Sunday, July 31, 2016

Paul Ryan Weighs In On Donald Trump Insults To Family Of Fallen U.S. Soldier

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R) issued this statement regarding the current insults by Donald Trump on the family of fallen U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan

"America's greatness is built on the principles of liberty and preserved by the men and woman who wear the uniform to defend it. As I have siad on numerous occasions, a religious test for entering our country is not reflective of these fundamental values. I reject it. Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice. Captain Khan was one such brave example. His sacrifice - and that of Khizr and Ghazala Khan - should be honored. Period."

Mother Of Fallen Muslim-American Soldier Has Plenty To Say To Trump


On the final night of the Democratic National Convention, Khizr and Ghazala Khan appeared in honor of their son, Captain Humayun Khan, a Muslim-American soldier in the U.S. Army who died in the line of duty in 2004 saving the lives of his men.

The 27-year-old was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

In responding to the Khans, GOP White House hopeful Donald Trump said, "If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me. But a plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet, and it looked like she had nothing to say."

It turns out Ghazala Khan has plenty to say.

The mother of Captain Khan penned an essay for the Washington Post in an effort to share her thoughts.

Here's an excerpt:

Donald Trump has asked why I did not speak at the Democratic convention. He said he would like to hear from me. Here is my answer to Donald Trump: Because without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain. I am a Gold Star mother. Whoever saw me felt me in their heart.

Donald Trump said I had nothing to say. I do. My son Humayun Khan, an Army captain, died 12 years ago in Iraq. He loved America, where we moved when he was 2 years old. He had volunteered to help his country, signing up for the ROTC at the University of Virginia. This was before the attack of Sept. 11, 2001. He didn’t have to do this, but he wanted to.

[snip]

Humayun is my middle son, and the others are doing so well, but every day I feel the pain of his loss. It has been 12 years, but you know hearts of pain can never heal as long as we live. Just talking about it is hard for me all the time. Every day, whenever I pray, I have to pray for him, and I cry. The place that emptied will always be empty.

I cannot walk into a room with pictures of Humayun. For all these years, I haven’t been able to clean the closet where his things are — I had to ask my daughter-in-law to do it. Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?

Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t allowed to say anything. That is not true. My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not. My religion teaches me that all human beings are equal in God’s eyes. Husband and wife are part of each other; you should love and respect each other so you can take care of the family.

When Donald Trump is talking about Islam, he is ignorant. If he studied the real Islam and Koran, all the ideas he gets from terrorists would change, because terrorism is a different religion.

Donald Trump said he has made a lot of sacrifices. He doesn’t know what the word sacrifice means.

Ezra Klein: "This Election Is About Normal Vs. Abnormal"


Smart guy Ezra Klein says, "This election is about normal vs. abnormal."

"This isn't a normal election that just pits left vs. right. It's pitting a normal political party against an abnormal political party that has nominated a dangerously abnormal political candidate."

Disney Star Gregg Sulkin Covers Gay Times Magazine

Political Cartoon Of The Day

My Electoral Map Prediction - July 31, 2016


If you're a political junkie like me, and you'd like to see how your thoughts on the current presidential election plays out in the Electoral College, head over to 270ToWin.com.

You can see the current state of the race including toss up states, you can see what the results were in past elections and you can click to create how you think the race will end up.

The map below represents what I think the result would be if the election were held today. I gave Ohio and Iowa to the Trumpster due to the current state of multiple polls in those states.

I do think it's possible Hillary could win Ohio and Iowa on Election Day. If you flip those, you get 332 Hillary/208 Trump.

It's important to point out that, in great part, the election will hinge on the ten swing states of Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.

I encourage folks to share your results in the comments below.


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

Parents Of Fallen Muslim-American Soldier Respond To Donald Trump's Insults


In the aftermath of the devastating appearance and speech by the parents of a fallen Muslim-American soldier at the Democratic National Convention, Donald Trump went on the attack saying the parents were being "used" by the DNC, that perhaps the father, Khizr Khan, didn't actually write his speech (that's rich considering the Melania Trump plagiarism debacle) and that Ghazala Khan wasn't allowed to speak because Muslim families don't allow women to speak, or some such nonsense.

Ghazala Khan had this to say about her appearance at the DNC and why she didn't choose to speak:

Humayun is my middle son, and the others are doing so well, but every day I feel the pain of his loss. It has been 12 years, but you know hearts of pain can never heal as long as we live. Just talking about it is hard for me all the time. Every day, whenever I pray, I have to pray for him, and I cry. The place that emptied will always be empty.

I cannot walk into a room with pictures of Humayun. For all these years, I haven’t been able to clean the closet where his things are — I had to ask my daughter-in-law to do it. Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?

Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t allowed to say anything. That is not true. My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not. My religion teaches me that all human beings are equal in God’s eyes. Husband and wife are part of each other; you should love and respect each other so you can take care of the family.

The Khans spoke to Lawrence O'Donnell about the speech, Trump's reactions and what they think this all means to the country.


What's Happening Here? - Bodybuilder In Faux Blue Jeans



My buddy Matt Rettenmund at Boy Culture shared this today and I found it, umm, interesting.

The sound effects kind of make the whole thing come together.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hilarious #TrumpSacrifices Hashtag Trends On Twitter









Tyler Posey "Comes Out" Then Apologizes For Fake Out


Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey made waves on the world wide web this weekend when he posted a video on Snapchat that seemed to be his coming out to the world.

“This is me,” Posey says in the video. “I am this and this is me. I’ve never felt more alive. I’m gay!”



But, folks were a little disappointed and hurt when his next video showed him pointing to a lamp saying he was a lamp, too.

I'm sure a lot of the young gays out there who look up to Posey were excited there for a moment.

Posey clearly knew he'd crossed a line, so he tweeted the following message in a series of tweets:

“I am a big proponent of love over hate, and standing together during divisive times. Although I’m not gay, I fully support the LGBTQ community. This was a moment intended to reflect that. And everyone, I am truly sorry to the people I’ve offended or lessened how big coming out is. I just want to spread love in this world.”





News Round-Up: July 30, 2016


Some news stories you may have missed:

• Anti-LGBT American Family Association is super-pissed that Hilton Hotels ran the above ad of two hot guys.

• The Navy will name a new ship after the late LGBT activist Harvey Milk.

• GOP VP candidate Mike Pence says there's no place for name calling in politics. Has he MET his running mate?

• Cleveland Pride cancels this year's Pride celebration, and the reasons are kinda vague.

• Is voting for a third party "throwing away" your vote?

• Donald Trump says the NFL wrote him complaining about the presidential debate schedule. The NFL says he's lying.

• Remember folks - save a horse, ride a cowboy.

Daily Dance: Swing Your Partner

Houston Chronicle Endorses Democrat Hillary Clinton For President


In an unusual move, the Houston Chronicle has endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president just as the general election cycle is beginning.

Why would a city newspaper in deep red Texas that endorsed Mitt Romney in the last presidential race choose so early? For the editorial board of the Chronicle, it all comes down to Donald Trump's woeful lack of temperament.

Here's just part of the editorial:

The Chronicle editorial page does not typically endorse early in an election cycle; we prefer waiting for the campaign to play out and for issues to emerge and be addressed. We make an exception in the 2016 presidential race, because the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is not merely political. It is something much more basic than party preference.

An election between the Democrat Clinton and, let's say, the Republican Jeb Bush or John Kasich or Marco Rubio, even the hyper-ideological Ted Cruz, would spark a much-needed debate about the role of government and the nation's future, about each candidate's experience and abilities. But those Republican hopefuls have been vanquished. To choose the candidate who defeated them - fairly and decisively, we should point out - is to repudiate the most basic notions of competence and capability.

Any one of Trump's less-than-sterling qualities - his erratic temperament, his dodgy business practices, his racism, his Putin-like strongman inclinations and faux-populist demagoguery, his contempt for the rule of law, his ignorance - is enough to be disqualifying. His convention-speech comment, "I alone can fix it," should make every American shudder. He is, we believe, a danger to the Republic.

[snip]

We could go on with issues, including her plans for sensible gun safety and for combatting terrorism - her policy positions are laid out in detail on her campaign web site - but issues in this election are almost secondary to questions of character and trustworthiness. We reject the "cartoon version" of Hillary Clinton (again to borrow her husband's phrase) in favor of a presidential candidate who has the temperament, the ability and the experience to lead this nation.

These are unsettling times, even if they're not the dark, dystopian end times that Trump lays out. They require a steady hand. That's not Donald Trump.

The times also require a person who envisions a hopeful future for this nation, a person who has faith in the strong, prosperous and confident America we hope to bequeath our children and grandchildren, as first lady Michelle Obama so eloquently envisioned in Philadelphia. That's not Donald Trump's America.

It is Hillary Clinton's, who reminded her listeners Thursday night that "When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit."

Poll: Hillary Leads Trump Nationwide By 6


The latest weekly poll from Reuters shows 41 percent of voters support Hillary Clinton, 35 percent favor Donald Trump, and 25 percent of voters chose “other.”

When you add Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein to the mix, Trump and Clinton are tied at 37 percent, with Johnson at 5 percent and Stein at 1 percent.

What I find interesting there is it's the Libertarian candidate - not the Green Party candidate - pulling the majority of votes from Clinton. Most unhappy Bernie Sanders supporters mention voting for Jill Stein, it seems, when asked who they would support instead of Hillary.

Clinton increased her lead over Trump from last week’s Reuters poll, when she was up by 3 points with 41 percent.

The Clinton/Trump poll was conducted among 1,043 likely voters between July 25 and July 29 and has a credibility interval of 4 percentage points.

The Clinton/Trump/Johnson/Stein survey queried 1,426 likely voters and has a credibility interview of 3 points.

Clinton Takes 15 Point Lead In National Poll


Just one day after the close of the 2016 Democratic National Convention,  RABA Research, a bipartisan polling firm, releases the results of a new poll conducted on July 29th:

Among likely voters, Clinton garners 46% support to Trump’s 31%. Libertarian Gary Johnson now captures 7% of the vote, while Jill Stein sits at 2%.

A RABA Research poll conducted the day after the Republican convention showed a tighter race, with Clinton at 39% and Trump at 34%. Johnson was at 8% in that survey, while Stein found 3% support.

“After closing the gap to single digits last week, Trump’s post-convention bounce has disappeared,” said RABA Research’s John Del Cecato, a Democratic partner with the firm. “While Trump continues to struggle to consolidate support within his own party, Clinton has a sizable lead among independents, and is even peeling off a small slice of Republican voters.”

The online poll was paid for by RABA Research and not by any candidate, committee or outside group. The survey measured 956 voters and was conducted Friday, July 29, 2016.

The Party's Over

World's Sexiest Veterinarian

Saturday Morning Juice


Kenneth-in-the-212 recently posted Juice Newton's 80s hit, "Angel of the Morning," on his popular blog this week, and it reminded me what a hit-maker she really was in the early 80s.

Juice had a terrific voice that was surprisingly powerful, and demonstrated a strong ability to deliver songs with country-pop crossover appeal. You can find much of her catalogue on iTunes.

From Wikipedia:

To date, Newton has received five Grammy Award nominations in the Pop and Country Best Female Vocalist categories (winning once in 1983), as well as an ACM Award for Top New Female Artist and two Billboard Female Album Artist of the Year awards (won consecutively).

During the 1980s, she charted 14 Top-10 hits across the Billboard Country, AC, and Billboard Hot 100 charts, with many of the recordings achieving crossover success and six of the songs hitting the No. 1 position.

Even though it seems like she hit the top of the charts for just the early 80s, I remember her songs being a constant presence on the radio.

Here's just three of Juice's big hits:





Trump To Father Of Fallen Muslim-American Soldier: "I've Made A Lot Of Sacrifices"


Responding for the first time to the father of a fallen Muslim-American soldier, Donald Trump told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that he has "sacrificed" by creating "thousands and thousands of jobs" and having "tremendous success."

On the last night of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, Gold Star father Khizr Khan, his wife Ghazala by his side, recounted to the crowd how his son was killed in 2004 by a car bomb in Iraq.

Khan also chastised Trump for seeking to ban Muslims from entering the country, saying that his son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, would not have been able to serve under a Trump presidency.

“Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America,” Khan said, addressing Trump. “You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Trump appeared to try to brush the speech aside, saying that Khan “was, you know, very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me.”

Pressed by Stephanopoulos to name the sacrifices he’d made for his country, Trump said: “I think I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I've created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I've had tremendous success. I think I've done a lot.”

Just so I'm clear: Donald Trump sees his "tremendous success" as equitable to the service of fallen American soldiers?

Highlights From Final Night Of DNC 2106 In Four Minutes


The L.A. Times serves up a four minute highlight reel of the final day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention.



(h/t JMG)

Donald Trump Complains Presidential Debate Schedule, Set A Year Ago, Is Rigged For Hillary


GOP White House hopeful Donald Trump is already setting up the foundation for bailing on the three presidential debates, claiming the schedule is rigged in Hillary Clinton's favor.

“As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!” Trump tweeted Friday night.

Of course, then there's the fact the dates were set a year ago.

From The Hill:

Trump frequently took exception to the handling of the GOP primary debates, going so far as to skip the final event before the Iowa caucus amid a feud with Fox News.

This year’s general election is set to include three presidential and one vice presidential debates, all announced on Sept. 23 of last year by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

Two of the presidential debates do indeed coincide with NFL games: The first, on Monday, Sept. 26, falls the same evening as a matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. And the second, set for Sunday, Oct. 9, will air opposite a game between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers.

"Liberal Redneck" On DNC's Email Problem


Trae Crowder, everyone's favorite "Liberal Redneck," isn't interested in talking about the Democratic National Convention.

Instead he's diving into the deep end of the Democrats email scandal and hacking, which he admits isn't good, but is really just the Deflategate of political scandals.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Democratic Convention Trounces Republican Convention In TV Ratings By 8 Million Viewers


Folks were looking today to see if Hillary Clinton would win or lose to Donald Trump in the TV ratings race - something we know is near and dear to the Donald's heart.

So here's how the numbers break down:

The closing night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention drew numbers which closely tracked the final night of the Republican National Convention.

According to Variety, the Democrats scored 31.72 million viewers vs. the Repubs with 31.95 million viewers - a difference of about 230,000. This accounts for tracking across 6 networks - ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

From Variety:

Even if you add in ratings from PBS to both the final nights of the DNC and RNC, the DNC still comes up slightly short (31.72 million vs. 31.95 million). The big difference-maker is, unsurprisingly, the audience for Fox News. For the Trump anointing, 9.35 million people tuned in. Less than a third of that number turned on Fox News for Clinton’s crowning.

CNN once again won the DNC coverage ratings race, with 7.5 million total viewers and 2.81 million in the cable-news-coveted 25-54 demographic. MSNBC weighed in with 5.72 million total and 1.53 million in the demo. Fox News had 3.03 million total and 785,000 in the demo.

As Variety notes, the bulk of the differential comes from the drop in viewership at Fox News last night, from 9 million the week before to last night's 3 million.

Comparing the four nights of convention coverage, the Democrats came out the clear winner with 106.19 million total viewers over their full convention compared to the Republicans 98.12 million total viewers - a difference of 8.07 million more in the Democrats column.  

All data from Variety via multiple posts:
24.7 + 24.03 + 25.74 + 31.74 = 106.19 million for Democrats
19.75 + 23.40 + 23.02 + 31.95 = 98.12 million for Republicans

However, I think to get to a clearer picture of which convention attracted a larger audience, you need to look at some additional metrics.

Neither C-SPAN nor Spanish language network Univision are factored into these numbers. As political junkies know, Hillary has held a huge lead over Trump when it comes to Hispanic voters. So, with a difference of only 230K, it's easy to imagine that difference being overcome by even just one or two million Latino viewers.

Plus, Nielsen doesn't track any online content where we know the younger voters are. When Variety looked at streaming content, the numbers lean decidedly the Dems way.

For the Democratic confab, ABC News notched more than 16.6 million video views across 44 Facebook Live streams, while for the Republican National Convention it tallied more than 11.6 million views for 52 individual Facebook Live streams.

YouTube, which was the official live-streaming partner for the RNC and DNC, said the conventions were viewed live on on the platform about 9.1 million times, with viewers tuning in for 25 minutes on average. The peak concurrent live audience across both conventions was 250,000 viewers during Hillary Clinton’s speech Thursday evening, followed by Donald Trump’s July 21 speech at the RNC with 217,000.

Finally, you'll recall that Donald Trump had sent out a request to his supporters to boycott the last night of the Democratic Convention so that his numbers might be higher than Hillary's.

That doesn't represent hard numbers, but it does explain some shift in audience to a small degree.

But don't tell The Donald. He's a little thin-skinned about these things, you know.

Video: Hillary Clinton's Full Acceptance Speech

2016 Democratic ticket - Tim Kaine & Hillary Clinton

In case you missed it, I would be remiss if I didn't post Hillary Clinton's history-making acceptance speech from the final night of the 2016 Democratic Convention.

One of the best passages:
For decades, people have said this issue was too hard to solve and the politics were too hot to touch. But I ask you: how can we just stand by and do nothing? You heard, you saw, family members of people killed by gun violence. You heard, you saw, family members of police officers killed in the line of duty because they were outgunned by criminals. I refuse to believe we can't find common ground here.

We have to heal the divides in our country. Not just on guns. But on race. Immigration. And more. That starts with listening to each other. Hearing each other. Trying, as best we can, to walk in each other's shoes.

So let's put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable.

Let's put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous and necessary job. We will reform our criminal justice system from end-to-end, and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

We will defend all our rights – civil rights, human rights and voting rights… women's rights and workers' rights… LGBT rights and the rights of people with disabilities!

[snip]

Yes, the world is watching what we do. Yes, America's destiny is ours to choose. So let's be stronger together, my fellow Americans. Let’s look to the future with courage and confidence. Let’s build a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country. And when we do, America will be greater than ever.

It was a thrilling moment in U.S. history to finally see that "hightest and hardest ceiling" shattered and to see Hillary standing on that stage as the first woman candidate of a major political party.

You can also find the full text of the speech here.


Radio Show: "The Left Of Str8 Show"


As we come to the end of two intense weeks of political wrangling, I thought I'd switch up the tone for a second on The Randy Report and share this radio interview I did with Scott Fullerton on The Left of Str8 Show.

I've listened to Scott's show for several months, and he's always got great guests week in, week out (and no, I'm not referring to me).

I love that there's always a mix of LGBT musicians, authors, activists and more. Definitely my kind of show.

I was uber-impressed with the amount of research Scott did in preparation for my interview. I thought we were going to chat on the current political news cycle and instead I found myself recounting some of my infamous adventures from Broadway. If you hit play below, you'll hear about my journey as an actor from Texas to the Great White Way

My segment starts at the 10 minute mark. But I encourage you to check out his other episodes archived on BlogTalkRadio. You can also subscribe to his show via podcast on iTunes here.

Political Cartoon Of The Day


From the brilliant Joe Heller.

For Hillary's view, read from the bottom line up.

Click the pic to enlarge.

Poll: Hillary Clinton Acceptance Speech Scores Higher Than Trump's


So, now that both presidential candidates have accepted their nominations and addressed the country, whose message scored better with voters?

Well, according to polls by CNN immediately after each speech, it looks like the reaction to Democrat Hillary Clinton got a more positive reaction.

A CNN/ORC poll last night showed 71% of those who watched Clinton's speech felt "very positive" about her address.

CNN's poll after Republican Donald Trump's speech last week was 14 points lower - 57% "very positive."

On the other end of the spectrum, the negatives showed further downside for Trump. While only 12% viewed Clinton's speech in a "negative" light, Trump's negative score was double that - 24%.

Additionally, Clinton scored higher than Trump - 82% over 73% - when it came to which candidate's policies would move the country in the right direction.


Father Of Fallen Muslim-American Soldier To Trump: "You Have Sacrificed Nothing. And No One"


Easily one of the most impactful moments of the fourth and final night of the Democratic National Convention occurred when Khizr Khan, father of fallen U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, took to the stage to admonish Donald Trump for his anti-Muslim views.

Captain Khan was killed in 2004 in the Iraq war when he stepped in front of a car rigged with explosives, saving the men under his command. Khan was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his bravery.

From Variety:

The story reverberated with emotion because Humayun was a devout Muslim, who volunteered to fight in the Middle East because he wanted to defend American democracy. Khizr Khan waved a pocket copy of the Constitution of the United States from the podium, asking if GOP nominee Donald Trump had even read America’s seminal political document. The elder Khan told the crowd that, if Trump had been able to follow through on his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country, people like his son would never have been able to serve America.

The grieving father’s summation was searing: “Mr. Trump, you have sacrificed nothing. And no one.”

As we all know, Donald Trump has called for a complete stop to allowing Muslim immigrants to enter the United States. His policy would have kept this American hero from ever becoming a soldier the Army is so very proud of.

Interestingly, Fox News chose to cut away from convention coverage at the exact moment Khan was making his speech. CNN and MSNBC carried the full address.

Khizr Khan's full speech below:


New Music: Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha "In The Name Of Love"


Add this to your weekend party mix.

Electronic dance music’s youngest and fastest rising dj/musician/songwriter/producer Martin Garrix releases a brand new single “In The Name of Love” featuring singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha.

The 20 year old switches thing up combining piano, bass, and guitar strums in place of drums for much of the track to provide percussion, but don't worry - when that massive drop kicks in, Garrix delivers that EDM euphoria.

This new single comes on the heels of Garrix’s announcement earlier this week that he has signed with RCA in the US and Sony Music international worldwide.


Video: "Bullies"



From Slate:

The DNC knocked it out of the park with this montage video comparing Donald Trump with some of cinema’s all-time most awful bullies.

From Biff Tannen, to Buzz McCallister, to Nurse Ratched, to the end where Clinton addresses a young girl’s question about bullies, the whole thing is just killer stuff (Biff’s character in Back to the Future Part II was actually based on Trump).

Donald Trump: "I Wanted To Hit A Couple Of Those Speakers So Hard"


Playing the victim card this morning, GOP presidential contender Donald Trump told supporters he "wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard their heads would spin."

The Donald went on to whine several times that "they were saying such terrible things about me."

Mind you, this is the man who calls Hillary Clinton "Crooked Hillary" and has made up demeaning nicknames for all his opponents.

I think Hillary Clinton was right last night when she said, "Donald Trump can't even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign. He loses his cool at the slightest provocation... Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons."

Thursday, July 28, 2016

HRC President Chad Griffin Addresses DNC 2016

Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, addressed the 2016 Democratic National Convention today.

I love that Chad notes how difficult it was for Donald "Ask The Gays" Trump to even say LGBTQ, when Hillary has been telling the world for years that "gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights."

Chad also notes the vast diversity of our community - as diverse as all America.

Here's the full text of his remarks:

Last month, our nation was rocked to its core by a senseless and hateful attack that claimed the lives of 49 LGBTQ people and allies at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. They were brothers and sisters, they were sons and daughters. Above all, they were human beings.

Yet while the nation mourned, Donald Trump strutted before the cameras, and exploited our national tragedy. He had the audacity to tell the American public that he was the true champion for LGBTQ people in this race, and that our community would be better off with him in the White House. He even challenged his skeptics to, and I quote – “ask the gays.”

Well, since he asked…Here goes:

While Donald Trump has threatened to strip away our rights, the Hillary Clinton I first got to know as a closeted kid growing up in Arkansas has always been willing to stand up for the voiceless, and she’s made fighting for equality a cornerstone of her campaign.

While Donald Trump has promised to legalize Kim Davis-style discrimination in all 50 states… Hillary Clinton has promised to sign the Equality Act into law.

While Donald Trump chose as his running mate a governor who tried to divert HIV funding in order to finance the abusive practice of so-called “conversion therapy”… Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is committed to stopping the spread of HIV, banning conversion therapy for minors, and ending the hate and violence our community still faces.

And long before Donald Trump struggled to read "LGBTQ" off a teleprompter last week, Hillary Clinton stood before the United Nations and boldly declared that gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.

I want to remind Donald Trump of one more thing. The LGBTQ community is as diverse as the fabric of our nation. We are Muslim. We are Jewish. We are women. We are black, white and Latino. We are immigrants and we are people with disabilities. And when you attack one of us, you are attacking all of us.

And that, my friends, is why together we are all with her.

Sarah McBride Becomes 1st Trans Person To Address A Major Political Convention


Sarah McBride, currently the Human Rights Campaign's National Press Secretary, became the first transgender woman to address a major political convention today.

Here's the full text of McBride’s speech via the HRC:

My name is Sarah McBride, and I am a proud transgender American. Four years ago, I came out as transgender while serving as student body president in college. At the time, I was scared. I worried that my dreams and my identity were mutually exclusive.

Since then though, I have seen that change is possible. I witnessed history while interning in the White House and helping my home state of Delaware pass protections for transgender people. Today, I see this change in the work of the LGBT Caucus and in my own job at the Human Rights Campaign.

But despite our progress, so much work remains. Will we be a nation where there’s only one way to love, one way to look, one way to live? Or will we be a nation where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally? A nation that’s stronger together? That is the question in this election.

For me, this struggle for equality became all the more urgent when I learned that my future husband, Andrew, was battling cancer. I met Andy, who was a transgender man, fighting for equality and we fell in love. And yet even in the face of his terminal illness … this 28 year old … he never wavered in his commitment to our cause and his belief that this country can change. We married in 2014 and just four days after our wedding, he passed away.

Knowing Andy left me profoundly changed. More than anything, his passing taught me that every day matters when it comes to building a world where every person can live their life to the fullest.

Hillary Clinton understands the urgency of our fight. She will work with us to pass the Equality Act, to combat violence against transgender women of color, and to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic once and for all.

Today in America, LGBTQ people are targeted by hate that lives in both laws and hearts. Many still struggle just to get by. But I believe tomorrow can be different. Tomorrow, we can be respected and protected. Especially if Hillary Clinton is our president. And that’s why I’m proud to say that I’m with her.

President Obama Brings Down The House On Night 3 Of Democratic National Convention 2016


Enjoying extremely high approval ratings in his party, and with his national approval over 50%, President Obama made his fourth Democratic National Convention speech last night to take a bit of a victory lap for his successful 8 years in the White House and to make the case that America needs Hillary Clinton to continue the progress.

It was a speech filled with many highlights - here are just a few.

About Hillary Clinton:

• "While this nation has been tested by war, and it's been tested by recession and all manner of challenges, I stand before you again tonight after almost two terms as your president to tell you I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before."

• "I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America."

• "If you're serious about our democracy, you can't afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You've got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn't a spectator sport. America isn't about 'yes he will.' It's about 'yes we can.'"

There wasn't a lot about Republican opponent Donald Trump, but here's a bit of Obama on the Trumpster:

• "Does anyone really believe that a guy who's spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice? If so, you should vote for him."

• "He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who've achieved success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated."

It was a truly great speech. Well worth the watching. Check out the full speech below.

First Look At Tyler Hoechlin As TV's Newest "Superman"


We get our first look of former Teen Wolf star Tyler Hoechlin in costume as "Superman" ahead of the his debut in Season 2 of Supergirl.

From Variety:

Hoechlin will appear as Clark Kent/Kal-El in the “Supergirl” Season 2 premiere, where the Man of Steel will visit his cousin Kara (Melissa Benoist) in National City.

This version of the iconic costume was designed by “Supergirl” costume designer Kiersten Ronning, and shares similarities with the big screen iteration of the Superman costume worn by Henry Cavill in the films “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” once again eschewing the iconic hero’s red shorts for a more streamlined design.

Variety goes on to say that, according to producers who spoke at Comic-Con, Supergirl will be having some differences of opinion with her famous cousin. So it's not going to be all roses and reunions with Superman on the scene.

New Poll: Clinton Leads Trump In Pennsylvania By 9 Points


A new poll from Suffolk University shows Democrat Hillary Clinton leading GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump by 9 points.

From The Hill:

In a head-to-head matchup, Clinton has 50 percent support and Trump has 41 percent support among likely general-election voters in the battleground state. Another 8 percent are undecided.

In a four-way matchup, including Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Clinton still holds a 9-point lead over Trump, 46 to 37 percent. Johnson takes 5 percent and Stein takes 3 percent. Another 9 percent are undecided.

In the four-way matchup, Clinton led by 19 points among women, 50 to 31 percent, and Trump leads by 3 points among men, 44 to 41 percent.

Clinton is viewed favorably by 44 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 48 percent. Trump is viewed favorably by only 33 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 57 percent.

The Donald has continually claimed that he will win the traditionally Democratic leaning Pennsylvania. The state hasn't gone for a Republican president since 1988.

Gentlemen - Kilts Or No Kilts?



I've always thought men wearing kilts was sexy.

I completely get how comfortable and useful this would be. Although, I have to insist on the calf-high socks/boots.

And, then there's the fact the owner/designer is hot :)

Idina Menzel To Star In "Beaches" TV Reboot


Idina Menzel fans will be thrilled to hear the news that the Tony Award winner is set to star in a 2017 remake of the Bette Midler classic film, Beaches.

Menzel will offer her take on the role of "CC" created by Midler back in 1988. The original film was directed by recently deceased Garry Marshall, and costarred Barbara Hershey.

The role includes singing iconic pop anthems (something Menzel does quite well) "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "The Glory of Love." Menzel will also record additional songs for the TV movie.

More from Deadline:

Beaches follows the serendipitous meeting of two youngsters, CC and Hillary, on the Venice Boardwalk, who, though worlds apart in lifestyle, embark on unexpected and lifelong friendship. Menzel’s CC is an aspiring singer trying to make it in Los Angeles until she is discovered by a director who gives CC her first big shot. Hillary, played by Barbara Hershey in the original and yet to be cast in the remake, is the daughter of a prominent civil rights lawyer who struggles to find her own destiny. Their friendship—even with its ups and downs—sustains them for decades.

The movie was a box office success, grossing $57 million domestically, with “Wing Beneath My Wings” winning Record and Song of the Year Grammy Awards (and becoming a pop culture anthem.)

Here's a clip from the film:


Democratic National Convention Winning Ratings Race Against Repubicans


UPDATE: The numbers for Night 3 continue the trend of more viewers for the Democrats than Republicans.

According to Variety, early numbers indicate 24.03 million people tuned in to hear vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and President Barack Obama address the convention. The equivalent night of the 2016 RNC drew 23.4 million pairs of eyeballs last week.

According to sources, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump - not wanting to see his numbers beat - sent an e-mail to his supporters urging them not to watch Hillary Clinton deliver her nomination acceptance speech on the final night of the Democratic convention.

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

During the 10PM hour of the second night of the Democratic National Convention - across networks NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Fox Business Network - drew an average audience of 24.7 million.

Compare that to Night 2 of the 2016 Republican National Comvention last Tuesday which drew 5 million fewer viewers - 19.75 million.

The news was similar for opening nights of each convention with Democrats getting 26 million viewers, besting the Republicans first night last week by 3 million.

(source)

Hell Freezes Over: Andrew Sullivan "I'm With Her"

Andrew Sullivan
Yes, that was a pig that just flew by.

And if you check the temperature in Hell, I'm sure it's somewhere southward of 32 degrees.

Andrew Sullivan, longtime critic of Hillary Clinton, shared this with his readers this week:

Some readers think I’ve been too negative, even cynical, tonight. Believe me, I am utterly uncynical about this election. I’m worried sick. We need to put behind us any lingering beefs, any grudges, any memories from the past – and you know how I feel about the Clintons’ past – in order to save liberal democracy. The only thing between him and us is her. So – against all my previous emphatic denials – I’m with her now. As passionately as I ever was with Obama. For his legacy is at stake as well.

Here’s how I’d put it. I’m in the final stages of becoming a citizen of this country. I love this country with all my heart. And I want to help save it from the darkest, foulest demagogue I’ve ever come across in a Western democracy.

The Clintons are flawed people. But they are our last hope. That’s all I need to know.

In case you're not sure why this would register as a "big deal," Ben Cohen at The Daily Banter breaks down some of the backstory here.

The once conservative Sullivan spent literally decades obsessively going after the Clintons and bought into virtually every conspiracy about them on the market. As previous Banter writer Mark Ames argued, Sullivan's right wing screeching in the 90's was largely responsible for wrecking President Clinton's universal health care legislation.

On Real Time with Bill Maher last year Sullivan was distraught with the prospect of Clinton going head to head with Donald Trump:

“Who’s up against this guy?" he asked rhetorically. "This unbelievably useless, terrible candidate of Hillary Clinton who has shown no… has she ever given a speech that you were inspired by? Does she have any retail skills? Is she able to come across on TV?”

“She’s a talent-free hack.”

I think what's important here is when you couple this with the speech last night of former Republican/Now-Independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the Democratic National Convention, we're seeing important political folks from across a broad spectrum coming out to support Hillary.

It's worth noting that there are five living U.S. presidents - three Democrats, two Republicans - and NONE of them are supporting Donald Trump.

Think on that.

(h/t  LGBT activist Aaron Baldwin)

Stephen Colbert Has A Question For Donald Trump


Last night,an audience member asked this question during a Late Show Q&A that wasn’t broadcast.

Audience: "If you had Donald Trump on your show tonight, what would you ask him?”

Said Colbert: “Well we’re not broadcasting right now, so I’d say ‘What does Vladimir Putin’s di*k taste like?’”

I should underline that this was not broadcast on TV :)

Funny: Randy Rainbow Interviews Hillary Clinton & Tim Kaine


Because we can all use a few laughs after two weeks of political conventions :)

Broadway At DNC2016 "What The World Needs Now"


One of the highlights of yesterday's Democratic National Convention coverage was seeing lots and lots of folks from Broadway stand center stage to sing "What the World Needs Now" to close a segment highlighting gun violence in America.

The song was recorded last month and shared via video in the aftermath of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting which left 49 dead and dozens more seriously injured.

I'm so proud to call so many of these talented folks my friends :)

Check out the live performance from Philly featuring Idina Menzel, Audra McDonald, Darren Criss, Alice Ripley, Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless, Roz Ryan, Ben Vereen, Kristin Bell, Darren Criss, Stephanie J. Block, Adrienne Warren, Len Cariou, Richard Kind, Tom Wopat, Wilson Cruz, Michael Longoria, Rosie Perez, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Nicholas Callaway Foster, Olga Merediz, Michelle Collins, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Mary Ann Hu, Anika Larsen, Margaret Stallings, Eve Plumb, Montego Glover, Michael Urie, Carmen Cusak, Darius de Haas, Melissa Errico, and Janet Metz.

Daily Dance: "Cuisine & Confessions" By The 7 Fingers

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

First Look At New Broadway Revival Of CATS


Entertainment Weekly has a first look at the new Broadway revival of CATS currently in previews at the Neil Simon Theater in NYC.

The feline reboot features Leona Lewis as "Grizabella, the Glamour Cat" and So You Think You Can Dance champ Ricky Ubeda as "The Magical Mr. Mistoffelees."

Check out the video below with mucho dancing plus that famous "Touch Me" moment by Leona Lewis in the eleven o'clock number, "Memory."

Kelly Clarkson Shuts Down Michelle Obama Troll On Twitter

Meme Of The Day: "Trump/Putin"


From VoteVets, who have called for Trump to step down after his comments about Russia today.

Bill O'Reilly: Slaves That Built The White House "Were Well-Fed And Had Decent Lodging"


After First Lady Michelle Obama mentioned that the White House was built by slaves during her Democratic National Convention speech Monday night to powerful effect, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly decided he needed to make note that the slaves' living conditions were quite favorable, in his opinion.

“Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802,” O’Reilly told his TV audience. “However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor."

Twitter wasn't so amused by the observation:



Watch O'Reilly make his point below.

Enter To Win Tickets To DURAN DURAN In Las Vegas


Multi-platinum superstars Duran Duran (over 70 million albums sold world-wide) bring their The Paper Gods Tour tour to the Mandalay Bay Event Center here in Las Vegas this Friday, July 29th at 7PM.

The Randy Report is giving away 2 pairs of tickets to this perfect summertime concert fare.

Contest Closed. Congrats to Adam and Cecilia on each winning a pair of tickets to the show this Friday!

Two winners will be chosen at random. Each winner will receive two tickets. Entries will be closed at 3pm PT Thursday, July 28th.

Duran Duran are joined on tour by CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers, and Tokimonsta.

Paper Gods, released worldwide on September 11th, debuted at No. 10 on Billboard's Top 200 Album chart, earning Duran Duran its highest-charting album in 22 years.

The album features “Pressure Off” and “Last Night in the City featuring Kiesza."

For more info, head on over to the Duran Duran official website.









Viral Video: Celebrity-Packed "Our Fight Song" For Democratic National Convention


Elizabeth Banks introduced this celeb-packed version of "Our Fight Song" that's been playing at campaign rallies. for Hillary Clinton. Love the mashup :)

Can you identify all the famous folk?

Please note Tony Award-winner Billy Porter in the bottom right corner.

Trump Says He's Never Met Russian President After Boasting About Meeting During GOP Debate

Donald Trump flip-flops on whether or not he ever met Russian President Putin

Remember last fall during a Republican primary debate Donald Trump told the world how he would have a good relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin because they "were both on '60 Minutes' the same night:

“I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes. We were stablemates, and we did very well that night,” he said.

Actually, Trump's appearance on 60 Minutes was taped at his NYC home, and Putin's segment was taped in Russia - just saying.

Trump's initial statement below at the 1:00 mark:


But today, Trump flip-flopped on the story.

Via Mediaite:

After months of praising Russian leader Vladimir Putin and bragging about having once met, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claimed Tuesday that they had never even met at all.

“I have nothing to do with Russia,” Trump maintained in an interview with CBS’s Miami affiliate. “I never met Putin, nothing to do with Russia.”

Here's the interview from today - check the 1:27 mark:

News Round-Up: July 27, 2016

Totally not gay, former Congressman Aaron Schock

Some news stories you may have missed:

• Disgraced former Congressman Aaron "Totally Not Gay" Schock comes out of hiding after grand jury decided not to indict him for misuse of campaign funds.

• Republican presidential candidate threatened to not pay the bill at a Virginia hotel.

• With Gov. Mike Pence now on the GOP presidential ticket, Indiana Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb is now the Republican candidate for governor this fall.

• North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory mocked transgender rights last night at a Trump rally.

• Prosecutors have dropped all charges against the remaining three Baltimore police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, meaning no one will be held accountable for the Gray's death.

• Donald Trump still has no plans to release his tax returns.

• Seth Meyers of Late Night says the "Bernie or Bust" folks should rethink their entrenched opposition to Hillary Clinton: "I couldn't get Rhianna to go out with me, but I don't stand in the kitchen and 'boo' my wife."


Donald Trump "Hopes" Russia Will Hack U.S. Email Servers


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump invited Russia to hack into U.S. email servers to look for Hillary Clinton's "missing" emails.

I shit you not.

The GOP White House hopeful asked Russia to literally engage in espionage or a cyber-attack in hopes it would help his campaign.

From Trump's press conference earlier today via NBC News:

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump proposed from a podium at his Doral Resort. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

Trump faced questions about if he endorses foreign governments meddling in America's election and domestic affairs, an allegation that he balked at despite issuing the above challenge just moments later. "What do I have to do with Putin?" Trump retorted when asked if he'd tell Putin to stay out of the election. "I'm not going to tell Putin what t do."

Trump called the idea that Russia was behind the hack and leak of Democratic National Committee emails a "total deflection" he did say he "hopes" the Russians have Clinton's emails if they are found responsible.



Trump has feigned outrage reporting a connection between his campaign and Russian intelligence operatives, tweeting last night, “Funny how the failing @nytimes is pushing Dems narrative that Russia is working for me because Putin said ‘Trump is a genius. America 1st!”

Cyber experts feel differently, according to CNN, "US officials have said the emails were hacked from DNC servers in an operation originating in Russia that appeared to be linked to Moscow’s intelligence agency."

The Trumpster has repeatedly praised Russian President Putin calling him a "strong leader" in the same breath that he criticized President Obama.

Trump followed up on his call for Russia to :

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/758335147183788032

The Hillary Clinton campaign issued this statement:

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