News Round-Up: October 22, 2019

Jon Howes of the Chippendales celebrates a birthday! ( via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Happy birthday wishes to Jon Howes of the world-famous Chippendales here in Las Vegas. Jon graciously took part in my little anniversary event last week, and he clearly improved the scenery 🙂

Outsports: After a relatively short but impactful career on the U.S. independent scene openly-gay wrestler Jake Atlas has inked a deal to join the WWE in 2020. Atlas spun his 2017 Southern California Rookie of the Year award into multiple championships and stellar performances for high profile indie promotions like Pro Wrestling Guerilla and Defy Wrestling.

ClickOrlando: After receiving an anonymous phone call, the assistant principal of a Florida school fired Monica Toro Lisciandro, a theater arts teacher, for having a girl-friend and attending a Pride festival. And this is totally legal because Florida does not protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace. #WeveGotWorkToDo

Advocate: Entertainer Marie Osmond shared on The Talk that she once questioned her heterosexuality after surviving sexual abuse. Talking on recent comments by Miley Cyrus, who said she “thought I had to be gay” in a world of “evil” men, Osmond said at the age of 8 or 9 she thought he might have been gay “because I had been sexually abused to the point that men made me sick. I didn’t trust them. I didn’t like them.”

New York Times: An anonymous Trump administration official who published a September 2018 essay in the Times regarding the active resistance to Donald Trump’s agenda and behavior from within his own administration, will publish a book next month titled, A Warning.

PEOPLE: The stars of The Facts of Life are coming back together, just in time for Christmas! Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn, and Nancy McKeon will reunite in the Christmas movie You Light Up My Christmas, premiering Dec.1 on Lifetime. The TV film, inspired by true events, tells “the story of Emma (Fields), who returns to her hometown to find that the lights in the once festive town have gone dim — prompting her to reconnect with a former flame (Adrian Holmes) and reignite the town with holiday cheer.”

Star-Telegram: A gay Trump supporter, Pete Gomez (from my own hometown) says, “I just want everyone to know in the LGBT community that Trump is for us, the Second Amendment is for us. We literally are going to make America more greater than it’s ever been, and keep it that way.” #MoreGreater

Acting Ukraine Ambassador: Trump Pressured Ukraine Into Investigating Biden In Exchange For Aid

President Zelensky of Ukraine and Donald Trump (image: public domain)

Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr., told impeachment investigators behind closed doors on Tuesday that Donald Trump withheld vital military aid for Ukraine and refused a White House meeting with Ukraine’s leader until he agreed to make a public pronouncement pledging to investigate Mr. Trump’s political opponents.

From the New York Times:

In testimony that Democrats in attendance called the most damaging account yet for the president, Mr. Taylor provided an “excruciatingly detailed” opening statement that described in blunt and unsparing terms the quid-pro-quo pressure campaign that Mr. Trump and his allies have long denied.

When he objected to that effort, Mr. Taylor said in his opening statement obtained by The New York Times, Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union and a Trump campaign donor, sought to explain Mr. Trump’s actions by noting that he was a businessman.

Mr. Taylor recounted Mr. Sondland saying that “when a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, he said, the businessman asks that person to pay up before signing the check.”

Taylor testified today that Trump had made his position clear: Ukrainian President Zelensky would not be invited to the White House or secure much-needed security aid unless the Ukrainian leader made a public announcement that his country would launch the investigations sought by Trump.

Before Trump supporters begin their expected attacks, it’s worth noting that Taylor is a West Point graduate who served in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne.

Trump Equates Constitutional Process With ‘Lynching’

Donald Trump

Donald Trump took to Twitter today to rant (again) about the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

In this edition of Trump Twitter Tantrum, the Donald equates the current Constitutional process of impeachment with “lynching.”

Trump’s buddy, Sen. Lindsey Graham, jumped on the “lynch” wagon as well calling the impeachment inquiry a “lynching in every sense.”

Others had different thoughts on the use of the word “lynching.”

News Round-Up: October 21, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunk: Fitness trainer Ramses Principe (above) heading into the week like a boss. Make sure to follow him on Instagram here for more Monday motivation.

Irish Times: A man in Dublin, Ireland, thought he was meeting a Grindr date but was instead ambushed by a group of teenage boys with weapons. The victim, who needed medical treatment after the attack, says at least four teens armed with hammers came after him shouting anti-gay slurs including ‘faggot.’

ABC News: Former Defense Secretary James Mattis trolled Donald Trump over the weekend at an event after Trump declared Mattis to be “the world’s most over-rated general.” Mattis clapped back saying, among other things, “I earned my spurs on the battlefield … Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor.” The ‘spurs’ comment was a reference to Trump’s many deferments from the Vietnam war.

NY Times: Northern Ireland will soon have marriage equality to celebrate due to an amendment to a routine bill on governance that Parliament passed in July after the region’s governing assembly collapsed nearly three years ago. The amendment goes into effect tonight at midnight. Beginning January 13, 2020, same-sex couples will be able to give 28 days’ notice before marrying.

The Independent: In Elton John’s first memoir, Me, the popstar has some choice words about now-deceased Michael Jackson: “Every time I saw him in his later years I came away thinking the poor guy had totally lost his marbles. I don’t mean that in the light-hearted way. He was genuinely mentally ill, a disturbing person to be around. It was incredibly sad, but he was someone you couldn’t help: he was just gone, off in a world of his own, surrounded by people who only told him what he wanted to hear.”

Politico: Donald Trump reportedly stunned military leaders by demanding his ‘Victory Day’ parade at his very first Pentagon meeting.

Instinct Magazine: I am not mad at the hot daddy ASL interpreter who turned it out at Todrick Hall’s Haus Party World Tour this past weekend. #GetItDaddy

Hillary Trolls Trump With Parody JFK Letter To Khrushchev

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton trolled Donald Trump today tweeting a parody letter of Trump’s now-infamous letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Clinton’s tweet featured a fake letter from President Kennedy to former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev that appeared previously on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

The parody missive reads, “Don’t be a dick, ok? Get your missiles out of Cuba. Everybody will say ‘Yay! Khrushchev! You’re the best!’ But if you don’t everybody will be like ‘what an asshole’ and call your garbage country ‘The Soviet Bunion.’ You’re really busting my nuts here. Give you a jingle later. Hugs, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.”

#FTW

Mulvaney Denies Saying What He Said But Chris Wallace Has The Receipts

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told the press Donald Trump used military aid to Ukraine as leverage to get the Ukrainian government to investigate Trump’s political opponents.

When asked if the aid was conditioned on investigating Democratic National Committee server, Mulvaney said, “We do it all the time.”

He denied it to Chris Wallace, but Wallace brought the receipts. #oops

“You were asked specifically by Jonathan Karl was investigating Democrats one of the conditions for holding up the aid, was part of the quid pro quo, and you said ‘it happens all the time,’” Wallace said.

Mulvaney claims since he himself never uttered the words ‘quid pro quo’ it can’t be pinned on him.

Randy Rainbow Skewers Rudy Giuliani Via ABBA-Tastic Parody

Randy Rainbow trolls Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani – “former mayor and soon-to-be-former lawyer of soon-to-be-former president, Donald Trump – with the query, with this parody of ABBA’s “Mamma Mia.”

Giuliani, here you go again
Lie, lie, how can we believe you?
Giuliani, gurl who let you in?
Ay, ay, when will Donald leave you?
Blowing his own defenses, flubbing his false pretenses,
Can’t trust what he says on TV shows

Bravo Randy Rainbow on another wild and wacky ride through Trump Town. Hit play below 🙂

Hillary Clinton Cleared (Again) On Phony Email Conspiracy

A three-year investigation by the U.S. State Department has cleared former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of any mishandling of classified information through the use of a private email server.

This result concurs with former FBI Director James Comey’s similar conclusions in 2016 that found Clinton hadn’t broken any laws.

From the Washington Post:

A multiyear State Department probe of emails that were sent to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s private computer server concluded there was no systemic or deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees, according to a report submitted to Congress this month.

The report appears to represent a final and anticlimactic chapter in a controversy that overshadowed the 2016 presidential campaign and exposed Clinton to fierce criticism that she later cited as a major factor in her loss to President Trump.

In the end, State Department investigators found 38 current or former employees “culpable” of violating security procedures — none involving material that had been marked classified — in a review of roughly 33,000 emails that had been sent to or from the personal computer system Clinton used.

For those found culpable, the violations will be noted in their files and will be considered when applying for or renewing security clearances.

It’s worth noting that this State Department investigation was performed under the Trump administration. If they were going to find anything, this would have been the group to do it.

And, again, they found nothing to hang on Hillary.

As the WaPo adds, while Donald Trump continues to rant on the campaign trail about the phony, twice-disproved conspiracy theory regarding her emails, his own representatives have been found to be using private cell phones and texting apps while working on his behalf.

#hypocrisy

News Round-Up: October 18, 2019

Michael and I laughing as Olivia Newton-John officiates the renewal of our wedding vows

Some news items you might have missed:

The Big Two-Five: I’ll share the full details soon, but yes, hubby Michael and I celebrated our 25th anniversary together yesterday renewing our wedding vows. And handling the officiating duties was our dear friend (and international pop star), Olivia Newton-John. #Magic My wish is that everyone celebrates their 25th with as much joy and love that surrounded us yesterday. Thanks to the fabulous Denise Truscello for the awesome pic 🙂

• Deadline: With domestic box office gross of $83.5 million, Focus Features’ Downton Abbey movie, which features a gay storyline, has surpassed another gay-themed Focus Features film, three-time Oscar-winner Brokeback Mountain, as the highest-grossing title of all time for the studio.

KIT212: Check out what’s the what this week in gay magazines across the country.

Washington Post: Lenny Pozner, who lost his six-year-old son Noah in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, has spent years trying to stop people from spreading lies claiming the massacre was faked and never happened. In June, Pozner won a defamation case against book editors James H. Fetzer and Mike Palecek, who published statements that his son’s death certificate was a fake. On Tuesday, a Wisconsin jury ordered Fetzer to pay Pozner $450,000 in punitive damages.

• Axios: An internal impeachment polling memo that was sent to House Democrats Thursday included specific messaging guidance: “When discussing Trump’s actions, keep the language simple, direct and values-based…No one is above the law…The whistleblower did the right thing by coming forward…Focus on the biggest issues facing families in the country, specifically health care and wages.”

BBC: Little monsters were agog last night when a fan who got pulled up on stage during Lady Gaga’s Enigma concert in Las Vegas lost his footing and fell off-stage while holding the pop star. Gaga didn’t seem to suffer any serious injuries and went on with the show. She brought the fan back on stage to sit at the piano as she sang “Million Reasons” and implored folks on the internet to be nice to him telling the audience, “And if anybody on the internet is mean to you tomorrow about this then I’m going to be very upset with each and every one of them.”