Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Michael Cohen May Be Open To Cooperating With Special Counsel Investigation

Former Donald Trump attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen
CNN reports that Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's longtime attorney and "fixer," has signaled to friends that he is "willing to give" investigators information on the President, and is planning on hiring a new lawyer to handle a possible indictment from federal prosecutors.

"He knows a lot of things about the President and he's not averse to talking in the right situation," one of Cohen's New York friends who is in touch with him told CNN. "If they want information on Trump, he's willing to give it."

Cohen is planning to hire Guy Petrillo, a former chief of the criminal division of the US attorney's office in Manhattan and an experienced trial lawyer, a source familiar confirmed. The source said all the paperwork and retainer may not have been finalized just yet.

The shift in legal strategy and signals of potential cooperation with investigators come as Cohen feels increasingly isolated from the President, whom he has been famously loyal to for more than a decade. Last week, CNN reported Cohen has indicated a willingness to cooperate to alleviate pressure on himself and his family.

"He feels let down by him and isolated by him," another friend of Cohen's told CNN. Cohen has famously said he would take a bullet for Trump and he has fashioned himself as Trump's "fixer," willing to help handle situations quietly.

Cohen facilitated a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels weeks before the 2016 election to keep quiet her allegations of an affair a decade earlier with the then-candidate.

The White House has denied any affair.

Cohen hasn't been indicted on any charges at this time.

Breaking: United States Withdraws From UN Human Rights Council

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley

This. Is. Insane.

Moments ago, the United States withdrew from the United Nations' Human Rights Council after no other countries “had the courage to join our fight” to reform the “hypocritical and self-serving” body, said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

“In doing so, I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from our human rights commitments,” Haley added.

From The Hill:

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced the withdrawal alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, following multiple news reports that the move was imminent.

Haley blasted the council as a "protector of human rights abusers and cesspool of political bias" and accused the body of "politicizing and scapegoating countries with positive human rights records."

The withdrawal, which comes as the 47-member body begins a three-week session in Geneva, had been expected as a result of the Trump administration's frequent criticism of the group's treatment of Israel.

Haley repeatedly voted against U.N. measures that were critical of Israel, and she has rebuked the council for what she called a “chronic anti-Israel bias."

The Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez responded with this statement:

“The United States should be leading the world on human rights, not retreating into isolation and separating young children from their families. Because of our seat at the table, we’ve been able to give voice to the voiceless around the world while fighting for the council’s fair treatment of our allies like Israel. Today, President Trump is sending a signal to the world that we’re too weak to lead and too cowardly to fight for our foundational values.

“Trump’s withdrawal is especially disturbing given his persistent praise for despots and dictators with abysmal human rights records, not to mention his administration’s cruel mistreatment of immigrant families seeking asylum. His blatant disregard for basic human rights will have dire and tragic consequences for marginalized people across the globe for years to come. We must all condemn Trump for his failure to lead, and we should work together to hold him accountable immediately.”

Irish Government Apologizes For Persecuting LGBTs

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadakar

On the 25th anniversary of decriminalizing homosexuality in Ireland, the country's first openly gay prime minister publicly apologized for the chilling effects of the discarded law.

Via RTE:

The Taoiseach has paid tribute in the Dáil to those who were criminalised for homosexual activity prior to the repeal of the laws in 1993.

"Today the people I want to pay a special tribute to are the unknown heroes, the thousands of people whose names we do not know, who were criminalised by our forbears," Leo Varadakar told the Dáil during a debate on a Labour party motion marking the 25th anniversary of the repeal of the laws.

The Taoiseach also said that it was no secret that a number of patriots who were involved in the founding of the State - men and women - were homosexual.

"While the state's laws affected gay men in a legal sense, they had a chilling effect on lesbians as well," he said.

Mr Varadkar said that we cannot erase the wrong that was done to them: "What we can say is that we have learned as a society from their suffering. Their stories have helped change us for the better; they have made us more tolerant, more understanding and more human."

Additionally, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan served similar duty in the Seanad, apologizing to members of the LGBT community who suffered as a result of the criminalisation of homosexuality.

“I extend a sincere apology to all of those people, to their family, and to their friends. “To any person who felt the hurt and isolation created by those laws, and particularly to those who were criminally convicted by the existence of such laws," said Mr. Flanagan.

Podcast: A Gay Royal Wedding, New Poll On LGBTQ Politics & Sexual Behavior, New Music From Starley

You have checked out The Randy Report podcast, haven't you?

Catch up on LGBTQ political and entertainment news in about 15 minutes via podcast.

In this week's episode:

• A new poll by Buzzfeed takes a deep dive into the LGBTQ community’s sexual and political behavior

• Ricky Martin wishes he could come out again

• Out singer/songwriter Starley drops her new track “Love Is Love” just in time for Pride

• Perez Hilton set to be the next celebrity host at Chippendales in Las Vegas

• And I share my thoughts on this year’s Tony Awards

All that and more on this episode of The Randy Report - Hit the play button below!

Oh, and if you like, please share the podcast on social media :)

All 49 Senate Democrats Have Signed On To 'Keep Families Together' Act

Donald Trump continues to lie in blaming Congressional Democrats for his own administration's policy of separating children from migrants at the southern border of the U.S.
Donald Trump
UPDATE - All 49 Senate Democrats have now sponsored the Keep Families Together Act.

I'd say that's "doing something."

Your move, Donald Trump.


Donald Trump went on a Monday morning Twitter rant about his administration's harmful policy of separating children from migrant parents at the U.S. southern border.

In the past two months, over 2,000 children have been separated from their families according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Once again lamenting that it's the Democrats in Congress who won't fix the current policy - when it was implemented by Trump's own Attorney General, Jeff Sessions - Trump tweeted, "Why don’t the Democrats give us the votes to fix the world’s worst immigration laws?"

The fact of the matter is there is a bill in the Senate that would stop Trump's policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border. There are currently 43 Democratic co-sponsors and zero Republicans.

What probably kicked off Trump's rant was former First Lady Laura Bush's op-ed in The Washington Post this morning calling for a more humane and moral solution.

I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.

Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history. We also know that this treatment inflicts trauma; interned Japanese have been two times as likely to suffer cardiovascular disease or die prematurely than those who were not interned.

In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can.

'Broadway Bares: Game Night' Raises $1.8 Million For Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

'Broadway Bares: Game Night' (photo: Evan Zimmerman)
The annual fundraiser Broadway Bares crushed it once again Sunday night as Broadway's hottest dancers and the production crew came together to raise funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

The dancers and choreographers have spent weeks not only learning and perfecting the scintillating numbers performed last night but campaigning online for donations.

BroadwayBares: Game Night, this year’s record-breaking edition of the annual spectacular, featured sexy, titillating production production numbers based on your favorite board games for two late night performances.

The cast of 'Broadway Bares: Game Night' play Battleship
The cast of 'Broadway Bares: Game Night' play Battleship (screen capture)

Directed by Nick Kenkel, the show featured sexy riffs on games like Battleship, Pictionary ("Striptionary"), Candy Land, Operation, Old Maid (who proved she was anything but), and more.

Produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Broadway Bares: Game Night raised $1,875,090 with two standing-room-only performances on Sunday, June 17, 2018, at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom.

The Boys in the Band’s Matt Bomer, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesús, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Michael Benjamin Washington and Tuc Watkins appeared in a special trivia game sketch.

Charlie Carver of 'The Boys in the Band' plays strip-trivia at Broadway Bares
Charlie Carver of 'The Boys in the Band (screen capture)'

For each wrong answer, young Charlie had to remove an article of clothing until the penultimate moment when Zach Quinto ripped off Carver's thong to screams from the packed-house.

Congrats to Tom Viola of Broadway Cares and Tony Award winner and creator of Broadway Bares, Jerry Mitchell, on another incredible night to help others!

Watch a few highlights below.

Instagram Deletes The Warwick Rowers

Without warning, the Instagram account of the uber-popular Warwick Rowers disappeared from the social media platform.

The rowing club of athletic lads from Warwickshire in the UK has produced a cheeky calendar since 2009.

Proceeds from the calendar benefit the Rowers’ outreach program, Sport Allies, which works to eliminate homophobia in sports through education and support of young LGBT athletes.

The team tweeted yesterday that the Instagram account had been ‘deactivated’ without warning. “We’re hoping this is a mistake and are waiting for them to allow us back on the platform to keep spreading our message,” wrote the rowers.

Before the account was deleted the athletes had amassed over 180,000 followers on the social media platform.

The Warwick Rowers have appealed the suspension multiple times to Instagram.

The rowers and Instagram have a long history of disagreeing on the content guidelines for the photo-sharing platform.

Instagram’s content guidelines state that they will remove images of “sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks.”

The vast majority of the Warwick Rowers content conforms to those guidelines.

Here's a promotional video for their 2016 calendar.

UPDATE: Just hours after news of the deletion from Instagram, the Warwick Rowers' account is back.

The guys posted the below photo with the caption, "Back on IG got us like: woop woop #bunsout."

A post shared by The Warwick Rowers (@warwick_rowers) on

(h/t Pink News)

LOVE,SIMON Wins "Best Kiss" At MTV Movie Awards

Nick Robinson and Keiynan Lonsdale win Best Kiss at the 2018 MTV Movie Awards
Nick Robinson and Keiynan Lonsdale in 'Love, Simon'

It looks like the MTV Movie Awards loved the romantic coming-out/coming-of-age film Love, Simon as much as we did.

At last night’s awards, the film’s two lead actors, Nick Robinson and Keiynan Lonsdale, took home the trophy for “Best Kiss” for their yes-yes-yes lip-lock at the end of the movie.

Here’s the award-winning smooch:

Robinson wasn’t available for the ceremony as he's shooting a new project, but Lonsdale (who came out as bisexual last year) took the stage to accept the award saying:

“I just want to say to every kid — if you can live your dreams and wear dresses; you can live your dreams and kiss the one that you love no matter what gender they are. You can live your dreams and you can believe in magic, you can live your dreams, and you can be yourself.”

Love, Simon was the first mainstream film featuring a gay lead character to be backed by a major studio. Released in March, the film was met with strong reviews and box office. To date, the film has grossed almost $60 million on a budget of $17 million.

This is the second year in a row the MTV Movie Awards have honored a same-sex kiss with last year’s nod going to the Oscar winning Moonlight's beachside kiss between actors Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome.

Boy Culture points out the long history of same-sex kissed in the category with same-sex wins by Cruel Intentions in 2000, American Pie 2 in 2002, Starsky & Hutch in 2004, Brokeback Mountain in 2006, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in 2007, and Moonlight in 2017.