News Round-Up: July 27, 2020

L-R Max Parker, Kris Mochrie (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Instinct Magazine: Actors Max Parker and Kris Mochrie, who play brothers Luke and Lee Posner on the hit British soap Emmerdale, are dating. Oh, the scandal of it all! The couple posted the photo above with the caption, “London lads lazily lounging.”

The Advocate: Amid mounting reports of a toxic workplace culture behind the scenes at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, WarnerMedia has launched an internal investigation that will be spearheaded by the company’s employee relations group and a third-party firm. A recent Buzzfeed story painted a damning picture of workplace culture on DeGeneres’s show asserting “racist comments, actions, and microaggressions.”

Buzzfeed LGBTQ: Check out the pop culture site’s latest round-up of funny but true gay tweets like…

Edge Media: The world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccine study got underway Monday with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the U.S. government and Moderna Inc.

CNN: Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns 193 local TV stations, somehow found the good sense God gave a goat and dropped the idea of airing a segment featuring a conspiracy theory that suggested Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, was responsible for the creation of the coronavirus.

The Atlantic: Bernie Sanders campaign co-chair Nina Turner told journalist Peter Nicholas she has no appetite for voting for former Vice President Joe Biden: “It’s like saying to somebody, ‘You have a bowl of shit in front of you, and all you’ve got to do is eat half of it instead of the whole thing.’”

Bernie Sanders Endorses Joe Biden: “We Have To Make Trump A One-Term President”

In a joint live stream today, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) officially endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president and he asked his supporters to do the same.

“Today I am asking all Americans … to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy,” Sanders told Biden.

From the New York Times:

In throwing his weight behind his former rival, Mr. Sanders is sending an unmistakable signal that his supporters — who are known for their intense loyalty — should do so as well, at a moment when Mr. Biden still faces deep skepticism from many younger progressives.

The two men appeared via live stream on split screens — each on each other’s live streams — talking to each other. “We need you in the White House,” Mr. Sanders said to Mr. Biden. “And I will do all that I can to make that happen.”

Mr. Biden said: “I’m going to need you. Not just to win the campaign, but to govern.”

On Sunday, however, the Democratic Socialists of America tweeted in no uncertain terms they will not support Biden. #smh

Bernie Sanders Ends His Bid For Democratic Presidential Nomination

L-R Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders

The Washington Post is reporting Sen. Bernie Sanders is ending his presidential campaign on Wednesday, clearing former Vice President Joe Biden’s path to the Democratic nomination and a showdown with Donald Trump in November.

Sanders’s decision closes one of the most remarkable chapters in modern political history. His advocacy for sweeping liberal ideas, such as Medicare-for-all and tuition-free public college, shifted the national debate over the role of government.

His unexpected success in the first three primary contests made him the best-performing socialist contender in U.S. history, as well the strongest Jewish presidential candidate. At 78, Sanders was also the oldest candidate to go so far in the process.

But his campaign’s failure to capture the support of a majority of Democrats, on sharp display once the field narrowed to Sanders and Biden, underlined the limits of his left-leaning politics. A loss in the Michigan primary was especially damaging, undercutting Sanders’s message that he could expand the Democratic electorate by winning industrial areas.

Sanders also was unable to win widespread support in the African American community, a fatal problem in a party where black voters play a critical role.

Sanders added that he will remain on the ballot in upcoming primary states in an attempt to assemble delegates in order to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions,” Sanders said in Burlington.

“Then together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history.”

It seems to me that Barack Obama is now free to hit the campaign trail as a surrogate for Biden now that the nomination seems determined.

News Round-Up: April 1, 2020

Ron Rich becomes the second Winter Party festival attendee to die from coronavirus.

Ron Rich becomes the second Winter Party festival attendee to die from coronavirus.

Some news items you might have missed:

National LGBTQ Task Force: Volunteer Ron Rich (above) is the second Winter Party attendee to succumb to the coronavirus. According to a Facebook post, he had served on the Task Force’s hospitality team for five years and also volunteered with the Outshine Film Festival and Lambda Legal. Israel Carreras was the first attendee to die from COVID-19.

The Gay UK: A woman found her husband’s Grindr account on his phone. She asked the “Dear Uncle” column in the UK for advice on what to do.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Wisconsin is still planning on holding its Democratic primary next Tuesday. But a lack of poll workers has led the governor to use members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard to man the polls during the April 7 election.

Out Music: Troye Sivan originally planned to release his latest single, “Take Yourself Home,” later this year but current events caused him to reconsider that plan. The track mixes acoustic guitar and club beats resulting in a winning mid-tempo groove.

Mediaite: In a message to his supporters, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) admits he has a very narrow path to the Democratic nomination but vows: “If I’m not the nominee, I will do everything I can to see that Joe Biden is elected president because Trump is the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country, and we’re seeing just how dangerous he is with all of the misinformation that he is providing during this coronavirus pandemic.”

Washington Post: The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 410 points, or 1.9 percent, to cap the most dismal first quarter of its 135-year history. The Dow ended Tuesday at 21,917.16 — a full 23 percent below its January start and 26 percent off the record high it set in February.

Tiger King: It’s interesting to learn that Saff, one of the few sympathetic characters on the Netflix series, is presented as a lesbian. It turns out he’s transgender and was misgendered repeatedly throughout each episode. Robert Moor, who produced a podcast chronicling the private zoo’s story prior to the Netflix docu-series, tweeted that Saff’s gender identity was virtually erased in the series.

Biden Sweeps 3 More States, Sanders ‘Assessing’ His Campaign

L-R Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders

After losing all three Democratic primaries Tuesday night by double-digits, Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) campaign manager on Wednesday said that the senator “is going to be having conversations with his supporters to assess his campaign,” according to The Hill.

Noting that “the next primary contest is three weeks away,” Sanders’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said in a statement that Sanders “is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable.”

This follows a brutal night for Sanders where he lost across the board to former Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden won Florida’s primary 62 percent to Sanders’ 23 percent, per Buzzfeed News. In Illinois, it was Biden 59 percent to Sanders’ 36 percent, and in Arizona, the former vice president won 44 percent versus 32 percent for Sanders.

Biden spoke after the three contests were called and he addressed Sanders’ supporters directly:

“Senator Sanders and I may disagree on tactics, but we share a common vision for the need to provide affordable health care for all Americans, reduce income inequity that has risen so drastically, to tackling the existential threat of our time, climate change.

“Sen. Sanders and his supporters have brought a remarkable passion and tenacity to all of these issues. Together, they have shifted the fundamental conversation in this country. So let me say, especially to the young voters who have been inspired by Senator Sanders: I hear you. I know what’s at stake. I know what we have to do.”

Biden began his delegate lead in the race by coming out on top in 10 of 14 contests on Super Tuesday.

Then on March 10, Biden won five of six contests including Washington state which was considered a safe haven for Sanders.

Political experts say Biden will have a nearly insurmountable lead in delegates by the time all of the votes are counted from this week’s primaries.

Biden currently has around 1,180 delegates, while Sanders has just about 884 delegates. You can check the count as more delegates are allocated at RealClearPolitics.

Candidates must garner at least 1,991 to officially clinch the nomination. Forty percent of delegates remain to be allocated.

Ohio, scheduled to vote last night, postponed its primary at the last minute due to coronavirus concerns.

Additionally, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, and Puerto Rico have also delayed their primaries.

Michigan: Biden Leads Sanders By 15 Points In Final Poll

In the final statewide poll before Michigan voters head to the Democratic primary polls tomorrow, Joe Biden holds a lead over Bernie Sanders in the crucial primary contest according to the Monmouth University Poll.

Among Michigan voters who are likely to participate in the Democratic primary tomorrow, support currently stands at 51% for Biden and 36% for Sanders.

Another 1% back Tulsi Gabbard, 6% say they will vote for a slate of uncommitted delegates, and 2% are undecided.

Biden leads Sanders among both white voters (50% to 36%) and voters of other races (53% to 36%). Biden is winning voters age 50 and over (62% to 24% for Sanders) by a larger margin than Sanders is winning those under 50 years old (49% to 38% for Biden). Women prefer Biden to Sanders (53% to 33%), while men prefer Sanders (49% to 39% for Biden).

There are 147 delegates up for grabs in Tuesday’s Michigan primary.

The survey also shows both Democratic White House hopefuls would best Trump today in head-to-head hypothetical match-ups.

Biden has a 48% to 41% lead over Trump, while Sanders has a slightly smaller 46% to 41% margin.

It’s worth remembering that Trump won Michigan by a scant 10,704 votes four years ago.

Delegate Count Per AP: Joe Biden 664, Bernie Sanders 573

L-R Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders

The Associated Press has calculated the allocation of more than 92 percent of the 1,344 Super Tuesday delegates, and according to the math, former Vice President Joe Biden has built such a commanding lead Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will not be able to catch up from the remaining 8 percent left from those contests.

Through huge wins in southern states, plus surprise victories in Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Texas, Biden won 10 states and Sanders won four.

Biden will take away a minimum of 610 delegates from the Super Tuesday’s contests, while Sanders scores at least 513.

Note – 102 delegates remain to be allocated.

Vote counting continues in California (thanks to mail-in ballots) as it’s unclear whether former Mayor Mike Bloomberg will garner enough votes to clear the 15 percent level to become viable and win a percentage of the statewide delegates.

At this writing, Biden has won 664 delegates to Sanders’ 573.

Next on the calendar, Democratic voters go to the polls on March 10 in six states:

Idaho – 20 delegates

Michigan – 125 delegates

Mississippi – 36 delegates

Missouri – 68 delegates

North Dakota – 14 delegates

Washington – 89 delegates

Biden Surges To 16-Point Lead In National Poll

It looks like ‘Joe-Mentum’ is real as former Vice President Joe Biden has surged to a 16-point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) according to the latest Morning Consult poll.

Among those polled, 54 percent indicated support for Biden and 38 percent said they’d vote for Sanders.

Breaking the numbers down by age, 70 percent of voters ages 45 and older are supporting Biden while 57 percent of voters under 45 support Sanders.

Additionally, 51 percent say the former vice president has the best chance to beat Donald Trump in the general election.

The survey of 1,390 Democratic primary voters was conducted after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) exited the race on Thursday. The poll has a 3-point margin of error.

(graphic via Morning Consult)

Sanders “Disgusted” And “Aghast” By Vitriol Hurled By His Supporters

During an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was asked about some of the attacks lobbed at his presidential primary opponent Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) during the Democratic primary.

Referencing the tweeting of images of snakes and more, Maddow asked Sanders if he felt that might hurt his campaign’s prospects.

Sanders responded saying he was “actually disgusted” and “aghast” by online vitriol directed at Warren. “We condemn that,” Sanders said directly and without equivocation. “We want our supporters to be [talking] about the issues.”