Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Randy Rainbow: "You're Making Things Up Again, Donald"

Set to the tune "Making Things Up Again" from the hit musical The Book of Mormon, Randy Rainbow chides the Donald for his many mile-wide falsehoods.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Super Model Exits The Runway

Bandit, our super model

I've been a dog man my whole life. In that time, sharing my journey with nine dogs, I've only experienced dogs passing away quickly.

I've never had to face making "the decision."

Until today.

We have four dogs. Bruno, the daddy dog, and his three kids Tyler, Bandit and Bear.

Our middle puppy, Bandit, has been battling cancer for the past 6 months. (I say "puppy," even though he's 13, because he and his brother and sister will always be "the puppies" to us).

I'm sharing this not for sympathy but I realize this journey has been new terrain for me. And it may be for others as well who face being the human in these situations.

Also, as a writer, this is to a degree how I process.

We noticed Bandit was having some urinary issues back in July and August. There was a little blood in his urine, and he was going in the house. We originally thought it was a gall stone or some such. That it would pass, and all would be well.

But the issue lingered, and lingered. Finally we took him to the vet, and our guarded suspicions were confirmed. He had tumors in his bladder and liver, and some odd spots in his lungs. Our vet sent us to Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center. Cancer takes a special doctor.

There the diagnosis was born out  - definitely cancer, and it could not be cured.

We were given three options:

1. Aggressive chemotherapy which would impact his quality of life greatly. It could buy him 4-6 months, but he would be miserable.

2. A mild, oral chemotherapy which would slow the progression and much less side effects, along with meds to keep him more comfortable.

3. Take a palliative care approach and make him comfortable for what time was left.

We chose option 2. With no chance of a cure, we didn't want to give up but placed a high priority of quality of life.

Two pills twice a day (along with canine CBD oil) was the course of treatment for the past 6 months. Bandit seemed pretty normal for the bulk of that time. The urine issues remained but otherwise, he seemed fine.

Until about two weeks ago. He woke up wobbly in his hind legs. And he was being a puny in demeanor. He didn't eat all his breakfast (and Bandit loves to eat). He had had back surgery (being a dachshund) some years ago, and we thought it was a disc issue perhaps.

We took him to the specialty vet center and they said the cancer was spreading. Really no reason to continue the chemo, but we could up his pain meds to three times a day to make him more comfortable.

Hubby Michael was worried that that day might have been goodbye, but I didn't "feel" it. Not yet.

We came home, and a day later Bandit was back to "the new normal." We sensed the journey could end soon, but not yet.

Yesterday, Michael took Bandit for a walk - which he loved. Bandit is the only dog we have who gets excited by seeing the leash. It was a short walk, but Bandit's spirits were very high.

This morning, however, it was clear he declined overnight. He had great difficulty walking, and he had no interest in his food. He was panting for no reason, and panting a lot.

After a few hours, that elusive "decision" we waited for the universe to reveal to us arrived. It was clear. The balance between quality of life and effective treatment tipped in the other direction.

We knew.

We called a pet therapist we know in town, and she recommended a veterinary doctor who would come to our home and facilitate Bandit's passing.

We had to wait six hours for the doctor to arrive.

It was, of course, spent loving on Bandit constantly; feeding him his favorite foods; all attention was on the Bandito.

When the veterinarian arrived with her assistant, we chatted with them for about 15 minutes. Clearly part of their job is to help us as much as it is to help Bandit. We explained the journey to here. We shared who Bandit was.

We explained that of all our dogs, Bandit was "the diva." The "Super-Model." See the picture at the top of this post and you'll understand.

He carried himself with a royal confidence; a bearing that conveyed his assurance that yes, he knows he is special. And he was.

All those "Bitch, I'm fabulous!" memes you've seen on the internet? Yeah, he owned that. He truly was larger than life, and without trying.

He was our super-model. He liked being catered to, and we knew how to do just that. He rarely, rarely, ever doled out kisses. He made you work for them. And if he so deigned, you might get ONE.

If you pet him with one hand, he would look at your other hand wondering why both weren't in motion.

One night, when he was only 10 or so weeks old, he was crying in the night. I got up to check on him and his siblings, and ended up sitting with him for the rest of the night (see pic below). I stayed wrapped around his little paw for his whole life.

I was not Bandit's favorite, though. While daddy dog Bruno is my constant companion, hubby Michael has always been Bandit's favorite human. I loved Bandit deeply, but I knew I was "number two." That's alright - he was worth being a "number two" to.

And so, it's fitting that Michael spent the entire day sitting next to the super model, trying to keep him calm. Michael was perfect.

When the time came, we walked the veterinarian and assistant into our bedroom so he could be calm on our bed - his favorite place. We left the room for a few minutes so they could insert a catheter in his leg, and then they called us in.

We were told he could have a sedative, if we wanted, to calm him down. but Bandit was serene laying on the bed. We passed on the tranquilizer, and began to say goodbye.

After a few minutes, Michael nodded to the doctor, and while we continued to pet him, she slowly administered the drug.

He never got anxious or upset. And after about 45 slow seconds, Bandit was gone. Our super model had exited the runway.

The docs stepped out as we let the other dogs in, giving them a chance to understand why he would be gone. Bruno, Bear and Tyler all rushed into the room, sniffing the air, wondering who the strangers who had been in the room were. They one by one noticed Bandit, and sniffed at him.

Bruno - Bandit's daddy - seemed to understand something. Tyler and Bear paused briefly to take note.

The doctors then wrapped him in a blanket to take him away for cremation. In about a week, we'll pick up his remains. They will take a paw print which will be framed for us, and his ashes will be saved in a small urn.

It's a bit surreal to know what a monumental decision you're making; the gravity of the moment. I feel calm that we did our highest duty in being Bandit's humans.

There's a silence in the house that's unmistakeable, but I know this was "the" day. I can second guess so many moments in my life, but this is not one of them. And I'm thankful for that serenity.

There's a poem that was written long ago; no one knows the author. I hadn't read it until about six years ago. I've avoided looking at it until now. If you've ever shared your life with a dog (or any furry family member), you'll get it.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then, you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

With baby Bandit when he was about 10 weeks old

White House On Transgender Protections: "This Is A States' Rights Issue"

Yesterday, I posted about a possible change in direction from the Federal government regarding the rights of transgender students to use public bathrooms that match their gender identity.

Today, The Washington Blade's White House correspondent, Chris Johnson, asked White House press secretary Sean Spicer if the Trump administration would rescind Obama era guidance on the issue.

Spicer told reporters, "The president has maintained for a long time that this is a states' rights issue, and not one for the federal government."

So, somehow, whether or not you can use the bathroom you identify with depends on what state you live in?

Spicer also said there would be weighing in further with new guidance on the issue as well as "the case that's in front of the Supreme Court," referring to transgender Virginia student, Gavin Grimm.

Milo Yiannopolous "Resigns" From Breitbart

In light of his current "man/love/pedophilia" controversy, Milo Yiannopolous issued the above resignation from the alt-right website, Breitbart:

"Today, Milo Yiannopolous, senior editor at Breitbart News, has announced his resignation from the company.

"Breitbart News has stood by me when others caved. They have allowed me to carry conservative and libertarian ideas to communities that would otherwise never have heard them. They have been a significant factor in my success. I'm grateful for that freedom and for the friendships I forged there.

"I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues' important reporting, so today I am resigning from Breitbart, effective immediately. This decision is mine alone.

"When your friends have done right by you, you do right by them. For me, now, that means stepping aside so my colleagues at Breitbart can get back to the great work they do."

Commercial: Diesel "Make Love Not Walls"

From Diesel:

#makelovenotwalls is about tearing down the mental and physical walls that separate us, and let all sides come together in the name of unity and love.

Diesel takes on the Wall, a symbol of separation by definition, breaking it down to create strong storytelling throughout the imagery developed around it: walls are built and the Diesel love tank breaks it with a heart shape turning a symbol of separation into a happy place full of flowers of celebration of freedom and love.

“At Diesel, we have a strong position against hate and more than ever we want the world to know that,” explains Artistic Director Nicola Formichetti. “Love and togetherness is cru-cial in creating a society we all want to live in, and the future we all deserve.”

These themes are not new territory for Diesel. Last year, Diesel announced “This ad is gender neutral” as two Asian and Caucasian models, wearing the same sweater, embraced.

WikiLeaks Julian Assange Defends Milo Yiannopolous

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange chimed in via Twitter regarding the Milo Yiannopoulos "pedophilia" controversy last night.

It was just this past Saturday that Yiannopolous was officially announced to give the keynote speech at CPAC this week, but the next day video came to light where Milo seemed to defend adult men having sex with young boys.

In short time, Yiannopoulos was disinvited to CPAC, and Simon & Schuster cancelled his $250K book deal.

Tweeted Assange: “US ‘liberals’ today celebrate the censorship of right-wing UK provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos over teen sex quote.”

He followed up with, “Issue is ‘liberals’ cheering on a clearly illiberal act — book censorship — for political reasons with morality as cover.”

Yiannopoulos is holding a press conference at 3 pm today in New York City.

Viral Video: "Tiny Trump"

The "Tiny Trump" meme is brought to life by the folks at Evil Ice Cream Pictures.

Canadian Man Denied Entry To US After Immigration Officers Searched His Scruff Account

A 30-year-old Canadian man from Vancouver was denied entry into the United States after immigration officers searched his laptop and social media accounts, including Scruff and BBRT.


André, a 30-year-old Vancouver set decorator who declined to give his full name for fear of retaliation from US Customs, describes the experience as “humiliating.”

André says he was planning to visit his boyfriend, who was working in New Orleans. But when he was going through Customs preclearance at Vancouver airport last October, he was selected for secondary inspection, where an officer took his phone, computer and other possessions, and demanded the passwords for his devices.

“I didn’t know what to do. I was scared, so I gave them the password and then I sat there for at least an hour or two. I missed my flight,” André says. “He came back and just started grilling me. ‘Is this your email?’ and it was an email attached to a Craigslist account for sex ads. He asked me, ‘Is this your account on Scruff? Is this you on BBRT?’ I was like, ‘Yes, this is me.’”

When the officer asked him what he meant by “looking for loads,” André says he tried to explain, but the officer kept grilling him.

“I could tell just by his nature that he had no intentions of letting me through. They were just going to keep asking me questions looking for something,” he says. “So I asked for the interrogation to stop. I asked if I go back to Canada am I barred for life? He said no, so I accepted that offer.”

André attempted to visit his boyfriend again a month later, but this time he brought several pieces of documentation (bills, apartment lease, pay stubs) to indicate that he had every intention of returning to Vancouver. He even deleted the social media apps to avoid any confusion. But that only made the officers more suspicious.

“They said, ‘Next time you come through, don’t have a cleared phone,’ and that was it. I wasn’t let through. He said I’m a suspected escort. You can’t really argue with them because you’re trapped,” he says.

André says between the two airline tickets (non-refundable) and hotel reservations, he lost over $1,200.

Stephen Colbert: "Never Fjorget What Happened In Sweden"

Last night, The Late Show's Stephen Colbert did not miss his chance to riff on President Trump's latest gaffe - the "incident" in Sweden that never happened.

“And just because this attack didn’t happen, folks, doesn’t mean we don’t stand in solidarity with all the people who did not suffer.”

Referencing Trump's apparent news source for comment and his propensity for skipping intelligence briefings, Colbert said, “I guess Trump only accepts intelligence reports with the logo, ‘As Seen on TV.'”

Monday, February 20, 2017

President Trump's "Great America" Looks Very White

Look at that "diverse" team of folks looking to MAGA!

Apparently, Donald Trump thinks a "great America" looks like eleven older white guys and one white woman.

A whole lotta white going on there.

News Round-Up: February 20, 2017

Happy Presidents Day! (image via Pete Souza)

Some news items you may have missed:

• How did you celebrate Presidents Day? Or was it more a #NotMyPresident Day for you?

• Rumors are swirling that loathsome conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopolous could be fired soon from Breitbart website for his "man-boy-pedophilia comments" on the Drunken Peasants podcast last year.

• The Trump administration is set Tuesday to rescind Obama administration guidance to schools barring discrimination against transgender students and ensuring they have access to the restroom consistent with their gender identity. #Shameful

• Virginia state House of Delegates approves a "religious freedom" bill - HB 2025 - that would legalize LGBT discrimination in the name of religion. Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has promised to veto the legislation.

President Trump finally found someone to take the job of National Security Adviser.

• Check out royally ripped Charlie Hunnam in this new trailer for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (release date May 12)

Simon & Schuster Cancels Milo Yiannopolous' $250K Book Deal

Milo Yiannopolous

After video of conservative, loathsome, professional provocateur Milo Yiannopolous' appearance on the Drunken Peasants podcast last year resurfaced showing him allegedly defending sex between adult men and boys of the age of 13 or 14, book publisher Simon & Schuster has cancelled the publication of his book, Dangerous.

It's sad that Simon & Schuster even needed "careful consideration" to cancel Yiannopolous' book publication.

It wasn't hateful racist, transphobic, white supremacist, misogynist nattering. In the end, it was defending man/boy sex.

Nice to know there's a "bridge too far" somewhere.

Study: Teen LGB Suicides Dropped Thanks To Marriage Equality

(image via Youth OUTright)
According to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics today, marriage equality has been linked to decreases in teenage suicide.

In studying suicide among high school students over 17 years, researchers found suicide attempts fell 7% for all high school students.

But, in states that legalized same-sex marriage before the June 2015 Obergefell Supreme Court ruling, suicide among LGB students dropped 14%. States that did not adopt marriage equality saw no change in the statistics.

Suicide ranks 10th in causes of death in the United States, but much higher (number 2) for young people age 10-24. But the numbers are much higher for those students who identify as LGB.

About 1 in 7 heterosexual students (15%) had seriously considered suicide compared to more than 2 in 5 lesbian, gay and bisexual students (43%).


CPAC Un-Invites Milo Yiannopolous As Keynote Speaker

Earlier today, I posted about professional conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopolous' comments regarding young boys and adult men on the "Drunken Peasants" podcast last year which came to light in the past day.

The scandal erupted just a day after the American Conservative Union had asked Milo to be the keynote speaker this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Just minutes ago, CPAC rescinded the invite based on the offensive comments made by Milo in the videos.

It turns out there is something in the world that's too extreme for CPAC.

The "un-invite" reads in part:

"Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation of Milo Yiannopolous to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

"We realize that Mr. Yiannopolous has responded on Facebook, but it is insufficient. It is up to him to answer the ought questions and we urge him to immediately further address these disturbing comments."

See the full statement below (click to enlarge image).

Dan Rather To Journalists: "I Know You Will Not Be Bullied Or Intimidated"

Dan Rather

Legendary newsman Dan Rather shares his thoughts on President Trump's recent tweet demonizing the press as "the enemy of the American people."

From Rather's Facebook page:

I have resisted commenting on President Trump's outrageous attack on the press with his tweet calling the media "the enemy of the American people." It is a sentiment that is a deep betrayal of our national history. The evidence to the contrary is so overwhelming that to choose any one example is to play into the alternate reality Mr. Trump is seeking to exploit for his cynical political purposes.

My message is not for he who will not listen. Instead I wish to address his enablers, specifically those in the Republican Party who by their silence on this travesty normalize a behaviour that is antithetical to our Constitutional principles. Future generations will not look kindly on profiles in cowardice.

And to my fellow journalists, I know you will not be bullied or intimidated. Keep doing your job. Your country depends on your service. Courage.

Video: 'Alt-Right' Darling Milo Yiannopolous Seems To Defend Men Having Sex With Boys

The big news in LGBT political circles today are two videos featuring loathsome Milo Yiannopolous seeming to defend or give a pass to pedophilia.

Additionally, it appears he admits to being sexually molested as a young teen himself.

The Blaze reports:

Sunday morning, less than one day after the controversial announcement about the CPAC speaker lineup, video surfaced of Milo Yiannopoulos allegedly defending pedophilia in the past.

“We get hung up on this sort of child abuse stuff,” Yiannopoulos is heard saying in a video, acknowledging that he has a controversial point of view, “to the point where we are heavily policing consensual adults.”

“In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of ‘coming of age’ relationship — those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of rock, where they can’t speak to their parents,” he added.

“It sounds like molestation to me,” an unnamed person tells Yiannopoulos in reply, likely an interviewer. “It sounds like Catholic priest molestation to me.”

“But you know what? I’m grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him,” Yiannopoulos replied, using a euphemism for male oral sex.

Yiannopoulos has since shared two posts on Facebook defending his language. Here's the first:

There’s a video going around that purports to show me saying anti-semitic things (nope) and advocating for pedophilia (big nope). The shocking thing? It’s Republicans doing it. Sad to see establishment types collapse into the same tactics as social justice warriors: name calling, deceptively edited videos, confected moral outrage and public shaming. This is why they deserve to burn — and why they are burning. Here’s how I actually feel about pedophilia, which you’d know if you’d actually watched or read anything I’ve ever done. Or, you know, if you had two brain cells to rub together. There’s only one appropriate response to this sort of behavior, and it’s a gigantic FUCK YOU!

And his second Facebook post was much longer, which read, in part:

I have never defended and would never defend child abusers, as my reporting history shows. The world is messy and complicated, and I recognize it as such, as this furore demonstrates. But that is a red line for any decent person.

The videos do not show what people say they show. I *did* joke about giving better head as a result of clerical sexual abuse committed against me when I was a teen. If I choose to deal in an edgy way on an internet livestream with a crime I was the victim of that's my prerogative. It's no different to gallows humor from AIDS sufferers.

National Review, whose journalists are tweeting about this, published an article defending Salon for giving a pedophile a platform.

I did say that there are relationships between younger men and older men that can help a young gay man escape from a lack of support or understanding at home. That's perfectly true and every gay man knows it. But I was not talking about anything illegal and I was not referring to pre-pubescent boys.

I said in the same "Drunken Peasants" podcast from which the footage is taken that I agree with the current age of consent.

I shouldn't have used the word "boy" when I talked about those relationships between older men and younger gay men. (I was talking about my own relationship when I was 17 with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the UK is 16.) That was a mistake. Gay men often use the word "boy" when they refer to consenting adults. I understand that heterosexual people might not know that, so it was a sloppy choice of words that I regret.

This rush to judgment from establishment conservatives who hate Trump as much as they hate me, before I have had any chance to provide context or a response, is one of the big reasons gays vote Democrat.

Many in the conservative world are already calling for Milo to be booted as the keynote speaker of CPAC this week.

Here's two of the videos folks are talking about. One clip seems to be from a January 2016 episode of the “Drunken Peasants” podcast.

(via JoeMyGod)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Trump Spends More Taxpayer Money In One Month On Vacations Than Obama In A Year

President Trump, who used to denounce the vacations President Obama took due to the American taxpayer having to foot security bills, isn't having any problem spending taxpayer money on himself.

From The Independent:

The US President’s three visits to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida since his presidential inauguration, combined with his sons’ business trips, reportedly cost $11.3m.

Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch estimated Mr Obama’s travel expenses totalled an average $12.1m in each of his eight years in the White House.

“This is an expensive way to conduct business, and the President should recognise that,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton, speaking to the Washington Post.

“The unique thing about President Trump is that he knows what it costs to run a plane.

“Going down [to Mar-a-Lago] ain’t free.”

The three Mar-a-Lago trips in Palm Beach cost the federal treasury around $10m, based on figures used in an October government report analysing White House travel.

This includes cash for coast guards to patrol the exposed shoreline.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw also says it has cost local taxpayers $360,000 in police overtime for his three weekends in Florida since 20 January.

Each trip to Mar-a-Lago reportedly costs taxpayers $3 million.

During the campaign, Trump told the press he "would rarely leave the White House" if he were president. Only one month into his administration, he's made three trips already to Mar-a-Lago.

Back in the day, Trump was often critical of President Obama for what he considered excessive spending on behalf of the American people.

No such reservations now, huh?

Andrew Christian Wishes You Wet & Wild 'Liquid Dreams'

Underwear designer Andrew Christian hopes you're having a wet and wild weekend :)

I know, I know... who wants to see hunky, wet models in their underwear...?

Tweet Of The Day

Trump Denounces "What Happened In Sweden" (That Didn't Happen)

Yesterday, during President Trump's "campaign rally" in Florida, eyebrows were raised when Herr Trump referenced terrorist attacks around the world and included Sweden in the list. Not just "included," but lingered on the issue.

"We've got to keep our country safe," Trump said during the rally in Melbourne, Florida. "You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden — Sweden, who would believe this?"

From the New York Times:

Nothing particularly nefarious happened in Sweden on Friday — or Saturday, for that matter — and Swedes were left baffled.

Mr. Trump did not state, per se, that a terrorist attack had taken place in Sweden.

But the context of his remarks — he mentioned Sweden right after he chastised Germany, a destination for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing war and deprivation — suggested that he thought it might have.

“Sweden,” he said. “They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible. You look at what’s happening in Brussels. You look at what’s happening all over the world. Take a look at Nice. Take a look at Paris. We’ve allowed thousands and thousands of people into our country and there was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation. There was no nothing. So we’re going to keep our country safe.”

Contrary to Mr. Trump’s allegations, nearly all of the men involved in terrorist assaults in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, in Brussels on March 22 last year, and in Nice, France, on July 14, were citizens of France or Belgium.

From the former Swedish Prime Minister:

UPDATE - President Trump clarifies he was repeating something he saw on TV:

Fox News' Chris Wallace To Reince Priebus: "You Don't Get To Tell Us What To Do Any More Than Obama Did"

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus got into a heated discussion this morning with Fox News' Chris Wallace over the media coverage being biased against President Donald Trump.

From Mediaite:

Priebus expressed his frustration with news outlets running untrue stories about the White House and Russia. He also railed against the use of anonymous sources and said the reports about Trump advisors being in “constant contact” with Russian intel officers and that the intel community allegedly withholding information from the president are both inaccurate.

Wallace circled back to the press issue and said there’s nothing wrong with criticizing media bias, but Trump’s tweet went well beyond that. “We don’t have a state-run media in this country,” Wallace said. “That’s what they have in dictatorships.”

Priebus pointed to breathless scandal coverage compared to the minimal coverage given to the administration’s accomplishments so far. Wallace pushed back on that assessment and told Priebus this:

“You don’t get to tell us what to do any more than Barack Obama did. Barack Obama whined about Fox News all the time, but I gotta say, he never said we were an enemy of the people.”

Reince really gets into "cry baby" mode here. Interesting that at one point Priebus backs himself up with a quote from an unnamed source, and when asked who that was Priebus says, "I'm not going to tell you."

But it's wrong for the media to use unnamed sources? #DoAsISayNotAsIDo

Watch below:

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Podcast: Jeb Havens, Barronelle Stutzman, Texas' "Bathroom Bill," Finland Ready For Marriage Equality

Click play below as I recap this week's top headlines from politics, pop culture and entertainment of interest to the LGBT community:

• Anti-LGBT florist Barronelle Stutzman loses again - this time in the Washington state supreme court over refusing to sell flowers for a same-sex wedding

• Texas gets pushback from the NBA and major stars on it’s proposed anti-transgender “bathroom bill”

• North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper shares his plan to repeal his state's anti-LGBT law, HB2

• Finland’s Parliament kills a last ditch attempt to block same-sex marriage

• Out singer/songwriter Jeb Havens dropped his uber-romantical, world-traveler music video just in time for Valentine's Day - "Pushy Little Compass Heart" from his album, Home Base

Hit play below - and share the link to share The Randy Report podcast!

Trump Approval Ratings Continue To Drop

(via Gallup Polls)

The bad news just keeps coming for President Trump.

Two new polls show his approval rating continues to drop to historic lows.

Gallup Polls' three day rolling average shows the president with only 38% of Americans approving of the job he's doing. His DISapproval rating is an alarmingly high 56%.

Over at Pew Research, the Trumpster has slid to a 39% approval rating, while his disapproval numbers match Gallop at 56%.

At the one month mark in previous president's terms:

• President Barack Obama’s approval had a 64% approval rating

• President George W. Bush had a 53% approval rating

• President Bill Clinton had a 56% approval rating

• President George H.W. Bush had a 63% approval rating

• President Ronald Reagan had a 55% approval rating

Music Video: Jeb Havens "Pushy Little Compass Heart"

New music video from out singer/songwriter Jeb Havens for his song "Pushy Little Compass Heart" from his debut solo album, Home Base.

I'm not scared of losing my way anymore
Cuz I've got this pushy little compass of a heart leading me straight to yours

Jeb, who's been on a world trek for almost a year with his fiancé, shares on Facebook:

Exactly 1 year ago, I released my album "Home Base".

Today, I'm releasing the music video for the single "Pushy Little Compass Heart", a song about finding your way towards the one you love. Steven and I filmed the video during our 5-day, 41-mile trek through gorgeous Abel Tasman, New Zealand. Hope you enjoy it.

Big Love,

I've previously featured Jeb and his music here and here and here and here.

Larry Wilmore To Loathsome Milo: "You Can Go F*ck Yourself"

Every bit as loathsome as you've heard, Breitbart editor and professional child Milo Yiannopoulos made the most of his appearance on last night's HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher.

Although he only did the one-on-one segment near the beginning of the show with Maher, he did join the panel for the online post-show segment.

And that's where things got rocky.

From Mediaite:

Yiannopoulos was defending his past remarks about transgender people and Larry Wilmore got heated with him over that, saying similar discriminatory remarks have been made against gay people.

But things got personal when Yiannopoulos told Maher he needs to start “inviting higher IQ guests” on the show. Wilmore told him, “You can go fuck yourself.”

He went off on Yiannopoulos and told him “go fuck yourself” again for trolling Leslie Jones over Ghostbusters.

The surprise of the evening was Maher treating Yiannopolous with such kid gloves.

One example - the exchange in this segment, when the icky Milo says of transgender people:

Yiannopolous: "I think women and girls should be protected from having men who are confused about their sexual identities from their bathrooms.”

Maher: “That’s not unreasonable.”

Women and children are in no danger of transgender folks wanting to use the bathroom. Maher's agreement was a bit chilling.

Milo really is rather infantile, and lashes out just to get a response or attention. It's his own form of self-entertainment.

Earlier in the show, Maher asked him about rumors that he doesn't hire gay people. This was his reply:

“Oh, no! You can’t trust them to show up to work on time. Too much drugs, too much sex, they’re always making excuses,” said Yiannopoulos, inspiring boos from the audience. He then turned to the audience and giggled: “I’m just kidding. You’re easy. You’re very easy. Very easily triggered. It’s pathetic.”

And his body language is oddly telling. He frequently drops his chin and looks through his eye brows when addressing people. According to body language experts, "A lowered head covers the neck with the chin and hence can be a defensive posture that can occur as a result of any perceived threat (not just physical threat). It can also be a sign of defiance or caution, for example when showing respect to an enemy ('You are strong and I do not trust you')."

Friday, February 17, 2017

Trump Tweet Watch: February 17, 2107

After staying on message almost all day, the Donald just couldn't handle it anymore and had to go rogue on Twitter yet again against the media.

It's notable how often Trump says "fake news media" is the enemy, but never says the regarding Russia undermining our democracy.

When you're the guy with a 38% approval rating, it takes nerve to call someone else "failing."

News Round-Up: February 17, 2017

Some news items you may have missed:

• This 22 year St. Louis police veteran (above) was told to "tone down" his "gayness" if he ever wanted to get promoted, despite placing 3rd out of 26 in promotion tests.

• Lady Gaga joined over 140 celebrities in denouncing Texas' anti-transgender "bathroom bill."

• Donald Trump's second pick for National Security Adviser (now that Michael Flynn has resigned) has said "no, thank you" to the offer. According to reports, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward turned down the chance citing "chaos" in the White House, labeling the offer as a “shit sandwich.”

• Finland's Parliament rejects a citizen's initiative to repeal marriage equality by a vote of 120 to 48. Hurray for the good guys!

• Donald Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago again this weekend. His three trips to his southern home have thus far cost the American people almost $10 million. Guarding Trump Tower in NYC could cost $183 million a year.

• Spend a few minutes inside the trials and tribulations of transgender folks in this short film, "Headspace," by Jake Graf. Watch below:

Trump News Conference: "One For The Ages?"

President Trump's press conference yesterday was easily THE news of the day.

Folks from all over the political spectrum couldn't turn away.

Far-right talk radio's Rush Limbaugh called it "one of the most effective press conferences I have ever seen."

CNN’s Jake Tapper described it as “unhinged” and an airing of grievances à la Festivus.

Then there was this reaction on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" today:

And, of course, the late night comics had a field day:

Jimmy Kimmel: “Except for ‘Fox & Friends,’ the president is extremely angry at the news media. Apparently, he spends a lot of time watching people talk about him and it gets him riled up. Would someone unplug his TV and take his phone away before we all get blown to smithereens here?”

Stephen Colbert: “It was a robust one hour and 17 minutes long. That is beefy. So beefy, you could eat it with a fork. But you’re going to want to use a spoon to get every drop of the crazy.”

Trevor Noah: “We had a really nice show planned for you — very civil, very calm — and then, in the middle of the day, Hurricane Trump happened. Again.”

A Lovely (Underwear) Party

Lony Pizarro
Boy Culture's Matt Rettenmund recently attended the official NYFW Chulo Underwear Party, and has the pics to prove it.

About Chulo Underwear:

"CHULO is a new a line of clothing and gear that is culturally-relevant to today's marginalized youth of color. Our mission as a company is to inspire young people to invest in a brand that invests in them. Each time a young person buys the brand, s/he is having a direct and immediate impact on his/her own community because proceeds are reinvested back into a local CBO, scholarship program or charity that services these very same youth.

"To do this, CHULO partners with local community centers to identify, educate, train and ultimately hire young people to be part of the CHULO design team as artists, designers, writers, promoters, vendors and/or promotional spokespersons.

"The CHULO brand is now one-year old. We have partnered with the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD), Uprose Brooklyn, and Tropical Images' GKOTS (Get Kids Off The Street Program. We have also donated to several other programs including El Museo del Barrio, the American Indian College Fund, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Scholars Program, the Loisaida Center, El Maestro Boxing Club and Cultural Center, the LGBT Arts Program of the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, the Caribbean Cultural Center, and the GED Program at Taino Towers."

Venezuela-born Lony Pizarro (above) was just one of the underwear models who chatted for charity.

Head over to Boy Culture for many, many more pics from the evening.

Andrew Christian Models Play "Never Have I Ever?"

A little light-hearted fun for a Friday.

Hunky Andrew Christian models Cory Z. and Arad play a game of "Never Have I Ever...?"

Thursday, February 16, 2017

New "Kiss Cam" Video Celebrates All Forms Of Love Between All People

Oh, sweet mother of humanity. Here's something to lift you up and make you feel good.

Filmed at this year's NFL Pro Bowl. From Ad Week:

The new 2:40 video has some inspired fun with a longstanding tradition at sporting events, the Jumbotron kiss cam, which finds couples in the crowd and encourages them to kiss. This time, though, the kiss cam is used, in the Ad Council’s words, as a “symbol for unbiased love” by featuring all forms of love—friendships, families and romantic relationships—across race, religion, gender, sexuality, ability and age.

The stunt begins with a fun bit of misdirection, as the first couple encircled by the kiss cam’s heart shape are a man and a woman. But the man then turns to his right and kisses his actual partner, who is a man—to cheers from the crowd.

The rest of the video, titled “Fans of Love,” continues in a similar way, featuring all sorts of real people and relationships as a way to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion.

“The NFL is strongly committed to diversity and inclusion. We are proud to be working with the Ad Council on their Love Has No Labels campaign,” added Anna Isaacson, the NFL senior vice president of social responsibility.

The campaign points to, which features a quiz to help people examine their own biases and resources on how to take actionable steps to rethink those biases. An interactive “Fans of Love” video will present relevant campaign facts and links to educational content to audiences as they are watching the film.

Fox News' Shepard Smith Defends Media From Trump: 'Demonstrably, Unquestionably, 100 Percent False'

Just goes to show you there are fair and balanced journalists at Fox News.

Of course it would be the gay news anchor :)

The Week has the details:

President Donald Trump praised Fox News during his combative press conference Thursday, but he certainly would not have liked what he saw if he turned on his TV afterward.

Fox News’ Shep Smith did not hold back when tearing into the president after the presser: “It’s crazy what we’re watching everyday,” Smith said. “It’s absolutely crazy. [Trump] keeps repeating throwaway lines that are not true at all and sort of avoiding this issue of Russia as if we’re some kind of fools for asking the question.”

As Smith went on, it appeared to occur to him that the president could be watching. He turned to stare directly into the camera and began to address Trump directly: “No sir,” Smith said. “We are not fools for asking the question and we demand to know the answer to this question. You owe this to the American people.”

All kinds of awesome. Watch below:

BREAKING: Michael Flynn Told FBI He Did Not Discuss Sanctions With Russian Officials

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn may be in legal trouble for lying to the FBI when he was interviewed about his contact with Russian officials during the Trump transition period.

From the Washington Post:

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn denied to FBI agents in an interview last month that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States before President Trump took office, contradicting the contents of intercepted communications collected by intelligence agencies, current and former U.S. officials said.

The Jan. 24 interview potentially puts Flynn in legal jeopardy, as lying to the FBI is a felony, but any decision to prosecute would ultimately lie with the Justice Department. Some officials said bringing a case could prove difficult in part because Flynn may attempt to parse the definition of sanctions.

A spokesman for Flynn said he had no response. The FBI declined to comment.

President Trump: I Won By The Biggest Margin Since Reagan (So I Am Told)

President Trump has promoted the idea that his win in the presidential campaign was "the largest margin since Ronald Reagan."

He was asked about that today at a press conference.

When presented with actual electoral votes by previous presidents since Reagan (Obama 333 votes, George H.W. Bush 426 votes), Trump backtracked by saying "I was given that information."

Watch below:

Trump also declared during the presser: “The leaks are real. The news is fake.”

I'm not sure how, if the "leaks" are real - the information leaked is real - how are the news stories about those leaks "fake?"

Unanimous Ruling From Washington State Supreme Court Against Anti-Gay Florist

Barronelle Stutzman

ABC News reports that Barronelle Stutzman, the Washington state florist who refused to sell wedding flowers to a same-sex couple in 2013, has lost again in court.

This time it was a unanimous ruling from the nine Washington state Supreme Court justices who ruled Stutzman discriminated against the gay couple in 2013 according to the state's public accommodation laws.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the couple sued her, saying she broke state anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws, and the lower court agreed.

Today, the state's highest court upheld that verdict.

Stutzman's supporters maintain the ruling could "bankrupt" her. The penalty for the public accommodation violation is $1,000. Virulently anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom is handling her court case for free.

Stutzman's defense was that she had previously sold flowers to the couple, but had to refrain on wedding flowers due to her personal religious beliefs. She feels selling flowers for a wedding she is not attending amounts to "promoting" or "supporting" same-sex marriage.

Stutzman's lawyers say they will now take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Cover Of This Week's TIME Magazine

(Via TIME Magazine)

Hillary Clinton Attends Broadway's "Sunset Boulevard" To Standing Ovation

(image via Facebook)

Hillary Clinton attended last night's performance of Sunset Boulevard on Broadway, and upon entering the theater received a long and resounding standing ovation.

See, Donald? When you do something the people appreciate, we applaud.

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