Earlier this week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced he would talk until he “fell over to make sure the Equality Act doesn’t become law.”
The remark, which occurred during an interview on Fox News with talking head Sean Hannity, was in response to President Biden’s suggestion that Senate Democrats consider bringing back the “talking filibuster” rule which existed when Biden joined the Senate in the 1970s.
Currently, the rules require 60 votes to close debate on legislation to move to the actual vote on a bill. Essentially, that means it takes a three-fifths majority to get to a vote. And with a 50-50 split in the Senate, Democrats will need 10 Republicans to vote with them to get to a vote on the bill.
With a “talking filibuster,” anyone who wanted to block closing debate would have to continuously speak from the floor of the Senate without pause. No bathroom breaks, no snacks, no nothing.
Senate Democrats have been considering some change to the filibuster to not only help pass the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes of existing federal civil rights laws, but also HR1 – legislation that would expand voting access.
But Graham, of all people, attacking a federal LGBTQ rights bill didn’t sit well with many in the Twitterverse. Primarily because Graham has long faced rumors about being a gay closet case while voting against LGBTQ issues.
Now, we’re not saying Graham is gay. We’re just reporting that the insinuation has followed the never-married bachelor for years. AND – he votes against LGBTQ interests.
I cannot do this alone. If you’d be willing to stand with me against LG please let me know.
• The Advocate: South Carolina Democratic Rep. Cezar McKnight is facing ire from his fellow party members for introducing a new anti-trans bill that would make it a felony for doctors to prescribe life-saving hormone therapy for transgender youth. McKnight is joined in supporting the bill by 23 fellow lawmakers, all Republicans.
• JoeMyGod: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says he “would talk ’til I fell over to make sure that the Equality Act doesn’t become law.” Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
• Stonewall Gazette: The film Poppy Field (top image) follows the struggle of a young Romanian police officer, Cristi (Conrad Mericoffer), who tries to find balance between being a working man in a macho hierarchical environment and that of being a closeted gay person trying to keep his personal life a secret.
• NBC News: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with Asian American community leaders during a scheduled visit to Georgia on Friday in the wake of the spa shootings in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of whom were women of Asian descent.
• KATC: A federal grand jury in Lafayette returned a six-count indictment charging Chance J. Seneca, 19, of Lafayette, with hate crime, kidnapping, firearm, and obstruction charges based on his attempted murder of a gay man and his overarching scheme to kidnap and murder gay men whom he met online.
• CNN: Xavier Becerra was confirmed by the Senate as the first Latino Health and Human Services secretary on Thursday. The vote was 50 to 49. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was the only Republican to vote yes – Democrat Mazie Hirono was absent.
You voted to confirm Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson, neither of whom had ANY relevant experience.
• LGBTQ Nation: The Mississippi state Senate passed a bill to ban transgender girls and women from competing in school sports by a vote of 34-9 late last week. Nine senators voted “present” or did not vote at all.
• Instinct Magazine: I admit I’m not the biggest expert on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but watch Denali walk away with this lip-sync battle. Poor Kahmora was stuck in a tight dress and couldn’t bring much to the battle.
• Washington Blade: Following President Biden’s reversal of the transgender military ban, trans service members welcome the opportunity to serve openly.
• Calendars: A new calendar, On Fire: The Firefighters of France, is a sexy homage to firefighters, spotlighting the proud members of fire squads from all over France, who have discarded their helmets and gear to flash their best smiles and flex their muscles.
• AP: Dr. Anthony Fauci has been awarded $1 million by the Israel-based Dan David Foundation for “defending science” and advocating for vaccines now being administered worldwide to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
• Washington Post: An Atlanta-area prosecutor plans to scrutinize a post-Election Day phone call between Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as part of a criminal investigation into whether Donald Trump broke Georgia laws while trying to reverse his defeat in the state.
• Kenneth-in-the-212: Talk about COVID nutjobs… fitness trainer (and Broadway veteran) Adrian Aguilar (top photos) had this wiiiiiiiild encounter with a male ‘Karen’ in Chicago when he asked the guy (later identified as Austin Tony Myers) to mask up per current pandemic guidelines.
The guy goes nutso, starts poking a very calm Aguilar, and trying to escalate things even further. The police were called, and Myers tried to say HE had been assaulted. But with several gym members recording the encounter plus security cameras, officers eventually (the incident lasted hours) arrested Myers for assault and trespassing. You can read the full account here.
As news outlets begin reporting arrested insurrectionists are planning on asking Donald Trump to pardon them for invading the U.S. Capitol, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sends a message to Trump: No pardons for rioters.
Graham fears Trump handing out pardons to the folks who violently attacked the Capitol would “destroy” the Donald.
Speaking to Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, Graham said:
“There are a lot of people urging the president to pardon folks who participated in defiling the Capitol, the rioters.
“I don’t care if you went there and spread flowers on the floor, you breached the security of the Capitol, you interrupted a joint session of Congress. You tried to intimidate, assault, you should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and to seek a pardon of these people would be wrong.
“I think it would destroy President Trump and I hope we don’t go down that road. They chose to go into that Capitol, defile the Capitol. President Trump never said, ‘Go into the Capitol and try to interrupt a joint session of Congress.’”
I completely agree that if Trump were to issue presidential pardons for rioters it would just make him look that much more guilty.
Where was Nancy Pelosi?? She was hiding in a secure location because this fucker’s Orange master sent his rabid mob of cultists to attack the Capitol. Her staff hid under a desk in the dark for hours, while some jackass broke into her office. So Lindsey needs to shut the F up.
Seditionist Lindsey Graham wildly blamed Nancy Pelosi for the Insurrection. Even though Lindsey was harassed by Trumpers at the airport, he still can’t turn his Russian back on Trump. Lindsey spread election lies that led to the Siege. Investigate him for Treason, and expel him.
• LGBTQ Nation: Rising star wrestler Mr. Grim came out as pansexual on New Year’s Day. After he “struggled” with his identity for years, the imposing figure known as the “Hitman For Hire” thanked a trans woman athlete for being his “inspiration.”
• Instinct Magazine: Cadbury has taken their annual advertising in an egg-citing direction, and are featuring a stunning gay couple as they creatively dive into a seasonal favorite, the Cadbury egg.
• Pink News: Alexandria Winchester, a 24-year-old Latina transgender woman, was shot dead on Boxing Day in the Bronx making 2020 the deadliest year for trans people on record.
• Washington Post: Dominion Voting Systems on Friday filed a defamation lawsuit against lawyer Sidney Powell, demanding more than $1.3 billion in damages for havoc it says Powell has caused by spreading “wild” and “demonstrably false” allegations, including that Dominion played a central role in a fantastical scheme to steal the 2020 election from President Trump.
• The Advocate: Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican senator who was an ardent critic of Donald Trump until the latter was elected president, was rushed away from an angry pro-Trump mob Friday. Trump supporters heckled and screamed at Graham, who is not visible in the video. “Traitor!” and “Liar!” are screamed by the increasingly angry mob.
• InstaHunks: Woofy Steve_in_LA (above) reminds us all to VOTE. “It’s finally happening — get out and VOTE like your life depends on it … because it does!!”
• The Advocate: Justice Martin Jenkins, a former NFL player, talks to editor-in-chief John Casey about making history as the first LGBTQ person on the California Supreme Court, coming out and finding love later in life. #GreatRead
• Get Out The Vote: LGBTQ+ civil rights organizations Equality California and Silver State Equality have partnered with actor-activist Billy Porter and ad agency RPA to create a PSA encouraging LGBTQ+ and pro-equality voters alike to make their voices heard in the 2020 election.
• Pink News: A plumber working as a city contractor in Tulsa has been removed from his gig after being caught on a home security camera directing homophobic insults at a gay man and his partner.
• Get Out The Vote II: Mark Ruffalo and more Hollywood stars have an important message for you about voting by mail – so they got naked. Pay attention now…
• Cook Political Report: The Senate race in South Carolina between Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jaime Harrison has been moved to ‘Toss Up.’ “It’s a jump ball at this point,” said one South Carolina Republican strategist. “Jaime is peaking at exactly the right time and he’s got a deluge of money. [Harrison] is blocking every pass there is from Republicans.”
• Out Music: Indie singer/songwriter Skyler Cocco invites us into her dream-like world as she takes a drive to clear her mind in the music video for her pop-synth single, “The Drive,” which Uproxx called “effervescent.”
“The music video is meant to feel as though you’re looking through a colorful lens at an intimate moment of self reflection,” Skyler writes. “I wanted to illustrate the time spent alone with my thoughts while driving down empty roads and wandering through flower fields, knowing you’ll need to face some things when you get home.”
• Flip-Flop: In a letter to his Senate Judiciary Committee colleagues, Sen. Lindsey Graham says he’s reversed on confirming a Supreme Court Justice so close to a presidential election because he thinks Democrats were mean to Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.
• Tennessean: Former Nashville Councilman Tony Tenpenny died of complications due to COVID-19 on Sunday after several weeks in the hospital. In the months before his death, the conservative Republican shared several social media posts expressing doubts about the coronavirus pandemic including a post calling the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) “pure lying asses.”
• Reuters: Spain has recorded 31,428 more coronavirus cases since Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 671,468, health ministry data showed on Monday. Spain has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in western Europe and regional authorities have ordered a partial lockdown from Monday in some Madrid neighborhoods where cases are rising fast.
• ETonline: I thought the Television Academy did a terrific job presenting its virtual Emmy Awards last night, although some of the attempts at comedy fell a bit flat without a live audience’s reaction.
For instance, having lost earlier in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series category (for the 4th time), a stunning Laverne Cox presented the award for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series and did a funny bit about missing out on the award. But the tone of her voice – plus no live audience to laugh along with her – made for an awkward moment, and ABC censored part of her remarks.
On the day after the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it’s interesting to revisit the words of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) from just a few years ago:
“This is the last year of a lame-duck, and if Ted Cruz or Donald Trump get to be president, they’ve all asked us not to confirm or take up a selection by President Obama. So if a vacancy occurs in their last year, of their first term, guess what, you will use their words against them. You will use their words against them.
“I want you to use my words against me. If there is a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said ‘let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,’ and you could use my words against me and you’d be absolutely right.”
The Washington Post reports that in 2018, when Graham was in line to take over the committee with jurisdiction over Supreme Court nominees, he said that ‘if an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait till the next election.’”
Graham is in a tight race for reelection himself this year – the most recent polls show him tied with his Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison. How will his state react if he supports a vote on RGB’s replacement before the election?
LINDSEY GRAHAM on March 10, 2016:
“I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination." pic.twitter.com/DYXou0KEI8
Two other Republican Senators have signaled opposition to confirming a new justice so close to an election.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told The Hill in August of this year: “When Republicans held off Merrick Garland it was because nine months prior to the election was too close, we needed to let people decide. And I agreed to do that. If we now say that months prior to the election is okay when nine months was not, that is a double standard and I don’t believe we should do it. So I would not support it.”
And Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), also in a tough reelection campaign, told the New York Times‘ Jonathan Martin earlier this month, she would not seat a Supreme Court justice in October.
“I think that’s too close, I really do,” she said. She added she’d also oppose seating a justice in the lame-duck session if there’s a change in presidents.
News: @SenatorCollins told me earlier this month in Maine that she would not seat a Supreme Court justice in October.
“I think that’s too close, I really do,” she said.
She said she’d also oppose seating a justice in the lame duck if there’s a change in presidents.
• InstaHunks: Woofy transgender bodybuilder Paulo Batista (above) is literally pumped to be back in the gym: “One of my first days back to a gym in a while! It felt great to get a real pump and sweat in!”
• Buzzfeed News: Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling doubled down on her recent anti-transgender comments, releasing an extensive statement about her fears of “current trans activism,” which recycles dangerous anti-trans stereotypes and cliches. #DeeplyDisappointing
• People: CNN anchor Anderson Cooper opens up about being a dad to adorable baby Wyatt. “This is a dream come true,” the veteran journalist says of parenthood.
• Pride Month TV: The acclaimed documentary, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, celebrates one of the icons of the gay rights movement, and the self-described “street queen” of NY’s gay ghetto in the 1960s. When Johnson’s body was found in the Hudson River in 1992, police called it a suicide and didn’t investigate. David France’s film seeks to uncover the truth of her death while celebrating her legacy. Streaming now on Netflix.
• The Hill: The final testing stage for a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna is set to begin in July. John Mascola, the director of the vaccine research center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Wall Street Journal the trials will involve about 30,000 people at more than 50 sites, which will mostly be within the U.S.
• Washington Post: Last week, the hashtag #LadyGraham exploded on social media in response to allegations made on Twitter by gay adult-film star Sean Harding against Sen. Lindsey O. Graham of South Carolina. The hashtag purportedly refers to Graham’s nickname among male sex workers. What followed has been a mixed bag of political commentary, wanton speculation and downright trolling.
• Politico: The Trump administration is preparing to open the door to oil and gas drilling off Florida’s coast — but will wait until after the November election to avoid blowback in a swing state whose waters both parties have long considered sacrosanct, according to four people familiar with the plan.
“I originally wrote the song “You Ain’t Big” about the strange fact that in the music business worldwide until recently (our estimation has fallen considerably) no matter how well you’ve done anywhere else, if you couldn’t make it in the heartland of the US you weren’t really considered a true star,” shares Wainwright. “Think Little Richard, Elvis, the Beatles, and Julio Iglesias.”
“Its vintage sound harkens back to the classical American country music sound of the 40s and 50s and with the help of opposing images in the video of how different life was for white people compared to black people in the 1950’s, as it has sadly remained,” adds the two-time Juno Award winner. “I think it rings appropriate for this time and professes a certain truth.”