News Round-Up: August 28, 2020

Singer/songwriter NIKO (via official website)

Some news items you might have missed:

Out Music: Randy Report favorite NIKO (above) releases his latest single, “Try,” a romantic, intimate anthem dedicated to his partner. With dreamy synths and soft beats, NIKO tells an autobiographical story about overcoming obstacles and finding love.

Hit the play button below to check out “Try,” and you can find my previous coverage of the talented artist here.

Vice: Former classmates of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who is charged with killing two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, say he was known as a “ride or die” Trump supporter. “If you said anything bad about Trump, he’d threaten you. Kyle was the type of kid to wear a MAGA hat or other apparel just for attention, or to ‘trigger’ people.”

New York Post: Reviewing Donald Trump’s “longest in convention history” speech – “There was no flow, no argument, no central core. He praised himself and he attacked Joe Biden, just as you’d expect. But he didn’t build a case for himself or a case against Biden — and it’s the construction of such cases that provide the dramatic structure a major speech needs to engage both the head and the heart. For someone who relishes drama, Trump provided none.”

Politico: A former Liberty University student says Becki Falwell, the wife of the school’s then-President Jerry Falwell Jr., jumped into bed with him and performed oral sex on him while he stayed over at the Falwell home after a band practice with her eldest son in 2008. The student, who was 22 at the time of the encounter, said she initiated the act. She then pursued the young man in text messages, and yes, there are screen captures.

Yahoo Sports: The Mets and Marlins took the field last night for only a 42-second moment of silence – most probably in honor of Jackie Robinson – before leaving in solidarity. The only thing left on the field – a Black Lives Matter shirt.

News Round-Up: August 26, 2020

Snoopy doing his best turned-in Fosse leg

Some news items you might have missed:

National Dog Day: Celebrating all of the furry family members that make our lives liveable. That’s the amazing Snoopy above, and yes, he is giving you turned-in Fosse leg 🙂

NY Times: Just over two months before Election Day, Donald Trump is trailing in almost every poll to former Vice President Joe Biden, whom activists credit with pushing President Obama to support gay marriage. And Trump’s advisers are suddenly talking about LGBTQ people as they scramble to find new voter support.

Washington Blade: A federal appeals court on Wednesday once again ruled in favor of Gavin Grimm, a transgender man who challenged his Virginia school district’s bathroom policy.

The Advocate: Well-known homophobe and pool boy/personal trainer aficionado Jerry Falwell Jr. will receive a $10.5 million severance package from Liberty University as he heads out the door amid controversy.

CNN: A sudden change in federal guidelines on coronavirus testing came this week as a result of pressure from the upper ranks of the Trump administration, a federal health official tells CNN – “It’s coming from the top down.” The new guidelines raise the bar on who should get tested, advising that some people without symptoms probably don’t need it — even if they’ve been in close contact with an infected person.

New Music: Rising pop artist MkX has released his latest single “Fall” – an escapist pop bop that wrestles with the feeling of falling in love.

“I wrote “Fall” about the three stages of falling for someone,” says MkX. “The first stage is apprehension and wanting to protect yourself from getting hurt. The second stage is realization and coming to terms with the fact that you’re starting to fall in love. The third stage is owning it and switching roles by making that person fall for you. Each chorus has the same melody, but slightly different lyrics that reflect each of these stages.”

MkX is a new artist for me but I definitely like mixing up synth-pop and R&B on a very modern, ‘now’ soundscape.

Pool Boy: Falwell ‘Enjoyed Watching’ Me With His Wife

Jerry Falwell Jr and friend

After years of rumors and innuendo, Jerry Falwell Jr., the former president of Liberty University, has admitted his wife engaged in an affair with a ‘family friend’ who has been threatening to expose the secret.

Falwell says he forgave his wife years ago, but in the ensuing years, he lost 80 pounds and experienced bouts of depression as the ‘family friend’ – who has been identified by numerous outlets as Miami pool attendant Giancarlo Granda – allegedly demanded money to keep the affair secret.

Falwell was recently suspended by Liberty University after photos from a “costume party” surfaced earlier this month showing him with his pants partially unzipped and his arm around a female assistant.

In a statement released to the conservative Washington Examiner, the virulently anti-LGBTQ Falwell said the affair between his wife Becki and their ‘pool boy’ occurred eight years ago and was short-lived.

In May 2019, Reuters reported that a 2015 recording had surfaced between Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former attorney, and comedian Tom Arnold wherein Cohen shared Falwell had asked for his help in keeping “a bunch of photographs, personal photographs” from becoming public.

In the recording, Cohen admitted to having seen the pics and described them as “terrible.”

Falwell Jr. eventually endorsed Donald ‘Grab’em by the p*ssy’ Trump for president in the 2016 election.

A year later, in 2017, Politico reported the Falwells had invested $1.8 million in a real estate deal involving their son Trey Falwell and Granda.

In his statement to the Examiner, Falwell says he is relieved to have the secret out in the open sharing, “It was like living on a roller coaster.”

Granda has publicly denied the allegations of extortion.

“The Falwell’s attempt to sandbag me, and the Examiner, with a last-minute story without providing the Examiner clear evidence that this was not simply an ‘affair’ with concocted allegations of extortion reeks desperation,” wrote Granda in an email to the Examiner. “The WHOLE truth will come out.”

Granda also reached out to Reuters and shared “emails, text messages and other evidence that he says demonstrate the sexual nature of his relationship with the couple, who have been married since 1987.”

“Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda told Reuters.

Jerry Falwell Jr Placed On ‘Indefinite Leave’ After FlyGate Photo

Jerry Falwell Jr and friend

ABC News reports Jerry Falwell, Jr. has agreed to “take an indefinite leave of absence from his roles as President and Chancellor of Liberty University” in the aftermath of his posting then deleting photos on social media with his arm around a young woman and his pants unzipped.

As the firestorm began, Falwell gave an interview to radio station WLNI explaining the photo was taken during a ‘costume party’ while on vacation.

“I was like … trying to like … I had a pair of jeans on that I hadn’t worn in a long time and couldn’t get mine zipped either,” Falwell said on the air.

Falwell has come under fire in recent months for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic regarding students being on campus.

Falwell, a huge supporter of Donald Trump, has served since 2007 as president of the Lynchburg university founded by his father, the late evangelist the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Report: Trump Lawyer Handled A Situation For Jerry Falwell Jr Before 'Game-Changing' Endorsement

Jerry Falwell Jr. (image via Twitter)

Reuters reports that Donald Trump’s ‘fixer,’ Michael Cohen, says he helped evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr. with a “situation” regarding some racy photos.

And shortly thereafter, Falwell surprised the world by endorsing Cohen’s boss for president.

Months before evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr.’s game-changing presidential endorsement of Donald Trump in 2016, Falwell asked Trump fixer Michael Cohen for a personal favor, Cohen said in a recorded conversation reviewed by Reuters.

Falwell, president of Liberty University, one of the world’s largest Christian universities, said someone had come into possession of what Cohen described as racy “personal” photographs ― the sort that would typically be kept “between husband and wife,” Cohen said in the taped conversation.

According to a source familiar with Cohen’s thinking, the person who possessed the photos destroyed them after Cohen intervened on the Falwells’ behalf.

Now you know why Falwell directed his evangelical flock to support the man who cheated on his wives, cheated the vendors who worked for him, and bragged that he liked to “grab ’em by the p*ssy.”

It will come as no surprise that the Falwells declined to comment for the article.

Jerry Falwell Jr: There’s Nothing Donald Trump Could Do That Would Endanger Evangelical Support

Donald Trump and Jerry Falwell Jr. at Liberty University (WikiMedia)

In an interview with The Washington Post, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. says there’s nothing Donald Trump could do that would cause Falwell to waver in his devotion to Trump.

Q: Is there anything President Trump could do that would endanger that support from you or other evangelical leaders?

A: No.

Q: That’s the shortest answer we’ve had so far.

A: Only because I know that he only wants what’s best for this country, and I know anything he does, it may not be ideologically “conservative,” but it’s going to be what’s best for this country, and I can’t imagine him doing anything that’s not good for the country.

So, all that unChristian-like behavior is totes good with Falwell as long as he gets his tax cuts.

In fact, Falwell says that it’s ‘immoral’ to not support Trump.

Falwell goes on to say that Trump’s adultery and lying is justified because he was successful in business. According to Falwell, “A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume.”

He also says, “You don’t choose a president based on how good they are.”

Alrighty then.

Jerry Falwell Jr. Poses With Donald Trump Next To Playboy Magazine Cover

Jerry Falwell Jr., president of the evangelical Liberty University, tweeted the image after a meeting of evangelical leaders and social conservatives with Trump in New York.

From The Hill:

Falwell faced mockery after social media users pointed out the framed 1990 Playboy Magazine cover hanging on the wall behind them.

He responded by calling those critical of him “hypocrites.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), a vocal critic of Trump, also weighed in.