Let’s All Say It Together – #EFF2020

I have to admit up front that I normally despise people doing the middle finger ‘f*ck you’ thing. It usually feels so base and so classless.

But, for weeks now, my fatigue and loathing for the year 2020 have been growing exponentially.

I don’t think I’ve ever noticed a single year being so incredibly full of bad news. And I know I’m not alone.

Check out these folks who indulge themselves in a bit of well-earned mental health self-care by expressing their thoughts on how 2020 has impacted them – from school closings to toilet paper hoarders, to lost loved ones, to the long list of ‘Karens’ we’ve endured during the pandemic and more.

Note – adult language here #duh

(h/t Boy Culture)

Joe Biden/Kamala Harris Named TIME’s Person Of The Year

TIME named President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as its Person of the Year.

From the profile:

Biden had the vision, set the tone and topped the ticket. But he also recognized what he could not offer on his own, what a 78-year-old white man could never provide: generational change, a fresh perspective, and an embodiment of America’s diversity.

For that, he needed Kamala Harris: California Senator, former district attorney and state attorney general, a biracial child of immigrants whose charisma and tough questioning of Trump Administration officials electrified millions of Democrats.

The Vice President has never before been a woman, or Black, or Asian American. “I will be the first, but I will not be the last,” Harris says in a separate interview. “That’s about legacy, that’s about creating a pathway, that’s about leaving the door more open than it was when you walked in.”

In an age of tribalism, the union aims to demonstrate that differences don’t have to be divides.

Additionally, Dr. Anthony Fauci and frontline health workers were named 2020 Guardians of the Year along with Racial Justice Organizers.

Lebron James is the 2020 Athlete of the Year, Eric Yuan was named Businessman of the Year, and pop group BTS was honored as Entertainer of the Year,

San Diego Union-Tribune Endorses Pete Buttigieg For President

(image via Instagram)

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board endorsed Mayor Pete Buttigieg for president this week.

It’s close, but in the view of The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board, Buttigieg is best suited to beat Trump because of his centrist policies, his military experience, his (admittedly small-scale) executive experience and the enthusiasm he’s inspired, with better fundraising and national polling, bigger campaign crowds and more news coverage than Klobuchar.

He has shown he can manage a national campaign successfully. And in a nation that only legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, his message of generational change could actually inspire change.

Of the six strong Democratic candidates left, half are 77- or 78-year-old men, two are women, one of whom is 70, and then there is Buttigieg. He may have only been mayor of the fourth-largest city in Indiana, but his fresh approach is transformational.

[sic]

The New York Times Editorial Board asked Buttigieg how he would balance his devout Episcopalian faith with his duties as commander in chief, and he showed both his wisdom and his eloquence: “I think you have to accept the reality that you are living and working in a broken world just as we are all broken human beings and try to order your steps in a way that brings greater good than harm.”

That resonated with us, for its lofty rhetoric and grounding in humanity and hope: “greater good.”

It’s time for a generational change. It’s time to make America good again.

Vote Pete Buttigieg for president of the United States.

Openly Gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg Definitely Impressed During CNN Town Hall

Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at CNN Town Hall in Austin, TX

Openly gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, appears to be building some momentum in his bid to become the Democratic candidate for president in 2020.

This past weekend, Buttigieg took part in a CNN town hall at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

Also taking solo turns on the stage were Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland.

But by many accounts, it was Mayor Pete who found the most traction.

While he isn’t out-polling former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders, Buttigieg showed he knew how to make the most of an opportunity.

Veteran political expert and chief strategist for the Obama campaigns, David Axelrod, gave Buttigieg high marks and predicted an uptick in his standing among the other candidates.

During his hour onstage, the 37-year-old displayed impressive poise and composure while throwing some shade on the Trump/Pence administration, including his now infamous “cheerleader for the porn star presidency” description of Vice President Mike Pence.

The former Navy intelligence officer and Afghanistan war veteran also took aim at Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, who has defended the invasion of Iraq for years.

Referencing Bolton’s suggestion that the U.S. use military force in the current conflict in Venezuela, Buttigieg replied, “I don’t understand how somebody leading us into the Iraq War is allowed near that situation.”

He also addressed some issues specific to the LGBTQ community.

The two-term mayor reaffirmed his support for the Equality Act, which would bring uniform civil rights protections to LGBTQs across the nation by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to existing civil righs laws.

He also called for an end to the “war on trans Americans.”

“For a transgender teen to get the signal from the White House that the highest officials in the land can’t tell the difference between her and a predator and make it harder for her to go to the bathroom shows you just how out of whack the climate is in our country right now. We’ve got to end the war on trans Americans and we need a federal Equality Act that would say that you cannot be fired just because of who you are or just because you love.”

There was also a fairly innocuous but human moment that occurred when CNN’s Jake Tapper tried to clarify how to pronounce the mayor’s last name.

Noting that Buttigieg’s husband has indicated a slightly different pronunciation (“I don’t want to get in the middle of a marital squabble, but…”), Tapper asked the mayor for the definitive answer.

Buttigieg said his name quickly (which sounded like ‘Booda-judge’) but added that either option worked, and at home, he just goes by “Mayor Pete.”

The day when reporters blithely ask a presidential candidate about daily interactions with his husband has come.

Clearly sensing the appearance had gone well, Buttigieg was the only participant in the town hall to make a direct appeal from the stage for donations to his campaign.

According to CNN, Buttigieg had the single biggest fundraising day of his 2020 campaign after his appearance raising more than $600,000 from over 22,200 donations in the 24 hours after the event.

News Round-Up: March 11, 2019

Jonas Brothers score their very first #1 song

Some news items you might have missed:

• The Jonas Brothers have officially topped the Billboard Hot 100 with their come-back single “Sucker.” It’s the Jo Bros first number one (previous high was #5) and first boy band #1 in sixteen years.

• Democratic Presidential contender Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) said this weekend that she never supported conversion therapy, despite working for an organization that promoted it.

• Milwaukee beat out Houston and Miami for the 2020 Democratic Convention scheduled for July 13-16, 2020. Since the Democratic ticket barely lost usually ‘true blue’ Wisconsin in 2016, this makes perfect sense.

• This idiot not only got a beat down for grabbing the employee at McDonalds, but he was sentenced to 60 days in jail. The customer was apparently irate he couldn’t find a straw. Watch him get more than he bargained for below.

• Jussie Smollett’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, says the former Empire star is getting ‘gang-banged‘ by the media.

• A Brazilian politician called same-sex kissing ‘obscene’ and suggested it could be punishable with prison time.

• Speaking of Brazil, Donald Trump has invited the country’s newly-installed, virulently anti-LGBTQ president, Jair Bolsonaro, to visit at the White House. #OfCourse

•Music icon Olivia Newton-John celebrates the release of her first memoir, Don’t Stop Believin’.

With her trademark positive outlook, the Grease star shares personal anecdotes including a new afterword (added after the Australian printing) of her stay in her own hospital, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research  Centre, last fall when she experienced a fractured sacrum.

The four-time Grammy Award winner went undercover for a few weeks for treatment and shares how proud she is of the world-class facility.

She also shares never-before-told stories from her 50+ year-old career in entertainment.

You can order the book on Amazon here.

Hillary Clinton: “I’m Not Running” In 2020

Hillary Clinton declares she won't run for president in 2020
Hillary Clinton declares she won’t run for president in 2020

From The Washington Post:

Hillary Clinton put to rest lingering speculation Monday night that she might launch another White House bid but vowed to remain active in politics, telling a local television station in New York that “I’m not going anywhere.”

“I’m not running, but I’m going to keep on working and speaking and standing up for what I believe,” Clinton said in an interview with News 12. “I want to be sure that people understand I’m going to keep speaking out. . . . What’s at stake in our country, the kind of things that are happening right now are deeply troubling to me.”

Clinton, a Democrat who lost the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump despite winning the popular vote, said she does not think she will run for any other elected office in the future, such as mayor of New York or governor of New York.

Hillary also mentions that she plans to have an active role in the 2020 elections, and has met in private with several of the declared Democrats running for president.

There are currently 14 Democrats in the hunt for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.

Sen. Bernie Sanders Announces Bid For 2020 Democratic Nomination For Prez

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the longest serving Independent in the history of Congress, has announced he will make a second run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the longest serving Independent in the history of Congress, has announced he will make a second run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

Sanders announced via video this morning.

Axios reports Sanders raised $1.2 million from 42,000 donors in the first 3.5 hours after his official announcement on Tuesday morning.

For comparison, Sen. Kamala Harris, who had seen the biggest fundraising so far for the Democratic primary, reportedly raised $1.5 million in the first 24 hours following her announcement.

Sen. Cory Booker Announces 2020 Run For White House

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey announced today that he is throwing his hat in the ring to become the Democratic nominee for president in 2020.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey 

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey announced today that he is throwing his hat in the ring to become the Democratic nominee for president in 2020.

In a video on Twitter, Booker intoned the spirit of the civil rights movement, on this first day of Black History Month, as he shared his vision for a country that will “channel our common pain back into our common purpose.”

“The history of our nation is defined by collective action; by interwoven destinies of slaves and abolitionists; of those born here and those who chose America as home; of those who took up arms to defend our country, and those who linked arms to challenge and change it,” said Booker in the video.

The 49-year-old former mayor joins an already-crowded field of Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, and Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

The folks at NJ.com served up this quick video on Booker’s personal history.

News Round-Up: January 29, 2019

• InstaHunk Dan Tai asks, "Do you count your macros?" I don't even know what that means (I'm sure it's important) because calves, biceps, deltoids, face...
InstaHunk Dan Tai

Some news items you might have missed:

• InstaHunk Dan Tai asks, “Do you count your macros?” I don’t even know what that means (I’m sure it’s important) because calves, biceps, deltoids, face…

Desperate Housewives/Ugly Betty star Vanessa Williams has been tapped for a lead role in Happy Accident, ABC’s family comedy pilot from the writers of Modern Family. #Yay!

• Congressional Republicans aren’t fond of Donald Trump’s idea to declare a ‘national emergency’ in order to get his beloved wall, but they’ve signaled they won’t put up a stink if he does.

Reuters reports that The Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion cut tax package appeared to have no major impact on businesses’ capital investment or hiring plans.

• A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows 56% of registered voters will “definitely” not vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

• And speaking of the 2020 election, Sen. Kamala Harris of California broke records Monday night when her televised town hall became the most viewed event of its kind in cable news history with 1.957 million views. The event drew the most viewers of any cable-news, single-candidate town hall.

• Out singer/songwriter Sam Smith and former Fifth Harmony member Normani release their sensual, moody music video for their hit duet, “Dancing with a Stranger.”

Alone in a lavish mansion, both artists are attempting to get over former lovers. I like the song; not sure about Normani’s dancing in the middle there, but I guess it’s in the title so someone had to dance…?

Out Mayor Pete Buttigieg Announces Presidential Campaign

In what could be history in the making, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, released a video today announcing he has formed an exploratory committee for president.

It he does run, which seems likely, Buttigieg would be the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate.

He became the youngest person elected to the office of mayor in South Bend at the age of 29 in 2011. He also holds the distinction of being the youngest mayor of an American city with a population of at least 100,000, according to the Washington Post.

He came out in 2015 by penning a personal essay in the South Bend Tribune, just weeks before the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling which made marriage equality the law of the land.

At the time, he wrote, “Being gay has had no bearing on my job performance in business, in the military, or in my current role as mayor.”

“It makes me no better or worse at handling a spreadsheet, a rifle, a committee meeting, or a hiring decision,” he continued. “It doesn’t change how residents can best judge my effectiveness in serving our city: by the progress of our neighborhoods, our economy, and our city services.”

He was re-elected in 2015 with 80% of the vote.

In his announcement video, Buttigieg says, “When I arrived in office at the beginning of this decade, the national press said that our city was dying.”

“People on the outside didn’t believe our city had a future,” he adds. “We propelled our city’s comeback by taking our eyes off the rearview mirror, being honest about change and insisting on a better future.”

“The reality is there’s no going back, and there’s no such thing as ‘again’ in the real world,” says Buttigieg in what seems like a veiled swipe at Donald Trump’s ‘Make American Great Again’ slogan.

The 37-year-old brings more than just youth to the table. The two-term mayor is a former Rhodes scholar who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 2004.

In 2009, he was commissioned as a naval intelligence officer, and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 while serving as mayor.

He was honored with the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his counterterrorism work, and remains a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve.

Two years ago, he ran for Chair of the Democratic National Committee helping to build his national profile.

He married his husband, Chasten Glezman, in a private ceremony on June 16, 2108. Glezman is featured in Buttigieg’s announcement video.

He is the youngest person to formally announce an interest in the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.

Pete Buttigieg with husband, Chasten