Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy Admits Benghazi Investigations Meant To Damage Hillary Clinton's Campaign

They say in Washington, D.C. politics that a "gaffe" is when someone accidentally tells the truth.

The presumed new Speaker of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, did just that when speaking to Fox News' Sean Hannity last night when he let the cat out of the bag and admitted that the past year's Republican led witch hunt regarding the many Benghazi investigations were conducted with the intent of bringing down Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Speaking about his presumed role as the incoming Speaker of the House, here's McCarthy's admission:

What you’re going to see is a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win. And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?

But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.

McCarthy Confirmed Benghazi Committee Political Charade
Speaker-in-Waiting Kevin McCarthy confirms: The Benghazi committee is a partisan effort to hurt Hillary's campaign.
Posted by The Briefing on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Today, Hillary Clinton was asked for her response to the the news that the allegations were orchestrated for political maneuvering:

Hillary responds to Kevin McCarthy
Hillary's response to Kevin McCarthy.
Posted by The Briefing on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mike Huckabee Thinks A Meeting Between An Unlawful Clerk And The Pope Will Stop "Judicial Tyranny"

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee

Currently in 9th place among GOP White House hopefuls, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee took to his Facebook to crow a bit about the alleged Kim Davis/Pope Francis meeting.

He also seemed to suggest that the meeting would be the spark that will finally launch a massive push back to "judicial tyranny."

While the media elites were slobbering all over themselves because Pope Francis commented on climate change, the Pope was having a quiet and powerful meeting with a humble Apostolic county clerk from Kentucky.

The Pope recognized something that the chattering class in Washington and Wall Street will never understand—that Kim Davis followed her conscience and convictions. The Pope thanked Kim for doing so and congratulated her for her stand.

The media mocked and derided millions of Americans who supported Kim's constitutional right to religious liberty. It may just be a visit from the Pope that pushes the out of touch political class in Washington to finally stand up to judicial tyranny and for religious liberty.

News Round-Up: September 30, 2015

Some news stories you may have missed:

• Two minutes of smile - Feel good video about a typical day with woofy dads, Corey and Rocco, and their adorable son Forge.

• Regarding the "Kim Davis meeting Pope Francis" story - does it help to know he also met Mark Wahlberg? I'm guessing that doesn't mean the Pope endorses the TED movies or the Funky Bunch.

• Rising star in the Indiana Republican Party, Rep. Jud McMillin, resigned from office after sexually explicit video was texted from his phone. McMillin was one of the co-sponsors of the state's ill-received Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

• Donald Trump released his proposed revisal of the tax code which The Tax Foundation says would cost the U.S. $12 Trillion over ten years. No surprise - the wealthy would gain a LOT.

• Check out this most excellent mega-mix mashup of Madonna videos set to her new album Rebel Heart.

Alabama Ku Klux Klan Member Claims Auschwitz Was A Jewish "Summer Camp"

An Alabama chapter of the Ku Klux Klan allowed a BBC news crew to follow their activities to explore and better understand racist attitudes in the U.S. following the murders of 9 church-goers by a white supremacist in Charleston.

From Alternet:

As Klan members assemble 3,000 fliers to deliver to a predominately black neighborhood, the BBC interviewer notices a photograph of Adolf Hitler on the wall.

“Adolf Hitler, he was one of the smartest men there ever was,” a Klan member explains. “The so-called concentration camps like Auschwitz and so forth, they say they were death camps. But these death camps, they gave the so-called people that were being killed cigarettes, there was coffee, there was a movie theater, a library, even a swimming pool in Auschwitz.”

“And if you’re going to sit there and kill all these people then how come all these things would be in there?” he continues. “It’s more like a summer camp.”

“Sorry,” the stunned interviewer interrupts. “You’re telling me Auschwitz was like a summer camp?”

“Well, they had a swimming pool, a movie theater and everything else,” the Klan member insists. “You know, you don’t see in prisons today any kind of swimming pool being in the middle of the prison hall.”

“So what do you think the Jews were doing in Auschwitz?” the interviewer asks.

“Swimming,” the white supremacist replies. “And working. Because they didn’t want to do any work, and what Hitler was trying to do was he was trying to teach them to work, trying to rehabilitate them, if you will.”

“Where did you hear this?” the dumbfounded interviewer wonders.

“It’s all history,” the Klan member says.

Although the BBC interviewer continues to press, Klan members eventually tire of the subject and head out to distribute their fliers.

“In Britain, inciting racial hatred carries a possible sentence of seven years in prison,” the narrator explains to the British audience. “Here in the U.S., the First Amendment guarantees free speech. Even for blatant racism.”

“More than a million prisoners died at Auschwitz,” the narrator adds. “The vast majority of them were Jewish.”

Watch the clip from BBC 3 below. Warning: the clip makes frequent use of offensive racial slurs.

Florida Researcher Awarded $6 Million From Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation For HIV/AIDS Vaccine

Professor Michael Farzan, a researcher working with The Scripps Research Institute at Florida Atlantic University, has been awarded nearly $6 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to further develop an HIV/AIDS vaccine over the next four years.

Via University Press:

“I’m grateful to the Gates Foundation for its strong support of our research and for its continued commitment to eradicating HIV/AIDS throughout the world,” Farzan said in the news release.

The vaccine causes muscle tissue to release proteins that attach to the virus and trick it into thinking it bonded to a human cell. It then floats through the bloodstream, harmless and unable to reproduce. After receiving the vaccine, lab animals were protected from the HIV infection for up to a year.

Mixed Results For Donald Trump In New USA Today/Suffolk University Poll

A new poll by USA TODAY/Suffolk University shows Donald Trump continues at the top of that poll with strong staying power.

Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina share second place with 13% each, and Sen. Marco Rubio lands at #4 with 9%.

Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz lag in 5th and 6th with 8% and 6% respectively.

I have to note, though, that the results come from polling 380 likely Republican primary voters. That's not a huge number to gauge what I'd call "the national mood."

Here's some cognitive dissonance for you, though. In spite of strong support, check out the first words that come to mind when describing Trump and Fiorina.

Human Rights Campaign Responds To Pope Francis/Kim Davis "Meeting"

The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement regarding news reports that allege Pope Francis met privately last week with Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Ky., county clerk who continues to violate the law by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

From the Human Rights Campaign:

“We hope that this is just a troubling mistake, but if these reports are true, this is a disappointing end to a historic trip,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “It would come as a shock to all those who were inspired by Pope Francis’s call for greater tolerance and inclusion if he were to lend support to a public employee who has become synonymous with discrimination against LGBT people. And, it would be most disappointing to the dozens of LGBT faithful who gathered to welcome Pope Francis to Washington, D.C., and whose request for a meeting was declined.”

HRC invited Pope Francis to meet with LGBT Catholics during his recent visit to Washington, DC. The Pope, who participated in a prayer service across the street from the organization’s headquarters last Wednesday, was asked to join more than 100 LGBT Catholics and staff who gathered to welcome him to the city. HRC also hung a banner on the side of its building asking Pope Francis to embrace LGBT Catholics and put a stop to Archdioceses and Bishops in the United States that have fired capable, faithful LGBT employees.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz Caught Attempting To Present False Information At Planned Parenthood Hearing

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz tried to get away with false information during Congressional hearings regarding Planned Parenthood.

He presented a chart he had made based on what he SAID was info from Planned Parenthood.

It turns out the info came from Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz: I pulled those numbers directly out of your corp. reports

Richards: Excuse me. My lawyers have informed me that the source of this is Americans United for Life which is an anti-abortion group so I would check your source.

How very embarrassing for Chaffetz. Caught attempting to pass off false information in full view of America.

Chris Hayes explains how that misleading graph Rep. Jason Chaffetz showed at today's Planned Parenthood hearing SHOULD look
Posted by All In with Chris Hayes on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Daily Dance: Sylvie Guillem

Sylvie Guillem Ela Γ© sem palavras!

Posted by SΓ³ Bailarinos on Sunday, September 27, 2015

First of all - the gorgeous feet and extension. Just, wow.

But also, check out her upper body and arms - so strong, gorgeous lines.

Anchorage Assembly Passes Important LGBT Protections Ordinance By Wide Margin

Good news from the Anchorage Assembly which passed, by a vote of 9-2, important LGBT protections making it illegal to discriminate over sexual orientation or gender identity.

From the Alaska Dispatch News:

The new local civil rights ordinance, the first of its kind in Alaska, will take effect as soon as it is signed by Assembly Chair Dick Traini, with the Assembly rejecting an amendment to require a public advisory vote in April.

Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said he does not plan to veto the ordinance, which was co-authored by Assembly members Bill Evans and Patrick Flynn and passed shortly before midnight Tuesday. The ordinance adds protections to Anchorage equal rights laws for gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people in housing, employment and public accommodations and includes exemptions for religious groups and those with ministerial duties.

In a joint statement released immediately after the Assembly vote, the organizations Alaskans Together for Equality, the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, the Pride Foundation and the Human Rights Campaign praised the ordinance and the efforts of Evans and Flynn. Evans usually votes with the Assembly’s conservative bloc, and Flynn usually votes with the liberal bloc.

“With today’s passage of a strong and fair nondiscrimination ordinance through the Anchorage Assembly, we have taken yet another step toward living up to the Alaskan values of fairness and treating others as we would want to be treated,” the statement said. “We have joined the vanguard of over 200 cities that say you should not be fired or lose your home simply based on who you are or whom you love.”

You may recall that in August of 2009 the Anchorage Assembly passed a similar LGBT protections bill but it was vetoed by then Mayor Dan Sullivan days later.

Rogue County Clerk Kim Davis Speaks About Meeting Pope Francis

The story of the morning seems to be that Kim Davis, rogue County Clerk of Kentucky who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, met with Pope Francis in a secret meeting arranged by the Vatican.

According to ABC News, the Vatican allegedly reached out to Davis weeks ago in advance of his visit to the U.S.

“Just knowing the pope is on track with what we’re doing, and agreeing, you know, kind of validates everything,” Davis told ABC News this morning.

Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis says a private meeting with Pope Francis has inspired her -– and given her a renewed sense of purpose.

“I was crying. I had tears coming out of my eyes,” Davis said in an exclusive interview with ABC News. “I'm just a nobody, so it was really humbling to think he would want to meet or know me.”

Davis, who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, says the private meeting occurred during the pope’s historic trip to the United States. After receiving a surprise phone call from a church official, the Kentucky county clerk says she traveled to Washington, D.C., where she and her husband Joe met the pope Sept. 24 at the Vatican Embassy.

“I put my hand out and he reached and he grabbed it, and I hugged him and he hugged me,” Davis said. “And he said, ‘thank you for your courage.’”

Father Benedettini from the Vatican Press office released a statement after reports emerged that Davis and the pope had met.

“The Holy See is aware of the reports of Kim Davis meeting with the Holy Father. The Vatican does not confirm the meeting, nor does it deny the meeting. There will be no further information given,“ the statement reads.

Hours later, Father Benedettini said, in another statement, “I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I will not comment on it further."

It seems odd that Pope Francis, who showed no restraint is expressing his thoughts on a multitude of controversial topics, would go to such lengths in terms of secrecy.

But then, as we've seen with Pope Francis, he does go out of his way to touch as many sick people as he can.

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll Shows Trump And Carson In Virtual Tie

Much like the earlier USA Today/Suffolk University poll I posted earlier today, the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Donald Trump virtually tied with Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina and Sen. Marco Rubio tied in 3rd.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Video: Life With Michael (On The Other Side Of The Planet)

Regular readers of The Randy Report know that both hubby Michael and I travel a LOT for different business endeavors. Trust and believe, it's sounds more glamorous than it is :)

So, for instance, Michael is gone for three weeks right now as he's in Australia with Olivia Newton-John doing press for fund raising activities for her Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Center.

(p.s. Michael is the top fund-raiser for this year's "Wellness Walk" - rock star!)

The time change is really a pain - he gets up there about 2pm my time in Las Vegas. It's hard to say "good morning" or "good night" or whatever. To be honest, we have to ignore the time and just catch up.

So, I turned on my phone camera to give you a sense of what it is we do to keep up every day.

New Jersey: Radio Producer Joe Votruba Comes Out On The Air

Great feel good story coming out of New Jersey concerning Joe Votruba, the afternoon show producer and writer for New Jersey 101.5, the largest FM talk radio station in America.

Last Friday, Joe came out live on air during the Deminski & Doyle Show, which he produces. The off the cuff announcement barely seemed to throw radio hosts Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle off guard.

The moment happened as the host's were discussing the wisdom of being friends with your ex. During the segment, Joe said, “I can give you a story. This story has to come with an announcement first of all. I’m gay. But we’ll talk about that later.”

From the show’s website:

We spent the hour debating whether or not it’s ever okay to remain friends with an ex. Joe chimed in with a story of his own, but he buried the lead. Little did we know that this was going to be the moment when Joe V decided to announce to the audience that he’s gay. We are so happy for him that he did, though!

The ΓΌber-cool thing is how calm the announcement came and went. His radio hosts, who knew he was gay although Joe had not gone "public" public with the news, completely rocked and rolled with the announcement and kept on chatting with the topic at hand.

Later, Joe expressed his thanks on Facebook to those who offered him support after coming out on the air.

“While a lot of my friends and relatives were already aware of that fact that I’m gay, Friday afternoon was the first time I ever talked about that aspect of my life on the air. Your kind words in response have been so incredible and you are all truly amazing. I just want to say THANK YOU for your outpouring of love, support and acceptance. Stay hungry and stay free!”

I really love how the rhythm of the show and the hosts didn't skip a beat when Joe shared his news. This was smooth, kids.

It really informs us on how far we've come.

Congratulations, Joe!

Anti-Gay Nutjob Theodore Shoebat Calls For An End Of "Homo Tyranny"

Theodore Shoebat spreading the loving word of Jesus

Freely admitting that he believes in Christian world domination while opposing democracy, Shoebat calls for a "global Inquisition" to eradicate homosexuals via the death penalty.

It's no surprise, in light of extreme views like this, that even anti-gay Matt Barber's Barbwire website has begun to scrub the site of Shoebat's contributions.

Shoebat also says back in the dark ages we didn't have "fag" problems.

I have to strenuously disagree. Have you SEEN what they had to wear back then?

Take a listen just to remind yourself how many folks in the world view the LGBT community.

Michelle Obama On Life After The White House: "I Want To Go To Target"

Chatting with Stephen Colbert last night on The Late Show, First Lady Michelle Obama listed some of the things she's looking forward to after leaving the White House like opening her windows or driving herself to Target.

Ah, it's the little things in life, right?

I think she's charming.

NSA Whistle-Blower Edward Snowden Joins Twitter

Since revealing top-secret government documents two years ago, Edward Snowden has been living in self-imposed exile in Russia.

But just hours ago, the whistle-blower joined Twitter using the handle @snowden.

At this time, he only follows one account - @NSAGov

Daily Dance

Our Gisele just few weeks before she leaves for New York to dance with American Ballet Theater. We will miss our super star ballerina. But I hope Gisele won't forget about her ballet home here in Arizona.

Posted by Irena Wozniak on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Azealia Banks Goes On Another Anti-Gay Rant

I Like The Color Grey

(h/t kenneth in the (212)

The Daily Show's New Host, Trevor Noah, Promises To Continue "The War On Bullsh*t"

Trevor Noah, on his first night at the new host of The Daily Show, promises to continue "the war on bullshit."

New rhythms, new style, but good first night.

Matt Baume On Matt Damon's Statement That Actors Should Keep Sexuality Secret

Matt Damon, while promoting his new movie The Martian made mention to The Guardian of how he sees the effect of coming out on the careers of gay actors:
“I think it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly,” he continues. “But in terms of actors, I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period. And sexuality is a huge part of that. Whether you’re straight or gay, people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the mysteries that you should be able to play.”
Matt Baume has his own take on those comments:
Matt Damon told an interviewer this week that actors should keep their sexuality secret whether straight or gay, which is a little hypocritical considering he's an open book when it comes to his heterosexuality.

I don't think he's a homophobe, but imposing a double standard on gay actors is just wrong.

Kim Davis Parody - "I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Fundamentalist"

Brilliant parody of the Gilbert & Sullivan "I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major-General."

Just the beginning of the most excellent lyrics.

I am the very model of a modern fundamentalist
I’m not merely judgmental, I’m the absolute judgmentalest!
I always follow scripture and I act on God’s authority,
Though marital fidelity was never my priority.

I married first one husband, then two others, then another one
Because I think one man is pretty much like any other one.
I’ve never been too troubled by the dubious legalities
Of sex outside of marriage or of other trivialities.

But when it comes to icky stuff like homosexuality,
I’m always very strident with my Puritan morality.
In short in matters biblical and spiritual and Calvinist,
I am the very model of a modern fundamentalist.

(h/t JMG)

October 15 Is Spirit Day!

From Harold Moss, Creative Director at FlickerLab, who created the video here.

I was thrilled when GLAAD approached me to make a short animation to get the word out about Spirit Day 2015, the day when millions of people around the world will wear purple to stand up against bullying of LGBT youth. This is an issue that hits very close to home for me.

I had too many of my own experiences with bullying growing up, although they grew more out of the general odd-ballness that creates animators rather than my sexual identity. For a couple of years, I was the kid with a special seat on the bus so I wouldn't get beat up every day.

Bullying creates real despair and desperation. It can take a lot of years to shake it off. And some kids don't make it that far. Layer on top of that someone trying to figure out their sexuality, and the fact that teachers and family might actually be part of the bullying, and it gets pretty grim. That's why standing up to this kind of bullying is so vital for everyone to do, every day.

But it's also incredibly important that the folks who are getting bullied know they're not alone in this. That sense of isolation and helplessness can, I think, be the worst part of it.

That's why Spirit Day is such a big deal, it makes the support visible. Let's all give a big purple shout out to everybody facing this kind of bullying and say, we got your back. We're with you.

I can only hope this short animation we created will get that word out to a few more people, and help Spirit Day make a bit more of a difference.

Now go take the pledge, y'all!

Spirit Day is October 15th - make sure you wear your purple and take the pledge!

To take the pledge, click here.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hillary Clinton Responds To Jeb Bush's Claims That African-Americans Only Vote For Dems For "Free Stuff"

Hillary Clinton On The Specifics Of Foreign Policy In Middle East

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton does a deep dive into foreign policy with Chuck Todd on the inaugural episode of MTP Daily.

Note the calm grasp of very complex issues here. This is someone who knows what she's talking about.
In an interview on MSNBC's MTP Daily, Clinton said fighting ISIS would be "very difficult" with Assad still in place and she would "prioritize both" because "you can't really do one without the other." She added that "ousting Assad has to be a political process."

"I think that we're going to have to, as they say, walk and chew gum at the same time. And that will be to, you know, do the best we can with our friends in the region to go after ISIS and try to, you know, push them out of Iraq and then try to, you know, deal with them and the territory they control in Syria," Clinton said.

Clinton has advocated for more American involvement in arming the moderate Syrian rebels to fight both Assad and ISIS--in contrast with the Obama administration. Asked if reports that only a handful of rebels trained by the U.S. remain engaged in the fight represents a "failure in policy," Clinton replied, "well, it is."

"I can't sit here and tell you that if we had done what I and General Petraeus and Secretary Panetta and others had recommended, we would have made more progress on the ground. I obviously thought so at the time," Clinton added.

"If we had been able to move in, to help organize and support those people on the ground, maybe we could've made a difference. Well, we've got to deal with where we are right now. It's obviously now a different set of circumstances. And what the Pentagon has been doing hasn't worked."

On the fight against ISIS, Clinton said, "I think part of the challenge that President Obama's been facing is to build up the Iraqi forces again after Maliki decimated them. And to get them in a fighting position and to get the Kurds, particularly the Peshmerga able to be fully equipped then to try to go after ISIS in Iraq and Ramadi and Mosul, pushing them out if possible."

Can you even imagine Donald Trump having this level of discussion about foreign affairs?

"Chuck, we'd be yuuuuuuuge in the middle East. Yuuuuuuge. They're a bunch of losers."

With John Boehner Out As Speaker Of The House, Who's Looking To Fill His Shoes?

First, there's current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy - the likely choice for Speaker of the House:

And then there's Tea Party guy Daniel Webster:

The next few weeks should be fun.


Putin: "We Have No Persecution At All" Of LGBTs In Russia

In advance of his appearance before the United Nations, Russian President Putin gave an interview to CBS' 60 Minutes where he "defended" his county's treatment of LGBTs saying

"The problem of sexual minorities in Russia had been deliberately exaggerated from the outside for political reasons, I believe, without any good basis," he tells Charlie Rose.

"We have no persecution at all. People of non-traditional sexual orientation work, they live in peace, they get promoted, they get state awards for their achievements in science and arts or other areas. I personally have awarded them medals."

"I don't see anything un-democratic in this legal act," Putin tells 60 Minutes. "I believe we should leave kids in peace. We should give them a chance to grow, help them to realize who they are and decide for themselves. Do they consider themselves a man or a woman? A female? A male? Do they want to live in a normal, natural marriage or a non-traditional one? That's the only thing I wanted to talk about. I don't see here any infringement on the rights of gay people."

"We ensure their rights. In Russia, there are equal rights for everyone." SRSLY?

Excuse me while as I disagree with Mr. Putin's version of the treatment of LGBTs in his country. It's been well documented the horrendous treatment gays and lesbians have suffered under his rule.

Watch the interchange below:

Former "Who's The Boss?" Star Danny Pintauro Comes Out As HIV+

Former "Who's The Boss?" star Danny Pintauro shared with the TV audience of "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" that he was diagnosed with HIV in 2003.


"I wanted to tell you this a long time ago, but I wasn't ready — I'm ready now — that I'm HIV positive," Pintauro told Oprah. He was diagnosed 12 years ago but feared admitting the truth because, "It's just a big deal."

Pintauro said he wants to be open about his status to help others. ""I missed the opportunity to be a beacon of light for gay kids who were going through what I was going through because I was outed — it wasn't by choice."

Pentauro also acknowledged that he became a crystal meth user (he no longer uses the drug) during a period of time after the end of a two-year relationship. He said he began experimenting with the drug the same year he was diagnosed with HIV.

"I had just come out of a two-year relationship and I discovered in that relationship that there was more I wanted to explore… sexually. Crystal meth takes away your inhibitions, you have no limits."

Pintauro came out in 1997 when a tabloid reporter called him back then saying the paper was going to out him whether he cooperated or not.

Judith Light, his former "Who's the Boss?" co-star, urged Pintauro to take the lead in breaking the story as a way of controlling the message. "It was the best thing," Pintauro says now. "'They can't misquote you,' she said. 'And as long as you give really responsible and mature answers, it can't be a bad article.'"

In an interview on Monday, Light told Good Day New York, 'I am so proud of him. He's talking about being HIV positive. He is being incredibly proactive. He now has a wonderful husband named Wil.

'He's giving a different face to what is still a disease that has not been handled.'

Stonewall Movie Falls Flat At The Box Office

After suffering wide-spread criticism for "white-washing" the actual events of the Stonewall riots, the film Stonewall took in a paltry $112K for the weekend.

Critics were especially outraged that the film depicted a fictional, white, middle-class "straight-acting" male as the protagonist who threw the first brick at the historic event.

It's been well-documented that trans women of color were at the forefront of the fight that night back in 1969 in New York City.

Director Roland Emmerich said in interviews he thought a "straight-acting" male lead (as opposed to transgender women or drag queens) would be more relatable for a movie going audience.

Instead, of getting a Selma, what the LGBT community got in terms of a historic event was more of a soap opera, toned down soap opera.

One commenter, responding to the trailer, wrote, "This 'Danny' is fictional. The first people to pick up a brick and riot were transwomen of colour and other queers of colour, not some small town corn fed white boy."

Reviews were universally negative.

Vanity Fair critic Richard Lawson called the film "terribly offensive, and offensively terrible."

The New York Times review said "except for its identification of actual police officers, 'Stonewall' doesn’t bother to distinguish among facts, fiction and urban legend."

The Los Angeles Times said that "the proceedings can seem less like a fresh retelling of a seminal story and more like, despite stabs at grit and terror, a theatricalized, dewy-eyed version of days past."


High School Senior Barred From Bringing Male Date To Homecoming Suspended For Unwanted Publicity

Last week, I reported on the news that Lance Sanderson, a student at Christian Brothers High School, was forbidden from bringing a male date to this year's Homecoming Dance.

Today, he was sent home for the rest of the week for bringing unwanted attention to the school's bigotry.

“I am disappointed that I am unable to sit in class today,” Sanderson told NewNowNext. “While many assignments can be reached online, I was going to take two tests today and an in class timed essay. Tomorrow at CBHS, I was going to meet with admissions representatives from around the country (they do not visit often). I hope to be welcomed back into a classroom setting soon.”

It should be noted that Sanderson did not violate any school policy. When told he couldn't attend the dance with the date of his choice, he decided not to attend.

The school has made a serious misstep by suspending a student merely for speaking out for LGBT students who experience similar discrimination.

Sanderson has shared a copy of the letter he sent off to the school (which he has yet to received a response to):

Dear CBHS Administration,

Today I arrived at school around 6:30am. I sat down to complete my assignments for the classes I planned on attending today. At 7:30am, I was speaking to a teacher when an administrator walked into the room and told me to gather my books and come to the office.

When I arrived at the office I was told that the administration “had 890 other students to worry about” and could not deal with me. I was told to go home for the week. I said goodbye to a few teachers and students, then drove home.

I am hurt by this exclusion. It goes against the Lasallian value of brotherhood that the school is supposed to stand for. You won’t let me dance with my date and you won’t let me go to class now either. I had hoped that today would be one for positive conversation going forward. Instead, I was sent home.

I haven’t done anything wrong and haven’t hurt anybody. I want to be welcomed back to the school building today and I want this mean-spirited semi-suspension ended, so that I can do my classwork like anybody else.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote from a Birmingham jail cell: “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Lance Sanderson

Vice-President Joe Biden Denounces Donald Trump's "Sick Message"

Thank goodness for Vice-President Joe Biden calling out Donald Trump's "no facts - insult, insult, insult" approach to campaigning.

Everything Joe says here is spot on.

Biden blasts Trump for his 'sick message.'
Posted by Business Insider on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

President Obama Mocks GOP Candidates For Lagging On LGBT Rights

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Speaking at the National Democratic Committee's LGBT Gala last night in New York City, President Obama mocked some of the current crop of Republican White House candidates who seem to be stuck in the past when it comes to same-sex marriage:

“One of their leading candidates argued that going to prison turns you gay,” he said, referring to neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who has recently surged in the polls. “Well, you think I'm -- I shouldn’t go into this? No, I mean, I'm just stating the facts.”

“Another candidate boasts that he introduced an amendment to end nationwide marriage equality -- which isn’t even an accomplishment at all. A third says Americans should just disobey the Supreme Court’s ruling entirely. I'm sure he loves the Constitution -- except for Article III. And maybe the Equal Protection Amendment. And the 14th Amendment, generally.”

The President made a point of listing several advances in LGBT rights since he took office such as overturning the military’s ban on openly gay soldiers, his executive order banning workplace discrimination against LGBT individuals employed by the federal government and federal contractors, as well as this year’s Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

Obama also chided the GOP world for their chants of "taking their country back." Obama addressed the idea of "taking the country back" to 2008 before he was elected president:

“In their world, everything was terrific back in 2008 when we were in the midst of a spiral into the worst financial crisis and economic crisis since the Great Depression, when unemployment and uninsured rates were rising and when our economy was shedding jobs each month, and we were mired in two wars, hopelessly addicted to foreign oil, and bin Laden was still at large,” Obama said.

“Those were the Golden Years, apparently. And then, I came in and messed it all up.”

Introducing the President for the evening was lead plaintiff in the SCOTUS same-sex marriage case, Jim Obergefell.

Sen. Marco Rubio On Donald Trump: He's "Very Sensitive," "Responds To Criticism Poorly"

Time Lapse Video Of Last Night's "Blood Moon" Lunar Eclipse

The sun, the Earth and the moon lined up in a row to put on a light show in Sunday's night sky, and people around the world looked up to watch the lunar eclipse.

The clouds here in Las Vegas obscured the view, but cool to see a bit of time lapse video here.

Any readers get a really good look at it where you are?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

How Many Predictions Has Donald Trump Gotten Wrong?

Just how much Donald Trump has gotten wrong may still surprise you.

Posted by The Huffington Post on Friday, September 25, 2015

Javier Camarena: The High "C" At The End Is To Die For

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Posted by μ„±μ•…λ™μ˜μƒ on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I'm Not Catholic But I Do Know What The Pope's Actions Meant To This Family

Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop while in Philadelphia Saturday, halting his motorcade to bless Michael Keating,...

Posted by NBC News on Saturday, September 26, 2015

Reality Check: Carly Fiorina Compares Marijuana Use To Drinking Alcohol

Carly Fiorina claimed in the CNN debate that drug addiction killed her daughter and then stated that marijuana is not...

Posted by Ben Swann on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hunky Guy Says Good Night To His Lion

Man plays with his pet lion

Watch: Man plays with his pet lionCourtesy: Dog and Cat via Facebook

Posted by Khaleej Times on Sunday, August 16, 2015

Marvel Comics Introduces New Scruffy, Leather-Harnessed "Hercules"

"Randy, why do you like comic book super-heroes so much?"

"Umm, I'm not really sure. Kinda hard to explain. I just kinda do :)"

Marvel Comics tweeted out this image of the new, improved "Hercules" - now a scruffy, leather-harnessed, daddy kind of guy.

Yeah, I don't know why I like this stuff... :)

Price Gouging CEO Announces Reduction In Drug Price After Hiking Price Over 5,000% Overnight

Current CEO of pharma company Turing (and professional asshole) Martin Shkreli outraged the medical world this week when he raised the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat AIDS and cancer patients fighting life-threatening parasitic infections, by over 5,000%, from $13.50 to $750 a tablet literally overnight.

According to reports the pills cost about $1 to make.

The internet went wild over the news, with many calling Shkreli the “most-hated man in America.”

Now, the 32-year-old ex-hedge-funder has announced he will lower the price of Daraprim. How much remains to be seen.

From The Gaily Grind:

“We’ve agreed to lower the price of Daraprim to a price that is more affordable,” Shkreli said on ABC World News Tonight. He did not say what the new “affordable” price would be.

“Yes, it is absolutely a reaction,” Shkreli told NBC News. “There were mistakes made with respect to helping people understand why we took this action. I think that it makes sense to lower the price in response to the anger that was felt by people.”

He continued: “It’s very easy to see a large drug price increase and say ‘Gosh, those people must be gouging.’ But when you find out that the company is not really making any money, what does that mean?”

“I think in the society we live in today it’s easy to want to villainize people,” he said. “Obviously, we’re in an election cycle where this is very, very tough topic for people and it’s very sensitive. And I understand the outrage.”

“We’ll know in several weeks how profitable the drug is, if it at all,” he said. “It may turn out that’s it not even profitable at all, even at this price.”

Hillary Clinton: I'm Thrilled Marriage Equality Is The Law Of The Land

Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton, speaking to Chuck Todd on NBC News'’ “MEET THE PRESS” addressed her evolution on marriage equality:

“On same-sex marriage, like a lot of people, including our president, I did evolve. And I was not raised to even imagine this.

And I'm thrilled now that it is the law of the land. And I have a lot of good friends who are now able to be married because of the changes we've made legally and constitutionally.”

Poll: Donald Trump And Ben Carson In Virtual Tie For GOP Nomination

A new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll shows Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson pretty much neck and neck in the current race for the GOP White House nomination.

Trump comes in with 21% of those polled with Carson right there at 20% - a virtual dead heat when you take in the margin of error.

Carly Fiorina and Sen. Marco Rubio coming in tied with 11% each on the heels of strong performances at the second GOP debate.

In the race for the Democratic nod, Hillary Clinton (42%) still leads Sen. Bernie Sanders (35%) by 7 points IF you factor in a possible Vice-President Joe Biden (17%) run. Remove Biden from the picture and her support jumps to 53% versus Sanders 38% - a 15 point lead.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Funny: Jimmy Kimmel's "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets"

Jimmy Kimmel brings us another installment of that fan favorite - Mean Tweets.

Watch as Jeff Bridges, Kristen Bell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bette Midler, Liam Neeson, Emily Blunt, Salma Hayek, Andrew Garfield, Jack Black, Halle Berry, Tobey Maguire, Naomi Watts and George Clooney all read actual posts from the Twitterverse.

Some shrug it off; some have a few choice responses :)

Preview: Kern & Hammerstein's SHOWBOAT on PBS

Vanessa Williams as "Julie" in Showboat
Set your DVRs for this not to be missed Broadway musical experience as Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis and a cavalcade of major talent performs the classic Showboat.

From PBS:
Both a cultural and artistic watershed, this groundbreaking musical redefined entertainment and changed the face of American theater. Spanning from 1880 to 1927, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s lyrical masterpiece concerns the lives, loves and heartbreaks of three generations of show folk on the Mississippi, in Chicago and on Broadway. Its impact remains unparalleled, addressing serious subjects like racial prejudice, introducing a bi-racial cast to Broadway, and pointing the way toward a new synthesis between music and spectacle.
The show airs Friday, October 16th. Check local listings for times.

Sam Smith Drops New Bond Theme Song "Writing's On The Wall"

Grammy Award winner and out singer/songwriter Sam Smith shared his upcoming theme song "Writing's On The Wall" for the next Bond film - Spectre - with fans this week.

Smith is the first openly gay male artist to record a Bond song, plus he's the first British male singer to do so in 50 years.

Two years ago Adele won an Oscar for her Bond song "Skyfall" - which I think was a home run,

Spectre, starring Daniel Craig, hits theaters November 6th.

Take a listen below - do you think it lives up to the history of Bond themes like "Goldfinger," "Live and Let Die," or "Skyfall?"

Stephen Colbert's "All-Inclusive Wedding Cake Toppers"

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert went after the still-lingering crazies who think they will turn back the clock on marriage equality last night.

"Folks, gay marriage is still a controversial issue in this country, despite the fact that it's not..."

“I think everyone should love whoever they want.

“So, I was miffed when Kentucky County Clerk and forehead magnate Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But I also felt bad for her when that judge sent her to jail and even worse when she was sentenced to send an afternoon with Mike Huckabee. It’s cruel and unusual,” he joked.

With that in mind, Colbert introduced his own line of "all-inclusive wedding cake toppers."

How Is The U.S. Deficit Doing?

My Favorite Rick Santorum Moment This Year

White House hopeful (oh my sides) Rick Santorum says the Pope should "leave the science to scientists" when it comes to discussing climate change.

Hey Rick - Pope Francis has a Master's Degree in Chemistry, thus, making him a scientist.

What's your basis for discussing the subject, Rick?

Does "Straight Acting" Really Honor The History Of Stonewall?

Matt Baume is furious that "Stonewall" director Roland Emmerich would have the gall to use the term "straight acting" to describe the hero of his new film.

The Stonewall Riots were a lot of things, but "straight acting" was never one of them.

Check out Matt's thoughts below.

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Most Elegant Michelle Obama Before A White House State Dinner

The idea that some have called into question the class and decency of our First Lady is appalling.

She's the epitome of elegance and class. We as a nation are fortunate to have such a beautiful example.

Daily Dance: "Let It Go"

Choreographed by Talia Favia of "So You Think You Can Dance" fame, this contemporary dance set to James Bay's "Let It Go" features spectacular performances from dancers Chaz Buzan and Courtney Schwartz.

Favia told the Huffington Post she drew on personal history to find her direction with the piece.

"I wanted to show people all the emotions you feel when you're about to end something that was once very special: sadness, anger, confusion, doubt and finally, relief," she said.

News Round-Up: September 25, 2015

Out bobsledder Simon Dunn

Some news stories you may have missed:

• Out bobsledder hunk Simon Dunn pens an essay about the time the 6'1' 216 pound athlete was gay-bashed to the point of being hospitalized. Bu you know the saying - the best revenge is good living :)

• In the wake of Gov. Scott Walker dropping out of the GOP race for prez, guess who picked up the lion's share of his support (not that there was a whole lot to begin with)?

• A young gay man, blamed by his mother for "spreading gayness" to his younger brother, steps up to adopt his bro rather than see him live in a home of hate.

• Conservative pundit Steve Deace calls Sen. Lindsey Graham "transgendered."

• Did you hear the one where Donald Trump criticized Sen. Marco Rubio and got booed for it? It was a new experience for The Donald.

Robot Stands In Line For iPhone 6s

At 10:30am today, my new iPhone 6s arrived at my door. Whoo-hoo!

I haven't upgraded my phone in years, and with the latest revision led me to indulge.

But I hate standing in lines, and I'd never stand in one of those "hours long Apple Store" kind of lines. A week ago, I pre-ordered my phone at an AT&T store, and here it is! Life is good.

Some folks still feel the need to do the line thing. But ,one woman found a way to "virtually" stand in line - with a robot taking her place.

From Mashable:

In the smartest time management yet seen in an iPhone line, Lucy Kelly has outsourced the job to a telepresence robot, also called Lucy. The robot, created by Californian company Double Robotics, is an iPad attached to a Segway-type device that allows a person to be somewhat physically present despite not being there.

The robot arrived to take the position of fourth-in-line at the flagship Apple Store on George Street at 5 a.m. Thursday, with Kelly communicating through it from 6 a.m. It is believed to be the first time a robot has lined up and purchased an iPhone.

Kelly is meanwhile chilling in the warmth of her office, while her robot counterpart stands in the wind and rain.

Kelly says there is no jealousy from those diehard fans who have been freezing through the nights. "Everyone thinks it is pretty cool, they were happy to let a robot go ahead," she said.