to popular votes in our 50 states," Booker said in a statement.

"Equal protection under the law – for race, religion, gender or sexual orientation – should not be subject to the most popular sentiments of the day," Booker said. "Marriage equality is not a choice. It is a legal right. I hope our leaders in Trenton will affirm and defend it."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Funny: Handsfree subway riding

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President Obama feeling the beginning of 'economic optimism'



Americans are growing more optimistic about the state of the economy and direction of the country, according to a new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll out Wednesday evening, and President Obama is receiving better grades on his handling of the economy and job as a result.

More people said they believe the economy will get better (37 percent) in the next year rather than worse (17 percent). That’s the highest level in more than a year and a seven-point jump over last month.

And for the first time in six months, more people approve of the job the president is doing (48 percent) than disapprove (46 percent).

Gov. Christie promises to veto marriage equality in NJ


Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said Tuesday that he would veto a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, and he challenged the State Legislature instead to put the issue on the ballot for voters to decide.

Democrats, who control the Legislature, swiftly rejected the idea, accusing the governor, a Republican, of trying to punt on a politically sensitive issue.

“Marriage equality isn’t like sports betting,” said Senator Raymond Lesniak, a Union County Democrat, referring to a referendum on an amendment to the State Constitution on gambling last year. “It’s a civil right, which is already guaranteed in our Constitution. It’s up to the Legislature to guarantee these rights.”

The same-sex marriage bill is a priority for Democrats, led by the Senate president, Stephen M. Sweeney, who has said that his decision not to vote on a similar bill two years ago, when there was a Democratic governor who supported same-sex marriage, was “the biggest mistake” of his political career.

Gay-rights advocates had been hoping that Mr. Christie, who supports civil unions over same-sex marriage, might sign the legislation, or, if he vetoed it, give Republican legislators tacit approval to vote for an override.

On Monday, he nominated a gay man to the State Supreme Court, and when asked about the prospects for the marriage bill, said that he would make a decision if and when the bill ever reached his desk.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the same-sex marriage bill, 8-4.

A poll released by Quinnipiac University last week found that 52 percent of New Jersey voters believed that same-sex couples should have the right to marry, and 53 percent believed that denying them that right constituted discrimination.
(source)

Mario Lopez strips on ELLEN



Mario is looking very very nice in his underwear there.

He's got a new line of underwear coming out, and who better to model it than Mario Lopez himself! The hunky host of "Extra" was in the studio and took off all kinds of clothes to show off his sexy new underwear!

Former MTV host Dan Cortese makes shirtless appearance on "Hot In Cleveland"

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Dan is looking very, very good these days.

The synopsis for Dan’s appearance: Melanie (Valerie Bertinneli) taking Elka (White) into the Browns’ locker room following a game which they lose for her birthday. While Elka makes the rounds to feel the chests of the naked men, Melanie talks to Jimmy Armstrong (Cortese), the kicker, who is a real dunce. As Elka puts it, ”he doesn’t have much going on upstairs, but he has plenty down below!”

Nick Jonas makes his debut as the new star of Broadway's "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying"

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