As President Biden continues to negotiate for an impactful infrastructure bill, the White House has released this short video visiting folks in Kentucky, the home state of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Citizens of the state chat on the condition of the roads, bridges, and water supply as well as needing dependable broadband service to support creating jobs and small businesses.
From the YouTube page: “After decades of neglect, our infrastructure is crumbling – and American families and workers are paying the price. Join us on an infrastructure road trip this week and meet just some of the rural Americans whose lives would be changed by the American Jobs Plan.”
A Louisville Metro police officer is facing an internal investigation after video surfaced on social media of him striking an individual several times in the face.
The video was posted to Facebook Sunday and shows five police officers involved in the attempted arrest of the man at Jefferson Square Park.
The video shows the officers force the man to the ground, and as that’s occurring, one of the LMPD officers begins striking the individual in the face. Once the man is mostly on the ground, the officer can be seen repeatedly striking the individual.
The four other officers continue to pin the man down as they try to arrest him.
The man, identified as Denorver Garrett, was booked on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Chief Erika Shields said in a statement, “This raises serious questions and is not consistent with LMPD training.”
• Kenneth-in-the-212: Kenneth’s weekly ‘Mask4Masc’ feature is a winner with all kinds of inspiration this week (plus more at the link).
• TVLine: NBC’s streaming platform Peacock has ordered a reboot of the landmark queer TV series Queer As Folk. Described as a “vibrant reimagining,” the new Queer as Folk will center on a diverse group of friends in New Orleans whose lives are transformed in the aftermath of a tragedy. The original QAF debuted on Britain’s Channel 4 in 1999 and ran for 10 episodes. The American version was created for Showtime and lasted five seasons (from 2000 to 2005).
• Axios: A new Gallup poll shows more Americans identify as Democrats by the largest margin since 2012. Per the recent survey, 49% say they support Democrats, 40% support the Republican Party and 11% say they are Independents with no partisan leaning.
• Instinct Magazine: Grammy-nominated singer Kehlani shared this past weekend during an Instagram Live chat that she identifies as a lesbian. “You want to know? You want to know what’s new about me? I finally know I’m a lesbian,” said the singer.
• Herald Leader: A southern state is actually making it easier to vote? Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY) signed into law Wednesday a significant election reform bill that will make it easier for Kentuckians to vote early, bucking a national trend of more restrictive election laws in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
• The Gaily Grind: The office of embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz released a statement purportedly written by female staffers defending the pro-Trump lawmaker amid his ongoing sex trafficking scandal. Despite being signed by “The Women of the Office of U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz,” not a single woman is named in the statement.
• Instagram: Just a quick reminder that baseball is back – and I ain’t mad 🙂
• BosGuy: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with ginger go-go dancer and model Seth Fornea (above). Talk about bringing new meaning to the phrase “lucky charms…”
• Block Club Chicago: Did Eric Trump jump the line for COVID vaccination? A top executive of a West Side hospital in Chicago bragged about vaccinating Eric Trump the same day the hospital vaccinated workers at Trump Tower Downtown. Trump would not have been eligible to be vaccinated in Chicago.
• Kenneth-in-the-212: It’s Wrestle Wednesday over at KIT212 and well-worth the click as he features 30-year-old pro wrestler David Starr (below).
• Washington Blade: Dean Trantalis, currently serving as the first openly gay mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., came under criticism by LGBTQ activists this week for backing and signing a proclamation approved by the Fort Lauderdale City Commission honoring the city’s Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, which has a history of anti-LGBTQ policy positions.
• The Hill: The Kentucky legislature has passed a bill that would require a governor to fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat with a member of the departed senator’s party. While both houses of Kentucky’s legislature is controlled by Republican supermajorities, the state currently has a Democrat in the governor’s mansion, Gov. Andy Beshear.
• USA Today: The House voted 413-12 on Wednesday to award Capitol police, Metropolitan police and other law enforcement agencies with the Congressional Gold Medal, for protecting lawmakers, staffers, reporters and visitors from insurrectionists on Jan. 6. Twelve Republicans voted against the measure for combining the medal with what they deemed “editorial comments about the January 6 sequence of events.”
12 members who voted against House bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police & those who protected the Capitol on Jan 6 🏅
• InstaHunks: Book a ‘Chippendales at Home’ party (above) and you never know – you might get two woofy Chipps for the price of one.
• Instinct: Why are some gay Republicans unhappy about the recent Supreme Court victory for LGBTQ protections in the workplace?
• Politico: A coalition of advocacy groups sued the Trump administration on Monday over its rollback of LGBTQ patient protections, arguing that last week’s Supreme Court decision extending workplace legal protections to gay and transgender employees invalidates the new rules.
• LGBTQ Families: Family Source Consultants, Fertility Centers of Illinois and International Fertility League Group are hosting an expert-led discussion on family building for the LGBTQ+ community on June 25th at 5pm CDT via ZOOM. The informational event is focused on couples and individuals who are interested in building their family through third party reproduction.
• Newsweek: Kentucky has slashed the number of polling locations for Tuesday’s primary elections to just 170 in-person polling stations across the Commonwealth — a major drop from the standard 3,700 sites usually made available for voters. The decrease comes as state officials heavily encourage residents to vote by mail amid the coronavirus health crisis. Many of the state’s most populous areas, like Jefferson County, home to half of the state’s Black residents, will have ONE polling location.
• NY Post: A defiant shopper fought his way into an Orlando Walmart after he was denied entry for refusing to wear a face mask, a viral video shows. The incident occurred on the same day masks became mandatory in the county. In the viral video, an employee tries to block the man from entering. “You gotta wear a mask, bro!” the man behind the camera says. The older man then shoves the Walmart worker, even falling to the ground at one point.
States across the U.S. are struggling to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. New York state has been hit especially hard, as coronavirus cases across the state and New York City increase.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who holds coronavirus press briefings regularly, has called out Donald Trump and the Trump admin for its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Recently, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid into Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans for blocking emergency aid for Democratic states amid COVID-19.
As Gov. Cuomo points out, New York state pays $29 billion more to the federal government than it gets back on an annual basis.
But Sen. McConnell’s state of Kentucky regularly takes $37 billion MORE than it sends to Washington DC, and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida sees his state take $30 billion more than it sends to the federal government.
So, when McConnell and his GOP compatriots say they don’t want to “bailout” states like New York, Cuomo rightfully asks, “Who is bailing out whom?”
• InstaHunks: Walking Dead star Daniel Newman (above) asks that you please forgive his “messy room.”
• NPR: Despite pleas from cities across the state, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has held out on issuing a statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But an outbreak of COVID-19 at Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls, S.D., has infected nearly 450 workers and caused the number of cases in the city to grow so quickly that the mayor, Paul TenHaken, calls it an explosion.
• KIT212: Kenneth’s ‘Wrestle Wednesdays’ (below) certainly help brighten Hump Day. Find all of his WW posts here.
• Axios: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Wednesday he will be issuing an executive order requiring all New Yorkers to wear masks or face coverings in public situations in which social distancing is not possible.
• Vox: Kentucky’s heavily Republican legislature voted Tuesday to require voters to show a government-issued photo ID, overriding Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto in the process. Meanwhile, all of the state’s offices that issue such IDs are….wait for it…closed.
• NewNowNext: In the new film, Sublet, Michael (played John Benjamin Hickey), a New York Times travel writer, journeys to Tel Aviv after suffering a tragedy. The energy of the city, and his relationship with a younger man (played by Niv Nissim) who becomes his tour guide, brings him back to life.
Director Eytan Fox shares a scene from the movie where Michael and Tomer meet on the beach in Tel Aviv after spending a few days together. “This sensual setting sparks real intimacy between them for the first time,” says Fox. “As these two men sit there, they open up to each other about matters of the heart—and soul.”
The film was to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this year which, clearly, was canceled. No word on when the movie will be officially released but the scene below certainly sparks my interest.
• Super Tuesday: Fourteen states are holding primaries or caucusing for the Democratic presidential candidate today, so make sure you get out and vote! Interesting factoid: CBS News reports early exit polling shows slightly more voters in Super Tuesday states want a return to Obama’s policies rather than more liberal policies.
• The Advocate: Donald Trump’s Justice Department is weighing in on the side of a Kentucky photographer who doesn’t want to provide services to same-sex weddings, continuing its history under the Trump administration of supporting discrimination. Chelsey Nelson, a photographer in Louisville, filed a preemptive lawsuit in federal court against the city challenging its LGBTQ-inclusive Fairness Ordinance. Note – has never been asked to photograph a same-sex couple’s wedding.
• NowThis News: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed a bill Monday banning conversion therapy for minors. According to the Movement Advancement Project, a nonprofit that tracks LGBTQ+ legislation, Virginia will become the 20th state — and the first in the South — to ban the controversial therapy for minors.
• The Verge: Apple has tentatively agreed to a $500 million settlement after admitting to slowing down older phones. It covers people who bought any product in the iPhone 6 and 7 lineup — which Apple secretly throttled to conserve battery life. By default, Apple will offer $25 to any current or former owner of a covered iPhone. Named class members will receive $1,500 or $3,500.
• NewNowNext: Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted a number of new amendments to the country’s Constitution, including one that would define marriage as between “a man and a woman.” Last month, he said same-sex marriage will not be permitted in the country as long as he is president.
• KHOU: After Pete Buttigieg announced he was ending his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden told reporters he would definitely approach the former mayor of South Bend to take a role in his administration.
• InstaHunks: Woofy Joe Blizzard (above) thinks he looks ‘thick’ in this pic??? If only I were so ‘thick.’ Follow Joe on Instagram here. #beardgoals
• New York Times: Stocks tumbled for a seventh consecutive day on Friday, with the S&P 500 index falling about 0.8 percent, bringing its loss for the week to more than 11 percent. It was the worst weekly decline for stocks since the 2008 financial crisis.
• Washington Post: California has a second case of community transmission of the coronavirus, a 65-year-old resident of Santa Clara County who has no known history of travel to countries hit hard by the outbreak, people familiar with the case said Friday. There is also no apparent connection between the new patient and anyone else with the disease caused by the covid-19 virus.
• KIT212: Kenneth rounds up the what’s what in local gay publications like Matt Spike on the cover of London’s QX Magazine (below).
• WDRB: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear defended a photograph of him posing with drag queens at a gay rights rally and accused a Republican lawmaker of using homophobic tactics by displaying the photo at a recent campaign rally while accusing Democrats of corrupting traditional values. Beshear, a Democrat, told reporters Thursday that he would pose for the photo again, saying he was practicing his faith to treat everyone with respect.
• ABC News: A 19-year-old was taking a video of herself with a gun when she allegedly shot her 10-year-old nephew in the abdomen by accident, according to Texas authorities. Caitlyn Smith, 19, has been arrested and charged with serious bodily injury to a child — a second-degree felony.
• New Music: Lady Gaga released “Stupid Love,” the first single off her highly anticipated sixth studio album. The single is accompanied by a music video that was shot entirely on an iPhone 11 Pro and directed by Daniel Askill.
The not-so-good news: the music video is kinda silly, the costumes look like something out of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and the choreography is just so-so.
The good news: Gaga is back in dance mode a la “Born This Way.” Her vocals are on point, the bop has serious bounce, and it’s all joy and love. This is one of those I’d rather listen to than watch 🙂