Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Florida: Three County Clerks End All Courthouse Weddings To Avoid Marrying Same-Sex Couples

With the arrival of same-sex marriage to Florida on the very near horizon,  at least three County Clerks have decided to stop performing marriages in their county courthouses completely in order to avoid marrying same-sex couples.

Duval Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell, Clay Clerk Tara Green and Baker Clerk Stacie Harvey have all made the decision to end ALL courthouse weddings.

Fussell says the decision came after a series of discussion with members of his staff who currently officiate wedding ceremonies. None of them, including Fussell, felt comfortable doing gay weddings so they decided to end the practice all together, he said.

There were 1,911 wedding ceremonies performed at the Duval County Courthouse in 2013, compared to 6,342 marriage licenses issued. About 330 Clay County couples are married at its courthouse each year, and Baker averages about 30.

Fussell, a former Jacksonville City Council president, attends a Southern Baptist church and said he has considered how to handle the conflict between his personal views and professional duties that gay marriage created. He said he believes lesbians and gays should be defended and protected, but not allowed to marry.

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said. “Personally it would go against my beliefs to perform a ceremony that is other than that.”

Residents of Baker, Clay and Duval counties who want to avoid usual wedding expenses will now have to find a minister or notary to perform the ceremony after they pick up their marriage license, but a place other than the courthouse.

Baker Clerk Harvey said the decision is as much about logistics as it is personal conviction. The room where weddings are performed each year will now be used as space for people filling out paperwork related to domestic violence injunctions.

“I needed the space and our county we’re in the Bible Belt,” she said. “... If we’re made by the law to issue a gay marriage license (we will) do that, but we are not mandated to marry couples in our courthouse.”

As the article above references, 1,911 couples were married in Duval County alone. No more.

Because of bigotry.

Sad that folks are so anti-gay that they would rather punish everyone in their county rather than marry a same-sex couple.

Photo: Times Square At Noon Today

Times Square, already packed, at noon today.

Sooooo happy to be home in front of the fire with a nice bottle of Chardonnay :)

(h/t kenneth-in-the-212)

Pioneer Press Tweets Dick Joke About Aaron RodgersThen Deletes Tweet

In the above Tweet, newspaper Pioneer Press attempted to be clever about a story about Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who apparently tugs on the red beard of a fan at every home game for luck.

I'm guessing the sexual innuendo was a little too 6th grade for some readers.

Pioneer Press followed up with this tweet when called out:

Unconfirmed, gay rumors have been swirling around Rodgers for sometime. Last year, Rodgers told 540 ESPN Milwaukee, “I’m just going to say I’m not gay. I really, really like women. That’s all I can really say about that.”

Florida State Judge To County Clerk: Issuing Marriage Licenses To Same-Sex Couple Will Not Break The Law

With all the hand-wringing over whether marriage licenses can or will be issued statewide in Florida come January 6th, Orange County Clerk Tiffany Moore Russell did the logical thing - she asked a judge in the courthouse where she works to tell her what to do.

Moore Russell had filed suit yesterday in the courthouse where she works, asking a judge to give her instructions on what to do.

A Tallahassee federal judge has declared the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and ordered his ruling implemented Jan. 6.

But the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers two weeks ago told its members statewide not to issue the licenses, and Moore Russell said at the time that she would follow that advice.

Behind the scenes, though, she was working on the problem. Yesterday she filed a petition, asking Shea to clarify what she should do.

Today he issued an order, telling her that if she issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples, she would not be breaking the law or violating her oath of office.

Russell has issued this statement upon receiving guidance from Judge Shea:

“I thank the Court for providing clarity on this issue. I specifically want to thank Judge Shea for his guidance in this matter. Since the question of issuing same-sex marriage licenses was first directed at Clerks, my office has consistently stated that we would continue to seek judicial clarification. That is why we filed this emergency petition and we are grateful for the clear direction it provides as we move closer to January 6.”

More at the Orlando Sentinel.

(h/t JMG)

Folks Think It's Snowing In Las Vegas

Snow fall in Las Vegas - January 16, 2005

I'm seeing all kinds of reports here in Las Vegas that "it's snowing! It's snowing!"

Kids, what we've got going on here is barely even a flurry or two.

Back in January 2005, we got what some might call a "real" snowfall. (And of course, it was in the middle of landscaping our backyard. Check the pic above.)

And by the way - handsome hubby Michael officially does NOT like snow unless he's skiing on it.

Michael only likes snow when he's skiing it or looking at it from a ski lodge

NYT: Police Respect Squandered in Attacks on de Blasio

From the New York Times Op-Ed:

With these acts of passive-aggressive contempt and self-pity, many New York police officers, led by their union, are squandering the department’s credibility, defacing its reputation, shredding its hard-earned respect. They have taken the most grave and solemn of civic moments — a funeral of a fallen colleague — and hijacked it for their own petty look-at-us gesture. In doing so, they also turned their backs on Mr. Ramos’s widow and her two young sons, and others in that grief-struck family.

These are disgraceful acts, which will be compounded if anyone repeats the stunt at Officer Liu’s funeral on Sunday.

The New York Police Department is going through a terrible time, and the assassinations of those officers only underscore the dreadful dangers that rank-and-file cops face every day. And, in truth, there is some thanklessness to being a cop. Officers often feel beleaguered, jerked around by supervisors and politicians, obligated to follow rules and policies that can be misguided, held responsible for their mistakes in ways that the public is not, exposed to frequent ridicule and hostility from the people they are sworn to serve. It has always been that way with cops.

But none of those grievances can justify the snarling sense of victimhood that seems to be motivating the anti-de Blasio campaign — the belief that the department is never wrong, that it never needs redirection or reform, only reverence. This is the view peddled by union officials like Patrick Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association — that cops are an ethically impeccable force with their own priorities and codes of behavior, accountable only to themselves, and whose reflexive defiance in the face of valid criticism is somehow normal.

Since the two New York Police officers were killed on December 20th, arrests have plummeted 66% in the city, compared to the same time period last year.

I understand a sense of fear after the deaths of the two officers. But a huge drop in parking violations? The New York Post is calling the drop a "virtual work stoppage" in protest of the mayor.

• Citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587.

• Even the number of parking violations have sunk by 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241.

If true, I don't know if that really serves the NYPD in terms of 'respect.'

Mayor De Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton are meeting with five police union heads today to attempt to address concerns and move the city past the currently widening rift.

Same-Sex Marriage Begins In Scotland!

Check out Joe and Malx, who were the very first gay couple to marry in Scotland last night at the stroke of midnight. Congratulations Scotland!

Sydney Serves Up Ferocious Fireworks Display Ringing In 2015

It's hard to beat Sydney, Australia, when it comes to full-on fireworks on New Year's Eve.

Check out this fantastic light show from Down Under. Happy New Year's Eve everyone!

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Fox News: Obama Wants To Take Your Sprinkles

Fox News loves to defend it's far right leaning style of "reporting the news." Many times I hear, the daytime shows on Fox News are all pure news, no commentary by the hosts.

Fox News spent over 3 minutes yesterday being upset over the FDA possibly regulating trans fats in foods. Not just "regulating" - but stoking the fires of the government stepping in and "making decisions" for you.

Completely out of whack.

Before the guest can even get to what he has to say on the subject, host Clayton Morris jumps in to TELL audiences what possibly banning sprinkles REALLY means for you:

Fox News host Clayton Morris told viewers on Tuesday that they would have to “say goodbye to your favorite sprinkled doughnut.”

“What it is also saying to people is, ‘You’re just not responsible, right?’” Morris opined. “If you can’t eat one of these every other day, and you know that you’re going to have some other health issues if you’re eating doughnuts, that’s the main part of your diet, that’s probably going to have some issues, what the government is saying is, ‘Look, you’re not responsible for your own health so we’re going to step in and make sure we’re going to be responsible for you.’”

“You know, there’s a tendency to look at this policy and say, ‘What’s the big deal? You know, a ban on sprinkles on donuts, it’s just not that big of deal,’” Lusk replied. “But I think the way you want to look at that is to say that, you know, if the government can involve itself in such small minutia decisions of our daily lives as to whether we want to eat sprinkles or not, you know, that’s really not much respect for the citizens’ choices.”

(via Raw Story)

Happy New Year From The International Space Station

Just a couple of astronauts floating around the International Space Station wishing you a Happy New Year:

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts of NASA wish the world a happy New Year during downlink messages from the orbital complex on Dec. 17.

Wilmore has been aboard the research lab since late September and will remain in orbit until mid-March 2015.

Virts arrived at the station in late November and will stay until mid-May 2015.

(h/t JMG)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wife of AVENGERS Star Jeremy Renner Files For Divorce After Less Than A Year Of Marriage

After less than a year of marriage, it looks as though Avengers star Jeremy Renner is divorce court bound:

Model Sonni Pacheco filed for divorce on Dec. 5 in Los Angeles citing irreconcilable differences, court documents reveal.

The Canadian beauty listed the date of the couple's secret marriage as Jan. 13 and the date of separation as Nov. 29.

Pacheco, who is two decades younger than 43-year-old Renner, wants physical custody of the couple's 1 1/2-year-old daughter Ava Berlin along with spousal support and reimbursement for moving expenses, her filing states.

She asked that joint legal custody and visitation be granted to Renner.

Pacheco also claims the prenup she signed should get tossed on the basis of unspecified fraud and asks that Renner return her passport, birth certificate and Social Security card, first reported.

I'm curious as to what the "unspecified fraud" could be?

Divorce seems to be in the air with Chris Rock and celeb chef Giada De Laurentiis heading to Splitsville with their respective spouses.

Viral Video: C.J. Huffman Has A Chat With A Friend About "Poor Choices"

C.J. Huffman shares a conversation he had with his furry friend about "poor choices" made.

Over 800,000 views on YouTube.

The collie mix couldn't be cuter.

Dogs rule.

(h/t Towleroad)

A Very Wet, Shirtless Colton Haynes Takes A Shower

In that Colton Haynes posted this to his Instagram account without caption, who am I to distract from our focus by adding anything else?

Ohio: 17 Year Old Transgender Teenager Commits Suicide, Leaves Heartbreaking Suicide Note

Very sad to read the story of Leelah Alcorn, a 17 year old transgender teenager who committed suicide this past Sunday morning by walking in front of a tractor trailer on the highway.

Leelah struggled with her parents reaction to her coming to the realization that she was trans.

From her suicide note which appeared on her Tumblr account hours after she died:

If you are reading this, it means that I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue.

Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better. The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender. I could go into detail explaining why I feel that way, but this note is probably going to be lengthy enough as it is. To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, and I’ve felt that way ever since I was 4. I never knew there was a word for that feeling, nor was it possible for a boy to become a girl, so I never told anyone and I just continued to do traditionally “boyish” things to try to fit in.

When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.


My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.


(Leelah) Josh Alcorn

In a follow-up post, Leelah apologized to friends and family but had this to say her parents:

Mom and Dad: Fuck you. You can’t just control other people like that. That’s messed up.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression there are resources for help:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

GOP Congressman Steve Scalise Acknowledges Speaking To White Supremacist Group

Yesterday, I reported on Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise (R) who apparently spoke at a white supremacist group's meeting in 2002.

At first, Scalise said he didn't remember if he did or did not attend the meeting.

Today, he says he remembers but acknowledges it was a mistake.


“Twelve years ago, I spoke to many different Louisiana groups as a state representative, trying to build support for legislation that focused on cutting wasteful state spending, eliminating government corruption, and stopping tax hikes,” Scalise said in a statement on Tuesday.

“One of the many groups that I spoke to regarding this critical legislation was a group whose views I wholeheartedly condemn. It was a mistake I regret, and I emphatically oppose the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold.

"I am very disappointed that anyone would try to infer otherwise for political gain. As a Catholic, these groups hold views that are vehemently opposed to my own personal faith, and I reject that kind of hateful bigotry. Those who know me best know I have always been passionate about helping, serving, and fighting for every family that I represent. And I will continue to do so.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner stands by his guy with this statement:

“More than a decade ago, Representative Scalise made an error in judgment, and he was right to acknowledge it was wrong and inappropriate,” Boehner said. “Like many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I know Steve to be a man of high integrity and good character. He has my full confidence as our Whip, and he will continue to do great and important work for all Americans.”

Secretary Of Defense Chuck Hagel & Wife Send Holiday Greeting Which Includes Gay Sailor's Proposal

A holiday video greeting from outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his wife Lilibet to the men and women of the Defense Department includes, among many photos of service members, a pic of a sailor proposing to his boyfriend.

I believe this is the first time a gay couple has been included in the Defense Secretary's holiday greeting.

Thanks to the Hagels. It's moments like this that make a difference over time.

(via Huffington Post)

Fort Lauderdale Plans 100 Couple Oceanside Same-Sex Wedding

Fort Lauderdale is already ramping up Florida same-sex marriage celebrations by inviting 100 couples to come get married at the beach this winter:

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau plans to invite at least 100 couples from around the country and around the world to marry oceanside in a common ceremony sometime this winter, said Nicki Grossman, president of the Broward County tourism group in an interview.

The 100 number also will honor Broward's 100th birthday celebration now underway.

"We're going to pull out all the stops, just like a proud father does when their child marries," said Grossman, calling gay travelers "a very loyal and important part of our destination."

The wedding extravaganza is just the first of many gay-marriage activities planned in Broward, a pioneer in promoting gay tourism.

In 2013, more than 1.3 million LGBT travelers visited Broward and spent about $1.5 billion, accounting for about 10 percent of tourism in the county, Grossman said.

And that counts only those who came on LGBT tours, attended gay events, responded to gay ads or in some way, self-identified as LGBT. "We believe that there are considerably more LGBT travelers than that" in Broward, Grossman said.

(h/t JoeMyGod)

American Family Association Teases Super-Secret Anti-Gay Tool

Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association

The American Family Association serves notice (in their year-end money beg) that they have developed a super-secret, "revolutionary" weapon to fight the gays.

Shhhh. It's a secret!

From the American Family Association head Tim Wildmon:

"Early next year, AFA will launch a new project unlike any other in the pro-family movement. It’s been almost a year in the making and we’re just about ready to release it.

"Because atheists and homosexual activists will go all out to attack AFA and this revolutionary new tool for Christians and their families, I can’t go into much detail right now. But I can tell you that we have put an enormous amount of work and financial resources behind it.

"Your financial support couldn’t come at a more critical time. AFA is one of a handful of groups actually fighting back against the secularists and the humanists in an organized fashion and making a real difference. Won’t you please consider making a small contribution to help us continue our work?

"First, it’s tax-deductible. AFA is a 501c3 organization and depends entirely on friends like you to keep us going strong. Secondly, I want to send you a free gift as a way of saying thanks for your support. Please make your generous donation today!"

TOTALLY Not-Gay Congressman Aaron Schock

Via Instagram

Look Ma, no jazz hands!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Shirtless Mark Wahlberg Shows Off His Beefy, Buff Bod On Vacay In Barbados

Shirtless Mark Wahlberg shows off his beefy, muscled body while vacationing in Barbados

Mark Wahlberg was giving you "beefy, muscle dad body" while on Christmas vacation in Barbados last week.

We should all look so good at 43.

More at VJBrendan.

Music Video: Maya Angelou "Harlem Hopscotch"

Derek Hough of "Dancing With The Stars"

One of Maya Angelou's final projects before her death earlier this year was a collaborative hip hop album called "Caged Bird Songs."

Now, one of the songs - "Harlem Hopscotch" - has it's very own dance video.

From the clip description:

The song is about encouraging everyone, especially young people to persevere through life despite any obstacles! The game of hopscotch is symbolic of the difficulties of life and the obstacles that some face, whether they be wealthy or poor.

The video features appearances by actress and singer Nia Peeples (“Fame”, “Pretty Little Liars”), dancer/choreographer Derek Hough, actor Alfonso Ribeiro, actress/singer Zendaya, dancer/choreographer Ian Eastwood, Quest Crew and dancers from “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Best Dance Crew.”

“Caged Bird Songs” is a unique musical collaboration produced by RoccStar and Shawn Rivera, that thoughtfully blends iconic American author Dr. Maya Angelou's words and vocal performances with contemporary hip-hop beats.

For more information:

(h/t JMG)

Rhode Island Supreme Court Throws Out Firefighters' Lawsuit Over Driving In Gay Pride Parade

In 2004, Providence firefighters Theodore Fabrizio and Stephen Deninno filed suit against the city of Providence, Rhode Island, for being assigned to drive a fire truck during an annual gay pride parade in 2001.

The men sued saying their constitutional rights were violated arguing that as practicing Roman Catholics they did not “support, encourage,nor condone homosexual behavior.”

Today, the Rhode Island Supreme Court issued their ruling.

Writing for the entire court, Justice William Robinson III called driving a fire truck in a parade a "legitimate work assignment" and said as public servants they were "relatively anonymous."

"The respondents' appearance in the parade, solely as members of the Providence Fire Department, did not constitute a form of expression on their part. Rather, it was simply the accomplishing of a task assigned to an engine company of the Providence Fire Department," Robinson wrote.

President Obama & Hillary Clinton Top Gallup's "Most Admired" Poll

According to an annual poll conducted by Gallop, President Obama and Hillary Clinton nab the top spots on a list of Most Admired Men and Women.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been at the top of the annual survey for 17 of the last 18 years.

The tally from the poll shows:

12% - Hillary Clinton

8% - Oprah Winfrey

5% - Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai

4% - First Lady Michelle Obama

On the men's side, this marks President Obama's 7th time at the top of the Most Admired list:

19% - President Barack Obama

6% - Pope Francis

3% - Former President Bill Clinton

2% - Rev. Billy Graham

2% - Former President George W. Bush

GOP House Majority Whip Scalise Acknowledges Speaking At "White Nationalist" Meeting

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner surely didn't imagine he would begin the next Congress in this manner.

First, Republican Congressman Michael Grimm of Staten Island pleads guilty to felony tax evasion.

And now another GOP House member is in the middle of a racial controversy literally days before the Republican party is to take control of both chambers of Congress. 

The incoming House Majority Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, has acknowledged that he spoke at a meeting of "white nationalist leaders" (read that "white supremacists") while serving as a state legislator in 2002.

The 48-year-old Scalise, who ascended to the House GOP’s third-ranking post earlier this year, confirmed through an adviser that he once appeared at a convention of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization.

That organization, founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, has been called a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

As JoeMyGod points out, it should surprise no one that Scalise was the lead author of Louisiana's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Republican House IRS Investigation Finds No Connection To White House

Congressman Darrell Issa, who led IRS investigation which showed no connection to White House
A House Republican investigation looking into possible IRS violations released right before the Christmas holiday reveals no link to the White House in the tax-exempt status scandal.

The report says conservative groups were given improper scrutiny for more than two years from 2010 to 2012. It says senior IRS officials covered up the misconduct and misled Congress about it.

The report specifically faults eight senior IRS leaders who “were in a position to prevent or to stop the IRS’s targeting of conservative applicants.”

The eight include former Commissioner Douglas Shulman, former acting Commissioner Steven Miller, and Lois Lerner, who used to head the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status.

But so far, investigators have not released any documents showing that anyone outside the IRS directed the agency to mistreat conservative groups or even knew it was going on.

It's common in politics to release news right before the holidays or late on Friday afternoons as most people aren't paying close attention to the news cycle. Clearly, Issa doesn't want a wide audience to know his investigation clears the White House of any wrongdoing.

Census Bureau: 320 Million People Living In The USA

According to Reuters, the population of the United States (as of January 1, 2014) is over 320 million people. That shows an increase of almost 1% from the year before.

The Census Bureau predicts for 2015:

• One birth every eight seconds
• One death every twelve seconds
• Immigration will add one person every 33 seconds

The Census Bureau also predicts that the population for the entire planet on New Year's Day will be approximately 7.21 billion. That accounting would reflect about 4.3 births a second, and 1.8 deaths per second.

Remind me again why the anti-gay haters are worried that same-sex marriage will undermine pro-creation?

Marriage News Watch - December 29, 2014

From the American Foundation for Equal Rights:

• Something big's going to happen in Florida next week, we just don't know what yet

• The Supreme Court is going to examine multiple marriage cases in early January

• New polling shows support for marriage higher than ever

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Republican Congressman Michael Grimm Pleads Guilty To Tax Evasion

Michael Grimm, GOP congressman from Staten Island, pled guilty to felony tax evasion this week.

So far, he refuses to resign his seat in Congress although it's unclear what Speaker of the House John Boehner plans to do. Boehner can't refuse to seat Grimm in the new Congress but he can pressure Grimm to resign.

Clearly the optics of seating a convicted felon makes for a problem for the GOP-led Congress.

Grimm famously threatened to "break" a reporter "in half" last year when asked about his legal woes. For that incident Grimm faced Congressional ethics violations.

Box Office: THE INTERVIEW Has $18 Million Opening

With over 2 million online downloads and/or rentals ($15 million) and nearly $3 million in limited theatrical release, the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy THE INTERVIEW ended it's non-traditional first weekend with very nice numbers.

Although the number of theaters showing the flick was closer to 300 instead of the planned 3,000, Sony Pictures has to be happy at the box office numbers today considering the initial estimates for the first week of the film was around $20 million.

In addition to limited theatrical release, the film is available on demand online via YouTube, Google Play, Microsoft Xbox, and iTunes.

 iTunes was added to the list of online outlets after the numbers through Saturday were tallied. Netflix is reportedly working to secure THE INTERVIEW but no word yet on those negotiations.


Tampa Bay Times Names Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi "Political Loser Of 2014"

Adam C. Smith, political editor for the Tampa Bay Times has named Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi the Political Loser of 2014:

Loser of 2014: Pam Bondi. It's hard to imagine how someone who won re-election so handily (rival George Sheldon could not afford a single TV ad) could emerge from 2014 more wounded and diminished as our Republican attorney general. Put aside the unseemly junkets funded by groups seeking to influence her. Bondi's clumsy communication skills and relentless defense of Florida's gay marriage ban have made her a modern-day Anita Bryant. Antagonizing Florida's gay voters over same-sex marriage and Hispanic voters over immigration reform ensures Bondi has a bright political future ahead of her — if she moves to Mississippi.

Well deserved honor, I'd say.

Trailer: Entourage the Movie

I have to admit, I was a fan of the series. Loved Jeremy Piven's "Ari Gold" freakouts.

Release date is listed at June 5th.

Clip description:

Based on the HBO Comedy series. Movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), together with his boys, Eric (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Johnny (Kevin Dillon), are back…and back in business with super-agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). Some of their ambitions have changed, but the bond between them remains strong as they navigate the capricious and often cutthroat world of Hollywood.

Mental Floss: 31 Things You Didn't Know About Holiday Songs

Having done my "12 Days of Christmas Music" lead up to Christmas Day, I thought in the aftermath of the big holiday I'd share this quick and fun video of "31 Things You Didn't Know About Holiday Songs" from the vlog Mental Floss.

Some fun facts here. And it moves quick for those like me with a short attention span.

Video: Super Compilation Of 2014's Ultimate Fails

At some point in everyone's life, you try and fail at something. Sometimes things just don't go the way you planned. Get back up, kids, and keep going.

Check out this super-compilation of moments when things go astray in life.

I don't know about you, but this makes me feel a little better about my small "life fails."

(h/t Towleroad)

Michael Sam Sits Down With Oprah Winfrey

For the first time since being cut by the St. Louis Rams, Michael Sam sat down for an interview last night.

This time was with the "queen of the interview," Oprah Winfrey.

During the chat, Oprah asked about the infamous "cake kiss" that aired on ESPN after Sam was drafted to the St. Louis Rams late in the seventh round of the NFL draft, and whether or not the kiss was staged for the cameras that were present.

Oprah asks, "Was the Cake Kiss too much for the country?"

Oprah later asks Sam why he isn't currently on an NFL team - not good enough or because he's gay?

More clips from the interview and documentary at the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Reality TV: Squirrel Steals Go-Pro Camera

It's an age old story: squirrel steals camera, runs up tree, drops camera, becomes Internet star.

Michael Sam to Oprah: Gay NFL Players Reached Out To Me

In tonight's interview with Oprah Winfrey, Michael Sam says several gay NFL players have reached out to him after he was drafted:

Sam: “Very few reached out to me and pretty much just told me their gratitude and how thankful they were that I had the courage. They wished that they had the courage to come out.”

Oprah: “Gay men in the NFL reached out to you and called you?”

Sam: "Yes. They just showed their respect and admired my courage. It was very good.”

Oprah: “You’re using the plural. ‘Men.’ Not ‘man.’”

Sam: “Men. There’s a lot of us out there. I’m not the only one. I’m just the only one who’s open.”

The special episode of “Oprah Prime” airs tonight, Saturday, Dec. 27, at 10:30 p.m. ET, after the debut of the 90 minute documentary "Michael Sam" on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Out CNN News Anchor Don Lemon Makes "Worst Journalism of 2104" List

Openly gay CNN news anchor Don Lemon finds himself on a "Year End" list nobody really wants to be on - "Worst Journalism of 2014."

The Columbia Journalism Review's recap of the year’s "most cringeworthy news blunders" included the out anchor because of a series of off kilter moments that made headlines this year.

"Live television is exceedingly difficult to produce, of course, but Lemon’s gaffes this year offer a case study in how to choose words wisely — or not," wrote David Uberti.

Among Lemon's 2014 gaffes listed were mentioning the "obvious" smell of marijuana during the Ferguson riots, asking in seriousness if a black hole might have been responsible for the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370, and comparing spanking children to dog training.

Taco Bell - We Didn't Make Gay Commercial, But We Sure Like It

Yesterday, I posted what seems to be a "commercial" for Taco Bell featuring an apparent gay couple cavorting around before work after having breakfast at the fast food establishment.

Questions abounded on the interwebs wondering if the ad was real.

Turns out it's not, but Taco Bell is mighty impressed.

Via Gawker:

We didn’t create this ad, but we can see the people who did share the same Live Mas passion for our brand—and our breakfast—as we do. Although we cannot condone unauthorized use of our intellectual property, we are impressed with their work and would be open to meeting with them.

Little Boy Sets Up Camera To Catch Santa Claus - Guess What He Sees

Seven year old Evan borrows his older brother's Go-Pro camera to try and catch Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

You'll never guess what he finds on the camera Christmas morning.

Watch the video - big smiles - then go here for the full story. I don't want to spoil anything.

1.3 million views in a day.

(h/t TRR reader John)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Gay Couple Responds To Vandalism With Fabulosity

As Metro News reports, a gay couple came home recently to find their front door vandalized by a homophobic jerk.

But instead of stewing in anger, the gays responded in absolutely fabulous style:

"We regret to inform you that you completely failed to use glitter paint and/or sequins, your work looked rushed, and your handwriting was positively atrocious.

"It is for these reasons that we had to remove your work from our door with sandpaper.

"Fabulously yours, The Gays in Apt. 611."

Majority Of Florida County Clerks Will Not Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Come Jan. 6

Florida's same-sex marriage situation is still in flux as January 5th quickly approaches - the date when the stay on a federal judge's ruling which struck down the marriage equality ban expires.

After a law firm representing the state's county clerks sent out a memo erroneously informing clerks they would be open to arrest and fines should they issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a majority of the state's 67 clerks say they will not be issuing gay couples marriage licenses come January 6th.

Of the 53 clerks who responded to the AP survey, 46 said they wouldn't grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples because they lack legal authority. Six clerks said they hadn't made up their minds; Only one clerk outside Washington County, Osceola County's Armando Ramirez, said he would issue the licenses.

Ramirez said his office would begin issuing marriage permits for same-sex couples a minute after midnight on Jan. 6. He said it's a matter of not discriminating against a minority group.

"We won't waste any time," he said.

Gay rights groups are disputing the clerk association's interpretation of Hinkle's ruling, and they're threatening legal action if licenses for same-sex couples aren't issued across the state. On Wednesday, they sent out a memo to Florida's 67 clerks of courts stating the clerks are required to stop enforcing Florida's ban on same-sex marriage in two weeks.

"We are prepared to fight," said Sharon Kersten, a public relations consultant for Equality Florida, the gay rights group.

Some clerks said they're hoping for clarification from a court. Dwight Brock, clerk of Collier County in southwest Florida, said it would be "disastrous" if counties didn't act in a uniform manner. He hasn't decided what to do given the conflicting opinions.

Eminem "Comes Out" In THE INTERVIEW

In the newly released Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy film The Interview, rapper Eminem "comes out" during an appearance in the film's talk show Skylark.

In the scene, when asked what his lyrics mean, Eminem tells James Franco’s talk show host character he is ‘gay’ and ‘a homosexual’.

‘When I say things about gay people, or people think my lyrics are homophobic – it’s because I’m gay.’

When Franco's character - in freakout mode - asks Eminem to clarify, the rapper says, ‘I’m more shocked that people haven’t figured it out yet. I mean, it’s kind of like I’ve been playing gay peek-a-boo.’

In the TV studio control room, pandemonium ensues as Seth Rogen, as producer of the show, starts pulling up gay-related lyrics from Eminem's catalog even as he's throwing Em's publicist out of the control room.

In real life, Em has had a love/hate relationship with the LGBT community as he's frequently written homophobic lyrics. But the rapper has always contended he's not an enemy of the community and the lyrics represent his performance art and not his heart.