Podcast: Taylor Swift, Joe Biden, Homophobes Of The South & Pride Month Begins

In this week's podcast:  • An Alabama mayor catches heat for calling for ‘killing out’ the gays  • A Tennessee prosecutor says he doesn’t prosecute domestic violence among same-sex couples because ‘it’s not really marriage’  • Taylor Swift calls for passing The Equality Act, which Joe Biden says he would make a top priority  • And YouTube Originals produced a new documentary exploring Pride Month across the country, 'State of Pride'  All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

In this week’s podcast:

• An Alabama mayor catches heat for calling for ‘killing out’ the gays

• A Tennessee prosecutor says he doesn’t prosecute domestic violence among same-sex couples because ‘it’s not really marriage’

• Taylor Swift calls for passing The Equality Act, which Joe Biden says he would make a top priority as president

• And YouTube Originals produced a new documentary exploring LGBTQ Pride across the country, ‘State of Pride’

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Click here to sign Taylor Swift’s petition in support of The Equality Act: www.change.org/p/support-the-equality-act

Joe Biden: Passing The Equality Act Will Be Top Priority As President

Speaking at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner in Columbus, Ohio, former Vice President Joe Biden promised to make LGBTQ equality a priority.

Speaking at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner in Columbus, Ohio, former Vice President Joe Biden promised to make LGBTQ equality a priority.

In a wide-ranging speech, the 2020 presidential candidate called out the Trump administration as a “disaster for human rights,” pointing out many of its ongoing attacks on the rights and protections of LGBTQ Americans.

Biden also denounced current vice current Vice President Mike Pence for using religious freedom as a license to discriminate against LGBTQ folks.

“Just like with racial justice and women’s rights, we are seeing pushback against all the progress we’ve made toward equality,” said Biden as he discussed protections for transgender Americans. “It’s wrong and it is immoral what they’re doing.”

Biden announced during the half hour speech that signing the Equality Act would be his top legislative priority. “It will be the first thing I ask to be done,” Biden said.

In a lighthearted moment, Biden recalled announcing his support for marriage equality in 2012 before President Obama had done so.

Biden remembered many political pundits thinking, “I had just committed this gigantic blunder.” He also shared that he’d told the president if asked about same-sex marriage, “I was not going to be quiet.”

It’s a great speech – well worth the watching.

In advance of his HRC speech, Biden tweeted out his support for Pride Month:

Poll: Joe Biden Leads Dem Hopefuls By 19+

Sen. Bernie Sanders (L), former VP Joe Biden (C) and Sen. Kamala Harris (R)
A new national survey by Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden has an impressive 19 point lead over his nearest competitor for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Hill reports that Biden pulled 36 percent support in the new poll while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders garnered 17 percent.
California Sen. Kamala Harris came in third with 8 percent, and tying for fourth place were Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 5 percent.

News Round-Up: April 26, 2019

• Celeb chef Franco Noriega was wishing for Friday - and here we are! #FrancoFriday #morewine
Celebrity chef Franco Noriega

Some news items you might have missed:

• Celeb chef Franco Noriega was wishing for Friday – and here we are! #FrancoFriday #morewine

• Anti-gay President Jair Bolsonaro told reporters this week regarding his country’s travel economy: “If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life. But we can’t let this place become known as a gay tourism paradise. Brazil can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism. We have families.”

• In the first poll published after former Vice President Joe Biden officially announced his run for the White House, Biden leads Donald Trump by six points.

• In related Biden news, his campaign announced Friday that he raised $6.3 million on his first day as an announced candidate, placing him atop the crowded Democratic primary in terms of first-day fundraising totals and shutting down doubts about his ability to raise enough money to compete.

• Mat Staver, founder of the virulently anti-LGBTQ Liberty Counsel, says passage of The Equality Act would lead to pedophilia.

The Washington Post reports: “A majority of Americans say they oppose calls for Congress to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump in the wake of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.” I agree. Impeachment proceedings would only make Trump a martyr heading into the 2020 election.

• Geraldo Rivera, on this morning’s Fox & Friends, referred to openly gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg as “flamboyant.”

“If you wanted to go with the young buckaroo with flamboyant ideas and an aggressive point of view, maybe you go with Mayor Pete who has demonstrated success in South Bend.”

Joe Biden Officially Jumps Into The 2020 Presidential Race

Former Vice President Joe Biden officially jumped into the 2020 presidential race this morning.  In an announcement video, Biden focused primarily on the hideous white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia where a woman lost her life, and Donald Trump declared that there were “fine people” on both sides.
Former Vice President Joe Biden 

Former Vice President Joe Biden officially jumped into the 2020 presidential race this morning.

In an announcement video, Biden focused primarily on the hideous white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia where a woman lost her life, and Donald Trump declared that there were “fine people” on both sides.

“With those words, the President of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it,” said Biden. “And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime.”

The video was accompanied with this message: “It’s time for respected leadership on the world stage—and dignified leadership at home. It’s time for equal opportunity, equal rights, and equal justice. It’s time for an economy that rewards those who actually do the work. It’s time for a president who will stand up for all of us.”

Even though he’s just now officially entered the race, his entry has been anticipated and he’s instantly the frontrunner.

It is VERY early, but RealClearPolitics’ average of recent polls shows him leading the Democratic contenders by an average of 6.3 points.

And an average of hypothetical matchups against Donald Trump indicate that (today) he would thump Trump by 7.8 points.

By comparison, an average of hypotheticals pitting Sen. Bernie Sanders against Trump shows Sanders coming out on top by only 2.7 points.

I’m totally good with Joe Biden as our next president. Experience, dignity and respect for others. Eight years as Vice President and 36 years in the U.S. Senate.

Oh, and sanity. Let’s not forget that.

He came out for marriage equality before Barack Obama did. And he’s been an outspoken advocate for transgender soldiers serving in the U.S. military.

Folks will point to earlier positions in the 80s or 90s, but people do evolve as society evolves.

Donald Trump used to speak in coherent sentences, and look at what he’s ‘evolved’ into.

People will say Joe is an “old white guy.” Age doesn’t bother me as long as folks are healthy.

I would enthusiastically vote for Biden. That said, I’ll also be happy to vote for Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders or former Rep. Beto O’Rourke if they clinch the Democratic nomination.

Biden quickly racked up three endorsements from Sens. Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Bob Casey (D-Penn) and Doug Jones (D-Alabama).

Biden will attend a fundraiser in Philadelphia later today, and he’s scheduled for an appearance on ABC’s The View for his first post-announcement television interview on Friday.

On Monday, he will hold his first official event in Pittsburgh, followed by a swing through early voting states Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Predictably, Donald Trump mocked the announcement via Twitter:

Joe Biden To Announce Presidential Campaign Thursday Morning

Former Vice President Joe Biden will announce his long-expected presidential campaign for the 2020 election on Thursday morning, according to CNN.
Former Vice President Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden will announce his long-expected presidential campaign for the 2020 election on Thursday morning, according to CNN.

Axios reports that he’ll open his campaign with a “climate of the nation” message that takes on President Trump but doesn’t directly attack any of the other 2020 Democrats.

Biden: “Women Should Relate Their Experiences, Men Should Pay Attention, And I Will”

Joe Biden, Lucy Flores (images via Twitter)

So, there’s this ‘thing’ about former Vice President Joe Biden going around.

Lucy Flores, a former Nevada legislator, has written an essay for New York Magazine’s ‘The Cut’ accusing Biden of making her uncomfortable in 2014 right before a political event where she was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor:

Just before the speeches, we were ushered to the side of the stage where we were lined up by order of introduction. As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. “Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?”

I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, “I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual fuck? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?” He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. There is a Spanish saying, “tragame tierra,” it means, “earth, swallow me whole.” I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me. My name was called and I was never happier to get on stage in front of an audience.

Biden, who is mulling over a run for the Democratic nomination for president, is well-known for being a ‘touchy’ kind of guy.

Flores says she came forward now because she feels his past behavior hasn’t been part of the political conversation until now. She’s also called the act “disqualifying” for a presidential candidate.

Biden’s spokesman, Bill Russo, made a statement first which read, “Neither then, nor in the years since, did (Biden) or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes. But Vice President Biden believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it is a change for better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so.”

That was followed by Biden’s own statement, which read, in part, “In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately.”

“If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”

He added, “We have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences. And men should pay attention,” he said. “And I will.”

I’m thinking that’s about as positive and straight-forward a response can be.

Flores responded to Biden’s statement saying she was “glad that he’s willing to listen” and “glad that he is clarifying his intentions.”

But, she added, “Frankly, my point was never about his intentions, and they shouldn’t be about his intentions. It should be about the women on the receiving end of that behavior.”

And that brings me to an important point.

I think intentions ARE important.

I believe the #MeToo movement has brought forward many important stories of men in positions of power over women making lewd and inappropriate gestures they knew were wrong.

And when someone acts too familiar, they should be told, “Hey, that makes me uncomfortable.”

I, personally, think there’s a difference between purposeful sexual intention and rubbing someone’s shoulders out of support.

There’s a difference between shoving your tongue down someone’s throat and a kiss on the head to express support.

I don’t think something like this “disqualifies” Biden from running for the White House.

Many people have come forward to defend Biden as someone who has been touchy-feely his entire career. But, they also note that none of that has been out of a sexual or lewd intention.

I’ve shared my own MeToo moment in the past when I was on Broadway and my direct supervisor made sexually-intended comments to me, pulled me down to sit on his lap, and more. When I didn’t respond the way he wanted, he began to write me up on made-up infractions.

I understand the idea that people shouldn’t use power to obtain sexual titillation, and I don’t think that happened between Biden and Flores.

Again – if Biden needs to be told to chill on his touchiness, then he should. But this is not a ‘disqualifying’ act.

By the way, did I mention Flores has been a vocal supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont – who also happens to be running for the Democratic nomination?

What do you think, readers? Is intention important?

Stacey Abrams On Biden Rumors: “I Don’t Think You Run For Second Place”

During an appearance on THE VIEW today, co-host Joy Behar asked Georgia Democrat about rumors that she might be announced as a running mate for former Vice President Joe Biden.  Abrams shot the idea down tout suite.

During an appearance on THE VIEW today, co-host Joy Behar asked Georgia Democrat about rumors that she might be announced as a running mate for former Vice President Joe Biden.

Abrams shot the idea down tout suite.

“I think you don’t run for second place,” Abrams told the co-hosts and studio audience. “If I’m going to enter a primary, then I’m going to enter a primary.”

“And if I don’t enter the primary, then my job is to make sure that the best Democrat is the nominee, and that whoever wins the primary, that we make sure that person gets elected,” she added.

Joe Biden Considering Stacey Abrams As Early VP Choice

Axios is reporting former Vice President Joe Biden is considering making his announcement to run for the White House in 2020 a two-fer by also announcing Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams as his running mate.
Stacey Abrams

Axios is reporting former Vice President Joe Biden is considering making his announcement to run for the White House in 2020 a two-fer by also announcing Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams as his running mate.

Via Axios:

Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.

The popular Georgia Democrat, who at age 45 is 31 years younger than Biden, would bring diversity and excitement to the ticket — showing voters, in the words of a close source, that Biden “isn’t just another old white guy.”

But the decision poses considerable risk, and some advisers are flatly opposed. Some have pointed out that in a Democratic debate, he could be asked why no one on the stage would be a worthy running mate. Advisers also know that the move would be perceived as a gimmick.

Even though she lost her race for Georgia governor in 2018, Abrams’ star continues to rise. She delivered Democrats’ response to President Trump’s State of the Union address in January, and is said to be considering a possible run for U.S. Senate.

Morning Consult: Joe Biden Continues To Lead Among Democratic Contenders

New polling by Morning Consult (over 13,000 interviews with registered voters planning to vote) show former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead as the choice for Democratic candidate for president in 2020.
Former Vice President Joe Biden

New polling by Morning Consult (over 13,000 interviews with registered voters planning to vote) show former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead as the choice for Democratic candidate for president in 2020.

The recent polling showed Biden edging up 4 points nationally, and 6 points in early primary states.

Biden currently polls 35% among all Dems with Sen. Bernie Sanders coming in second at 27%.

The nearest contenders after the two leaders are Sen. Kamala Harris and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke coming in with 8% each.

Click the images below to enlarge.