News Round-Up: July 9, 2021

(screen capture via NBC News)

Some news items you might have missed:

NBC News: Hospitalized unvaccinated patients are “shocked” that Covid-19 truly exists and that it can make people very sick and even kill them. “A comment they make all the time is that they wish that they knew they were going to end up in the hospital this sick and they would have made a different choice and got the vaccine.” José Tobias Carranza Serrano, 18, confessed to assaulting and robbing a 37-year-old intellectually disabled man on June 23 because he believed the man to be gay. The assault has left the victim still clinging to life where he is still intubated. In his confession, Serrano reportedly showed no remorse.

ABC News: The Michigan elections bureau has determined that organizers of a ballot drive to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people failed to collect  the roughly 340,000 needed. But Fair and Equal Michigan, which spent $2.9 million on the effort, says the Bureau of Elections threw out thousands of signatures that are valid. The group plans to file a lawsuit.

Washington Blade: A federal judge today blocked a new law in Tennessee that required businesses and other entities that allow transgender people to use the public restroom that matches their gender to post a government-prescribed warning sign.

Washington Post: President Biden on Friday fired Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, a holdover from the Trump administration who had alienated crucial Democratic constituencies with policies designed to clamp down benefits and an uncompromising anti-union stance.

Next Shark: Out Filipino American influencer Bretman Rock (People’s Choice Awards Beauty Influencer of the Year in 2019) graced the cover of Teen Vogue’s July issue. The social media star has over 17 million followers on Instagram, 12.1 million followers on TikTok and 8.71 million subscribers on YouTube.

Michigan: GOP-Led Investigation Finds No Voter Fraud In 2020 Election

From The Hill:

A report from the GOP-controlled Michigan state Senate released Wednesday found no evidence of fraud in the 2020 election.

The report from the state Senate Oversight Committee affirmed that there was no evidence of fraud in the election.

“The Committee can confidently assert that it has been thorough in examination of numerous allegations of unlawful actions, improper procedures, fraud, vote theft, or any other description which would cause citizens to doubt the integrity of Michigan’s 2020 election results,” the committee wrote.

President Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by a margin of 154,188 votes (50.62%-47.84%).

Court Recognizes Same-Sex Parents Have Parental Rights

Photo of mother and daughter hitting 'high five'
Photo of mother and daughter hitting 'high five'
(stock photo: Any Lane from Pexels)

Yesterday, the Michigan Court of Appeals recognized two unmarried women as parents where one parent is a genetic parent and the other parent gave birth.

LaNesha Matthews and Kyresha LeFever were a same-sex couple who had twins together using assisted reproduction. The children were conceived through in vitro fertilization using Kyresha’s eggs, and LaNesha gave birth. Last year, a trial court ruled LaNesha is a surrogate with no parental rights because she is not a genetic parent, even though she always intended to be a mother and parented the children since they were born seven years ago.

After the parents broke up, they shared custody for several years before going to court after a dispute. The trial court ruled that LaNesha was not a parent, removed LaNesha from the birth certificates, prevented her from participating in their educational or medical decision-making, and allowed her only limited visitation as an unrelated “third party.”

On April 1, 2021, the Michigan Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the trial court’s ruling, finding that LaNesha and Kyresha are both equal parents to their children. One of the judges wrote an additional opinion explaining that all parents and their children have a constitutional right to be recognized, regardless of birth or genetics.

“We are grateful that our client and her children are once again recognized as a family,” said NCLR Family Law Director Cathy Sakimura. “We know that families are formed in many ways. Recognizing genetics as the only basis for parent-child relationships leaves out many families and harms children by separating them from their parents.”

NCLR represented LaNesha on appeal before the Michigan Court of Appeals along with her trial counsel Regina Jemison.

(via press release from NCLR)

Giuliani’s Loopy Witness Announces Run For Office

Melissa Carone (screen capture)

Oh, wait – she’s not done yet!

Via Deadline Detroit:

Mellissa Carone, who rose to memedom last month during a Michigan legislative hearing on election fraud, hopes to parlay her infamy into a state House seat.

The former contractor for Dominion Voting Systems confirmed Friday that she’s running for Michigan’s 46th house district in Oakland County on a platform of election integrity after claiming, without evidence, that she witnessed rampant fraud at TCF Center in Detroit in November.

“My ultimate goal is to get our ballots hand-counted and clean out Lansing just like draining the swamp in D.C. because that’s what we need,” she said.

After her statements at that infamous legislative hearing, Dominion sent her a cease-and-desist notice about her misinformation campaign.

Lawyers for Dominion also noted that Carone is NOT a technology or elections expert. She was reportedly hired through a staffing agency “for one day to clean glass on machines and complete other menial tasks.”

News Round-Up: December 4, 2020

Some news items you might have missed:

Edge Media: A new report published by the Washington Post suggests that President-elect Joe Biden may have won the 2020 election because of higher LGBTQ voter turnout.

Pew Research: A new poll shows 60% of American adults say they will get vaccinated for the coronavirus, up from 51% in September.

CNBC: Sidney Powell, who has already been booted from the Trump legal team, asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to order Georgia officials to “preserve all data on the Dominion System” and allow “Republican Electors to audit” that system in 10 counties. Finding it has no jurisdiction to hear the appeal, the 11th Circuit Court sent the Kraken lawsuit back to its cage in the District Court.

Nevada Independent: A Carson City District Court judge rejected a legal request to award the state’s six electoral votes to Donald Trump. Judge James Russell ruled that he found the evidence offered by the Trump campaign to have “little to no value,” and failed to provide under any standard of proof that the campaign’s long list of alleged fraud and vote irregularities could be backed up under any evidentiary standard.

Detroit Free Press: Team Trump also lost in Michigan today as well. The court chastised the campaign for dragging its feet on the appeal, said the certification of Michigan’s election results by the Board of State Canvassers in the interim had made the lawsuit moot, and said that if the Trump campaign wanted to challenge the results it could have requested a recount, but it did not.

WXKY Radio: New York Young Republicans hoped to keep the New Jersey location of their annual fundraiser a secret but were outed by folks tweeting from the party. Jersey City chief prosecutor Jake Hudnut responded to a tweet by an attendee taunting New York Gov. Cuomo to “come and get me” by tweeting “Gov. Cuomo may not be able to ‘come and get’ you, but I can.”

News Round-Up: December 3, 2020

A moment from Todrick Hall’s “Bells, Bows, Gifts, Trees”

Some news items you might have missed:

Edge Media: Will Columbia be 2021’s most popular LGBTQ travel destination? The South American country has been gaining traction as the next hot spot for queer travelers.

NewNowNext: Inspired by the legendary Black and Latino houses and vogue balls in 1980s New York City, the illuminating, fierce documentary Deep In Vogue introduces North Americans to Manchester’s “Northern Vogue” scene. The film will be available on December 8.

The Hill: Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are offering to publicly take the COVID-19 vaccine to prove its safety and encourage Americans to be inoculated.

NowThis News:  This is the Trump campaign’s star witness before Michigan state legislators today whose unhinged voter fraud testimony broke the internet. “With friends like this, who needs enemies?”

The Gaily Grind: Also at the Michigan hearing today, another of Rudy Giuliani’s witnesses said she thinks “all Chinese look alike” while making the argument for a voter ID requirement in Michigan.

Instinct Magazine: Sleigh what!? Todrick Hall has reworked his now-legendary track ‘Nails Hair Hips Heels’ for the holidays, serving up a brand new version titled “Bells Bows Gifts Trees” that is sure to help get us through a holiday season like we’ve never seen before.

Michigan Certifies Biden’s Win In Great Lakes State

UPDATE: I realized I wanted to include this information as some GOP officials or Trump supporters have made mention of ‘unbalanced precincts’ which occurs when there are a small number of ballots that don’t equal the total number of voters noted in the poll books.

I think this is important to know. From the Washington Post:

Out-of-balance precincts can occur for several reasons. A machine may fail to scan the name of a voter on an absentee ballot envelope. A voter can make a mistake on a ballot and request a new one, or sign into the poll book but leave before casting a ballot.

This fall, 179 Detroit precincts, or 28 percent of the total, had discrepancies of at least one ballot, accounting for at least 433 votes, according to state and county data.

Four years ago, when Trump won the state by a narrow margin, the number of out-of-balance precincts was larger: 392 Detroit precincts, or 59 percent of the total, had discrepancies of at least one ballot, accounting for at least 916 votes, the data show.

In 2016, when the discrepancy was less than half that of 2020, neither the RNC nor the Trump campaign asked for an audit to verify the veracity of the ballot count.

The Michigan Board of Canvassers voted to certify the results of the 2020 election on Monday.

The 3-1 vote by the board – made up of two Democrats and two Republicans – effectively awards the state’s 16 electoral votes to President-elect Joe Biden, who garnered over 155,000 more votes than Donald Trump in the election.

One of the two Republican members – Norman Shinkle – was the lone holdout who abstained from approving the results.

Shinkle told the Washington Post in an interview last week that he was considering delaying the certification citing a debunked conspiracy theory pushed by Trump and his campaign that voting machines had deleted thousands of Trump votes.

As CNN’s Jake Tapper points out via Twitter, with Georgia having certified Friday, Michigan doing so today, and Pennsylvania tonight (once Philadelphia certifies at 7 pm tonight), President-elect Joe Biden will have more than 270 electoral votes.

News Round-Up: November 19, 2020

Billy Reilich (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Ellen DeGeneres’s former “gardener,” Billy Reilich (above), is masked up for COVID-19 safety telling his followers, “Here we go again.”

KCCI: A lawsuit filed this week claims managers at a Tyson’s meatpacking plant “organized a cash buy-in, winner-take-all betting pool for supervisors and managers to wager how many employees would test positive for COVID-19.”

Out Music: Peppermint, Mila Jam, and LaFemmeBear team up for a remake of the Sounds of Blackness “Optimistic.” The anthem aims to unite the country and rally around black Trans lives to celebrate Transgender Awareness Week this week.

Peppermint says: “The number of transgender people who’ve been murdered is higher than ever recorded. In the midst of senseless murders of black folks, in the midst of the division and the pandemic. After seeing everything that has happened in our country and our world lately and coming up on the holidays, I wanted to gather black Trans women to put out a message of solidarity and love while simultaneously shedding light on the important road ahead.”

Reuters: New claims for unemployment jobless benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 742,000 last week, up from the 711,000 filed a week earlier, the Labor Department said Thursday. The spike in claims indicates continued challenges for the U.S. economic recovery as COVID-19 infections continue to surge across the U.S.

AP: Two Republican canvassers in Wayne County, Michigan, initially balked at certifying the vote, and then reversed course after widespread condemnation. But after a call from Donald Trump, the two Republicans reversed AGAIN signing affidavits on Wednesday saying they believe the county vote “should not be certified.”

Pink News: Karine Jean-Pierre could become the first out lesbian and first Black woman to be named White House press secretary. NBC’s Geoff Bennett tweeted multiple sources say Jean-Pierre is a leading contender for the high profile job.

Trump Invites Michigan GOP Leaders To WH Over Election Results

From CNN:

President Donald Trump has invited Republican state lawmakers from Michigan to the White House on Friday, according to a person familiar with the matter, as the President and his legal team are mounting an effort to overturn the results of the election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump also called two Republican canvass board members from Wayne County, to Tuesday to offer his support, the person said, after they went back and forth on voting to certify the election results from the state’s largest county, which includes Detroit. The board members filed affidavits Wednesday seeking to “rescind” their votes to certify the election result.

Michigan law requires the election results to be certified by Monday, November 23.

With no credible reports of fraud, observers are concerned state lawmakers could use the legislature to substitute Trump-supporting Electoral College electors in an effort to swing the state back to Trump.

President-elect Joe Biden won the state by 3 percentage points and over 157,000 votes.