Thursday, August 31, 2017

Richard Anderson, 'Six Million Dollar Man' & 'The Bionic Woman' Actor, Passes Away At 91

Lee Majors (L), Richard Anderson (C), Lindsay Wagner (R)

Ah, man. I can't tell you how much I loved both The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.

Richard Anderson, who brought to life "Oscar Goldman," the head of the fictional Office of Scientific Intelligence and eventual boss of Six Million Dollar Man "Steve Austin" and The Bionic Woman "Jaime Sommers," has passed away at the age of 91.

Via Hollywood Reporter:

In the highly rated, two-part episode that brought a thrilling end to the 1960s ABC series The Fugitive, Anderson portrayed the brother-in-law of Richard Kimble (David Janssen). He also was Police Lt. Steve Drumm on the final season of CBS’ Perry Mason and Santa Luisa Police Chief George Untermeyer on ABC’s Dan August, starring Burt Reynolds.

After three popular Six Million Dollar Man telefilms in 1973, the Universal TV property was given steady life as an ABC series in January 1974. On the show, Anderson played the chief of the fictional Office of Scientific Intelligence and the boss of Steve Austin (Lee Majors), a NASA astronaut who is injured in a crash and “rebuilt” (at a cost of about $29 million in today’s dollars), becoming a secret agent.

Anderson also is heard in the show’s action-packed introduction: “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, we have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man.”

The series then spawned The Bionic Woman — starring Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers, a tennis player who’s infused with machinery and brought back to life after a parachuting accident, and Anderson played Goldman on that show (which went from ABC to NBC) as well.

He was the first actor to portray the same character on two TV series running concurrently on two networks.

Both shows ended in 1978, but Universal, prodded by Anderson, made three more bionic telefilms through 1994. As an executive producer, he was instrumental in the casting of Sandra Bullock as a supercharged woman in 1989’s Bionic Showdown.

In a statement, Majors said that he first met Anderson in 1966 when he guest-starred on one of Majors' earlier shows, The Big Valley.

"Richard became a dear and loyal friend, and I have never met a man like him," he recalled. "I called him 'Old Money.' His always stylish attire, his class, calmness and knowledge never faltered in his 91 years. He loved his daughters, tennis and his work as an actor. He was still the sweet, charming man when I spoke to him a few weeks ago."

Added Wagner: "I can't begin to say how much I have always admired and have been grateful for the elegance and loving friendship I was blessed to have with Richard Anderson."

Tony & Grammy Award Winner Billy Porter: "Why I Am Committed To Disturbing The Peace"

Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter has penned a powerful op-ed for his hometown newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, titled "Why I Am Committed To Disturbing The Peace."

God, I love me some Billy Porter. The phrase "force of nature" seems like an understatement when describing his incredible spirit.

Here's an excerpt:

James Baldwin said, “An artist’s job is to disturb the peace.” I take my job very seriously. The challenging thing about crossover success is that it sometimes comes in the form of playing characters that everyone can love for his or her diplomacy. Everyone loves Switzerland. Here’s what I need everyone to understand as we all move forward. I won a Tony Award as the big-hearted drag queen Miss Lola in “Kinky Boots” — a character I loved playing and will soon play again on Broadway. I suspect many of you came to the concert expecting Lola. And while there are many similarities between us, Lola is a creation of fiction and resides in the comfortable space we in show business call “commercial success.”

Billy Porter the man is a very different entity with a voice that will never be defined or confined by anything or anybody. And while I profoundly apologize for cussing in front of children, I encourage you all to harness and activate the same outrage you have for my F-Bombs and direct that energy to our “leader,” who managed to get elected even after bragging about grabbing women by their ... well, this is a family newspaper. I find myself staring in the face of a president and an administration that think it’s perfectly fine to put my humanity up for legislation — again! We already did this, y’all. Folk have already fought and died for our rights, so excuse me if I’m having a hard time worrying about other people’s comfort levels.

I’m turning on my news outlets every day and seeing the leader of the free world lie every time he opens his mouth. I see a man whose lies have led to an investigation of collusion and treason against our country. I see the GOP standing silent to all these things and therefore complicit in them. I also see Congress, under the cloak of many-a-night, aggressively passing laws that roll back progress and protections we’ve made in the country over the past century pertaining to my basic human rights by making discrimination against me legal ... again! I see an administration attacking my transgender brothers and sisters in the military just because it can. I see it attacking women. I see the KKK and white supremacist attacking my Jewish brothers and sisters in this country by marching mask-less in the streets and chanting, “Jews will not replace us,” among many other terrifying things, and a president who responds by blaming the victims. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of the last 200-plus days of terror this administration has vomited on this country. I haven’t slept in months. I fear for my safety and my family’s every time I step out of the bubble that is New York City.

I know in my heart that ultimately love is the answer, but sometime tough love needs to be implemented, and it ain’t pretty. I’m working on grace. But the line has been drawn in the sand. It’s unfortunate, but there are sides now. I’ve chosen mine. You chose yours.

I really encourage you to click over and read the full op-ed.

I've known Billy for almost 30 years. As I and the public at large is very aware, he is a man of incalculable talent and passion. Billy knows and speaks his truth with ferocious heart.

I interviewed Billy a few months ago as he released his newest album, The Soul of Richard Rodgers. You can listen to Billy speak truth to power in that interview here.

Louise L. Hay Passes Away At 90

 In the late 1980s, I suffered a deeply personal hurt that sent me into a downward spiral that would affect me for years.

I never blamed the person who inflicted the injury on me. He was doing the best he could.

I knew I had somehow allowed myself to be injured, and I looked for ways to mend my heart.

I credit Louise L. Hay's best seller, You Can Heal Your Heart, with helping me move through and past that hurt.

In the infinity of life where I am all is perfect, whole & complete.

Back in the day, the approach was deemed "New Age" philosophy, which over time was labeled "fake."

Today, I would assert there are worse lessons to learn in life that loving yourself leads to everything else.

RIP Louise L. Hay

News Round-Up: August 31, 2017

Andres Camilo (L) and Max Emerson (R)
Some news items you may have missed:

• Max Emerson and his boyfriend Andres Camilo have posed for a sexy, sultry photo shoot by Daniel Jaems for the Obsession series (above). More at Attitude.

• There are more out college football players today than ever before.

• Those "regular moms" in the recent hideous anti-same-sex marriage ad in Australia turn out to be liars, crackpots and "ex-gay" therapy advocates. #NoSurprise

• The Trump administration has ordered three Russian diplomatic facilities in the U.S. closed (NYC, SF, DC) “in the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians” after Russia demanded the U.S. reduce our presence in their country by hundreds of personnel.

• "Dreamers" are uneasy as President Donald Trump weighs whether to pull the plug on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program), a program that protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

• Check out the fun, new music video for Youngr's acclaimed single "Monsters." The artist describes the track as “a song for all the day dreamers and doodlers. I wrote this about my childhood at school. I used to draw my maths teacher as a monster whilst counting down the seconds until I could run home and play my drum kit! So if anyone out there is fed up with school or work, put this track on and turn it up.”

Watch below.

First Look: WILL & GRACE Reboot

Check out the First Look sneak peek at the upcoming Will & Grace reboot premiering September 28 on NBC at 9PM.

Looks like they've lost none of their comedic stride: Karen jamming out to Fox News, Jack angry that Brangelina co-opted his breakup week, and Grace thinks Newt Gingrich is most likely to have "aged into a lesbian."

As earlier reported, the reboot will ignore the original series finale which makes sense :)

Can't wait for the 28th!

Watch below.

Former Trump Campaign Chairman Notes Include Cryptic "Donations" During Russian Meeting At Trump Tower

Paul Manafort

NBC News reports that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort made notes about "donations" and the Republican National Committee during the now infamous June 2016 meeting with a Russian government attorney at Trump Tower.

Paul Manafort's notes from a controversial Trump Tower meeting with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign included the word "donations," near a reference to the Republican National Committee, two sources briefed on the evidence told NBC News.

The references, which have not been previously disclosed, elevated the significance of the June 2016 meeting for congressional investigators, who are focused on determining whether it included any discussion of donations from Russian sources to either the Trump campaign or the Republican Party.

It is illegal for foreigners to donate to American elections. The meeting happened just as Trump had secured the Republican nomination for president, and he was considered a longshot to win. Manafort was the campaign chairman at the time.

Manafort's notes, typed on a smart phone and described by one briefed source as cryptic, were turned over to the House and Senate intelligence committees and to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. They contained the words "donations," and "RNC" in close proximity, the sources said.

Previous statements from Don Jr. mentioned Manafort was "on his phone" as if he wasn't interested.

"On his phone taking notes" now makes it seem like the meeting was more important than initially characterized.

Web Series: "Where The Bears Are" Season 6 Premiere

The first episode of Where The Bears Are Season 6 is available!

I've loved this web series since its first season back in 2012.

Where The Bears Are follows the exploits of 3 bear roommates sharing a house in the hills of Silverlake. It is "The Golden Girls" meets "Murder She Wrote" with big, hairy, gay men. Lots of over the top fun.

The official description for this episode:

In the sixth season opener, Reggie exploits his harrowing confrontation with Jeremy Richards in Mexico for the benefit of his TV show’s ratings, a nasty guest star on Law & Order: Male Rape Unit tortures Nelson with a series of mean tweets, and Wood lands an audition for a major comeback role in a porn film. Meanwhile at the International Security Agency, Todd finds himself pitted against an old nemesis (E. Levi Allen) for a big promotion.

More info at

New Music Video From Tom Goss: "Click - The Interactive Love Story"

Singer/songwriter Tom Goss takes you into the party with his new interactive music video, "Click - The Interactive Love Story."

"Click" is the first "choose-your-own-love-story" music video.

After introducing you to the folks enjoying his Hollywood Hills party, you get to pick who you want to party with (Hallway Hooligans, Bar Flies, Water Babes, or Dancing Dolls).

The good news is they are all into you. And, if you find you're not happy with your choice, you get to pick again on and on as you play out your interactive party date.

And, as always with Tom, the music is way catchy.

Watch below.

U.S. Conducts Bombing Drills With South Korea Over Korean Peninsula

(U.S. Pacific Command/South Korean government)

This will drive North Korea's resident idiot President Kim Jong Un insane.

Via U.S. Pacific Command:

In a demonstration of ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies, U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II fighters assigned to the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan are joined by Republic of Korea Air Force F-15K fighters during a 10-hour mission from Andersen Air Force Base, into Japanese airspace and over the Korean Peninsula, August 30th.

This mission was conducted in direct response to North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missile launch, which flew directly over northern Japan on August 28 amid rising tension over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development programs.

(Alex Fox Echols III/U.S. Air Force)

Trump Claims To Have Witnessed Horror & Devastation Of Harvey "Firsthand"

The above image, captioned "After witnessing first hand the horror & devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, my heart goes out even more so to the great people of Texas," was posted to Donald Trump's Instagram account last night.

Of course, the fact is Trump did not witness "first hand" any devastation or horror caused by Hurricane Harvey because he didn't visit any of the devastated areas during his hours long-visit to Texas yesterday.

Nor did he meet or console any of the victims of the flooding caused by the storm.

His press secretary was asked what he meant by "first hand," and this was the response:

"He met with a number of state and local officials who are eating, sleeping, breathing the Harvey disaster. He talked extensively with the governor, who certainly is right in the midst of every bit of this, as well as the mayors from several of the local towns that were hit hardest. And detailed briefing information throughout the day yesterday talking to a lot of the people on the ground -- that certainly is a firsthand account."

Actually, being told information you haven't experienced yourself is the very definition of a "second-hand account."

And the Twitterverse jumped right in:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Special Counsel Robert Mueller Teaming Up With NY Attorney General On Paul Manafort Investigation

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort
Politico is reporting tonight that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators into Russian interference in the 2016 election are collaborating with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on its investigation into former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his financial transactions.

The cooperation is the latest indication that the federal probe into President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is intensifying. It also could potentially provide Mueller with additional leverage to get Manafort to cooperate in the larger investigation into Trump’s campaign, as Trump does not have pardon power over state crimes.

The two teams have shared evidence and talked frequently in recent weeks about a potential case, these people said. One of the people familiar with progress on the case said both Mueller’s and Schneiderman’s teams have collected evidence on financial crimes, including potential money laundering.

Bolding is mine.

Many felt Trump's pardon of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio was a signal from Trump that he might pardon anyone caught up in the Special Counsel's investigation.

State charges would certainly short-circuit Trump's powers should Manafort's situation grow dire.

West Virginia Lesbian Couple Settle Lawsuit With County Clerk Over Marriage License Harassment

(image via Americans United for Separation of Church and State)

A lesbian couple in West Virginia were told early last year that they were an "abomination" by a county clerk as they applied for a marriage license.

The clerk added at the time, "God would deal with them."

In April, high school sweethearts Amanda Ambramovich and Samantha Brookover filed suit against Gilmer County in federal court with the help of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, claiming that Deputy Clerk Debbie Allen violated their constitutional rights by discriminating against them under the guise of religion when they applied for a license.

Now, the county has agreed to settle the lawsuit brought by the couple.

MetroWeekly reports on the outcome:

As part of Wednesday’s settlement, Gilmer County has agreed to issue a public statement admitting wrongdoing and apologizing to Abramovich and Brookover. The county also agreed to pay $10,000 in damages to the couple, and has promised to require all county officials and employees of both the clerk’s office and the County Commission to undergo sensitivity training, which will be provided by Fairness West Virginia, within the next four months.

Lastly, the county has agreed to permanently post a sign in the clerk’s office with language stating that the office will serve all residents, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Consenting adults should never be made to feel embarrassed or ashamed when marrying the person they love,” the couple told MetroWeekly. “It will be a comfort to know that this behavior will no longer be allowed in the Gilmer County Courthouse.”

Fox News Poll: Trump Approval Rating Drops To Lowest Yet

In his worst showing yet, Donald Trump's approval numbers in the latest Fox News Poll - FOX NEWS POLL!!! - have fallen to his lowest numbers in the poll since taking office.

Only 41% of those surveyed approve of the job Trump is doing as president while 55% disapprove.

And while Trump promised to be a "uniter" during the campaign, folks view him exactly the opposite as 56% feel he is "tearing the country apart." Only 33% feel he is bringing the country together.

His handling of race relations shows a large weak spot for Trump as 56% believe Trump doesn't respect racial minorities, and only 35% approved of his handling of the Charlottesville hate rally debacle.

More results over at Fox News.

Colton Haynes Calls Out 'F*cked Up' Hollywood Execs For Not Casting More Out Actors

Colton Haynes (image via Instagram)

Arrow/Teen Wolf star Colton Haynes went on an unexplained Twitter rant last night calling out Hollywood power peeps for not hiring more openly LGBT actors.

Haynes did, however, reserve praise for Hollywood execs Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story), Greg Berlanti (Arrow) and Jeff Davis (Teen Wolf) who have cast the handsome Haynes in his three most high-profile roles.

“Hollywood is so f**ked up. So much of the focus is on your personal life & has nothing to do with the talent you have to bring to the table.”

“Thank god for Ryan Murphy, Greg Berlanti, & Jeff Davis. They believe gay actors are more than just their personal lives.

“So disappointed in how Hollywood cant understand that playing a character has nothing to do with how u live your personal life.”

Haynes makes his return to Teen Wolf in the September 10 episode with fellow alum Charlie Carver as a hottie gay were-couple, and will also appear in the upcoming season of American Horror Story: Cult beginning September 5.

A post shared by Colton Haynes (@coltonlhaynes) on

Ariana Grande & Seth MacFarlane Belt Out "Suddenly Seymour" For Carpool Karaoke

I just found out the uber-popular "Carpool Karaoke" segments from The Late Late Show has begun transitioning into an Apple TV series.

Check out pop star Ariana Grande and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane belt out a terrific "Suddenly Seymour" from the musical Little Shop of Horrors.

Not only are the vocals on point, near the end of the song MacFarlane almost has a mini-crash while driving the vehicle. But no one drops a note!

“We almost died! But the belting was more important!” said Grande after finishing the song. “I like that we didn’t skip a beat. That is what comes from being a theater person. You stay in it!”

Watch the clip, below.

(h/t OUT)

Pew Poll: 46% Of Republicans Have "Mixed Feelings" About Trump's Conduct

A new poll from Pew Research Center shows 46% of Republicans and those who lean Republican have "mixed feelings" about Donald Trump's conduct as president.

Also troubling - 19% of Republicans and those who lean Republican say they don’t approve of Trump’s conduct as commander-in-chief at all.

Overall, among those surveyed, 58% don't like Trump's conduct as prez.

U.S. Successfully Tests Missile Interceptor In Pacific

I've wondered what or how the U.S. would technically respond if North Korea were to actually launch a ballistic missile attack on us.

I assumed there would be an intercept of some kind, but wasn't sure what it would be. Fighter jets? Missiles?

The Diplomat has the details:

Days after North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido and landed in the northern Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Navy successfully conducted a complex missile defense test this week at the Pacific Missile Range Facility off Kauai, Hawaii, according to a Raytheon company statement.

The Standard Missile-6, one of the U.S. Navy’s most advanced missile interceptors, intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target at sea in its final seconds of flight, after being fired from the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones. The principal objective of the launch was test to a new targeting software designed to enable the SM-6 to intercept a ballistic missile warhead descending from the upper atmosphere at extreme speed.

The endo-atmospheric interceptor uses a blast-fragmentation warhead to engage its target.

Watch CBS News' report below:

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

BREAKING: Defense Secretary Mattis Puts Transgender Military Ban On Hold

You'll recall that Donald Trump initially said "his generals" told him to ban trans soldiers from the U.S. military.

Well, "his generals" just told him to hit pause.

Putting the brakes on Trump's proposed ban on transgender folks in the U.S. military, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced today that there will be no change in the current policy regarding transgender soldiers serving in the military until he has a chance to review the results of a study by experts.

From USA Today:

The announcement follows an order from President Trump — first announced in a tweet — declaring that transgender service members can no longer serve in the military, effectively reversing an Obama administration policy. The order also affects the Department of Homeland Security, which houses the Coast Guard.

"Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security, I will provide my advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction," Mattis said in the statement. "In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place."

Mattis' move buys time for the Pentagon to determine how and if it will allow thousands of transgender troops to continue to serve, whether they will receive medical treatment, or how they will be discharged.

Humility, Thy Name Is Trump? "What A Crowd, What A Turnout"

Donald Trump admiring his crowd size in Texas 

Humility, humility, where for art thou, humility?

Via The Hill:

Visting parts of Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey, Donald Trump was in classic form noting the size of his crowd gathered to see him.

"What a crowd, what a turnout," Trump said to a crowd of several hundred people surrounding a fire station, according to a White House pool report.

The president reportedly spoke from a ladder between two fire trucks.

"Thank you," Trump said to cheers.

"We love you, you are special, we are here to take care of you," Trump said. "It's going well."

Special Counsel Focusing On How Much Trump Knew About Son's Meeting With Russian Lawyer

Don Trump Jr. and father
Via HuffPost:

Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly questioning how much President Donald Trump knew about his son Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with Kremlin-linked lawyers at Trump Tower and if the president sought to hide the purpose of that meeting, NBC reports.

Trump has denied knowing about the matter until it was revealed by The New York Times. The president did, however, help draft his son’s statement to the press in response to reports about the meeting, according to The Washington Post.

“Even if Trump is not charged with a crime as a result of the statement, it could be useful to Mueller’s team to show Trump’s conduct to a jury that may be considering other charges,” an unnamed source told NBC.

News Round-Up: August 29, 2017

(via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Eliad Cohen keeps scanning the horizon looking for me in Mykonos, Greece #ICanDayDream

• 143 House Democrats have penned a letter asking Donald Trump to reconsider his "ill-advised and indefensible policy” of banning transgender service members from the U.S. military. Citing probable unconstitutionality of the policy, the lawmakers' letter to the president underscores that trans military "serve with equal distinction; they are equally deserving of our gratitude and respect.”

Superman Henry Cavill assures us all that his moustache "continues to thrive" even on vacay. #FurryGoodness

A post shared by Henry Cavill (@henrycavill) on

• Pro-Trump/Nazi websites Stormfront and The Daily Stormer have lost their web hosting due to hate speech and histories of violent crimes.

• A Republican lawmaker has proposed an amendment in Congress that would stop funding the Special Counsel investigation 180 days after it became law. The amendment from Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis would also limit special counsel Robert Mueller from probing “matters occurring before June 2015,” which is the month Donald Trump announced his presidential bid.

• Averaging only a few thousand viewers during the day in the UK, the owners of Fox News have decided to pull the network from airing in Britain.

• New music from out Canadian twins Tegan and Sara as they team up with Matthew Dear for "Bad Ones." Listen below.

"So You Think You Can Dance" Cast Kills It With RuPaul's "Call Me Mother"

It's been a busy morning, and I've been seeing lots of reports about the So You Think You Can Dance All-Stars and Top 8 dancers killing it last night with a piece by choreographer Mark Kanemura set to “Call Me Mother” from RuPaul’s recent album, American.

And everyone was right - pretty epic.

No politics here, just way tight dancing and ography. #slayy

Watch below.

Hate Group Airs Attack Ad Against Aussie Marriage Equality Claiming Boys Will Be Forced To Wear Dresses

In Australia, the ironically named "Coalition for Marriage" - the group actually OPPOSES marriage for same-sex couples - has released and aired the first ad in the 'No' campaign against legalizing same-sex marriage.

Using often-told lies to inflame opposition, the actors in the :30 clip look intensely concerned as they spout lines like, "School told my son he could wear a dress next year if he felt like it” and "When same-sex marriage passes as law overseas, this type of program becomes widespread and compulsory."

Of course, no one "compels" a young boy to wear a dress to school when marriage equality becomes the law of the land.

And the upcoming mail-in survey (costing the country over $122 million) is about marriage equality, not about what will be taught in schools.

But folks were warned that this kind of hostile and offensive rhetoric would be teed up by the haters as Australia prepares to vote via mail on whether the country should embrace same-sex marriage.

Recent polls show majority support (57%) for allowing gays and lesbians to marry, but who knows what the haters have lined up next?

You can watch the fearmongering below.

New Laws In Illinois Ban "Gay Panic" Defense In Murder Cases, Make Amending Trans Birth Certificates Easier

Good news in Illinois as the state's governor has just signed two bills into law that will help LGBTs find greater equality in the Prairie State.

The first bill removes the option of a "gay panic" defense in murder cases. Utilized in several LGBT murders in recent years (Matthew Shepard, Brandon Teena, Marco McMillan), "gay panic" defenses have allowed defendants accused of killing homosexuals to legally claim they had a legitimate fear for their safety because the victim had made a pass at them.

The defense has been criticized by many for implicitly condoning that LGBTs are a threat to society.

Illinois is the second state in the U.S. to ban the defense. California is the only other state to pass similar legislation.

The second bill makes it easier for transgender people to amend their birth certificates to reflect their correct gender identity.

Until now, trans folks had to submit sworn affidavits from their physicians confirming they had performed gender confirmation surgery.

Under the new law, trans individuals are only required to provide a note from licensed medical professionals documenting the fact that they are receiving "clinically appropriate" treatment as they transition.


Trump Under Fire For Promoting $40 Campaign Hat During Hurricane Harvey

I remember when I saw the photo of Donald Trump wearing that silly red hat during his Hurricane Harvey teleconference wondering, "Why is he wearing that hat?"

Now we know.

The Trumpster is coming under fire for promoting a $40 campaign hat on sale at his website while tending to Hurricane Harvey.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has raised questions as well as Trump's former head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), Walter Shaub.

Monday, August 28, 2017

How You Can Help Houston After Hurricane Harvey

The Montrose Center, Houston’s LGBTQ counseling and community center serving more than 35,000 LGBT clients with its programs, is hoping to raise $100,000 to provide food and housing, particularly for the many homeless LGBT youth who use its resources.

From the campaign:

The LGBTQ Disaster Relief Fund will be used to help individuals and families begin to rebuild their lives through counseling, case management, direct assistance with shelf stable food, furniture, housing and more. The Center’s dedicated case management team is on call to help homeless youth, seniors, people living with HIV, hate crime survivors, and those devastated by the storm.

While the Montrose Center will focus primarily on empowering the LGBTQ community to rebuild after the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, we serve all people in need regardless of their sexuality.

Click here to donate.

Kissing Same-Sex Couples Cover Vogue Italia

A post shared by Emanuele Farneti (@efarneti) on

Vogue Italia features same-sex couples engaging in some lip lock for their September issue.

Real-life couple Edoardo Velicskov and Pablo Rousson on one cover, Lily Aldridge and Vittoria Ceretti on another.

Photo credit for the cover shots goes to Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

A post shared by Mert Alas (@mertalas) on

Rep. Duncan Hunter On Trump: "He's An Asshole, But He's Our Asshole"

Rep. Duncan Hunter says Donald Trump "is an asshole, but he's our asshole"

The old phrase "With friends like these, who needs enemies?" comes to mind here.

One of Donald Trump's earliest supporters in Congress, Rep. Duncan Hunter, one of Donald Trump’s first allies in Congress, used colorful language in touting the president as their champion at a Riverside County Young Republicans meeting in a Murrieta sports bar.

“He’s just like he is on TV,” Hunter, R-Alpine, told the group. “He’s an asshole, but he’s our asshole.”

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Hunter’s chief of staff did not respond to emails for comment. His voice mailbox was filled and could not accept more messages.

I can't imagine why...

Trump Asked If Russia Is Security Threat: "I Consider Many Countries As A Security Threat"

During a press conference with the president of Finland, Donald Trump was asked if he considers Russia to be a security threat.

His answer: “Well, I consider many countries as a security threat."

He. Just. Can't. Say. It.

During the same press conference, Trump was asked why he pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio during Hurricane Harvey.

"I assumed the ratings would be higher," he replied.

Trump Lawyer Emailed Kremlin Directly For Help On Business Deal

For a year, Donald Trump has repeatedly denied having "nothing to do with Russia."

Here's just one sample of his denials:

But it turns out the Trumpster actually signed a "letter of intent" to build a "Trump Tower Moscow" four months into his presidential campaign.

From ABC News:

The involvement of then-candidate Trump in a proposed Russian development deal contradicts repeated statements Trump made during the campaign, including telling ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that his business had “no relationship to Russia whatsoever.”

The disclosure from Cohen, who has described himself as Trump’s personal lawyer, came as Cohen’s attorney gave congressional investigators scores of documents and emails from the campaign, including several pertaining to the Moscow development idea.

“Certain documents in the production reference a proposal for ‘Trump Tower Moscow,’ which contemplated a private real estate development in Russia,” Cohen’s statement says. “The decision to pursue the proposal initially, and later to abandon it, was unrelated to the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign.”

In a separate statement texted to ABC News, Cohen added that “the Trump Moscow proposal was simply one of many development opportunities that the Trump Organization considered and ultimately rejected.”

Cohen specifically says in his statement that Trump was told three times about the Moscow proposal.

“To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Trump was never in contact with anyone about this proposal other than me on three occasions, including signing a non-binding letter of intent in 2015,” his statement says.

Also found in the emails was a message from Trump associate Felix Sater to Cohen boasting of his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected," Sater wrote in an email. "Buddy, our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”

Click image to enlarge

Taking a trip on the way-back machine, we find this tweet from Cohen last December that doesn't seem to have aged well:

Cartoon Of The Day

From Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson

Colorado Man Cuts Himself With Own Knife, Blames Black Man Saying His "Neo-Nazi" Haircut Caused Alleged Attack

Joshua Lee Witt of Sheridan, Colorado, has been arrested and charged with falsely reporting a crime after claiming he'd been stabbed by a black man over his "neo-Nazi" haircut.

The 26-year-old faces up to a year in jail and a $2,650 fine if convicted.

From the Denver ABC affiliate:

At the time, Witt told officers a black man in his 20s came up to him outside the restaurant and asked, “Are you one of them neo-Nazis?” and tried to stab him. Witt said he had gotten a defensive wound while trying to stop the stabbing, and posted pictures of his bloody hand to Facebook. He said the man ran off afterward.

Witt, who has a haircut similar to the way some on the “alt-right” have been wearing theirs lately, claimed his haircut may have been the cause for the alleged attack.

But police weren’t convinced, and reviewed surveillance video in the area, and never saw a black man running from the scene. They also discovered that a transient man matching the description lived nearby. They interviewed him and discovered he wasn’t involved.

Police then reviewed more surveillance video—this time from a nearby sporting goods store.

That video showed Witt had bought a small knife from the store just minutes before the attack.

Last Thursday, Sheridan police confronted Witt with the new information, and Witt admitted he’d accidentally cut himself with the knife inside his car, then made up the story about the attack.

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Hillary Clinton Will Launch Book Tour To Promote New Memoir "What Happened"

Hillary Clinton will promote her new memoir, What Happened, via a book tour across the United States and Canada this fall.

According to publisher Simon & Schuster, "She'll connect with audiences with a story that's personal, raw, detailed, and surprisingly funny. She'll take you with her on her journey and talk about HAPPENED, what's next, and what's on your mind."

News site Axios notes that the book tour schedule has Hillary back in Wisconsin exactly one year and one day after the 2016 election. She'll be stopping in Michigan and Pennsylvania, too.

You can find ticket info here.

For more info about live events and book signing, click here.

The Today Show Goes Behind-The-Scenes Of Upcoming Will & Grace Reboot

The Today Show's Natalie Morales sat down with Will & Grace cast members Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes to get the inside story on reviving the hit TV series 11 years after the original series finale.

Along the way, we find out a few details about the character's journeys since the show went off the air. For one thing, Will and Grace are both now divorcées having split from Vince (Bobby Cavanale) and Leo (Harry Connick Jr.), respectively.

Sean Hayes shares that his character, Jack, has trademarked a new form of acting - called "Jacting" - that he will be teaching.

And, no surprise, the four stars are loving being back together as a team. During the interview, McCormack told Morales, “When we came to work, we were like children in a kindergarten class that got along, and that just came back instantly."

With the show already picked up for an 11th season before the upcoming 16-episode 10th season even begins airing, the fab four say they're up for even more.

“These writers are so good. If they’ve got the stories, then yeah [I’m sticking around]!” said McCormack

“I’d still be doing it from the first time around,” Mullally added. “So yeah, I’m in!”

Watch the segments below from The Today Show.

Two Lawsuits Challenge Constitutionality Of Trump Transgender Military Ban

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN announced today they have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration’s ban on military service by transgender individuals.

Via press release:

The lawsuit — brought in response to President Trump’s formal issuance of directions to military authorities late Friday — was filed on behalf of two individuals who seek to join the military; one current service member who seeks appointment as an officer; the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organization; and Gender Justice League, a gender and sexuality civil and human rights organization, headquartered in Seattle.

“This ban not only wrongfully prevents patriotic, talented Americans from serving, it also compromises the safety and security of our country,” Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn said. “Thousands of current service members are transgender, and many have been serving openly, courageously and successfully in the U.S. military for more than a year—not to mention the previous decades when many were forced to serve in silence. Once again attacking a vulnerable population based on bias, political opportunism and demonstrably untrue ‘alternative facts,’ President Trump is denying brave men and women the opportunity to serve our country without any legitimate justification whatsoever.”

“We promised that we would sue if the president took this action. The law is on our side; justice is on our side," said Peter Perkowski, Legal Director for OutServe-SLDN. "And we are on the side of every single transgender service member and those who want to serve. The nation’s courts exist to protect the people whom tyrants would otherwise abuse. Trump can’t tweet his way out of this one.”

A second lawsuit was filed in federal court in Maryland by the American Civil Liberties Union and the D.C.-based law firm Covington & Burling LLP.

From the Washington Blade:

The plaintiffs in that lawsuit, Stone v. Trump, are five transgender troops currently in the military representing each of the military branches: Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, Senior Airman John Doe, Airman First Class Seven Ero George, Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert, and Marine Corps Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker.

Stone, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, has served in the U.S. Navy for nine years, including a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. According to the lawsuit, Stone was awarded an achievement medal for his deployment as well as multiple other commendations, including a flag letter of commendation and multiple recommendations for early promotion.

The ACLU lawsuit contends every component of Trump’s ban “singles out transgender service members for different treatment” amounting to sex discrimination, which is subject to, and fails, heightened scrutiny under the Fifth Amendment.

Transgender Military Service Members At MTV Video Music Awards

MTV invited six transgender military service members to walk the red carpet at the MTV VMAs last night  in response to Donald Trump's newly-issued guidelines banning trans soldiers from the U.S. military.

Walking the red carpet with GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis were service members Sterling James Crutcher, Air Force Airman First Class; Logan B. Ireland, Air Force Staff Sergeant; Akira Wyatt, Navy Corpsman Petty Officer 3rd Class; Brynn Tannehill, Former Navy Lt. Commander; Laila Ireland, Retired Army veteran; and Jennifer Peace, U.S. Army Captain.

Peace said she and her fellow trans service members attended to “tell our stories and help people to realize that trans people are serving in the military just like everyone else.”

"The only thing we're asking for is to be treated just like everyone else in the military and be discriminated against only based on our performance,” Peace added.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

My Girl Pink At The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards




"We take the gravel and the shell, and we make the pearl."

Just - watch.

California Bakery Refuses To Make Same-Sex Wedding Cake

A local bakery in Bakersfield, California, has received criticism for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple's special day.

The owner of Tastries Bakery has said she chose not to create the cake because of her beliefs.

Owner Cathy Miller told reporters from the local ABC affiliate, "Here at Tastries, we love everyone. My husband and I are Christians, and we know that God created everyone and he created everyone equal. So it's not that we don't like people of certain groups of people, there are just certain things that violate my conscience."

Miller also said she referred the couples to a competing bakery who would be willing to take on the order.

I can hear the haters now: "Why can't the gays just go to another bakery? Why make a stink about this?"

That logic would be as lame as asking African-Americans in the 1960s, "Why can't you just find another place to eat instead of my 'Whites Only' lunch counter?"

Watch the news report at this link.

Science: How Babies' Eyesight Develops In Their First Year

As two of my best friends recently had twins, I found this really interesting regarding how the eyesight of babies develops over their first year.

#Science #BeSmarter

Secretary Of State Distances Himself From Trump: "The President Speaks For Himself"

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson put some distance between himself and Donald Trump today when speaking with Fox News' Chris Wallace.

Wallace asked Tillerson whether or not Donald Trump’s stance on racist violence had made it more difficult to promote U.S. values around the world. “We represent the American people, their commitment to freedom and to equal treatment to people the world over, and that message has never changed,” Tillerson replied.

Tillerson added, “I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values or the commitment of the American government or the government’s agencies to advancing those values and defending those values.”

But when Wallace asked about the president's values? “The president speaks for himself, Chris,” Tillerson replied.

German Bodybuilder Plans Romantic Venice Marriage Proposal For Former Olympic Diver

All photos: Serena In Venice for Flytographer

When German bodybuilder and graphic designer Patrick Huber planned a romantic marriage proposal to his boyfriend, former 1996 Olympic diver  Jimmy Sjödin, he doesn't play.

Marriage proposals are, by nature, romantic. But how about popping the question on a gondola in the middle of Venice, Italy?

The surprise began when Patrick told Jimmy to pack a bag, but offered no info about where they were going other than it was a place Jimmy had always wanted to visit.

Driving from Munich through the Italian Alps, the couple arrived in beautiful Venice. But there were more surprises in store for Jimmy.

During a gondola ride, woofy Patrick pulled out a ring and proposed right on the spot. He had even arranged for a photographer Flytographer, introduced as a "tour guide" to be on hand to capture the intimate moment.

HuffPost has the romantical backstory details:
The couple first connected on Facebook four years ago when Patrick sent Jimmy a message telling him he was handsome. They lost touch but reconnected years later, which eventually led to lots of texting and daily hour-long phone calls before they finally met in person last year.

“I honestly knew from before we even met that this guy could be the one,” Patrick told HuffPost. “Meeting that first time and spending time together laughing, touching, and feeling each other’s energy, I think we both were sold.”

“Jimmy was so, so sweet,” he continued. “He was a typical traditionalist when it came to family and relationship values just like myself. A person I could see myself wanting a family of my own with in the future.”

You can follow the handsome couple on Instagram at @wolfdeutschland and @inkedviking.