• Out: A transgender woman has filed a lawsuit against staff at the Michigan Department of Corrections where she was imprisoned, claiming she was raped after staff forced her to share a cell with a convicted rapist and murderer. She was raped a second time by another inmate after staff forced her to share a cell with him (another convicted rapist) following her return from the hospital.
• Greg In Hollywood: Today marks the 12th anniversary of the longtime LGBTQ blog run by the awesome Greg Hernandez. In recognizing the date, Greg says he’s going to take some time off – but not permanently – before heading into his next year of celebrity/entertainment news.
• The Hill: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), a Trump ally and fiscal conservative, says he plans to force the Senate clerks to read aloud the entire $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill on the Senate floor, which could slow it down by as much as 10 hours. It’s worth noting a wide a majority of Americans support the legislation: a new Morning Consult poll shows 77% of Americans support the bill.
Ron Johnson: “I’m going to make them read their 600-700 page bill.”
Johnson also plans to force votes on a HUGE amount of amendments to drag it out. “We need to keep this process going…I’m going to lead the effort to resist this thing.”
• Washington Post: The House of Representatives will not be in session on Thursday as planned after officials warned of credible threats of violence circulated by right-wing extremists that March 4 is the “true Inauguration Day” when former president Donald Trump will be sworn in for a second term.
• CBS News: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York addressed the mounting sexual harassment allegations against him Wednesday. “I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it and, frankly, I am embarrassed by it.” Cuomo said he will “fully cooperate” with the attorney general’s investigation, adding he’s “learned an important lesson.”
• InstaHunks: Woofy Dr. Yazan Abou-Ismail (top photo) is giving you serious furry goodness. He also has a fun sense of humor.
“New York state could host any Major League Baseball game that any teams want to play and they could play those games in our stadiums. New York state has one of the lowest infection rates in the United States.
“New York state has a full Department of Health protocol system in place. We have a testing system in place. I offer to Major League Baseball, if you’re having problems playing in other states, come play here.
“We could set up a protocol where you get on a private plane in a high risk state, you land in New York, you are transported directly from a plane to a quarantine hotel. You are in the quarantine hotel and tested in the quarantine hotel. If you are negative, you play ball.
“I understand the practical dynamics — teams want to play in their own state and city. I get it. There’s no fans anyways, it’s just about the coverage, and New York is the media capital.”
Political satirist Randy Rainbow offers this Grease-tastic take on Danny Zuko’s “Sandy,” as the wily wordsmith croons his love for “Andy!” as in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been a steadying force during the ongoing health crisis.
Baby, someday, when COVID’s not a thing If we’re on Earth, for what it’s worth I hope they make you king. You run my state while I gain weight with grace and dignity Oh please, be my dad Oh, Andy
Over the bridge, Rainbow professes:
“Andy my darling, this global pandemic is scaring me real bad. But watching your daily press briefings sure does calm me down.
“The way you manage to lead and inform without terrifying the living sh*t out of me or straying from the facts. And still find time to nurture my delicate spirit with adorable slide shows and relatable anecdotes about meatballs.
“You’re wise, levelheaded, eloquent and sexy and a time when the world needs it most. It sure is a refreshing change from that mother— aw gee, I won’t get into specifics.”
All New York workers are prohibited from reporting to their workplace in person, with the exception of people who perform essential services, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said Friday.
The policy, to be formalized via executive order, will take effect Sunday evening and will be backed by the force of law, Cuomo said at a news conference.
“These provisions will be enforced,” he said. “These are not helpful hints; this is not if you really want to be a good citizen.”
Cuomo emphasized that this policy is not an order to “shelter in place” — a term that is usually used in mass shooting situations. He said the guidance to residents to mostly stay inside may continue for months and that people should feel free to take walks for the sake of their mental health.
Cuomo says there are more than 7,000 confirmed cases in New York. The state has done more than 32,000 tests, including 10,000 in the last 24 hours – testing more per capita than South Korea and China – going outside the federal government for testing.