Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Candi & Randy Show: Justin Utley, OUTmusic Award winning singer/songwriter



Justin Utley - OUTmusic Award winning singer/songwriter - joins us on The Candi & Randy Show to talk about his new critically acclaimed CD "Nothing This Real."

• SiriusXM OutQ Radio named him "Artist of the Year"

• Next Magazine called him "New York's hottest up-and-coming musician."

• Good Morning Maine: "Exceptional songwriting... Outstanding and groundbreaking music. This is what you've been looking for."
Tune in to hear Justin tell his story, the story "behind the songs," his approach to songwriting and his candid thoughts about life in the honest lane.  He also discusses his experience with the Mormon Church and "gay conversion therapy."
This is a really great show, and we laugh a lot, in addition to enjoying his great music.



Justin Utley in concert

George Clooney: "I don't give a shit" if anyone thinks I'm gay


"I think it’s funny, but the last thing you’ll ever see me do is jump up and down, saying, “These are lies!” That would be unfair and unkind to my good friends in the gay community. I’m not going to let anyone make it seem like being gay is a bad thing. My private life is private, and I’m very happy in it. Who does it hurt if someone thinks I’m gay? I’ll be long dead and there will still be people who say I was gay. I don’t give a shit." - George Clooney speaking to The Advocate

Lesbian couple told to leave restaurant - "get a room..."



A lesbian couple in Phoenix were asked to leave the Sheraton Hotel's District restaurant on Sunday after sharing a kiss during an anniversary dinner, ABC15 reports:

Kenyata White and Aeimee Diaz were celebrating their one-year anniversary Sunday at Sheraton’s District restaurant, inside the downtown hotel, when they were asked to leave. The couple says they shared a simple kiss and they didn't think anything of it until the manager came up to them and told them to get a room.

The women said the manager told them other patrons had complained to him.

"By no means at all were we doing any inappropriate activity. It was a light kiss a kiss that you could give your friends on the lips. It wasn't any make out at all and so we were very puzzled as to why we need to get a room," White said.

After the manager saw how upset they were they say he apologized and offered them free drinks if they would leave and come back another time.

That's it. "Please leave and make my life easier, and if you do I'll buy you a free drink..."

I can't count the number of times I've watch heterosexual couples kiss or hold hands in public while consciously aware that I risk being bashed or harassed for the same behavior.

And yes, I did it anyway...

Support for marriage equality jumps in California


California registered voters now favor same-sex unions by 59 percent to 34 percent, a 25-point gap that is the largest margin of support for the issue in the three-plus decades the Field Poll has been asking the question.

The new Field survey shows support has leapt markedly in the three and a half years since California voters approved Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage, 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent.

The poll showed increases in support virtually across the board – among voters under 64, non-white voters, Catholics, Republicans and nonpartisans.

Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said the move to a 25-point gap goes beyond the gradual increase in support that has been expected as young voters age and "replace" older voters in the electorate.

"This is now showing that opinions are changing irrespective of generational replacement," DiCamillo said. "This is real change."

"The winds of change are blowing in other states (and) when judges start ruling the same way, I believe that has an influence," he said.
(source)

Released by Romney campaign: Democrats vote for Santorum



"Democrats voted for Santorum because they want four more years of Obama..."

Well, duh...

Stock market up 56%, unemployment has improved 23 consecutive months, troops out of Iraq, soon to be out of Afghanistan, repeal of DADT...

You do the math.

Now THIS is how to sell air-freshener


The Renuzit brand of air fresheners is being expanded with the addition of a line named Renuzit Fresh Accents.

The campaign, scheduled to begin in earnest this week, avoids the approach common for the category of presenting homes transformed into gorgeous showplaces by a spritz or whiff of fragrance.

Rather, the campaign is centered on other gorgeous images: buff young men who are either shirtless or have opened their shirts to reveal chiseled midsections.

The gist is that Renuzit Fresh Accents is as gorgeous as the models because it is, the print, online and outdoor ads declare, “the first air freshener designed to look as great as it smells.”

My one question is: there's air freshener in the ad?

Teacher fired from St. Louis Catholic School for being gay on his wedding day

Al Fischer, a popular, openly gay music teacher at a St. Louis-area Catholic school, was fired earlier this month after an archdiocesan official overheard him talking with co-workers about his upcoming plans to marry his longtime partner in New York.

To add insult to injury, Fischer’s firing will take effect on March 9 — the day of the couple’s 20th anniversary and their wedding day.

The report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch makes it clear that Fischer’s sexual orientation was no secret at St. Ann Parish. Fischer directs the local gay men’s chorus. His partner, Charlie Robin, noted that the two attend school functions like concerts and staff parties as a couple.

In a letter he emailed to the school’s parents shortly after receiving his pink slip, Fischer wrote: ”I think the word has been well spread that this is not the fault of St. Ann School or its leadership, and I want to emphasize that I get that, too.” He said further that the school principal and parish priest “are still there for me in a big way.” Parents at the school are said to be very upset.

In the midst of all of this, Mr. Fischer is taking the high road and doing what a good teacher does: thinking not about himself, but about how his very public firing will impact the children he teaches. His letter encouraged parents to talk to their kids, to make sure that they don’t let what’s happened to him make them scared to be themselves. ”A family conversation about whether or not justice was served here could be a great thing. I do not want the lesson from this for the kids to be, ‘Keep your mouth shut, hide who you are or what you think if it will get you in trouble.’”

Read more at Truth Wins Out.

Davy Jones of the Monkees passes away due to heart attack



Singer Davy Jones of The Monkees has died of a heart attack at 66, the medical examiner's office in Martin County, Fla., has confirmed to NBC News.
The news was originally reported by TMZ.

Jones was most famous for his role in the pop group The Monkees, which was put together in 1965 for the TV show of the same name. With such hits as "Daydream Believer," "Last Train to Clarksville," "I'm a Believer," and "Pleasant Valley Sunday," and the "Monkees" theme song, the group sold more than 50 million records.


In 2008, Yahoo Music named Jones the top teen idol of all time.

After "The Monkees" disbanded in 1971, Jones sang solo as well as with various reincarnations of the group.

He also acted on stage and screen, with his most famous TV appearance as himself on "The Brady Bunch," in an episode where Marcia Brady was the president of his fan club and tried to get the singer to appear at her school dance. He also played Fagin in "Oliver!" on Broadway.

He released his final album in 2009.

As recently as June of 2011, Jones told The Palm Beach Post that after a routine stress test, a doctor said he had the heart of a 25-year-old. "The doctor says my heart's so good, the door's open to do any kind of exercise I want," he told the paper.

Last summer Jones and fellow bandmates Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz as the band, minus Michael Nesmith, prepared to tour. That tour was later canceled due to internal conflict.

Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz of The Monkees

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Moderate GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe to not seek re-election


Believe it or not, this actually makes me a bit sad. GOP Senator Olympia Snowe (Maine) has decided to retire at the end of her current term.

Sen. Olympia Snowe from Maine is one of the few good, moderate, "willing to work with Dems" Republicans left. She has shown a lot of intelligence and ability to get things done.

"Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term," she said in a statement explaining her decision to retire. Snowe said her ability to win re-election was not at issue—she was heavily favored to win re-election. Her exit gives Democrats a new opportunity to be pick up a GOP-held seat in a year where they are fighting to hold on to control of the Senate. Democrats currently control the chamber with a 53-47 split, with 2 independent senators caucusing with Democrats.

Snowe has a 78% rating from the HRC on LGBT issues. She supported the Hate Crimes Act, the repeal of DADT, and voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment. In 2009 she was the Senate cosponsor of the fully-inclusive ENDA.

While it is a good chance for the Dems to pick up a seat, I do have great respect for Sen. Snowe.

Celine Dion cancels string of concerts due to throat infection

Celine Dion has announced that she has to cancel her current run of Caesars Palace shows through March 18 due to the throat infection she is battling. Medical specialists also have ordered her to rest her voice for 8 weeks to allow her a complete recovery.

She has been further diagnosed with weakness in her right vocal chord.

Celine flew to Los Angeles Monday afternoon for a thorough examination at UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Gerald Berke has now diagnosed Celine with weakness in her right vocal chord, secondary to the viral illness. Berke has prescribed 6 to 8 weeks of voice rest in order for Celine to completely recover from the condition.

“I tried to sing at my sound check last week, and I had no control of my voice whatsoever,” Celine said. “We thought that after a few days’ rest, I would improve, but it wasn’t getting any better. ... I guess it was worse than I thought.

“Obviously, this is the worst thing for a singer .... not being able to do your shows. I feel worse knowing that I’m disappointing my fans. I’m so sorry. ... I hope they forgive me.”
(source)

Gay marriage, gay lunch, gay parking?

Broadway Backwards - March 5, 2012



Broadway Backwards is the only annual Broadway event custom-made for the gay and lesbian community, our friends and families. Broadway actors, singers and dancers perform famous songs and numbers from the Broadway lexicon, but with the performers genders reversed.

Look for this year's star-studded, one-night only event March 5, 2012 at Broadway's Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

Watch the video to learn more about the event and see highlights from the first six editions of Broadway Backwards.

The event is produced by Broadway Cares and benefits BC/EFA and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York City.

Dow Jones closes over 13,000 - first time since May 2008

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed today over 13,000 for the first time since May 19, 2008.

The stock market is now up over 56 percent since Obama took office. Today, the stock market was buoyed, in the view of one economist, by “job and income gains…leading to higher confidence and spending growth, in turn driving further spending gains.” Here’s how the stock market has fared under our last three presidents:


Remember - the GOP Presidential candidates are campaigning on the idea that "the country is headed in the wrong direction." So I'm guessing they'd rather the stock market DROP as it did under President Bush?

The success of the stock market under Obama is particularly notable considering the majority of Republicans believe he is a “socialist,” presumably out to destroy private enterprise.
(via ThinkProgress.org)

For those who are not enjoying SMASH


From a website called Broadway Abridged. They have their own abridged version of SMASH.


SCENE: PREVIOUSLY ON SMASH...


                          MEGAN HILTY'S RACK
   Hi.





   SCENE: KATHARINE MCPHEE'S FIRST DAY OF REHEARSAL.


                          KATHARINE MCPHEE
   Hello everyone.


                          TWO BITCH GIRLS AND A BITCHY
                          GAY GUY
   UGH.


                          Megan Hilty enters and everybody claps
                          for her.


                          BROADWAY ACTOR WITH ONE LINE
                          IN THIS EPISODE
   We love you Megan Hilty!


                          ANOTHER BROADWAY ACTOR
                          MAKING MONEY ON THE SIDE BY
                          APPEARING IN THIS THING
   Megan Hilty, you're the best!  I like you and dislike
   Katharine McPhee!


                          A THIRD BROADWAY ACTOR WHOSE
                          TALENT IS BEING WASTED
   You'll surely NEVER be the villainess of this show, thereby
   turning off all the people who like you much better!  That
   wouldn't possibly happen!






   SCENE: ANJELICA HUSTON'S OFFICE.


                          ANJELICA HUSTON
   Oh no I have to sell my artwork.


                               THAT'S ENOUGH OF THAT...

SCENE: REHEARSAL.


                          Megan Hilty changes into her "I slept
                          with the Director and all I got was
                          this lousy T-Shirt" T-Shirt. 


                          KATHARINE MCPHEE
   They're *sleeping* together?


                          TWO BITCH GIRLS AND A BITCHY
                          GAY GUY
   I don't know that they're getting much sleep.!


                          SERIES CREATOR       
                          THERESA REBECK
   BWAH HA HA HA HA THIS IS WHAT I CONSIDER HUMOR.


                          JACK DAVENPORT
                 (to Megan Hilty)
   Hey, did you hear Nick Jonas is in this episode?  I'm
   throwing him a big birthday party.  I discovered him.


                          MEGAN HILTY
                 (to Christian Borle)
   Did you hear Nick Jonas is in this episode?  Jack Davenport
   is throwing him a big birthday party.  He told me he
   discovered him.


                          CHRISTIAN BORLE
                 (to Debra Messing)
   Did you hear Nick Jonas is in this episode?  Jack Davenport
   is throwing him a big birthday party.  He told Megan Hilty he
   discovered him.


                          DEBRA MESSING
                 (to that penis assistant)
   Did you hear Nick Jonas is in this episode?  Jack Davenport
   is throwing him a big birthday party.  He told Megan Hilty he
   discovered him.


                          MEGAN HILTY
   EVERYONE!  Katharine McPhee is too loud.  I want to throw her
   out of the number.


                          JACK DAVENPORT
                 (to Christian Borle)
   Megan Hilty thinks Katharine McPhee is too loud.  She's
   throwing her out of the number.


                          CHRISTIAN BORLE
   OK, Katharine McPhee.  Megan Hilty is throwing you out of the
   number because she thinks you're too loud.






   SCENE: CITY HALL.


                          KATHARINE MCPHEE
   So Megan Hilty threw me out of the number.  She thought I was
   too loud. Megan Hilty threw me out of the number.  She
   thought--


                          KATHARINE MCPHEE'S BOYFRIEND
   Has this show already assumed that people are watching it in
   the background while sorting laundry? 


                          KATHARINE MCPHEE
   But--


                          KATHARINE MCPHEE'S BOYFRIEND
   Sorry, I can't hear you.  In this episode, my characteristic
   is that I have a phone all the time!






   SCENE: ANJELICA HUSTON'S OFFICE.


                          ANJELICA HUSTON
                 (points at lawyer)
   YOUR OCCUPATION IS A LAWYER.


                          LAWYER
   Yes.


                          ANJELICA HUSTON
   I hate my ex husband but I used to not hate my ex-husband.


                          LAWYER
   Also true.


                          ANJELICA HUSTON
   Good, I wanted to make sure everyone knew that there can
   always be more exposition.
                 (sighs)
   Oh, artwork.


                          LAWYER
   We're not working off a script in this scene... we must be
   improvising, right?






   SCENE: OUTSIDE REHEARSAL.


                          TWO BITCH GIRLS AND A BITCHY
                          GAY GUY
   Oh look it's Katharine McPhee again.  UGH.


                          KATHARINE MCPHEE
   Megan Hilty threw me out of the number.  She--


                          TWO BITCH GIRLS AND A BITCHY
                          GAY GUY
   WE SAID UGH.  YOU ARE BORING AND FROM OHIO, SO WE HATE YOU.


                          KATHARINE MCPHEE
                 (piano underscoring kicks in to
                  show that this moment is
                  IMPORTANT)
                 (or that perhaps somebody needs
                  piano scoring to make up for
                  lackluster acting skills)
   You guys are being jerks.


                          TWO BITCH GIRLS AND A BITCHY
                          GAY GUY
   You are right!  We shouldn't be mean to you.  After all
   you're boring, and from Ohio!  
   Now we suddenly adore you because we are going to make you a
   better person by peer-pressuring you into buying expensive
   clothes and turning you into a rag doll.


                          KATHARINE MCPHEE
   Sure, why don't I spend the entirety of what my Dad gave me
   in the last episode, in one spree!  Surely that won't cheapen
   anything.





Check out the website. Some funny material there.

Funny moment on THE VOICE: Blake Shelton and Adam Levine


Adam Levine - "First of all... Blake, you are a real vocalist, and a damn good vocalist."

Blake Shelton - "Thank you, Adam. Thank you very much. I love you, Adam."

Adam Levine - "I love you, too... totally in the non-sexual way."

Blake Shelton - "I can't say the same."

US Marine speaks about Homecoming pic going viral


Brandon Morgan and Dalan Wells, the couple in the Marine homecoming photo that went viral over the weekend speak to Honolulu news station KHON.

Says Brandon: "This is a homecoming picture. Gay, straight, it doesn't matter who you are. Love is love. We haven't fought for more rights or better rights than others. We fought for equal rights. And now we have them."

Interview with Singer/Songwriter Justin Utley

I've been a fan of Justin Utley and his music since his 2005 CD "Runaway."

With his muscular country/rock voice, hunky good looks, open smile and public activism on behalf of the LGBT community, it's easy to be drawn into all things Justin Utley.

Before moving to New York City, Justin lived in Utah and spent time involved in the Mormon Church's same sex attraction “conversion” therapy program. Since then, Justin became an activist for civil rights and for LGBT equality. He began to speak out against the Mormon use of "conversion therapy" and speaks out as a role model for anyone struggling with the Church and spreading the truth about 'therapies' that faith based religious groups prescribe.

Nominated for four 2010 OUTMusic Awards at the LGBT Academy of Recording Arts in NYC, his song "Stand For Something" won Best Country/Folk Song of the Year.  The song was Justin's personal musical response to the passing of Prop 8 in California.

My co-host Candi and I recently had the opportunity to interview him for The Candi & Randy Show, and what I thought was going to be a 15 minute segment easily became a full hour.

Justin is charming, disarming, direct and open in talking about his music and life journey so far.  Here's just a bit of that interview.


*******************************************************


Randy: You've spoken out about your experience with "ex-gay therapy" - can you tell us about it?
Justin: I can tell you that it doesn't work. After coming back from my Mormon mission, I went to my bishop and told him I was having these feelings that I might be gay. So they sent me to a facility run by the church which is like the church's "therapy/counseling" type thing. It's all bound by church social science, so they can't really explore outside the realm of that. So he sent me there to ask for a specialist in "same gender attraction disorder" - because homosexuality means that you're sexual and they didn't want you to be sexual so you have an affliction, it's like a disease. So I went to this one on one therapist for two years and then group therapy for the same amount of time. It was kind of like AA where everyone sits in a circle and talks, but with "ex-gay therapy" everyone is still gay the next week. At first it was liberating because I had met people who were in the same boat because I had spent 20-something years thinking I was the only one who was having these 'issues'. But then, like, a year into it I was like "so when do things change?"

In the end, the therapist had me convinced I had been molested as a child. So before I even came out to my family I had told my parents I had been molested as a child. The one who called it out was my mom. And she was like,  there was never a day when you 'came home from piano lessons an hour late.'  The way your conscious works, I would have known if something had happened. So this whole idea of whatever you're going through, this repressed memory that never happened needs to stop and you need to deal with your bullshit. So I decided to stop the ex-gay therapy, and I decided to start dating someone.



Let's talk about your music. You were nominated for 4 OUTmusic Awards in 2010 - winning for "Country/Folk song of the year" - how cool was that?
It was very validating. In 2009, I decided to stick this out and do what I came here to do. When I submitted it for the OUTmusic Awards, I felt like it would be great to just get a nomination. And then they came back with four nominations! And at that point I thought: Wow! I've definitely struck a chord - this is me. I'm meant to do this. It was amazing.

What is the process of writing like for you? Do you sit down on a regular basis to exercise that muscle? Or do you need to be inspired by a thought or experience?
I get inspired. Like when I recorded "Behind My Eyes," a few years before that my aunt had just committed suicide in Utah. She had called me a few weeks before and I thought that was really sweet - she had always supported me even though she was the 'black sheep' of her family, she was always defending me, she always had my back… and then she was gone. "Behind My Eyes" was born out of that unfinished conversation that I wanted to have with her. The problem was that I had stopped writing it when I started putting down the earlier material. I had started writing it when I was feeling moved and inspired. So I had to lock myself in a room and listen to the orchestration of the song over and over again until my mind and my emotions went right back to where I was when it all happened. And that allowed me to keep writing the song.

Tell me about writing the song "It Is What It Is"...
I remember coming home one day and my boyfriend was there.  We had moved in together after about two months - which I found out was pretty quick for relationships. He was still at home and I was like, "I thought you were a manager at Equinox (prominent gym in NYC)? And he was like "oh no, I'm a personal trainer." So I said "when do you train clients?" and he said "I don't have any right now." And I was like "how are you paying your share of everything…?"  And he said his mom sends him a check. And I thought, wow - it's not that I judge you because you don't have a job. It's that you don't have a work ethic.

We ended up having this argument and I asked him "what do you want to do with your life?" and he said "I want to be a back-up dancer for Madonna." I said "dude, you are like 6'4", 200 something pounds and thirty-something. You're probably not going to be backing up Madonna for anything."  I mean, I 'm all for people pursuing their dreams but I also want to be a realist… and I thought to myself "what the fuck? really?" He really didn't like that answer and… he broke the top of my nose.  LOL... There's even a line in the song "I never felt so out of place, I took one step back just to save my face."  Yeah, he got a little angry. So I moved out and that night I wrote "It Is What It Is" which is one of my favorite tracks on the album.



You have a concert coming up in New York City on March 30th at The Triad.
Yes! It's this cool place on the Upper West Side - red curtains, little big theater, perfect for the setting and it's the first time in NYC I'll be performing with a full band. I'm very, very excited and it's going to kick off my summer of gigs.

Now, I'd like to ask some of those "odd interview questions" because I love to see what people will say.
Sure.

If you were a super hero, which super hero would you be?
The Hulk.

Ok! good answer. That was easy  :)
I have to say, my temperament has changed a bit - the gym used to be a real intense goal for me. So maybe a morph between that and Superman. I think that may have something to do with the cape and the briefs and all that stuff for Superman, but...

Who was your first celebrity crush?
Ummm… probably Tom Selleck. My grandmother had this poster of him that I remember as a child, and I remember thinking "oh lord… that's a handsome man…"


What's your biggest turn-on in life?
As cheesy as it sounds, I get the biggest rush from putting together the first layers of a song - the first 'beginning, middle and end' of a song. When I can sit back and say "X amount of time ago this was dead space - there was nothing. And now I'm looking at this creation. A blank canvas that had nothing now has this depth and this emotion in it. I really, really love that feeling.

What is your life philosophy in ten words or less?
"Be the change you would see in the world." That's really what it's about for me right now. There would be so much more happiness and so much less bull-shit in the world if people lived by that. I talk to people about my music these last few years, and talk about equality. And people say to me "I'm on the boat but I want someone who's going to lower my taxes…" And I think - I'm not willing to sit at the back of this bus or go back to what I was. I'm worth so much more than that. I would pay 90% taxes to be able to feel and have the same rights, to be able to love, and be able to have the same life as anyone else in this country. I don't see how there's any other price that you can put on that.

*******************************************************

Listen to the whole interview tomorrow night on The Candi & Randy Show - 9pmEST/6pmPST.  We laugh a LOT during the interview.  Great guest, great artist.

You can find Justin Utley's music on Amazon, iTunes, his website - www.justinutley.com - and all major music sites.  Go get his music!

And you can follow Justin on his Facebook Fan page.

Here's one of my favorite Justin Utley songs - "Great Escape" - from his new CD  Nothing This Real

Tim McGraw backstage



I've tried juggling. IT'S HARD!

Mitt Romney: "Out of touch"

New Dancing With The Stars 2012 cast announced



"Family Matters" actor Jaleel White, singer Gladys Knight and National Football League player Donald Driver will be among the 12 celebrity contestants on the next season of the ABC dancing competition.

Other famous faces participating in the 14th edition include "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd, singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw, "Little House on the Prairie" actress Melissa Gilbert and Disney Channel star Roshon Fegan.

The new cast, which also includes tennis player Martina Navratilova, "Melrose Place" actor Jack Wagner, telenovela star William Levy, operatic singer Katherine Jenkins and "Extra" co-host Maria Menounos, was announced Tuesday on "Good Morning America."

The contestants will dance their first routines with their professional partners March 19 and March 26, and the first couple will be eliminated March 27.

Monday, February 27, 2012

New HBO series: Veep starring Julia-Louis Dreyfus



The new HBO Series, "Veep," starring Julia-Louis Dreyfus as the first female vice-president premieres on April 22nd.

Mary Chapin Carpenter: "Shut Up and Kiss Me"



If my radio show co-host Candi was a country singer, I imagine she would be something like Mary Chapin Carpenter: sultry voice, blond and smart.

Tweet of the day: Nate Silver


Got that Rick Santorum?

2/3's of the United States believe the Constitution requires clear separation of Church and State.

Class is over.

Majority of Iowans oppose constitutional ban on same-sex marriage


A new poll shows that 56 percent of Iowa voters oppose a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The Des Moines Register's Iowa Poll says 56 percent of those polled earlier this month were against the proposed amendment. The poll says 38 percent favored the idea, while 6 percent weren't sure.

A year ago, 40 percent of those surveyed supported an amendment, while 54 percent were opposed.

As opposition trends further downward, clearly, the future is clear on this issue.

It has been almost three years since the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state’s constitution guarantees marriage equality, and the Iowa Senate has blocked any efforts to define marriage as only a union between one man and one woman.
(source)

Fox News's own business analyst pops the balloon on Newt Gingrich's energy plan



Fox Business News analyst Liz Claman drops by Fox News to get to the truth about Newt Gingrich's "energy plan."

Taking it point by point, she makes clear it really wouldn't work, and it really wouldn't give the US "$2.50 a gallon gas."

Says Claman: "Even the Transcanada people say [Keystone XL pipeline] would only shave 3 Or 4 pennies off the price" of gas.

This is what I've been saying here on The Randy Report: the oil market is a global market. For the most part, there's only so much that can be done here in the US to affect the price of oil in the world. And gas prices are rising right now NOT because of President Obama not taking steps to do so - it's happening because the world market is focused on the situation in Iran right now.

The Fox News hosts clearly aren't thrilled with the news.

Gets a bit chilly on the curvy couch. Watch.

(Video from Media Matters)

Work the web

Madonna's newest: "Girls Gone Wild"



Thoughts?

Santana staying in Sin City



Carlos Santana seems to really like playing in Las Vegas.

After spending two years performing on and off at Sin City’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the legendary guitarist has just booked a residency at Mandalay Bay’s House of Blues which will run through 2013.

Santana kicks off with a run of shows in May and June and then returns in September.

Tickets go on sale March 3rd and some proceeds will go to Santana’s foundation, which supports children’s art, education and health.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wisdom of the day

The Randy Report Oscar Predictions...


Best Movie: "The Artist" (although I'm pulling for "The Help")
Best Actor: George Clooney in "The Descendants"
Best Actress: Viola Davis in "The Help" (but I'm cool if Meryl Streep wins)
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer in "The Help"
Best Blog: The Randy Repo....  oh, wait a second... shoot.

Rick Santorum on separation of church and state: "makes me want to throw up"



Rick Santorum on Sunday took on of separation of church and state.

"I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state are absolute," he told 'This Week' host George Stephanopoulos. "The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country...to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up."

The GOP candidate was responding to comments he made last October. He had said that he "almost threw up" after reading JFK's 1960 speech in which he declared his commitment to the separation of church and state.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That speech (by President Kennedy)has been read, as you know, by millions of Americans. Its themes were echoed in part by Mitt Romney in the last campaign. Why did it make you throw up?

SANTORUM: Because the first line, first substantive line in the speech says, "I believe in America where the separation of church and state is absolute." I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.

This is the First Amendment. The First Amendment says the free exercise of religion. That means bringing everybody, people of faith and no faith, into the public square. Kennedy for the first time articulated the vision saying, no, faith is not allowed in the public square. I will keep it separate. Go on and read the speech. I will have nothing to do with faith. I won't consult with people of faith. It was an absolutist doctrine that was abhorrent (ph) at the time of 1960. And I went down to Houston, Texas 50 years almost to the day, and gave a speech and talked about how important it is for everybody to feel welcome in the public square. People of faith, people of no faith, and be able to bring their ideas, to bring their passions into the public square and have it out. James Madison—

STEPHANOPOULOS: You think you wanted to throw up?

SANTORUM: -- the perfect remedy. Well, yes, absolutely, to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case?

Where Rick Santorum gets this wrong is where he swerves from "faith shouldn't direct public policy" to becoming the victim and saying "What kind of country do we live in that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square..." No one says people of faith aren't allowed. The issue is not about people - it's about faith directing policy. All people are allowed. Subtle difference, but he's getting religious conservatives riled up over something that has existed for centuries.

Santorum also on Sunday told Meet The Press host David Gregory that separation of church and state was "not the founders' vision."

I'd love to know how he knows that... Was he there? How do all these conservatives KNOW what the founder' vision was???

The GOP candidate has been doubling down on religious rhetoric in an effort to court evangelical voters ahead of Super Tuesday. Last week, he questioned Obama's spiritual beliefs.

"[Obama believes in] some phony ideal, some phony theology ... not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology," he said.

Jake Pavelka joins Chippendales for '10 years in Las Vegas' celebration



Some red carpet action with the world-famous Chippendales, who just celebrated their 10th year of being "the ultimate girls night out" in Las Vegas at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.

Joining them for the month long celebration is star of "The Bachelor" and "Dancing With The Stars" Jake Pavelka, as their new celebrity MC/Host.

Jake was joined on the red carpet by his gorgeous girlfriend, model and sports announcer Ashley Ann Vickers.

James Davis, Billy Jeffrey, Nathan Minor and Chaun Thomas of The Chippendales took to the red carpet in anticipation of the onstage celebration performance with all of the Las Vegas Chippendales en masse (final photo reading left to right): Juan DeAngelo, Sami Eskeline, Kenny King, Jaymes Vaughan, John Rivera, Nathan Minor, John Cook, James Davis, Dave Abrams, Chaun Thomas and Jace Crispin.

The sold-out audience for the 10th Anniversary performance was packed wall to wall with fans, who were clearly having a great time. Jake Pavelka kept the high energy show moving, while clearly charming the audience.

I think the show is great fun. I love seeing the ladies lose their minds in good, clean, adult fun. And I love that, while the show is certainly geared towards women - as "the ultimate girls night out" - men are welcome at the show. The men of Chippendales put on a great show for all their fans.

Fun night.

Jake Pavelka on the red carpet at Chippendales.
Looking very good...

Chippendale James Davis mingles with the ladies during a number

Jake Pavelka takes the stage at Chippendales
as Celebrity Guest Host.

(Photos courtesy of Scott Harrison/Retna)

Pic of the day: Marine Homecoming

Marine Sgt. Brandon Morgan and boyfriend Dalan Wells kiss upon Morgan's return from Afghanistan.

In only a few hours this pic on Facebook has gotten almost 5,000 comments.

Dalan Wells (left) and Brandon Morgan (right) celebrate Brandon's homecoming.

Brandon, a US Marine, responded to the outpouring:
"To everyone who has responded in a positive way. My partner and I want to say thank you. Dalan, the giant in the photo, can't believe how many shares and likes we have gotten on this. We didn't do this to get famous,or something like that we did this cause after 3 deployments and four years knowing each other, we finally told each other how we felt. As for the haters, let em hate...to quote Kat Williams, everyone needs haters, so let them hate. We are the happiest we have ever been and as for the whole PDA and kissing slash hugging in uniform...it was a homecoming, if the Sergeants Major, Captains, Majors, and Colonels around us didn't care...then why do you care what these random people have to say? In summation thank you for your love and support. I received a lot of friend requests off this. I don't just accept requests so if your request was because of this post message me and let me know. Goodnight all, and Semper Fi." --Brandon Morgan

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Coming soon - Justin Utley interview

Click pic for larger view
Just had the best time interviewing singer/songwriter Justin Utley with my radio show co-host Candi for The Candi & Randy Show.

Make sure you tune in this Wednesday for the interview plus tracks from his new CD "Nothing This Real" now available on his website, Amazon, iTunes,...  you know the drill.

I'll post a bit of the interview here soon, but for now let's just enjoy this.

Yeah, not only talented but hot. Lucky us.

Paul Lynde Halloween Special featuring Florence Henderson "That Old Black Magic"



Get down Flo!

Polls: Rick Santorum up by 4 points nationally

Click the pic to view larger

Rick Santorum says President Obama is a "snob" for wanting everyone to go to college



Rick Santorum criticized President Barack Obama's call for all Americans to go to college in a speech to the Americans For Prosperity Michigan Forum.

"President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob," Santorum said, to raucous applause from the audience.

An indignant Santorum continued: "There are good decent men and women, who go out everyday to put their skills to test that aren't taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them. I understand why he wants you to go to college — he wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his."

This from a man who has a B.A., M.B.A. and J.D — more than that “snob” President Obama.

God forbid someone aspire to higher learner so they might improve their lives.

Statistic show, over and over again, that those who go to college and earn a degree earn more income and do better in the work force.

How can anyone say aspiring to going to college makes you a snob?

And by the way, remember Rick Santorum doesn't like divisive politics - even though he's now doing some class warfare himself by drawing a line between those who go to college and those who don't.

Just saying...

Friday, February 24, 2012

What I Do: Tea Party

Click to view larger

Gay Texas Judge refuses to perform weddings until marriage equality exists in Texas

Judge Tonya Parker

Texas Judge Tonya Parker cannot legally marry a woman in her state, so she refuses to perform any marriage ceremonies until there is equality. She finds it "oxymoronic" to perform a ceremony that cannot be performed for her.

Parker, an openly gay judge, told a group at a Stonewall Democrats of Dallas meeting Tuesday that when she turns a couple away, she uses it as an opportunity to teach them a lesson about marriage equality.

"I don't perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality and until it does, I'm not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn't apply to another group of people," Parker said in a video of the Tuesday discussion. "And it's kind of oxymoronic for me to perform ceremonies that can't be performed for me, so I'm not going to do it."

A spokeswoman for the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct said the commission had no comment.

Parker is the first LGBT person elected as a judge in Dallas County and she is believed to be the first openly LGBT African-American elected official in the state's history, according to the Dallas Voice.
(source)

Boehner and Republicans appeal DOMA ruling


On Wednesday a federal court struck down Section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional.

Today GOP House Speaker John Boehner ordered that ruling appealed.

In court papers, a group of congressional Republicans defending the federal gay marriage ban revealed they are appealing the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 9th Circuit will become the second federal appeals court to now consider the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 16-year-old law known as DOMA.

The Obama administration has sided with Golinski in the case, arguing that DOMA is unconstitutional.

Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, have jumped in to defend the law, filing the notice of appeal on Friday. With cases unfolding in several federal courts, many experts predict the issue will wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

On and on it goes kids. It's clear which way history is headed. Clear.

In 50 years, those who want to keep inequality as the law of the land will look as strange and unseemly as the white supremacists and bigots of the last century do now regarding rights for African Americans.

Friday photo of the day: Max Adler of GLEE

Because he was fabulous this week on GLEE.  
Great work on a very important subject.

And because he's hot  :)

Ellen Degeneres' first JC Penney commercial to air during the Oscars



The commercials aren't available yet, but Ellen aired some out-takes from the taping of the commercials.

Ellen is very funny.

Be worthy


Dogs rule.
Be worthy.

Jake Pavelka makes his Las Vegas debut with the men of Chippendales

Jake Pavelka's first night as Celeb Host at Chippendales
had a sold out audience

Fun night tonight at The Chippendales show at the Rio Casino and All-Suites Hotel in Las Vegas.

Jake Pavelka was very charming with the audience - his first night as the new Celebrity Host of the show. The audience clearly was excited to see him and he was very comfortable interacting with the audience as the MC of the most famous 'girls night out' in the world.

Click pic for larger view
And after the show he took plenty of time to pose for pics with members of the audience & the men of Chippendales.

Good for Jake. As a native Texan myself, I can say he did everyone proud and showed a lot of confidence and charm with, what he's referred to as, his first live audience.

Ladies who make their way to The Chippendales in Las Vegas over the next four weeks can look forward to a good time with the men of Chippendales and the very charming and capable Jake Pavelka.

Click pic for larger view

Olivia Newton-John on Adam Hills in Gordon Street Tonight



She couldn't be more charming...

Love this.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Maryland State Senate passes marriage equality bill


The Maryland state Senate has approved marriage equality after a Senate vote of 25-22 after a few hours of debate during which opponents attempted to add hostile amendments.. The House passed the bill last Friday.

Gov. Martin O'Malley has pledged to make Maryland the EIGHTH state with same-sex marriage.

From Gov. O'Malley: "I'd like to thank Senate President Miller for his leadership and our legislators in the Senate for their hard work and their vote today for human dignity. All children deserve the opportunity to live in a loving, caring, committed, and stable home, protected equally under the law. The common thread running through our efforts together in Maryland is the thread of human dignity; the dignity of work, the dignity of faith, the dignity of family, the dignity of every individual. Thanks to our elected leaders, clergy and faith-based leaders, community leaders, civic organizations, civil rights groups, and citizens from across our state, Maryland will now be able to protect individual civil marriage rights and religious freedom equally."


Reactions from LGBT rights organizations:

Human Rights Campaign
"We could not be more grateful to the senators who today voted to make all Maryland families stronger,” said Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “Today, we took another giant step toward marriage equality becoming law – and we are in this position due to the unwavering leadership and resolve of Governor O’Malley and our legislative allies, particularly Sens. Rich Madaleno, Jamie Raskin, Rob Garagiola, and Brian Frosh.” Virtually any piece of legislation, according to Maryland law, can be subject to a referendum where voters cast a ballot supporting or opposing the legislation. Opponents of marriage equality are expected to begin obtaining the requisite signatures necessary to refer the Civil Marriage Protection Act to the general election ballot.


National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
Maryland and marriage equality will certainly make a lovely couple. Maryland is the Free State, after all. To be able to share and celebrate one's love and commitment both publicly and legally is a lifelong dream for thousands of same-sex couples and their families. It’s thrilling that Maryland is poised to make this a reality by becoming the latest state to treat its families fairly. This has been a long journey of changing hearts and minds, of breaking down walls, of shining a spotlight on our common humanity. Congratulations to Equality Maryland, Marylanders for Marriage Equality and all those who have been part of the journey leading to this victory.

AFER
Today’s vote by the Maryland General Assembly shows that the momentum toward marriage equality is unstoppable. Generations of Americans will applaud Governor Martin O’Malley and the bipartisan coalition of Maryland lawmakers for joining the courts and legislatures nationwide in defending the fundamental freedom to marry for all.”

Funny: "Grammar"

Tweet of the day: Jason Alexander


(via JMG)

Majority of Americans support saving the US auto industry



The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Feb. 8-12 among 1,501 adults, finds that 56% say the loans the government made to GM and Chrysler were mostly good for the economy, while 38% say the loans to the automakers were mostly bad for the economy.

Opinion about the auto loans has reversed since October 2009. At that time, just 37% said the loans were mostly good for the economy while 54% expressed negative views.

Republicans remain more skeptical than Democrats about the GM and Chrysler loans, but Republican support for the loans has nearly doubled since 2009 — from 23% then to 44% today.

That’s a net swing of 35 points in favor of the idea that the auto bailout was good for the economy.

"I'd do it again," former President Bush said Monday during the closing address at the annual National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas, according to The Detroit News. "I didn't want there to be 21% unemployment."

Chrysler repaid its loans last May, while GM has repaid about $23 billion. The U.S. Treasury owns 26% of GM's shares. Chrysler reported a 2011 profit last week while GM, which is also profitable, will report full-year earnings next week.

GOP Sen. Alan Simpson on Santorum: he is "rigid" and "homophobic"

Rick Santorum got no love from former Wyoming GOP Senator Alan Simpson regarding the current competition for the GOP presidential nomination:

"He is rigid and a homophobic," Simpson, a Mitt Romney supporter, said. "He said, 'I want a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage,' and they said, 'Well, what about the people who are already married?' And he said, 'Well, they would be nullified.' I mean what is, what's human, what's kind about that? We're all human beings, we all know or love somebody who's gay or lesbian so what the hell is that about? To me it's startling and borders on disgust."

Simpson also said that Romney was likely to emerge the nominee from the Republican presidential primary.

"I think Romney's had the assault. He's been shelled from coast to coast. He will not be there," Simpson said. "Santorum, as they peel the onion, will not receive the support he thinks."

Gaia Retreat and Spa named one of Travellers Choice Awards Top Relaxation Spa Hotels

Me relaxing at the multiple award-winning Gaia Retreat and Spa
World travellers have recognised the Byron Bay health retreat owned by Olivia Newton-John and Gregg Cave as one of the most luxurious spa experiences on the planet.

Gaia Retreat and Spa has been honored again this year as one of the top Relaxation and Spa Hotels in the World on the 2012 Travellers' Choice Awards.

The Travellers' Choice awards are judged by the editors and travellers of Trip Advisor, one of the world's most popular travel website.

The retreat has won numerous accolades since it was opened by Ms Newton-John and Mr Cave in 2005.

Set in lush sub-tropical gardens at the highest point in Byron shire, the location alone creates an atmosphere of serenity and relaxation.

"There are very few places like it," Mr Cave said.

"We are sitting on the healing capital of Australia and I think Gaia taps into that."

The 20-room boutique hotel and day spa employs 35 healers and therapists who all provide unique and specific skills.

Gaia offers massages, alternative therapies, facials, a sauna, pool, gym and yoga room, so there is a focus not just on luxury, but health as well.

Mr Cave said the secret to Gaia's success was its friendly service, fresh organic cuisine and a philosophy that treats every guest as unique.

"People come here to have a personalised retreat journey because we are tailored to the individual," Mr Cave said.

Oprah Winfrey lavished praise on Gaia when she treated her studio audience to a day at the retreat last year.

I spent several days at Gaia last month, and I can personally attest to the beauty, serenity and healing nature of Gaia. It was really the perfect way to unwind and find "center" again. If you head to Australia, don't miss your chance to relax at one of the very best retreats in the world.

Jake Pavelka opens in Las Vegas as Celeb Guest host of Chippendales


The Bachelor and Dancing With The Stars alum Jake Pavelka is suiting up - or down? - for his new gig in Sin City.

He's the new celebrity host of the best-selling  Chippendales show at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in front of a live audience.

Not only that, Jake told RadarOnline his job is to "get the girls into their underwear!"

Preparing for his debut, Jake's dealing with a case of nerves right now. Although he's "been nervous for a month," the buff star added, "Everything I've done before this has been scripted shows or taped but this is the real deal....I'm intimidated to shake it on stage."

Fans won't see him stripping or performing on stage since he pointed out, "I can't dance! These Chippendales have choreography, they're professionals."

I don't know about dancing, but I'm sure the ladies in the audience are looking forward to at least a glimpse of Jake shirtless.  He's got the body for it, and if he was fit enough to be shirtless on The Bachelor on TV, surely he can give his Vegas audience just a second of pecs and abs....?





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