Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye '16 - Hello '17


As we kick 2016 to the curb:

In 2017, we need more "16 going on 17/dancing in the gazebo" kind of moments.

If it starts raining, keep dancing.

Lift your voices because we need to be heard.

Make noise. And when you get the side-eye, get louder.

Don't just lean forward, step forward.

Better still - step up.

Be out. Be out there. Be proud.

And if the grocery store runs out of black-eyed peas on New Years' Eve, buy the damn red beans, throw the rest of the Christmas ham in, and move on. Flexibility is the key to success.

Let's go, kids.

Hunky Daddy Balances Life As Performer & Father


Wayne Skivington, Cirque du Soleil artist in Zumanity here in Las Vegas, shares a compilation of some of his most popular Instagram clips from 2016.

He's a hunky super-dad who features his adorable son in balancing tricks. That little boy has the best sense of center I've ever seen.

Oh, and he makes a pretty sexy Santa, too :)

The World's Most Expensive Cities

(via The Daily Mail)

Who knew that Hamilton, Bermuda, was the most expensive city to live in?

Or that San Francisco beats out New York City (barely) in the US?

In Memoriam 2016


Via NBC News - In Memoriam 2016

YouTube Filmmakers Present Trailer For 2016: The Movie



YouTube filmmakers Friend Dog Studios present their trailer for the fictional (or not?) film, 2016: The Movie. 

The clip presents the year 2016 as the "scary thriller" that was - complete with celebrity deaths and unexpected election results.

Via Entertainment Weekly:

The clip, which takes the calendar year and turns it into a scary thriller, begins on Dec. 31, 2015, with a happy couple ringing in 2016 with kisses and wishes for a prosperous new year, new home, and ever-growing relationship. But things go wrong fast: “You want know who died today?” asks a creepy voiceover, teasing the terrible events to come.



(h/t JoeMyGod)

GOP Congressman Says Comments That Russia Did Media's Job Were "Completely Misconstrued"


Arizona Congressman Trent Franks, in an appearance on MSNBC Thursday afternoon, shared his opinion that Russia's cyber-hacking activities during the election was merely what the U.S. media should have done.

“If Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should have done,” said Congressman Franks, who chairs the House subcommittee on the Constitution and sits on the House Judiciary Committee.

Franks appeared on CNN Friday afternoon to push back against calls of "traitor" and accusing him of treason on social media, in light of his comments.

"Those comments were completely misconstrued," Franks said. "No one has been harder on Russia than me. I have been deeply committed to making sure their expansionism and their efforts did not result in the deaths of innocent people across the world."

Additionally, Franks said that President Obama's sanctions against the Russian government are Obama's attempt to "delegitimize" Trump's election.

"I am completely convinced that Barack Obama's primary motivation here is to try to delegitimize the election here."

It's interesting that the biggest concern on behalf of Trump supporters is the fear that his win might somehow be taken away, and not that a foreign power like Russia is hacking into our data servers.

Trump: Happy New Year To My Enemies Who "Lost So Badly"


Americans, this is your soon-to-be President:

"Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't  know what to do. Love!"

What can you say when this is how the next leader of the United States/Commander In Chief behaves?

Of course, the Trumpster has a history of this kind of 5th grade taunting:







#WhatEverHappenedToClass?

The Twitterverse reacts:











Friday, December 30, 2016

Radio Show: The Best Of LGBT Entertainment In 2016


Tune in as I share our "Top 5" lists of the best in LGBT music, film, theater and more from the year that was 2016.

• Top 5 songs from out musicians Ty Herndon, David Hernandez, Jeb Havens, Halsey and Tegan & Sara

• Top 5 LGBT themed movies: Moonlight, Retake, Other People, First Girl I Loved and King Kobra

• Highlights from Broadway including The Color Purple, Falsettos and Dear Evan Hansen

...and more

Leslie Jordan: NBC Ordered 10 Episodes of WILL & GRACE Reboot


I guess all of our excitement registered over at NBC.

Via GetListy:

Yes honey, Will and Grace will in fact be returning to NBC in 2017.

According to Leslie Jordan who portrayed "Beverly Leslie," nemesis to "Karen Walker" on the sitcom, the actor stated in a December 22nd interview with KPBS, a local NPR affiliate out of San Diego, that NBC has ordered ten brand new episodes of the show, you can listen to the interview here, the announcement comes around the five minute mark.

All the actors and actresses will be returning for this exciting new reboot, including Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally.

The cast recently got together for a very short, ten minute episode that was posted to social media in support of Hillary Clinton's campaign. The election video posted by Vote Honey has well over six million views, and was the first time the cast had reprised their roles.

It's hard to believe it's been ten years since Will and Grace came to an end on NBC, but we are excited to see what the revival has in store for us.

Here's the link to Leslie Jordan's interview announcing the news.

Trump Praises Russian President Putin On Twitter


Yet again, Donald Trump has publicly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, going so far as to praise the Russian president for not expelling American diplomats in Russia in response to President Barack Obama's sanctions. "Great move on delay (by V. Putin)," Trump tweeted. "I always knew he was very smart!"



It was initially thought that Putin would react in kind to the sanctions, but yesterday announced he would hold a "wait and see" position until after January 20th when Trump takes the oath of office.

Not only did the Trumpster post the tweet, but he's pinned the tweet to the top of his feed, clearly meaning to make quite the statement.

The Twitterverse reacts:









And then, this from CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta:

Top 10 New Posts On The Randy Report In 2016


Some regular readers have emailed me asking for a round-up of the "Top 10 New Posts," strictly by the numbers, on The Randy Report in 2016.

Now, there were several archived posts from past years that got a lot of love, too. But I'm keeping this list to only new posts in 2016.

I know I'm a day early, but, what the hell. Here's what readers clicked on the most this past year:

1. Funny: Aussie Commentary On Men's Olympic Diving

2. Louis C.K. On Donald Trump: "It Was Funny For A While But The Guy Is Hitler"

3. Super-Statistician Nate Silver Predicts Crushing Win By Hillary Clinton

4. Olympic Gymnast Danell Leyva Stands Up For LGBT Rights "Make America Gay Again"

5. U.S. Gymnast Danell Leyva Puts On A Show At Rio Gala Gymnastics

6. Anderson Cooper's Emotional Tribute To 49 Killed In Orlando Shooting

7. Vice President-elect Mike Pence Gets More Than A History Lesson At HAMILTON On Broadway

8. Naked Cubs Pitcher Jake Arrieta Explains The Art Of Pitching

9. Donald Trump Explains His Sexist Comments: "I Never Thought I Would Run For Office"

10. Pastor Steven Anderson: "The Good News Is There's 50 Less Pedophiles In The World"

Meme Of The Day


Just a little something we all might want to consider...

HBO: Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds Documentary Bright Lights To Debut January 7


Do not miss critically acclaimed documentary, Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, set to debut on HBO January 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Via press release:

In light of the recent and unexpected deaths of both Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, the documentary BRIGHT LIGHTS: STARRING CARRIE FISHER AND DEBBIE REYNOLDS will debut SATURDAY, JAN. 7 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

The story of a family’s complicated love, this documentary is an intimate portrait of Hollywood royalty in all its eccentricity. Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, live in the same Beverly Hills compound. The 83-year-old grand dame still has a Las Vegas act, but performing is taking its toll. Carrie’s response is both hilarious and heart-rending. Featuring vintage family films that bring iconic old-world Hollywood to life, as well as extensive vérité footage, the film is directed by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens.

The documentary was well received at several high-end film festivals including the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, the Telluride Film Festival and the New York Film Festival.

Plus, as previously mention here on The Randy Report, HBO will offer an encore presentation of Carrie Fisher's brilliant 2010 one-woman show, WISHFUL DRINKING, this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on HBO.

Fisher's autobiographical stage performance gets a feature-length adaptation including interviews with friends and family plus archival footage. If you haven't seen it - hell, even if you have - make sure you tune i.

(h/t Boy Culture)

Putin Announces He Will Not Expel US Diplomats From Russia - Yet


CNN is reporting that Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced he will not dispatch American diplomats from Russia as a response to yesterday's similar move by the Obama administration over cyber-hacking during the recent presidential election.

Putin said he would not pursue "irresponsible diplomacy" and would instead attempt to rebuild relations with Washington after the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump.

However, Putin said that Russia reserved the right to respond to the new US sanctions, which included the expulsion of 35 diplomats from the US. The Obama administration said the measures were in response to allegations that Russia had meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

"Further steps towards the restoration of Russian-American relations will be built on the basis of the policies carried out by the administration of President Trump," a Kremlin statement said.

Putin reportedly told Sputnik: “We will not create problems for American diplomats. We will not send anyone away. We will not prohibit their families and children to use for their usual vacation spots in the New Year’s holidays.”

Matt Baume: 2016 Wasn't All Bad


Matt Baume reminds us that there were significant advances for LGBTs in 2016, and then shares his thoughts on how to KEEP those advances in 2017. Hint: stand up and make some noise!

From Baume: “Do we have to do a year in review for 2016? This was a rough one, but what if I told you there were some really great milestones for LGBTs this year? It’s true! Amidst all the bad news, 2016 had some real bright spots. And 2017 could have more — or it could be much, much worse.”

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Calendar Season: Shirtless Australian Firefighters Pose With Puppies


I know, I know, no one wants to see hunky, shirtless Australian firefighters pose with puppies.

But - just in case you did... :)

The 12 firefighters, who battled it out against 100 other hunks for the spot, are sharing their monthly spread with puppies that need happy homes in an effort to raise money for the RSPCA and Mates4mates, alongside their annual donations to The Children’s Hospital.

As of 2016, the Firefighters Calendar has raised an amazing $2.1 million AUD for their causes, and they want 2017 to be their best year yet. Along with new donations to their partners at RSPCA and Mates4mates, the Firefighters calendar is raising much-needed funds for the pediatric burns center and Camp OZ – a child burn victims program that’s so underfunded it risks being shut down.

Click here for more info. And yes, they do deliver to the US.





(h/t Queerty)

Donald Trump Responds To News Of Sanctions Against Russia For Cyber-Hacking During Election


Statement from President-elect Donald J. Trump regarding today's announced sanctions by the U.S. government against Russia for cyber-attacks during the recent presidential election:

"It's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things.

"Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and it's great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation."

A couple of thoughts here:

1. The "time to move on" line sounds like Trump is so very afraid to admit he didn't win the White House on his own. Pal, you get the White House. No one is taking it from you at this point. Chill.

2. Line 2's "in the interest of our country" seems like he's doing us a favor by doing his job. In light of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreeing with certainty that Russia did indeed interfere with our election, he should at least appear to be concerned about this issue.

Also, saying he will meet with intelligence leaders next week in order to be "updated on the facts" sure seems like his not informed on the issue. Can you imagine President Reagan saying "I'll get to the Russians hacking our systems some time next week....?"


Funny: Going To The Gym After Holidays

Tweet Of The Day: Todd Fisher On The Passing Of His Sister & Mother


From Debbie Reynolds' son, Todd Fisher, accompanied by the image above via Twitter.

News Round-Up: December 29, 2016

Gus Kenworthy (L) and Matt Wilkas (R)

Some news items you may have missed:

• OUT Magazine talks to sexy free-style Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy and his hottie actor bf Matt Wilkas about the genesis of their relationship in a new feature called "The Love Portfolio."

• Logo TV Network will salute Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds with a “Will & Grace” marathon, plus her appearances on “Golden Girls" and “Drag Race."

• Dating app Scruff has banned the word “party” from user bios to avoid the word is being used as a code for drugs and chemsex. #GoodMoveScruff

• Donald Trump says "My Administration will follow two simple rules: BUY AMERICAN and HIRE AMERICAN!" But he just got approval to hire 64 foreign workers saying, "It's very, very hard to get people."

• Controversial homocon/provocateur/white nationalist Milo Yiannopoulos inks $250K book deal.

• Politico reports that the incoming Trump administration is frantically trying to place a Hispanic official in a high level position due to criticism that his cabinet is practically all white guys.

• Check out the newly released extended trailer for the upcoming Lifetime Channel's remake of the 1988 Bette Midler classic film, Beaches, starring Idina Menzel as "C.C." (originally played by Bette Midler) and Nia Long (The Best Man Holiday). The flick debuts January 21st.

Obama Announces Tough Sanctions Against Russia For Elections Interference


President Obama issued a statement today announcing several actions to be taken against the Russian government for cyber-activity intended to interfere in the recent U.S. elections.

From his statement:

Today, I have ordered a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election. These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior.

All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions. In October, my Administration publicized our assessment that Russia took actions intended to interfere with the U.S. election process. These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government. Moreover, our diplomats have experienced an unacceptable level of harassment in Moscow by Russian security services and police over the last year. Such activities have consequences. Today, I have ordered a number of actions in response.

The list of actions include (via NBC News):

• Shutting down two compounds, one in in Maryland and one in New York, "used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes."

• Sanctions against the Russian intelligence services GRU and FSB, and four high-ranking officers of the GRU. The sanctions are also aimed at two suspected hackers, including one wanted by the FBI in two other cases, and three companies that allegedly provided support to the GRU's cyber operations.

• Releasing technical information about Russian cyber activity, "to help network defenders in the United States and abroad identify, detect, and disrupt Russia's global campaign of malicious cyber activities."

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a declassified report offering some specifics regarding the Russian involvement in what those agencies now call "malicious cyber activity."

President Obama also indicated that there may be more covert actions taken. "These actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia’s aggressive activities," Obama said. "We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized."

Several members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have called for strenuous investigations into Russia's involvement including Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

On the other end of the spectrum, President-elect Donald Trump says we shouldn't bother looking into Russia's interference in U.S. elections.

Speaking to reporters at his Florida home yesterday if the United States should sanction Russia, Trump had this to say: "I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on."

The sanctions put into place today could be reversed by Trump once he takes office, but to do so would put him in a position of defending Russia and possibly signal that he doesn't have confidence in the U.S.'s 17 intelligence agencies who all agree that Russia was involved.

Russia has consistently denied any involvement in the cyber-hacking activities.

Donald Trump Claims Credit For New Sprint Jobs Announced Weeks Before Election

President-elect Donald Trump
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump sought to take credit for "bringing jobs back to America" regarding the telecom company Sprint.

“Because of what’s happening and the spirit and the hope. I was just called by the head people at Sprint and they’re going to be bringing 5,000 jobs back to the United States.”

"I just spoke with the head person, he said because of me they’re doing 5,000 jobs in this country.”

One small problem with that: Sprint announced the jobs investment weeks before Trump became president-elect.

Via ThinkProgress:

Sprint’s parent company, SoftBank, said in October that it would partner with a Saudi sovereign wealth fund to invest about $100 billion in the tech sector. On December 6, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son told Trump the company would use some of these funds to bring 50,000 jobs to the United States. Trump promptly announced as much on Twitter.

SoftBank confirmed to the tech news site Engadget that the 5,000 jobs Trump took credit for on Wednesday are “part of the 50,000 jobs that Masa previously announced.” The company added that the 50,000 jobs “will be a combination of newly created jobs and bringing some existing jobs back to the U.S.”

A big part of this story today is that many major news outlets just ran with headlines giving Trump the credit, when clearly he had nothing to do with the deal.

(via CNN)

(via USA Today)

(via Washington Post)

Bristol Palin Attacks A-List Celebs For Not Performing At Trump Inauguration

(photo via eltonjohn.com)

Bristol Palin, who's biggest claim to fame is becoming an unmarried teen mother as the daughter of a Republican part-time politician, took to her blog to rant about the number of celebrities who have turned down performing at the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump:

If Donald Trump were still just a regular old billionaire and threw a party at Trump Tower in New York City, celebrities would be lined up out the door, and the most famous artists would be pining for a chance to perform.

But because he will be inaugurated as the next Republican president in January, these same mega-celebrities, who would normally drool over an invitation to sing for the president, want no part of it.

Trump’s inauguration team sought out some of the world’s greatest musicians, but nearly all of them have refused for fear of backlash or to stand against him politically.

Isn’t it amazing how “not cool” it is to be conservative in the public eye? Either Hollywood is that far off – or we have so many sissies we have in the spot light too scared to stand for what they believe in!

The Pinball Wizard himself, Sir Elton John, quickly shot down any chance he would ever perform for President Trump. In his explanation to The Guardian, Elton delivered a jab at American country music, too, which is surprising considering he stole all their rhinestone outfits.

Palin, who again resides in Alaska with her new husband and is now expecting her third child, goes on to include Kiss, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, and Aretha Franklin in her attack.

Of course, many things here are inaccurate.

One, Elton John specifically said he didn't want to perform at the political event because his own views are diametrically opposed to the Donald's:

“I don’t really want my music to be involved in anything to do with an American election campaign. I’m British. I’ve met Donald Trump, he was very nice to me, it’s nothing personal, his political views are his own, mine are very different, I’m not a Republican in a million years. Why not ask Ted f—ing Nugent? Or one of those f—ing country stars? They’ll do it for you.”

Second, many folks who now know much more about the values and attitudes of the Trumpster, thanks to the campaign, wouldn't go to a party of his today. He has revealed himself to us, you see. Now we know who he is.

Third, to say Elton John "stole" his rhinestone outfits" from the world of country music is laughable. Please show me a picture of a country artist in the 1970s who dressed as outrageously as John.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Memory: Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds, Carol Channing and Ruta Lee (photo via David Blackstock

In the 1990s I staged some of "Hello, Dolly!" for a benefit for the Thalians in Los Angeles that honored Carol Channing, hosted by Debbie Reynolds and Ruta Lee.

The night of the event Debbie, Carol and Ruta were all dressed in DOLLY dresses for the red carpet. When the photo op time came, no one could find Debbie. Ruta asked me to go find Debbie.

Hubby Michael and I went into the huge empty ballroom in the Century Plaza Hotel where the gala was about to take place. Huge ballroom. The tables were all set, including bottles of wine at each table. In the middle of the ballroom sat Debbie in her huge, gorgeous DOLLY dress. She had opened a bottle of wine and was sitting alone. She held a glass of wine against her forehead, clearly wanting a moment for herself.

I walked up and quietly said, "Debbie, they're looking for you for the photo op."

Without looking away from her glass, she said "I know." She paused, put the glass down, stood up, straightened her dress. One last sip of wine, a small sigh, and she said, "Let's go." And with that brilliant Hollywood smile, she took my arm and walked with me to the red carpet.

And we laughed the whole way there.

I should add: Debbie was doing AIDS benefits in 1983 - years before Reagan could even say the word in public.

Heroes can be blonde, beautiful, talented, and sing and dance a bit, too. Instead of wringing her hands, she stood up. And once again, stood out - merely by being who she was.

Someone was here. Something occurred.

This is a great, authentic star we have lost. RIP Debbie.

Debbie Reynolds Dead At 84

Debbie Reynolds (L) with daughter Carrie Fisher (R)

I knew Debbie Reynolds. What a great, great star. RIP Debbie.

UPDATE VIA TMZ:

Debbie Reynolds -- who rose to stardom in "Singin' in the Rain" and quickly became a staple among Hollywood royalty -- died Wednesday as a result of a stroke, TMZ has learned ... just one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away ... this according to her son Todd.

Debbie was rushed to a hospital shortly after 1 PM when someone at the Beverly Hills home of her son, Todd, called 911 to report a possible stroke. We're told Debbie and Todd were making funeral plans for Carrie, who died Tuesday of cardiac arrest.

Debbie famously divorced Eddie Fisher in 1959 after his affair with Elizabeth Taylor. Debbie married 2 more times in 1960 and 1984.

She played iconic roles in "Tammy and the Bachelor" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" ... for which she earned an Oscar nomination.

Carrie's relationship with Debbie was the focus of Carrie's semi-autobiographical book, "Postcards from the Edge," which was later adapted for the big screen, starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.

Debbie's survived by her son Todd, who tells us, "She's with Carrie."

She was 84.





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

Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds has reportedly been hospitalized just a day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher.

The Oscar-nominated actress is said to have fallen ill at her L.A. home while discussing funeral plans for her daughter. Paramedics were called to her son Todd’s home in Beverly Hills. She may have suffered a stroke, reports TMZ.

Fisher died Tuesday morning after suffering what was described as a massive heart attack on Friday while on a flight from London, where she had been shooting episodes of the Amazon/Channel 4 comedy “Catastrophe,” to Los Angeles.

Born in 1932, Reynolds is known for, among many other roles, her part in the 1952 film “Singin’ in the Rain.” She was nominated for an Academy Awards for 1964’s “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” Reynolds earned a Tony nomination for her performance in the Broadway revival of Irene, which also gave Fisher her Broadway debut.

Reynold's co-star in Irene, George S. Irving, who won a Tony Award for his performance, also passed away yesterday.

Hypocrisy Of The Day


Pat Robertson criticized First Lady Michelle Obama for wearing a sleeveless dress.

But when naked photos of incoming First Lady Melania Trump appeared (and there are lots!),  Robertson called the nudes "pure art."

#hypocrisy

President-Elect Babyhands Thanks Himself In Third-Person For Something He Didn't Do


Someone might want to the the PEOTUS that he's not president yet, and he hasn't implemented any policies. His "economy" begins on January 20th.

Plus, pro-tip here: addressing yourself in the third person is way narcissistic.

Israel Prime Minister Includes Trump Children In Twitter Thanks To President-Elect Trump


Well, this is unusual to say the least.

After the United States chose to not utilize it's veto power in a vote at the United Nations last Friday to prevent the passage of a United Nations Security Council resolution criticizing Israeli settlements, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his outrage over the US position.





Today, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: “President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel!” Netanyahu included in the tweet Israeli and U.S. flags, plus he tagged two of Trump’s children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

Note: This all comes as a criminal probe has been launched in Israel against Netanyahu.

It's odd that a head of state would include the children in that they are supposedly not officially involved in the upcoming Trump administration, and Don Jr. in particular is slated to run The Trump Organization. #conflictofinterest

Others in the Twitterverse took note as well:




You have to wonder if Eric Trump feels a bit left out...

New Study Shows Listerine Can Fight Oral Gonorrhea


For years, the makers of Listerine mouthwash have claimed that their product could be used to combat oral gonorrhea, and now a new medical study in Australia indicates that daily use could reduce the spread of the STD.

With PrEP becoming more popular in the fight against HIV, physicians are aware that condom use is dropping. And with that, there has been a rise in some STDs like oral gonorrhea in gay/bisexual men.

But now, it seems daily gargling with Listerine could significantly reduce the amount of gonorrhea bacteria in the mouth and throat.

From the Washington Blade:

In laboratory tests, the authors of this new study found that Listerine Cool Mint and Total Care (which are both 21.6 percent alcohol) significantly reduced levels of gonorrhea bacteria. A saltwater (saline) solution did not, researchers found.

The researchers then conducted a clinical trial with 58 gay/bisexual men who previously tested positive for gonorrhea in their mouths/throats. The men were randomly assigned to rinse and gargle for one minute with either Listerine or a salt solution.

After doing so, the amount of viable gonorrhea in the throat was 52 percent in the Listerine group and 84 percent among those who used the salt solution. Five minutes later, men in the Listerine group were 80 percent less likely to test positive for gonorrhea in the throat than those in the salt solution group.

The study was published online Dec. 20 in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

The monitoring period after gargling was short, so it’s possible the effects of Listerine might be short-term, but the lab findings suggest otherwise, according to the researchers.

A larger study is underway to confirm these preliminary findings.

Gallup Poll: President Obama And Hillary Clinton Named "Most Admired"


President Barack Obama was again named the man most Americans admire in Gallup's annual poll. He has been on the top of the list every year since 2008.

Obama also currently enjoys an unusually high approval rating, 56%, for an outgoing president.

Hillary Clinton was the woman Americans most admired for the 15th year in a row.

From Politico:

In second place was his successor, Donald Trump, favored by 15 percent.

Others in the top 10 included Pope Francis in third place and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in fourth, followed by the Rev. Billy Graham in fifth. Bill Clinton tied for sixth place with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Dalai Lama and Bill Gates, while Vice President-elect Mike Pence came in 10th.

Asked to name the woman they most admire, 12 percent of Americans polled by Gallup chose Hillary Clinton, who has come in first in the poll 21 times, a record. First lady Michelle Obama came in second, at 8 percent.

New NYC Subway Station To Feature Public Art Depicting Same-Sex Couple


After years and years of construction and delays, NYC’s 2nd Avenue subway will finally open on January 1. As with other subway stations throughout the city, the new stations will feature public art, with the 72nd line showcasing the work of Chuck Close, Vik Muniz, Jean Shin and Sarah Sze.

The 72nd street station will feature a mosaic mural by Vik Muniz called “Perfect Strangers” which depicts “the different people that riders are likely to encounter on their daily commutes” according to the AP, and among them is the above picture of a same-sex couple.

From the AP:

"It was like winning the lottery," Thor Stockman, 60, said of finding out that he and his husband of 3 ½ years, Patrick Kellogg, were going to be part of artist Vik Muniz's "Perfect Strangers," a series of life-size mosaic portraits of everyday New Yorkers gracing the walls of the new subway station at 72nd Street. But "part of me wishes that it wasn't a rarity, that it wasn't remarkable."

Muniz said it made sense to include the two men in a project intended to show the different people that riders are likely to encounter on their daily commutes.

"They are just people you would expect to see," Muniz, who divides his time between New York and Brazil, said in phone interview from Rio de Janeiro. "You would expect to see men holding hands."

Jonathan David Katz, an expert in queer art history, said he could find no other example of a permanent, non-political LGBTQ public artwork in New York City. He mentioned George Segal's "Gay Liberation Monument" near Stonewall Inn, the site of the 1969 riots that launched the gay rights movement. But that work, featuring two men standing and two women sitting, is expressly commemorative of a political moment.

New Jersey: 8 Year Old Transgender Boy Barred From Cub Scout Pack

(via WNBC)
While the Boy Scouts of America have taken long looks and made some decisions on openly gay scouts participating in their organization, the issues surrounding transgender kids is now getting some national focus as a Cub Scout pack in Secaucus, NJ, is barring an 8 year old trans boy.

Dawn Ennis at LGBTQ Nation reports:

One month after 8-year-old Joe Maldonado of Secaucus, N.J. joined Cub Scout Pack 87, his mother received a call that the troop sponsored by their local Catholic church had barred her son from participating. The reason, she told reporters, is because her son was assigned the gender of female at birth. Joe is a transgender boy.

And he told the Star-Ledger he’s not so much sad as he is mad.

“It made me mad. I had a sad face, but I wasn’t crying. I’m way more angry than sad. My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It’s right to do.”

He had joined in October with the intention of camping, conducting science experiments, and all the other fun things Cub Scouts do, like learning how to tie a variety of knots, use a pocket knife, and go on hikes with his friends. Joe’s classmates not only like him, his mother said, but some of them play with him on a boys basketball team. His school teachers have used male pronouns and have accepted him as the boy he is since second grade, Kristie Maldonado told the newspaper.

“Not one of the kids said, ‘You don’t belong here,’” said Maldonado. It wasn’t the boys in their pack; reportedly, it was their moms.

Eric Chamberlin, an executive with the Northern New Jersey Council of Boy Scouts, based in Oakland, N.J., confirmed to the paper that he called Maldonado last month, but he declined to comment further.

Effie Delimarkos, the communications director for the Boy Scouts of America, told the Star-Ledger in a statement the Boy Scouts consider membership for transgender children to be a separate issue from that of gay children.

“No youth may be removed from any of our programs on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” and “Gender identity isn’t related to sexual orientation.”

The Boy Scouts spokeswoman declined to directly address the Secaucus troop issue and did not answer inquiries about whether local or state Scouting leaders contacted the national office about Joe Maldonado.

But in her statement, Delimarkos made it clear that “the classification on the participant’s birth certificate” would be used to “confirm legal status.”

Chamberlin did not ask to examine Joe’s birth certificate, the boy’s mother told the paper. If the Boy Scouts have ever examined birth certificates for the gender markers, Delimarkos wouldn’t say. And she declined to say whether the Scouts have a written transgender policy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tweet Of The Day


Joe Santagato: "The Worst Tattoos Ever Pt 5"


Joe Santagato kills me.

Here's his fifth installment of really, really stupid tattoos.

House Speaker Paul Ryan Seeks To Fine Lawmakers Who Live-Stream From House Chamber


When Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan says to turn off cameras in the House chamber, he means ALL cameras.

And so, he has come up with a rules package that would fine Congressional lawmakers who live-stream from the chamber.

Via Politico:

The move comes in response to Democratic lawmakers, who in June live-streamed a sit-in on the House floor over gun control legislation. Democrats organized the sit-in to protest Republican lawmakers’ decision not to bring to the floor a gun-control bill, which if passed would have broadened background checks and prevented people on no-fly lists from buying guns.

When the House turned off the cameras inside the chambers during the sit-in, the participating lawmakers turned to live-streaming services such as Periscope and Facebook Live to broadcast the sit-in, which spanned for 25 hours. The live-streams, which attracted considerable publicity and millions of views, were in turn broadcast live on C-SPAN and other TV networks, which had lost access to live video when the House cameras were shut down.

Ryan, who at the time called the protest a “publicity stunt,” faced criticism for not penalizing the lawmakers for using their mobile phones and for taking photographs during the protest. Through a spokesperson, Ryan said the proposed rules package “will help ensure that order and decorum are preserved in the House of Representatives so lawmakers can do the people’s work.”

The proposal, which was first reported by Bloomberg News, would fine House members for using a device to record audio or video from the House chamber floor. Lawmakers would be fined $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for each subsequent violation. The fines would be deducted from members’ paychecks.

Hillary Clinton Thanks Her 66 Million Supporters


Hillary Clinton thanked her 66 million supporters yesterday and urged them to continue working for a "better, stronger, and fairer future" for America and the world.

Before this year ends, I want to thank you again for your support of our campaign. While we didn't achieve the outcome we sought, I'm proud of the vision and values we fought for and the nearly 66 million people who voted for them.

I believe it is our responsibility to keep doing our part to build a better, stronger, and fairer future for our country and the world.

The holidays are a time to be thankful for our blessings. So let us rejoice in this season and look forward with renewed hope and determination.

I wish you and your family health, happiness, and continued strength for the New Year and the work ahead. I look forward to staying in touch in 2017. Onward!

With deep appreciation and warm wishes, I am,

Yours,

Hillary

Tuesday Tunes: Don McLean "American Pie"


Don McLean's "American Pie" seems especially appropriate as we learn of the passing of Carrie Fisher, George Michael and the end of 2016.

Carrie Fisher Dead At 60


Wow. The year 2016 takes yet another from us.

From PBS:

“Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher died Tuesday, four days after she suffered a “cardiac episode” on a flight from London to Los Angeles, according to a statement released by family spokesman Simon Halls to People Magazine on behalf of Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd. She was 60.

Paramedics rushed Fisher to a nearby hospital after she went into cardiac arrest moments before the plane touched down at LAX, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Fisher famously starred in the “Star Wars” movie franchise as Princess Leia Organa, a whip-smart rebel diplomat whose tightly coiled “cinnamon buns” bookended her face. Openly defiant, Fisher’s portrayal of the spitfire princess became a 1980s feminist icon, decades before Buffy, Katniss and other adventure heroines appeared on the small and silver screens.

Her character, not afraid to use a blaster, was a force to be reckoned with. In a saga crowded with bounty hunters, alien riff-raff and scruff-looking nerf herders, Princess Leia stood out. Fisher presumably ignored the advice from her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, to “be careful of any weird hairdo” before she played the iconic character in George Lucas’ space opera.

In the opening scenes of 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope,” Fisher’s Princess Leia is the first major (human) character to stare down Darth Vader, perhaps the most formidable villain in film history.

“I like Princess Leia. I like how she handles things. I like how she treats people. She tells the truth,” Fisher told NPR in November. “I don’t have a real problem with Princess Leia. I’ve sort of melded with her over time,” she added.

On top of her roles in much more grounded fare like 1986’s “Hannah and Her Sisters,” 1989’s “When Harry Met Sally” and various television roles, Fisher mined her love-hate relationship with Leia for several autobiographical books, including her eighth and final book “The Princess Diarist.” Released in November, the memoir digs up diaries she kept while filming the start of the “Star Wars” trilogy.

However Fisher felt about her place in the galaxy, Leia provided a through-line in her career.

“I’ve always been in ‘Star Wars.’ I’ve never not been in ‘Star Wars,'” Fisher told Rolling Stone in 2015, weeks before her character reappeared as a high-ranking member of the rebellion in “The Force Awakens.”

“But I am eternally in ‘Star Wars,'” she added.

Carrie Frances Fisher was born in 1956 to Hollywood couple Reynolds and Eddie Fisher in Beverly Hills, California. At the age of two, her parents divorced after Fisher left Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor, to whom he was married from 1959 to 1964.

One month ago, Fisher was asked in an interview with Rolling Stone if she feared death. This was her answer:

No. I fear dying. Anything with pain associated with it, I don't like. I've been there for a couple of people when they were dying; it didn't look like fun. But if I was gonna do it, I'd want someone like me around. And I will be there!









Monday, December 26, 2016

Donald Trump Takes Credit For Stock Market & Holiday Retail Spending


Donald Trump is now taking credit for "hope" in America, a rise in the stock market and retail spending over the holidays.

And he hasn't DONE anything yet.

#goodgrief

#I-just-can't

News Round-Up: December 26, 2016

Eliad Cohen via Instagram

Some news items you may have missed:

• Eliad Cohen has the NERVE to look that good (above) the day after Christmas. #dang

• The Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., got a brutal review as the "third worst new hotel" from one of the world's luxury/high end travel groups. “LTI finds the décor a little garish and more quantity over quality. Service is poor on occasions and lacks confidence. The whole experience seems a little forced, and therefore this place is not for the true discerning luxury traveller.”

• Another news report exploring the many closings of gay bars across the country.

• Donald Trump will enter the White House as the least-popular incoming president in the modern era of public-opinion polling.

• The Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, says his country has proof the Obama Administration was involved in orchestrating the recent UN resolution on settlements. He just doesn't want to share it now...

• President Obama believes if he had run for a third term in the White House he would have won. And I agree.

• Comedian Tom Arnold says "smart Watergate level" journalists are on top of the Trump "outtakes" video which he says shows Donald Trump saying the n-word and c-word on camera during The Apprentice.

Just Because: Woofy Winter Wonderland


It's a sunny 46 degrees here in in Las Vegas.

But this pic certainly makes me miss some snowy, winter wonderland - as long as he comes with it :)

(h/t kenneth in the 212)

George Michael Quietly Donated Millions To Help Abused & Bullied Children

George Michael

As the world reels from the passing of pop music star George Michael, we learn he was even more generous in private than most knew.

Michael had secretly been giving millions to a charity that helped UK children who were the target of abuse and/or bullying.

Via The Irish Times:

Behind the headlines and huge on-stage persona, George Michael was a generous man who kept quiet about his considerable charitable donations, it has emerged. The star donated all the royalties from his 1996 number one single Jesus To A Child to charity, and is said to have given a gameshow contestant thousands of pounds to fund her IVF treatment.

Michael has helped countless children as a result of his donations to Childline, the charity’s founder and president Dame Esther Rantzen said. “For years now he has been the most extraordinarily generous philanthropist, giving money to Childline, but he was determined not to make his generosity public so no-one outside the charity knew how much he gave to the nation’s most vulnerable children,” she told the Press Association.

“Over the years he gave us millions and we were planning next year, as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations to create, we hoped, a big concert in tribute to him — to his artistry, to his wonderful musicality but also to thank him for the 100s of 1,000s of children he helped through supporting Childline.”

From Childline's official website:

Childline is here to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Whether it’s something big or small, our trained counsellors are here to support you.

Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night. You can talk to us on the phone, by email or through 1-2-1 counsellor chat. Whatever feels best for you.

Our counsellors are trained staff and volunteers. All sorts of people become Childline counsellors. They could be 16 or 60. They could be gay or straight – or anywhere in between. They come from lots of different backgrounds and places.

What they all have in common is they want to help young people.

They're real people who want to support you with any issue you’re facing. They're trained but they don't follow a script.

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Donald Trump Announces He Will Dissolve His "Charitable" Foundation


Donald Trump announced Saturday he plans to dissolve the Trump Foundation in an effort to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest during his administration.

The president-elect has also said recently that he hopes to shares plans to disassociate himself from his business, the Trump Organization, to avoid conflicts of interest as president of the United States.

Trump likes to boast about the many organizations that have received donations over the years that have benefited from his foundation - veterans, law enforcement and children's groups.

What Trump often leaves out is the fact that he hasn't donated any of his own money to his foundation since 2008. And the fact that the "charity" is under investigation for using foundation funds to settle private debts which may make "dissolving" the foundation illegal at this point.

More from CNN:

The Trump transition said Trump directed his counsel to take the necessary steps to dissolve the foundation, which has no employees or active fundraising operation. The foundation also was forced to stop fundraising in New York State after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a cease-and-desist order in October citing the foundation's failure to properly register with the state.

And an ongoing investigation launched by Schneiderman over allegations Trump used the charity to settle private legal disputes in which he was involved may prevent Trump from shuttering the foundation.

"The Trump Foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete," Amy Spitalnick, the attorney general's press secretary, said in an email. She also confirmed the foundation's fundraising activities "remain suspended."
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