Tuesday, April 25, 2017

News Round-Up: April 25, 2017

Instastud Tyler James

Some news items you might have missed:

• Well, hello Mr. Tyler James (above). Nice sheet you have there...

• Madonna is not very happy about a possible biopic about her early days in NYC that just got picked up by Universal. See her post from Instagram:



• 51 Republicans have written to the President asking him to sign an executive order that would legalize LGBT discrimination based on "protecting religious liberty."

• Sen. Marco Rubio spoke out against the torture and murders of gay men in Chechnya from the floor of the U.S. Senate. #HellHasOfficiallyFrozenOver

• That pastor who declared that the victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre "got what they deserved?" He just got 35 years in prison for child molestation. #GotWhatHeDeserved

• Xavier Jugele, the 37-year-old police officer who was gunned down in Paris last week, was eulogized by his partner today in a moving memorial ceremony.

Watch below with subtitles.

Federal Judge Blocks Trump's Attempt To Block Funds For Sanctuary Cities


I'm not sure this is the kind of "winning" Donald Trump meant when he told the American people during the campaign we'd see so much "winning" we'd get sick of it.

Someone might want to introduce the Attorney General to a lawyer.

From Bloomberg:

A judge in San Francisco blocked President Donald Trump from withholding funds from so-called sanctuary cities that give safe harbor to undocumented immigrants, marking the administration’s second major policy initiative declared likely unconstitutional.

San Francisco and its Silicon Valley neighbor, Santa Clara County, on Tuesday both won preliminary orders shelving the Jan. 25 edict by Trump, who threatened the budgets of cities nationwide that fail to comply with federal immigration demands.

Trump has declared that sanctuary jurisdictions cause “immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our republic." But U.S. District Judge William Orrick agreed with the city and county that the the president’s order violated the Constitution in threatening to deprive them of funding for local programs.

Basically, the President can't control spending. Only the Congress can.

As Judge Orrick wrote, "The Constitution vests the spending power in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds."

And there you have it.

2017 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations Announced


Via BroadwayWorld:

Celebrating its 67th season of bestowing awards of excellence in the field of theatre, the Outer Critics Circle is an association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, internet, and theatre publications in America and abroad.

The winners will be announced on Monday, May 8th. The annual Gala Awards Dinner and presentation of awards to the winners will be held on Thursday, May 25th (3PM) at the legendary Sardi's Restaurant.

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY

A Doll's House, Part 2
Indecent
Oslo
Sweat

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL

Anastasia
A Bronx Tale
Come From Away
Groundhog Day
Holiday Inn

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY

If I Forget
Incognito
A Life
Linda
Love, Love, Love

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL

The Band's Visit
Hadestown
Himself and Nora
Kid Victory
Spamilton

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Terrence McNally - Anastasia
Itamar Moses - The Band's Visit
Chazz Palminteri - A Bronx Tale
Danny Rubin - Groundhog Day
Irene Sankoff & David Hein - Come From Away

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens - Anastasia
Alan Menken & Glenn Slater - A Bronx Tale
Tim Minchin - Groundhog Day
Irene Sankoff & David Hein - Come From Away
David Yazbek - The Band's Visit

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

The Front Page
Jitney
The Little Foxes
Othello
The Price

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Finian's Rainbow
Hello, Dolly!
Miss Saigon
Sunset Boulevard
Sweeney Todd

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY

Lila Neugebauer - The Wolves
Jack O'Brien - The Front Page
Daniel Sullivan - The Little Foxes
Rebecca Taichman - Indecent
Kate Whoriskey - Sweat

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL

Christopher Ashley - Come From Away
David Cromer - The Band's Visit
Darko Tresnjak - Anastasia
Matthew Warchus - Groundhog Day
Jerry Zaks - Hello, Dolly!

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER

Andy Blankenbuehler - Bandstand
Warren Carlyle - Hello, Dolly!
Savion Glover - Shuffle Along
Kelly Devine - Come From Away
Denis Jones - Holiday Inn

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

Alexander Dodge - Anastasia
Nigel Hook - The Play That Goes Wrong
Mimi Lien - Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Scott Pask - The Little Foxes
Douglas W. Schmidt - The Front Page

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

Linda Cho - Anastasia
Susan Hilferty - Present Laughter
Santo Loquasto - Hello, Dolly!
Ann Roth - Shuffle Along
Catherine Zuber - War Paint

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

Christopher Akerlind - Indecent
Donald Holder - Anastasia
Natasha Katz - Hello, Dolly!
Bradley King - Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Kenneth Posner - War Paint

OUTSTANDING PROJECTION DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

Duncan McLean - Privacy
Jared Mezzocchi - Vietgone
Benjamin Pearcy for 59 Productions - Oslo
Aaron Rhyne - Anastasia
Tal Yarden - Indecent

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

Gareth Fry & Pete Malkin - The Encounter
Gareth Owen - Come From Away
Nicholas Pope - Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Matt Stine - Sweeney Todd
Nevin Steinberg - Bandstand

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRATIONS

Doug Besterman - Anastasia
Larry Blank - Holiday Inn
Bill Elliott & Greg Anthony Rassen - Bandstand
Larry Hochman - Hello, Dolly!
Jamshied Sharifi - The Band's Visit

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY

Daniel Craig - Othello
Michael Emerson - Wakey, Wakey
Kevin Kline - Present Laughter
David Oyelowo - Othello
David Hyde Pierce - A Life

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Janie Dee - Linda
Sally Field - The Glass Menagerie
Allison Janney - Six Degrees of Separation
Laura Linney - The Little Foxes
Laurie Metcalf - A Doll's House, Part 2

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Christian Borle - Falsettos
Nick Cordero - A Bronx Tale
Andy Karl - Groundhog Day
David Hyde Pierce - Hello, Dolly!
Tony Shalhoub - The Band's Visit

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Christy Altomare - Anastasia
Christine Ebersole - War Paint
Katrina Lenk - The Band's Visit
Patti LuPone - War Paint
Bette Midler - Hello, Dolly!

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY

Michael Aronov - Oslo
Danny DeVito - The Price
Nathan Lane - The Front Page
Richard Thomas - The Little Foxes
Richard Topol - Indecent

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Johanna Day - Sweat
Jayne Houdyshell - A Doll's House, Part 2
Katrina Lenk - Indecent
Nana Mensah - Man From Nebraska
Cynthia Nixon - The Little Foxes

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

John Bolton - Anastasia
Jeffry Denman - Kid Victory
Gavin Creel - Hello, Dolly!
Shuler Hensley - Sweet Charity
Andrew Rannells - Falsettos

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Kate Baldwin - Hello, Dolly!
Stephanie J. Block - Falsettos
Jenn Colella - Come From Away
Caroline O'Connor - Anastasia
Mary Beth Peil - Anastasia

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE

Ed Dixon - Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose
Marin Ireland - On the Exhale
Sarah Jones - Sell / Buy / Date
Judith Light - All the Ways to Say I Love You
Simon McBurney - The Encounter

JOHN GASSNER AWARD
(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)

Jaclyn Backhaus - Men on Boats
Sarah DeLappe - The Wolves
Paola Lázaro - Tell Hector I Miss Him
Qui Nguyen - Vietgone
Bess Wohl - Small Mouth Sounds

House Oversight Committee: No Sign Michael Flynn Complied With The Law


After reviewing Michael Flynn's application for security clearance, Congressman Chaffetz and ranking Democrat in the House Oversight Committee Rep. Elijah Cummings have determined that now former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn did not properly disclose payments from Russia thereby not complying with the law.

House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz had requested documents related to President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, but the White House now says it either doesn't have the documents or is "unable to accommodate" the remaining docs.

President Trump promised to "drain the swamp" and yet Flynn was his choice for National Security Adviser. This goes to how sound President Trump's judgement is on such appointments.

You have to wonder: Why can't the White House "accommodate" the request?

#swampityswampswamp

More at CNN.


Caitlyn Jenner: "I Never Actually Came Out And Outwardly Supported Trump"


Caitlyn Jenner, making the rounds promoting her new book, sat down with Fox News' Tucker Carlson to parse her past support (or non-support) for Donald Trump.

At the top of the interview, Carlson suggests coming out in support of Trump while living in Malibu, California, might have been one of Caitlyn's "braver" moments.

Caitlyn replied:

“They were fine in Malibu with it [Jenner’s support for Trump], but let’s put it this way, I never actually came out and outwardly supported Trump. The media did that for me. I am on the Republican, conservative side, and he wound up being our candidate. And so, certainly, I was going to vote for him. He looked like he would pretty good on all LGBT issues. Which is important, because my loyalties do not lie with Donald Trump.

“My loyalties do not lie with the Republican Party. My loyalties, and what I’m fighting for is my community, the LGBT community, and particularly the trans issues that are out there, because there are many of them. And so, that’s where my fight is. And I thought Trump would be pretty good. But he’s kind of disappointed me in the first 100 days on those issues.”

Jenner went on to explain she didn't vote for Hillary Clinton because she's not a "one issue voter."

Monday, April 24, 2017

Trump On White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer: "That Guy Gets Great Ratings, Everyone Tunes In"

- from the Washington Post

News Round-Up: April 24, 2017


• It's sunny skies for my buddy Alex Chavez (above) after he won his body building competition last week. Check out his serious gyming on his Instagram account here.

• San Diego polar bear dies after her same-sex companion of 20 years relocated from Seaworld:



• Folks are wondering why Mar-a-Lago is suddenly being promoted on a federal government sites?

• The Navy and Marines have issued new regulations that ban spreading nude images in the wake of last month’s photo scandal involving the Marine Corps.

• Caitlyn Jenner's 20/20 interview in 2015, which delivered the news that the Olympic gold medalist is, in fact, transgender was a ratings bonanza. The interview drew 17 million viewers. Jenner's followup with Diane Sawyer this past Friday was a bit of a bust bringing only 4.2 million sets of eyeballs and losing to a rerun of CBS' Blue Bloods.

• Plans for removing four Confederate monuments by the city of New Orleans including having workers wear armor and stationing police snipers to keep watch for lunatic racists that might try to interfere with the removal.

Happy 75th Birthday, Barbra Streisand!

Barbra Streisand
Born April 24, 1942, Oscar/Grammy/Emmy Award winner Barbra Streisand celebrates 75 trips around the sun today.

Instead of the usual clips I could share, today I want to highlight La Babs' vocal on "Make Our Garden Grow" from Candide from her Back To Brooklyn album.

Gorgeous vocal throughout, and I think that amazing last note is around 19 very long seconds... :)

Happy, happy birthday, Barbra!

Scott Baio On Erin Moran's Passing: "You Do Drugs Or Drink, You're Gonna Die"

Scott Baio and Erin Moran

The Harrison County Coroner's Office and Sheriff's Department have issued a joint statement regarding the passing of former Happy Days star Erin Moran.

Her death was due to complications with stage 4 cancer.

The report included the fact that there were no illegal drugs in her system or found at the scene.

Her former co-star Scott Baio, however, wasn't slow to expect her passing was a result of past addictions.

Variety is reporting that during an interview with “The Bernie & Sid Show,” Baio admitted he was “not completely shocked” by his former co-star’s passing.

“I’m OK, a little shocked but not completely shocked that this happened. My thing is, I feel bad because her whole life, she was troubled, could never find what made her happy and content. For me, you do drugs or drink, you’re gonna die. I’m sorry if that’s cold, but God gave you a brain, gave you the will to live and thrive and you gotta take care of yourself.”

“I knew Erin well, over the last many years I have not spoken with her. She was just an insecure human being and fell into this world of drugs and alcohol. Again, I don’t know if that’s what killed her, I’m sure it was a culmination of years and years of doing it that might have had something to do with it. She just never found her way.”

“How do you help somebody that doesn’t want to help themselves? You try a couple of times and if they don’t want the help, I gotta go, sorry.”

Baio, a fervent Trump supporter, had a kinder, gentler message on Sunday morning:

Daily Dance: Ballet Men


Dancers Adam Bull, Christopher Rodgers-Wilson, Cameron Hunter and Cristiano Martino of the Australian Ballet talk about the highs and lows of a dance career, the athleticism and the work that goes into developing their beautiful technique.

NY Times Op-Ed: "Time Is Not On The Side Of Gay People" Living In Chechnya

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov
In an op-ed this morning, the New York Times challenges the Trump administration to provide stronger international leadership regarding the rounding up, torturing and killing of gays in Chechnya.
The crimes in Chechnya have presented the Trump administration with its first major test on this issue on the international stage. Last Monday, Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, issued a strong statement calling for a prompt investigation and accountability for the culprits.

“We are against all forms of discrimination, including against people based on sexual orientation,” Ms. Haley said. “When left unchecked, discrimination and human rights abuses can lead to destabilization and conflict.”

It would be encouraging to see Ms. Haley take on this cause with as much passion and perseverance as her predecessor, Samantha Power. Without American leadership, forging a global consensus that gay rights are human rights will take longer. Time is not on the side of gay people living in terror in places like Chechnya.

Even as reporting shows the situation growing more dire by the day, Chechen and Russian officials continue to deny the horrific events.

Over the weekend it was reported that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has hopes to eradicate all gays in his country before Ramadan on May 26.

Web Series: "Daddyhunt The Serial" Season 2


As announced last week, dating app Daddyhunt has released a second season of it's adorable web series - "Daddyhunt the Serial."

The series gives a light-hearted, flirty view into intergenerational dating. Which is a fancy way to frame older and younger guys exploring their attraction to each other.

Cute banter, lots of smiles, and a pre-coital conversation about "old school/new school" dating practices along the way.

Starring Jim Newman, BJ Gruber, David M. Farrington, Michael Snipe Jr & Alan Kelly and Soundtrack by Shirley House.

Watch the four new episodes below. Check out the first season here.

Google Home Commercial Features Two Dads & The Morning Family Routine


Google Home features two dads and their kids getting ready for the day.

The ad announces a new feature - multiple users. So now, Google Home recognizes each member of the family and can keep track of each person's schedule and more, providing a more personal experience.

The spot also shows how practically every family is the same when it comes to the morning routine.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Naked John Cena & Nikki Bella Celebrate 500K YouTube Subscribers


Engaged couple John Cena and Nikki Bella promised to get naked for YouTube if they hit the 500,000 subscriber mark.

And guess what?

Even though John thinks it's "not a good idea" they do fulfill the promise.

However, when John drops his half of the 500,000 sign, things take a turn.

Click to watch below.

Round 1 Of French Presidential Election: Macron 23.7%, Le Pen 21.7%


Via The BBC:

The centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen have won the first round of voting in French presidential elections, projected results say.

Mr Macron won 23.7%, while Ms Le Pen won 21.7%, French TV says.

The two saw off a strong challenge from centre-right François Fillon and the hard-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon, according to the projections.

The pair now face a run-off vote on 7 May.

Most polls show Macron defeating Le Pen in the second round.

Food for thought: if we elected our president by popular vote, as in France, we would have President Hillary Clinton.

Las Vegas: AIDSWalk 2017 For AFAN

Time to walk!

I got a late start blogging today as I joined thousands of folks including Las Vegas headliners Tyson Beckford, the Chippendales, Human Nature, Melody Sweet (Absinthe), Carrot Top plus Congressman Ruben Kihuen and Coco Montrese (RuPaul's Drag Race) for the 2017 AIDSWalk which benefits AFAN (Aid for AIDS Nevada).

Penn & Teller again served as Grand Marshals for the annual event.

Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) was founded in 1984 and is the oldest and largest AIDS service organization in the state of Nevada.

Gorgeous day, gorgeous people, and a gorgeous goal - to help those affected by HIV/AIDS.

The Chippendales with current Celebrity Host Tyson Beckford

Human Nature revved everyone up with some tunes

The Chippendales, Penn & Teller, Carrot Top and Tyson Beckford

Broadway in the Hood sang from Dear Evan Hansen and RENT

In case you ever wondered how short I really am.
From L-R: James Davis, Tyson Beckford, me, RK Kelsey, Okewa Garrett

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Trump Wall 2.0 - Mexico Will "Eventually" Pay For Wall "In Some Form"


Donald Trump repeated over and over and over during the campaign that he would build a "big, beautiful wall" on the US/Mexico border, and Mexico would pay for it.

Welcome now to Trump Wall 2.0 where, according to a presidential tweet this morning, Mexico will "eventually" pay for the wall "in some form."

Got it?

#liar

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Erin Moran of HAPPY DAYS Fame Dead At 56


TMZ is reporting that Erin Moran, of "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi" fame, has died.

She was 56.

Authorities in Indiana received a call just after 4 PM today from someone reporting an "unresponsive female." When emergency crews arrived, Moran was apparently already dead.

Moran shot to spotlight in the early 70s when she was cast on "Happy Days" as Joanie, the younger sister of Ron Howard's character. She continued the role in 1982 alongside Scott Baio in "Joanie Loves Chachi" but the show only lasted one season.

Erin had a tough time after her "Happy Days" stardom ... a combination of drinking and bizarre behavior that eventually landed her in a trailer park in Indiana. She had run out of money and was reportedly kicked out of the mobile home she shared with husband Steve Fleischmann.

Podcast: Tony & Grammy Award Winner Billy Porter Talks "The Soul Of Richard Rodgers"


On the latest The Randy Report podcast, Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter talks about his new album - Billy Porter presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers.

The collection features new, soulful takes on classic Richard Rodgers songs from Broadway musicals including Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, Babes in Arms, South Pacific, and The King and I, with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and Lorenz Hart.

Billy is the very picture of a passionate Renaissance man - actor, recording artist, director, playwright and activist.

Broadway credits include Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, Grease, and Smokey Joe’s Cafe. He won the Tony Award, as well as the Grammy, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his groundbreaking performance of “Lola” in Kinky Boots. That was followed by joining the all-star line up for Shuffle Along.

Film and television credits include Barry Levinson’s "The Humbling" opposite Al Pacino, Sundance Film Festival features "The Broken Hearts Club" and "Intern," "Noel" (with Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams), "Shake Rattle & Roll" as Little Richard, "Another World," "Twisted," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "The Tonight Show" and more.

In 2014, Primary Stages presented the highly successful World Premiere of While I Yet Live, Porter’s autobiographical play at off Broadway’s Duke Theater.

Hit play below to listen as Billy explains the inspiration for the new album and much, much more :)

Billy Porter presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers is available now at all digital download outlets.

Opening Night: Magic Mike Live In Las Vegas

Cast of MAGIC MIKE LIVE LAS VEGAS Performs at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
All photos: Erik Kabik (ErikKabik.com)

Had some feisty fun at the official opening night of Channing Tatum's Magic Mike Live last night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino here in Las Vegas.

Channing Tatum and wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, were in attendance having a great time. After the show, Tatum shared a few words with the packed venue, thanking the crowd and friends and family in attendance for joining the cast and creative team for their highly-anticipated opening night performance.

Lots of quick, slick and athletic moves from the good looking MML men. Very much in the same vein as the numbers in the two Magic Mike movies.

From the press release:

Conceived by Channing Tatum and co-directed by Tatum and film franchise choreographer Alison Faulk, the show features sexy and daring themed dance and strip routines punctuated by one of a kind acts from a wildly diverse cast of performers.

There's been some talk of Magic Mike Live "reinventing" the male revue, which I'm not so sure is completely accurate.

For the folks who've taken to comparing the new show with long running Chippendales or Thunder from Down Under, I would say this just a different "flavor" of male revue.

Comparing this new show to the other long-running strip shows is kind of like comparing Broadway's Hamilton, Spring Awakening and Chicago the Musical. All have their own "edge," and all won a lot of awards.

Having seen all three of the shows, I can tell you this - no one leaves any of them not having had a great time :)

Magic Mike Live is definitely fun, high energy. Less skin than you see in other shows; lots of shirtless guys dancing in jeans. If you're looking for a bit more "exposure" than that, you might want to check out the other shows.

The only misstep for me is the hostess for the evening. She's lovely and fun, and acts as a narrative device. But it seems like we see a lot of her. And her talking to the audience goes on a bit long. I'd just edit a bit.

Check out some video below I took along with pics by Erik Kabik (ErikKabik.com).

Welcome to Las Vegas, Magic Mike Live! Lots of room for everyone!


A post shared by Randy Slovacek (@randyslovacek) on


A post shared by Randy Slovacek (@randyslovacek) on


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Cast of MAGIC MIKE LIVE LAS VEGAS Performs at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino



Jackson Williams Performs 'air seduction' in MAGIC MIKE LIVE LAS VEGAS

Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum Attend Opening Night of MAGIC MIKE LIVE LAS VEGAS

Requisite poorly lit selfie with hubby Michael and Channing Tatum

Trump Announces Pennsylvania Rally To Compete With White House Correspondents Dinner


Donald Trump shared via Twitter (where else?) that he will hold a rally in Pennsylvania next Saturday, April 29.

That just happens to be the same night as the White House Correspondents Dinner that Trump has previously announced he will not be attending.


From The Hollywood Reporter:

"I am not a hypocrite. And I haven't been treated properly, and that's OK, that's fine," Trump previously said of his historic decision. White House staff announced last month they will also be skipping the dinner "out of solidarity."

But the president isn't the only one who will be offering counter programming on April 29. TBS' Samantha Bee, whose Full Frontal has been skewering Trump since the 2016 election, will also be holding her own event, "Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner," at the Willard Hotel in the Washington. The event will raise funds to support the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Trump will be the first president to miss the annual dinner, which raises money for journalism scholarships, since President Ronald Reagan.

Of course, Reagan had an excellent reason for skipping the event in that he was recuperating from having been shot by a mad man.

Stephen Colbert Nails Parody Of Alex Jones As "Tuck Buckford"


Who says Alex Jones of Info Wars is unstable? Other than his ex-wife who's suing him in court?

He's just like you and me.

Well, maybe he's just like Stephen Colbert's character "Tuck Buckford."

I've never really gotten the appeal of Mr. Jones - he just rants and rants and rants, and somehow that's how folks want to get their news?

"Tuck's" explanation for the Tooth Fairy is so spot-on Jones, I literally laughed out loud.

Watch below.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Newsweek: Aaron Hernandez Committed Suicide Over Secret Bisexual Life


I'd seen reports earlier today about this theory, but ignored them thinking they were just salacious, tabloid tales.

But when Newsweek is reporting, you sit up and take notice.

He [Hernandez] was convicted in April 2015 for shooting and killing his friend, Odin Lloyd, seemingly without motive. But interviews with multiple law enforcement officials directly involved in the case say Lloyd—a semipro football player who was dating Hernandez’s fiance’s sister at the time—had information the football star did not want out: that he was bisexual.

One of the notes left by Hernandez was to his prison boyfriend, who is now on 24/7 suicide watch, multiple law enforcement sources confirm. Hernandez’s sexuality would, of course, not be relevant save for the fact that an intimate relationship he allegedly had with a male former high school classmate was at the center of the investigation into Lloyd’s murder.

Ernest Wallace, a co-defendant in the Lloyd murder case, told detectives the victim had called Hernandez a “schmoocher,” which was taken by Hernandez and his companions as a gay slur.

Wallace was also recorded saying during a jailhouse visit with Tanya Singleton, Hernandez’s cousin, that he would not have helped Hernandez get rid of the murder weapon—a crime for which he is now serving a 4½-to-7 year sentence on accessory to murder charges—if he had known Hernandez was a “limp wrist,” multiple sources say.

News Round-Up: April 21, 2017


Some news items you may have missed:

• Fitness model Nick Sandell (above) is giving you serious "seriousness."

•Xavier Jugelé, the French police officer murdered last night in an apparent terrorist attack on Paris's Champs-Élysées was a member of Flag, an organization for LGBT police officers in France, and a local hero to his community.

• Intelligence gathered by the FBI last summer suggests that Russian operatives attempted to use Trump advisers, like Carter Page, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

• After meeting with President Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that reports of gay men being rounded up, tortured and killed in the Chechen nation are unfounded.

• With little to show for his first 100 days as prez, Donald Trump is pushing for another run at health care reform. A new amendment to proposed legislation would undermine Obamacare's existing conditions mandate.

• Caitlyn Jenner, who voted for President Trump, now says she's breaking with the Trumpster in a new 20/20 interview airing on ABC tonight. She's so over Trump she won't even play golf with the prez. Watch below.

Hillary Clinton: "We May Never Be Able To Count On Trump Administration To Lead On LGBT Issues"

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

While giving a speech last night at a dinner for The LGBT Center, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned of “clouds gathering on the horizon” for LGBT rights.

“The progress that we fought for, that many of you were on the front lines of, and that we’ve celebrated and maybe even taken for granted, may not be as secure as we once expected,” said Clinton.

She later added, “I think we have to face the fact that we may never be able to count on this administration to lead on LGBT issues."

Clinton also addressed the situation in Chechnya, where gay men have been reportedly detained, beaten, tortured and killed just for being gay.

“In recent weeks, we’ve heard terrifying accounts from Chechnya of gay and bisexual men being taken from their homes and families, tortured, even killed. And when government authorities were confronted with these reports, their response was chilling. They said that you cannot arrest or repress people – who do not exist. The United States government — yes, this government — should demand an end to the persecution of innocent people.”

The New York Times recently published an op-ed taking President Trump to task for his “record of empty talk” on LGBTQ rights.

As we all know, during the presidential campaign, Hillary was endorsed by just about every LGBT organization in the U.S.

Flashback Friday: Shaun And David Cassidy Sing "Tell Me It's Not True"


I just discovered this clip of brothers David and Shaun Cassidy from the 90s when they were starring (as brothers) in the Broadway production of Blood Brothers with Petula Clark.

As folks know, the song is usually performed by the role of the mother and joined by the full company at the end of Act Two. It's a big, moving company number that brings down the house.

Interestingly, Shaun and David's characters are the only folks who don't sing the song since they are lying dead on the ground at the time.

It makes me wonder why it's the brothers Cassidy singing here and not Petula. Maybe she didn't want to get up and sing that early?

In any case, it's the only time I've ever seen the song performed by the two "brother" characters, and I think it's quite lovely.

Sadly, the world recently found out David is suffering from dementia.

Science: Why Are You Always Tired?


The guys at AsapSCIENCE explain why you might feel tired all the time, and some tips about how to fix that.

Be smarter in 3 minutes - hit the play button below.

Randy Rainbow Parody: "Just My Bill (O'Reilly)"


Randy Rainbow helps us close out the week with this lovely parody of the classic Show Boat tune, "Bill."

But in this version, the "Bill" being rhapsodized is now-former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who recently got fired for his many sexual harassment issues.

I've shared Randy Rainbow's work many times on The Randy Report. Make sure you check out more of his funny, funny material here and here and here and here.

Trump Whines About "Ridiculous Standard" Of First 100 Days Threshold


As we get closer to the 100 day mark in the Trump presidency, President Babyhands looks like he's already setting up to deflect on his failure to deliver on many of his campaign promises.

Check out this tweet he dispatched this morning: "No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!"



The fact of the matter is, even as Trump attempts to spin his lack of legislative achievements into "something," Trump hasn't done much but nominate and get a Supreme Court justice seated.

And, I should mention most presidents get their SCOTUS nominees approved. In fact, you have to go back 30 years to the last time a nominee didn't win approval in the U.S. Senate.

In that we're at Day 91,  let's look at some of the things Trump "promised" to do:

• On cyber-hacking: "I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office."

Remember, today is Day 91.

• On defeating ISIS: "They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS."

Umm, that was 61 days ago.

• Obamacare: Trump told American voters you would have Congress "immediately deliver a full repeal" of the Affordable Care Act on Day 1.

Way tardy - that was 91 days ago.

• Undocumented immigrants: "Day one, my first hour in office, those people are gone."

That was... well, you get the point.

The fact is Trump really didn't understand the reality of governing. That you can't just bark and yell and things happen as you'd like.

I'd say, "Well, at least Trump is popular," but I'd be lying.

In fact, according to Gallop polls, Trump has the lowest average approval rating for any president in the history of Gallup polling.

Trump averaged just 41% approval for his first quarter as president.

For perspective, the previous "lowest average" president was Bill Clinton, and his "lowest" was 14 points higher at 55%.

President Obama had an average of 63% approval.


In spite of all this, though, Trump continues to sell his presidency like a used car salesman, extolling features that don't really exist.

Perhaps it's time that Trump stop bitching and whining (and golfing) and get something done.

Liberal Redneck On Trump's Military Flexing - "It All Feels A Little 'Wag The Dog-y'"


Trae Crowder is back with his southern perspective on why President Trump is getting all "Wag the Dog-y" about North Korea and Afghanistan.

"Trump tryin to start like 8 wars at once, because why the hell not? I mean, it ain't like they's anything else goin on."

And then there's the metaphorical tale of "Bobby" and "Randy." Hit play, and it'll all make sense.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jeff Sessions: "I Am Amazed That A Judge Sitting On An Island" Can Block Trump Travel Ban

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

CNN is reporting on Attorney General Jeff Sessions' frustrations with a federal judge in Hawaii who blocked President Trump's travel ban from Muslim-majority countries.

Sessions shared his thoughts during an appearance on "The Mark Levin Show" Tuesday night.

“We’ve got cases moving in the very, very liberal Ninth Circuit, who, they’ve been hostile to the order,” Sessions said. “We won a case in Virginia recently that was a nicely-written order that just demolished, I thought, all the arguments that some of the other people have been making. We are confident that the President will prevail on appeal and particularly in the Supreme Court, if not the Ninth Circuit. So this is a huge matter. I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power.”

Last month, a federal judge in Hawaii, Judge Derrick Watson, issued an order that blocked Trump’s ban on travelers from several Muslim-majority countries. The Department of Justice is currently appealing the decision.

The two U.S. Senators from Hawaii didn't take kindly to the characterization of "an island in the Pacific" by Sessions:





(h/t JoeMyGod)

News Round-Up: April 20, 2017


Some news items you may have missed:

• Jerry Herman's classic Broadway musical Hello, Dolly! returns to the Great White Way tonight at the Shubert Theatre in a brand new revival starring a reportedly delicious Bette Midler. I made my Broadway debut in the last revival back in 1995 (I'm on the far left above) when Carol Channing made a spectacular return to the role of "Dolly Levi." Wishing this new cast all the best for a fantastic run!

• TIME Magazine names Gavin Grimm, Sarah Paulson and RuPaul to this year's "100 Most Influential People" list.

• Adam Medrano, the council member who chairs City Hall's LGBT Task Force, has made LGBT youth homelessness a top priority. His leadership has led to the creation of Outlast Youth, a collaborative effort intent on finding beds, counseling, health care and job training for homeless LGBT youth.

• On the other end of the spectrum in Texas news, Governor Abbott says he wants to sign a transgender "bathroom bill."

• Turning this year's Pride Parade in Los Angeles into an anti-Trump march is making it tough to attract the event's usual sponsors.

• CNN spoke to to two men who describe being detained, beaten and tortured in Chechnya as part of the country's violent crackdown on homosexuality. Watch below:

"Daddyhunt The Serial" Back For Round Two


Aw, this looks fun.

Back in February 2016, dating app Daddyhunt created a mini-web series, Daddyhunt the Serial, that told the romantical story of young pup, BJ Gruber and hunky daddy, Jim Newman.

It was pretty much a promotional bit for the dating app, but quite fun and flirty.

Daddyhunt has announced they will revisit the woofy couple in a soon to debut second season.

From the Daddyhunt Facebook page:

Their story continues on April 24th. Follow us and be the first to see it!

Watch the teaser below, and click here to watch the original seven minute serial.

Rainbow Flag Inspired Font Created In Honor Of Gilbert Baker


When Gilbert Baker, the creator of the iconic rainbow flag, passed away on March 31, 2017, NewFest and NYC Pride partnered with Ogilvy & Mather’s design team to create a rainbow flag inspired font to honor the LGBT activist.

They named the font "Gilbert."

Via press release:

“We wanted to create something special that would not just honor Gilbert and his iconic Rainbow Flag but also give the LGBTQ community a fantastic tool to help them create their own banners, posters and signs. People can now raise the Rainbow Flag with every letter they type. By literally embedding the Rainbow Flag into the font we made it possible for everyone around the world to type with pride.”

Ogilvy & Mather partnered with Fontself to leverage cutting-edge color font technologies and produce both a traditional font as well a colorful typeface. “We are all driven by the same passion for self-expression and creativity. Today, we are releasing a preview version of the font and we will iterate based on the feedback of the community. We will also share behind-the-scenes updates so anyone interested in using the font or creating their own version can learn more about color fonts“.

You can download the font here.

Watch the announcement video below.


Today Is National Give OUT Day, Supporting LGBTQ Non-Profits


From the official website:

Give OUT Day is the ONLY national day of giving for the LGBTQ community – a 24-hour online fundraising event that unites the LGBTQ community from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and D.C. to raise critically needed funds.

Throughout the day-long event, thousands of people make gifts to support a vast array of LGBTQ nonprofits across the country, ranging from the arts to social services agencies, advocacy groups to sports leagues, community centers to health care nonprofits.

Since its inception in 2013, over 23,000 individual donors have contributed more than $3 million and supported more than 500 different organizations in every part of the country. With changes and investments being made by Horizons, Give OUT Day’s potential is even greater.

Here's the link to a page with several national organizations you will probably know such as It Gets Better Project, National Center for Transgender Equality, PFLAG, Athlete Ally, and the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Or you can search from the full list of charities taking part here.

Behind The Scenes At "Broadway Bares: Strip U" Photo Shoot


From Broadway Cares:

#BroadwayBares heads to campus for this year’s theme: Strip U. The wildly popular, modern-day burlesque benefit will explore collegiate life on Sunday, June 18.

Check out this behind the scenes footage from our photo shoot featuring 13 Broadway dancers stripping down for the campaign.

Broadway Bares: Strip U will feature more than 150 of the hottest male and female dancers in New York City sharing their hearts - and bodies - with an eager crowd of thousands. The 90-minute show features Broadway’s most talented movers and shakers in a highly choreographed, highly produced spectacular.

Using the collegiate theme as a jumping off point, Broadway Bares: Strip U combines the winking humor of classic burlesque with audience-favorite pop music to create a truly unparalleled show. Imagine the Broadway Bares take on a science lab exploding with sizzling chemistry or sculpted studs exhibiting model behavior in art class. You could wait to watch highlights online, but there’s nothing like experiencing the live show where anything can happen.

The 27th annual edition of Broadway Bares will take place at New York City’s Manhattan Center Events - Hammerstein Ballroom & Grand Ballroom (311 West 34th Street, NYC) at 9:30 pm and midnight on Sunday, June 18. Broadway Bares is produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Ticket details are at broadwaycares.org. For other information and merchandise, visit broadwaybares.com.

#TBT To The Joys Of Working With That Bundle Of Charm, Bill O'Reilly


Just one more. Just one more video before we let the Bill O'Reilly thing go, ok?

Just a reminder of what a standup, charming guy The Bill Man was to work with. If you haven't seen this before, hit play. It's quite the performance.

Stephen Colbert Riffs On The Fall Of Bill O'Reilly


Stephen Colbert of The Late Show has some parting words for now-fired Bill O'Reilly.

Along the way, Colbert shares part of the statement issued from Fox News lauding Bill as they kicked him out the door.

The statement read, “By ratings standards, Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news.”

Colbert amended the statement adding, “By rating stands, he is. By moral standards, he was a self-righteous landfill of angry garbage.”

Btw - it's being reported today that O'Reilly will walk away with a golden parachute of "tens of millions of dollars."


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