Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Trump Signals Willingness To Compromise On Immigration

Just hours before President Trump is set to address a joint session of Congress, President Trump told TV news anchors that he could be open to compromise on immigration legislation regarding non-criminal undocumented immigrants.

“The time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides,” the president told the TV anchors at the White House, according to the New York Times.

A compromise that would allow non-violent undocumented immigrants a legal method to stay in the U.S. would be a major shift from Trump's campaign rhetoric.

This comes a day before Trump's new executive order on immigration regarding travel from seven Muslim-majority countries is expected.

Key West: Gay Couple Allegedly Threatened By Trump Supporter "You Live In Trump County Now!"

A gay couple was the victim of a hate crime in uber-gay Key West, Florida, last Thursday.

From FL Keys News:

Kevin Seymour, 38, and Kevin Paul Taylor, 49, said it was a drunken tourist who followed them as they rode south on Duval Street “calling us faggots and a slew of other anti-gay remarks,” according to a police report.

At one point, the scooter rider struck the rear tire of Seymour’s bike, knocking him to the ground.

“We were victims of a hate crime last night biking home from dinner,” Kevin Paul Taylor posted on his Facebook page. “He kept stopping in front of us and swerving into us. Finally Kevin got ahead of him and the guy charges him with his scooter and runs into him and knocks him off his bike. Kevin is okay.”

“I bet you faggots voted for that bitch Hillary,” the suspect said to the couple. “Well, you live in Trump country now.”

A witness gave a statement to police backing the couple’s story and officers said there may be security video available from nearby businesses.

Police described the scooter rider as a white man in his mid- to late 30s with “a southern accent” wearing gray shorts and a blue polo shirt. His moped was a black Eclipse rented from A and M Rentals with the license plate MCUT33, police said. It was found parked outside the Southernmost, 508 South St.

As the scooter followed the couple, Seymour told the man he would call 911. “If you do that, I’ll cut you up,” the man replied, according to reports.

Paul Krugman On Republican Vs. Democratic Approaches To States' Economies

All-around economic smart guy Paul Krugman tweets today:

"Tax-raising liberal Jerry Brown and tax-slashing true believer Sam Brownback took office at the same time. How's it going?"

Any questions?

Over 120 Generals Protest Trump's Proposed Cuts To Diplomacy Budgets

Arguing that foreign policy can't be approached by a purely militaristic stance, more than 120 retired generals have signed and sent a letter to congressional leaders prompted by the news that President Trump plans to propose major cuts to foreign aid and diplomacy programs in his upcoming budget.

Even though Defense Secretary James Mattis said during his stint as commander of U.S. Central Command, ‘If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition,'" President Trump's view is military might far outweighs diplomacy.

From CBS News:

One signer is Marine Gen. John R. Allen, a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general, former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and 2014-2015 Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL appointed by President Obama.

“Cutting the State Department budget by 30 percent is consigning us to a generational war. We cannot fight our way out of this. It is an issue which can be decided by decisive diplomacy and enlightened development,” General Allen told CBS News.

“If [the president] wants to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism, his only hope of doing it is not through an interminable war on Islam. It is by funding the very things in the State Department that give us the capacity to work with other countries and to help, in the context of development, to change the human condition in places in the world where young men and women are radicalized by virtue of the social environments they are in. They are pushed into the arms of extremists who we must fight.”

Other prominent generals who signed the letter include former NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander and former Army Chief of Staff Gen. William Casey.

New Orleans: We Welcome Everyone

New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) and members of the New Orleans community gathered together during Mardi Gras 2017 to create a tourism video letting potential visitors know that New Orleans welcomes everyone.

Via press release:

If there ever was a celebration to honor diversity and equality, it is Mardi Gras New Orleans. To emphasize this important message that New Orleans is ‘always open’, New Orleans tourism joined people from all over the community at New Orleans’ famous Bourbon and St. Ann streets to march together in its first-ever Reverse Parade.

Through word of mouth, some four hundred citizens gathered and volunteered their time to create a message of diversity and equality. Donning full make-up, Mardi Gras garb, beads, or just plain clothes, the New Orleans community and its supporters marched backwards in a symbolic gesture shedding colorful clothing and masks along the way. Everything stopped, quiet ensued, then a flag appeared stating “We Are Never Going Back.” Music filled the streets as participants marched forward in celebration.

“New Orleans has a history of welcoming all people all the time,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC). “The amount of excitement and numbers of citizens who came to participate in the parade and film is a testament to the city’s determination to never relinquish its achievements in human rights.”

President Bush On US Under Trump: I Don't Like The Racism And Name-Calling

During President Obama's years in the White House, former President George W. Bush refused (wisely) to criticize his successor saying he didn't want to make a difficult job that much harder.

A month into President Trump's administration, though, Bush has voiced some artfully phrased comments about the new Commander-In-Chief.

Via PEOPLE.com:

“I don’t like the racism and I don’t like the name-calling and I don’t like the people feeling alienated,” Bush, 70, tells PEOPLE in an interview for the new issue of the magazine on newsstands Friday.

“Nobody likes that.”

A spokesman for Bush previously told PEOPLE that neither he nor the former first lady voted for Trump – or for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton – in November. Both of the Bushes, who had campaigned for Bush’s younger brother Jeb in the 2016 Republican primaries, cast write-in votes on Election Day for a candidate they did not reveal.

Academy Awards' TV Ratings Continue to Slide

Bad news for ABC: La La Land/Moonlight "Best Picture" flub aside, this year's Oscars drew only 32.9 million viewers with a 9.1 rating among adults 18-49. That's a nine year low for Hollywood's biggest night.

From USA Today:

The Oscars high point came in 1998, when 55 million watched blockbuster Titanic win best picture; its low, a decade later, in 2008, when 32 million watched No Country for Old Men win in the midst of a bitter writers strike that saw many boycott the ceremony.

The more recent high was 43.7 million in 2014, in a ceremony hosted by Ellen DeGeneres that honored 12 Years a Slave as best picture.

Trump: I've Done Just About More Than Anybody In The First 4 Weeks In Office

President Trump
President Trump, speaking to his besties at Fox News, explained this morning that he's "done just about more than anybody in the first four weeks in office."

Of course, at this point in President Obama's first term he had expanded health care to 4 million kids and cut taxes for 160 million Americans.

Trump has issued executive orders and spent three out of four weekends away from the White House golfing at a cost of $10 million to the nation's taxpayers.

With his approval numbers languishing in the low 40s/high 30s (currently 42% according to Gallup), Trump had more self-praise to deliver to his fawning friends at Fox News:

Monday, February 27, 2017

Moonlight Stars Take It Off For New Calvin Klein Ad Campaign

Trevante Rhodes
The male stars of newly-minted Academy Award-winning "Best Picture" Moonlight are taking part in a new ad campaign for Calvin Klein underwear.

Check out "Best Supporting Actor" winner Mahershala Ali (below) who's celebrating not only his big win last night but the birth of his daughter.

And Trevante Rhodes (above) has a full schedule with two big action films on his plate: Horse Soldiers and a reboot of Predator.

Younger cast members Alex Hibbert and Ashton Sanders also take part in the campaign.

Mahershala Ali

News Round-Up: February 27, 2017

(photo: Joan Crisol)

Some news items you may have missed:

• Check out the Instagram account of acclaimed international photographer Joan Crisol (Rolling Stone, Zero, Playboy). Color, texture, and sensual staging are all front and center in his gorgeous imagery.

• Don't miss the premiere of When We Rise, a four-night mini-series chronicling the journey of LGBT rights in America. The series begins tonight on ABC at 9PM ET.

• The father of slain Navy Seal William “Ryan” Owens refused to meet President Trump at Dover Air Force Base when Owens body was returned to his family. “I told them I didn’t want to make a scene about it, but my conscience wouldn’t let me talk to him,” Owens said Friday, speaking out for the first time in an interview with the Miami Herald. Owens has now requested an investigation into the events which caused his son's death.

• President Trump's family trips have cost taxpayers nearly as much in a month as President Obama in an entire year. Remember when he criticized Obama for "wasting" the taxpayer's money?

• White House press secretary Sean Spicer is now conducting "random phone checks" with his staff in an effort to find the source of "information leaks" in the West Wing. Spicer recently called an "emergency meeting" in his office and when staffers arrived they were told to dump their electronic devices on a table to be checked for outgoing messages.

• This weekend 17-year-old Mack Beggs, a trans high school student from Euless, Texas, won the state wrestling championship in his weight class. Beggs was forced to compete, however, in the girls division due to the University Interscholastic League (UIL), which oversees high school athletics in public schools in Texas, which ruled he had to compete as the gender listed on his birth certificate. Parents are now upset that Beggs seemed to have an advantage over his female opponents thanks to his testosterone treatments. UIL rules only allow such substances to be used if they’re part of a medical treatment, which they obviously are. Beggs has stated he would prefer to wrestle in the boys category.

Texas high school wrestling champ Mack Beggs

President Bush On The Media: "I Consider The Media To Be Indispensable"

We haven't heard much from President George W. Bush since he left office in 2009.

Over the Obama years he kept pretty silent, choosing to stay out of politics. I thought that served him well. After the tumultuous economic conditions of his last year in office, it felt right that he chill for a while.

But this morning, during an interview with Today show host Matt Lauer, he was asked about a number of topics regarding the Trump administration.

Asked if he considered the media “the enemy of the people” as Donald Trump has described it, Bush praised the press for it's role in our democracy:

“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. That we need an independent media to hold people like me to account. I mean, power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.”

Regarding the idea of an investigation into the Trump/Russia connection, Bush said, “I think we all need answers.”

Just Because: Pietro Boselli

"Sexiest math teacher in the world" and fitness model Pietro Boselli - shot by Wong Sim

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Academy Awards - "Moonlight" Wins Best Picture

OMG - my pick for "Best Picture" at the Oscars tonight won in a surprise upset.

Initially, Academy Award winners Warren Beaty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as the winner, but it appears they were handed the "Best Actress" envelope that named Emma Stone as "Best Actress."

Warren Beatty was confused looking at the envelope. Showing it to Faye Dunaway she saw La La Land, and so read that title.

But in the middle of acceptance speeches, it became clear the true winner of the "Best Picture" title was Moonlight.

I'm over the moon. This small, indie pic chronicling a young gay African-American boy's coming-of-age story was clearly an underdog in the Oscar race. I never in my dreams this gorgeous film would win "Best Picture."

In the end, Moonlight won a total of three Oscars - Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. Watch Team Moonlight in the press room moments after the win, and the trailer for the film, below.

NY Times Exec Editor: "We're Not Failing At All"

Dean Baquet, Executive Editor of the New York Times, spoke with CNN host Brian Stelter about Donald Trump's assertions that the venerable newspaper is "failing."

Via Mediaite:

After host Brian Stelter noted that Trump has tried to get the nickname to stick by using the term “failing” 53 times on Twitter to describe the Times, he asked Baquet what the facts were. “We’re not failing at all,” the editor responded. “Our digital subscriptions are going through the roof. Even print subscriptions are up. We’re a profitable company.”

He then added that this was an “effort by this administration to minimize the press.” Baquet further explained that the president’s tweets are also designed to minimize other institutions that are there to hold him accountable. “I think that’s dangerous,” he said.

Regarding the use of anonymous sources, Baquet said, "I always know who the sources are for these stories. That's why I'm so confident pushing back at the Trump administration when they criticize the stories."

Bill Paxton (Titanic, Big Love) Passes Away At 61

Bill Paxton in Titanic
Bill Paxton, whose major feature films include Aliens, Titanic and Twister,  plus the HBO hit series “Big Love,” has died from complications following a surgical procedure. He was 61.

From Variety:

With a Texas twang and grizzled visage, Paxton often found himself playing military men and cowboys. He was closely associated with James Cameron, playing an ill-fated technician in “Aliens” for the filmmakers, as well as a venal car deal in “True Lives” and a treasure hunter in “Titanic.”

Paxton anchored a few films, portraying a tornado-chasing scientist in the box office smash “Twister” (1996), and a wildlife refuge director in the flop, “Might Joe Young” (1998). In most movies, Paxton cut a morally upright figure, the character actor equivalent of a Kevin Costner or Gary Cooper. But he earned the best reviews of his career for roles that upended his persona. He was gripping as a family man trying to hide stolen money in Sam Raimi’s “A Simple Plan” (1998), and similarly effective playing against type as an ethically compromised lawman in Carl Franklin’s “One False Move” (1992).

A representative for his family released a statement asking for privacy and saying, “A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker. Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. ”

Paxton was currently working on the CBS series Training Day.

Just Because...

(via Instagram)

Moonlight Wins 6 Independent Spirit Awards

The Barry Jenkins  drama Moonlight, up for Best Picture and a number of other categories at tonight’s Oscars, took home six Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday.

The coming-of-age flick picked up 6 awards: Best Film, Director (Barry Jenkins), Screenplay (Barry Jenkins, Story By Tarell Alvin McCraney), Cinematograpy (James Paxton), Editing (Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders), and the Robert Altman award (for best cast/casting).

Moonlight was my choice for Best Film of 2016. If you haven't seen it yet, you can rent it on iTunes here.

Full list of this year's winners here.

The Randy Report Podcast - Ed Dixon "Georgie: My Adventures With George Rose"

Hit play below to listen this weekend's The Randy Report podcast, complete with snazzy new theme music :).

You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes for free. Great for listening during commutes.

This week's stories:

• Broadway veteran Ed Dixon's latest play, Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose, recently opened in New York City to rave reviews (The Huffington Post - "Georgie is a masterpiece!"). Ed joins me to talk about the background of the show and it's genesis to becoming the toast of the town.

• The Utah state legislature has advanced a bill that would make life more difficult for HIV+ people.

• The Trump administration says bathroom rights for transgender students is a "state's rights issue."

• British race car driver Danny Watts becomes the highest-profile European driver to come out so far.

• Professional provocateur and former "alt-right" darling, Milo Yiannopolous, had a very bad week.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Former Secretary Of Labor Tom Perez Becomes New Democratic National Committee Chairman

Former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee this afternoon in Atlanta, by a vote of 235-200 narrowly beat Rep. Keith Ellison.

Ellison was the overwhelming favorite of Bernie Sanders supporters, who promised to leave the Democratic party if their guy didn't prevail.

In a class-act move, Perez's first act as DNC chair was to nominate Ellison as Deputy Chair of DNC.

So, our chair is Latino, and our Deputy Chair is Muslim. #Diversity

Past Dem presidents Obama and Clinton issued their support:

And then there was this exchange:

Trump Chickens Out On This Year's White House Correspondents' Dinner

Wow. Talk about thin skin.

Clearly the Trumpster, in a big departure from past presidents, decided he couldn't take the good-natured ribbing from the press.

OR - he wouldn't be able to stand up and deliver his own humorous remarks without failing.

The last time a sitting president did not attend was in 1981, when Reagan was a no-show. Of course, it was shortly after he had been shot, so he certainly had a good reason.

Before that, Richard Nixon was the last to just "no-show" and that was in 1972. And, like Trump, he had a very tumultuous relationship with the press.

From The Hill:

The dinner honors journalists who cover the White House and awards scholarships to aspiring reporters.

The White House Correspondents’ Association, which organizes the annual dinner, typically invites the president and members of his staff. A comedian is brought in to roast the commander in chief, who then delivers lighthearted remarks.

Trump attended the dinner in 2011, where he was repeatedly mocked and teased by then-President Obama. Trump chose to skip the dinner during the 2016 presidential campaign, despite receiving a number of invites from the media.

Past dinners have attracted celebrities and athletes from outside of Washington. The association hosted the first dinner in 1921.

Bloomberg L.P., who hosts a high-profile after-party, pulled the plug on the event. Vanity Fair, who usually partners with Bloomberg in throwing the party, announced earlier this month that it would not participate.

And the New Yorker, the magazine that hosts the dinner’s kickoff party beforehand, cancelled its event earlier this month.

CNN and MSNBC were also reportedly deliberating whether it would pull out of the annual dinner.

While most presidents have issues with the media, they rise above. President Obama was particularly funny delivering prepared jokes at the annual event during his 8 years in the White House.

The White House Correspondents' Association issued this statement:

Meme Of The Day: Wine

They should put more wine in a bottle... So there's enough for two people.

Muhammad Ali's Son Detained By Florida Immigration

Muhammad Ali Jr., born in Philadelphia and son of one of the most famous men in the world, was detained for two hours at an airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

From the Courier-Journal:

The son of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali was detained for hours by immigration officials at a Florida airport, a family friend told the Courier-Journal.

Muhammad Ali Jr., 44, and his mother Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the second wife of Muhammad Ali, were arriving at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Feb. 7 after returning from speaking at a Black History Month event in Montego Bay, Jamaica. They were pulled aside while going through customs because of their Arabic-sounding names, according to family friend and lawyer Chris Mancini.

Immigration officials let Camacho-Ali go after she showed them a photo of herself with her ex-husband, but her son did not have such a photo. Mancini said officials held and questioned Ali Jr. for nearly two hours, repeatedly asking him, "Where did you get your name from?" and "Are you Muslim?"

When Ali Jr. responded that yes, he is a Muslim, the officers kept questioning him about his religion and where he was born. Ali Jr. was born in Philadelphia in 1972 and holds a U.S. passport.

Daily Dance: Ivan Vasiliev

Just a little Ivan Vasiliev for a Saturday morning.


Watch below:

New York Times To Troll Trump During Oscars

As the Trump administration continues it's assault on the media over stories deemed 'less than flattering' to Trump, the New York Times has a new marketing campaign: "The truth is more important now than ever."

From CNN:

The New York Times is running its first television ad in seven years during the Oscars Sunday night. The subject? The truth. The ad begins with voices saying, “The truth is our nation is more divided than ever,” with those words spelled out against a white backdrop. The phrase then changes to “The truth is alternative facts are lies.” The ad repeats different versions of the “The truth is…” as the voices speed up and get louder. It ends with: “The truth is hard” and “The truth is more important now than ever.”

The ad’s mission is to tap into “national dialogue going on right now about facts and the truth” and what that means in today’s world, according to New York Times branding exec David Rubin. “The idea is to be a part of that discussion about what does it mean to find the truth,” he said. “What does that mean in a world of ‘fake news’? And what is the role of journalism and journalists in that process and what is the role of reader in supporting that journalism?”

While the Donald likes to refer to the NY Times as 'failing,' the truth is their subscriptions are up.

How do I know?

Because I'm one of those new subscriptions :)

Watch the new spot below:

Friday, February 24, 2017

Shep Smith Defends CNN Again: "CNN's Reporting Is Not Fake News"

Shep Smith

Yet again, Fox News' Shepard Smith took to the airwaves today to defend CNN after White House press secretary Sean Spicer excluded CNN and others from a closed door press "gaggle."

“For the record, ‘fake news’ refers to stories that are created, often by entities pretending to be news organizations, solely to draw clicks and views and are based on nothing of substance.

“In short, fake news is made up nonsense delivered for financial gain. CNN’s reporting was not fake news. Its journalists followed the same standards to which other news organizations, including Fox News, adhere.”

Watch below:

Activists Prank CPAC With "Russian" Trump Flags

(image via Facebook)
Activists Jason Charter and Ryan Clayton of the group Americans Take Action pranked the conservative event CPAC today by passing out red, white and blue flags with the word "Trump" on them.

Only problem was - it was the wrong "red, white and blue."

From Talking Points Memo:

Charter, 22, told TPM by phone that he and Clayton organized the prank in order to "honor Trump's relationship with Putin." He said almost no one at CPAC seemed to realize the flag he handed them bore the horizontal red, white, and blue stripes of the Russian Federation underneath Trump's name.

"I asked people if they wanted a Trump flag and they took it," Charter said. "Many Trump supporters were proudly waving their Russian Trump flag."

"I think it says a lot about Donald Trump's base and their education level," he said. "I don't want to insult anyone, but I think you should know what the Russian flag is. They are one of the world's major powers, and it's a pretty easily recognized flag."

CPAC staff quickly confiscated the flags, but not before the embarrassing image went viral on social media.

Viral Video: "The Big Deal"

An Australian birthday party turns tense when a young man stands and shares a secret about himself.

What happens when he comes out to his family regarding a very personal choice?

"A simple difference shouldn't be a big deal"

From the organizers of The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival which is currently under way in Australia.

Watch below:

Utah House Committee Advances Bill To Criminalize Non-Disclosure Of HIV+ Status

By a vote of 9-2, the Utah state House Judiciary Committee has approved new legislation that would require folks to disclose HIV/AIDS status or face criminal penalties.

By a vote of 9-2, the Utah state House Judiciary Committee has approved new legislation that would require folks to disclose HIV/AIDS status or face criminal penalties.

House Bill 369 now heads to the full House for debate.

LGBT advocates and AIDS support groups worry that such legislation could discourage people from getting tested for HIV. Executive director of the LGBT rights group Equality Utah, Troy Williams worries that enacting statutes like HB369 were “starting down a path toward criminalizing people with HIV.”

But Republicans on the committee say there's no reason status shouldn't be disclosed by consenting adults. “To knowingly put another person at risk of harm to their body,” Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, said. “Why should that not be a crime?”

At one point, a proposal was put forth that would include disclosing any sexually transmitted disease, but that amendment failed.


White House Press Secretary Holds "Invite Only" Press Gaggle With Select Media Outlets

Sean Spicer

Several White House reporters were surprised and outraged today as White House press secretary Sean Spicer chose to hold a private press gaggle in his office inviting "friendly" media outlets but blocking several that President Trump has publicly deemed as having less-than-favorable reports on his administration.

From The Hill:

Spicer decided to hold an off-camera “gaggle” with reporters inside his West Wing office instead of the traditional on-camera briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room.

Among the outlets not permitted to cover the gaggle were news organizations that President Trump has singled out for criticism, including CNN.

The New York Times, The Hill, Politico, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News were among the other news organizations not permitted to attend.

Several right-leaning outlets were allowed into Spicer’s office, including Breitbart, the Washington Times and One America News Network.

A number of major news organizations were also let in to cover the gaggle. That group included ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Reuters and Bloomberg.

The White House Correspondents’ Association sharply criticized the decision.

“The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today's gaggle is being handled by the White House,” Jeff Mason, the association’s president, said in a statement.

“We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not,” he added. “The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.”

A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

The "invitation only" presser drew quick rebuke from journalists.

From the New York Times:

“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties,” Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said in a statement. “We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”

And then these from Twitter:

Hillary Clinton For Democrats: "Let Resistance Plus Persistence Equal Progress"

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reaches out to fellow Democrats just a day before the party is set to elect it's next party chair.

During the three minute video, Clinton rallies the Dems for the work and elections that lie ahead.

“Ideas we championed are now inspiring leaders and activists across our country. Nearly sixty-six million votes are fueling grass roots energy and activism.

"And everywhere people are marching, protesting, tweeting, speaking out and working for an America that’s hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted.

“We as Democrats must move forward with courage, confidence and optimism, and stay focused on the elections we must win this year and next,” she said. “Let resistance plus persistence equal progress for our party and our country.”

President Trump Plans To "Do Something" About Press Use Of Unnamed Sources

President Trump told the crowd at CPAC today he plans to "do something about" the media's use of unnamed sources.

Via Deadline:

“They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name,’ Trump told an enthusiastic crowd of conservatives at their annual gathering outside Washington, D.C.

“I want you all to know we are fighting the fake news. Phoney. Fake,” he said to roars of approval.

“I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are.. because they have no sources; they just make them up when there are none. They make up sources” he said.

“And they shouldn’t use ‘sources’,” he said, adding they should be required to put the names of everyone to whom they speak into their reports. The end result he explained, “you will see stories dry up like you’ve never been before.”

Considering we have the First Amendment, I don't think El Trumpo will be doing anything about how the free press utilizes named or unnamed sources.

You'll recall back in the day, the president liked to call NYC media and pretend to be "Donald Trump's publicist" to drop blind items about himself in the newspapers.

Caitlyn Jenner: "This Is A Disaster"

Donald Trump supporter Caitlin Jenner took to her Instagram last night to declare, "I have a message for President Trump from one Republican to another. This is a disaster and you can still fix it. You may have promised to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me.”

The video message was in regards to the Trump administration reversing course on protections for transgender students.

Jenner also included a message in the video's caption, which read:

“I have a message for the trans kids of America. You are winning. I know it doesn’t feel that way today or every day, but you _ are _ winning. You are going to keep on winning so much you’re going to get sick of winning. Very soon, we’ll win full freedom nationwide, and it’s going to happen with bipartisan support. For all our friends out there, If you want to be part of this winning side, you can help by checking out the National Center for Trans Equality and letting Washington hear how you feel loud and clear. (Link in bio!) Now…I also have a message for the bullies. You suck. You’re losers and you’re going to keep on losing. Because you’re weak, you pick on kids or you pick on women or anyone you think is vulnerable. Apparently even becoming the Attorney General isn’t enough to cure some of you of your insecurity. As proof that you can’t stop our progress, the Supreme Court will soon hear an important Title Nine case thanks to the courage of a brave young man named Gavin Grimm. See you in court!”

You may recall that Jenner is a devout Republican who supported Sen. Ted Cruz in his White House bid last year, called Hillary Clinton a "liar" and has repeatedly said she feels she can be an ambassador between the LGBT community and the GOP.

Meme Of The Day

"Someone placed a tiny border wall around Donald Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

Trump Rails At FBI Over 'Leakers'

President Trump took to Twitter this morning (for a change) to complain about leaks to journalists from the FBI and his own White House:

But, let's take a trip in the "way back machine" to a time when the Trumpster looooooved leaks...

Teen Transgender Student: "I Should Be Able To Use The Boys Room" Like My Peers

From CNN:

Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old transgender student, was barred from using the boys' bathroom at his Virginia high school.

Grimm is the plaintiff in a lawsuit that the Supreme Court is set to hear next month.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Laverne Cox Kills On MSNBC Talking Trump's Shift On Trans Student Protections

Transgender actress Laverne Cox absolutely rocked her appearance tonight on MSNBC's Hardball.

We already knew she is an outstanding advocate for the trans community, and her calm, collected and reasoned appearance here underlines that.

I'd break it down for you, but to be honest, it really just needs to be seen.

Bravo, Laverne!

p.s. note how Travis Weber, representing the ironically named Center for Religious Liberty, never - never - answers Matthews' question about which bathroom Laverne should use. #coward

White House Asked FBI To Knock Down Media Reports Regarding Trump/Russia Communications

Folks inside the White House apparently reached out to the FBI (a no-no) with a request to help quiet the ongoing stories in the media about "constant communications" between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the presidential campaign.

From CNN:

The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN.

White House officials had sought the help of the bureau and other agencies investigating the Russia matter to say that the reports were wrong and that there had been no contacts, the officials said. The reports of the contacts were first published by The New York Times and CNN on February 14.

The direct communications between the White House and the FBI were unusual because of decade-old restrictions on such contacts. Such a request from the White House is a violation of procedures that limit communications with the FBI on pending investigations.

Music Video: Calum Scott "Dancing On My Own (1 Mic 1 Take)"

Calum Scott

Former Britain's Got Talent contestant Calum Scott shares this new video for his cover of the Robyn hit, "Dancing On My Own."

The out singer shot this "1 Mic 1 Take" clip at the legendary Capitol Records studios. I don't know why, but black and white video seems to make the subject matter more honest or revealing.

And speaking of honest, the woofy Mr. Scott is honestly handsome :)

“Dancing On My Own” has entered the charts at both Top 40 Pop and AC Radio and continues to climb. The song was the best-selling U.K. single of 2016 by a British solo artist and has been nominated for a Brit Award for Best Single. Calum also recently wrapped up his first North American headline tour, selling out shows across the country.

Calum Scott’s poignant version of Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" quickly charted in over 34 countries on Spotify, peaking at No. 1 on the Viral chart in six countries, including the U.S. The song has charted at No. 1 on iTunes in 11 countries and is certified Platinum in four countries.

In the U.K., it hit #2 on the Official Singles Sales chart and was the most-downloaded song of the summer.

You can download the hit single on iTunes here.

News Round-Up: February 23, 2017

Some news items you may have missed:

• The Twitterverse lost its mind over this (above) pic of Candadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's backside. Let's take a moment, shall we?

• File this under irony - Congressman Louie Gohmert, the man who authored legislation making it legal for people with mental health issues to buy guns, now won't do town hall meetings because he's afraid he'll be killed. Later in the day, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot while in office, issued a statement telling Gohmert to "have some courage."

• Grace Slick, of Jefferson Starship fame, is licensing the band's song "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" to anti-LGBT company Chick-Fil-A for use in a commercial because she's donating all the royalties to Lambda Legal. "I decided to spend the cash in direct opposition to 'Check'-fil-A’s causes — and to make a public example of them, too. We’re going to take some of their money, and pay it back."

• The Arkansas state Supreme Court has struck down a city ordinance banning discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. Because banning discrimination is a bad thing???

• White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway was reportedly yanked off TV appearances for a week after she went "off message" telling the media that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had the "complete confidence of the president" just hours before being sacked.

• In light of the Trump-Pence Administation rescinding important protections for trans students in schools, dozens of LGBT rights and progressive groups will be leading a protest rally (cosponsored by the New York City Council, GLSEN, GLAAD, and Lambda Legal) this afternoon outside the Stonewall Inn in downtown Manhattan. The event begins at 5:30PM. More info at the event's Facebook page here.

Cartoon Of The Day: The Donald Trump Mysteries

(Ruben Bolling - artist)

Click the image to enlarge.

Follow Ruben Bolling on Twitter.

(via Daily Kos)

National Education Association Responds To Trump Administration Rolling Back Transgender Protections

Lily Eskelsen GarcĂ­a, president of The National Education Association, which is represents more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, issued this statement in response to the Trump administration's decision to rescind guidance protecting transgender students' use of public bathrooms in schools:

Every student matters, and every student has the right to feel safe, welcomed, and valued in our public schools. This is our legal, ethical and moral obligation. The Trump administration’s plans to reverse protections for transgender students by rescinding the Title IX guidance, is dangerous, ill-advised, and unnecessary.

We reject this discriminatory plan because it is a drastic departure from our core values. We don’t teach hate, we do not tell people how to pray, and we do not discriminate against people based on their religion, gender, or identity. Period.

As the Trump administration threatens our students and our values, we will double-down on our efforts to protect our most vulnerable citizens, including our LGBTQ students and members. We urge more states, school districts, and schools to adopt protections for transgender students. We owe to our students because they need to see us take a bold stand against discrimination whatever form it takes.