News Round-Up: June 9, 2021

Trump supporters Joshua Hall is charged with scamming Trump supporters
Trump supporters Joshua Hall is charged with scamming Trump supporters
Joshua Hall (image via Edge Media)

Some news items you might have missed:

Edge Media: A 22-year-old DoorDash delivery man from Pennsylvania reportedly used a social media scam, which included creating the fake organization called “Gay Voices for Trump,” to solicit donations from Trump supporters. Joshua Hall (above) is a “big Trump supporter,” but that didn’t stop him from defrauding his fellow supporters out of thousands of dollars.

Riding for Pride: Trek Bicycle will be celebrating Pride Month by hosting individual Pride Ride events on June 27 in support of their local communities and will be donating a total of $75,000 across local LGBTQIA+ organizations.

Associated Press: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and other top department officials took part in the Pentagon’s 10th annual LGBT Pride Month celebration on Wednesday morning. In his comments, Austin commemorated the progress the military had come in standing up for LGBTQ+ rights but recognized that there was still work to come.

The Advocate: A gay man in Florianópolis, Brazil, was gang-raped last week, one of the latest examples of horrific violence against LGBTQ+ people in the country — violence that activists say is spurred on by the nation’s homophobic president.

Page Six: The Bachelor host Chris Harrison demanded a $25 million payout after being booted from the show — and threatened to spill all the franchise’s dirty secrets if he didn’t get it, sources told Page Six. “He has nearly 20 years of dirt,” an ABC source said Tuesday.

New York Post: Jeff Bezos is getting shafted online over the shape of his big rocket. “Is it me, or does Jeff Bezos’ rocket look like a giant penis?” one person tweeted alongside a photo of Blue Origin, the craft the 57-year-old world’s richest man will fly into space next month. “I thought ‘penis’ as soon as I saw that image,” another person agreed.

News Round-Up: June 1, 2021

(image via Twitter)

Some news items you might have missed:

Pink News: Grindr announced last week it is the new sponsor for French professional rugby club Biarritz Olympique (above photo). In the app’s iconic black and yellow color scheme the jerseys will be worn by the French Pro Division Two team in the 2021/22 season.

POSE: How does it feel to be represented on screen? As Pride Month kicks off, the cast of the acclaimed FX series POSE shares the importance of representation in the path toward progress.

CNN: The Pentagon is reviewing a policy instituted last year that limits which flags can be displayed at military bases. If changes are made to the current policy it could open the door to allowing the rainbow Pride flag to be displayed.

WTOL: A video that has gone viral shows 14-year-old Tristan Torrez being attacked by a bully on the bleachers at his school. In the video, Tristan is grabbed from behind and pulled backward down the bleachers before the bully took the rainbow flag Tristan was wearing and beat him with it.

NBC News: Dozens of constitutional experts are sending a letter telling congressional leaders they have the authority to make the nation’s capital the 51st state. They argue that there is “no constitutional barrier” to the District’s “entering the Union through a congressional proclamation” just like the 37 other states that have been admitted since the Constitution was adopted.

Sacramento: A pair of white straight ‘Karens’ (top image) demanded that a queer black woman stop kissing her girlfriend in a hotel pool because “there were children present!“ You’ll note it’s the white women using f-bombs during the encounter even though “there were children present.” According to the poster, other (straight/white) couples in the pool were showing PDA, but they only insisted that only black queer woman stop.

News Round-Up: January 14, 2021

Seigfried died at the age of
Illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher died at the age of 81 due to pancreatic cancer
Siegfried Fischbacher

Some news items you might have missed:

The Advocate: Las Vegas illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher, of Siegfried and Roy fame, has died at age 81. Fischbacher died Wednesday night at his home in Vegas due to pancreatic cancer. Roy Horn, his partner in life and work, died last May of COVID-19 complications at age 75.

Defense One: The Pentagon, in a break with recent tradition, will not host an Armed Forces Farewell tribute to President Donald Trump. Trump will leave office in disgrace, one week after the House voted a second time for his impeachment, two weeks after his supporters staged a deadly siege in the Capitol Building, six months after he dragged his Joint Chiefs chairman into a political firestorm, and after four years of nonstop assaults on truth.

Broadway Cares: Beloved stars from All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital will reunite for ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway, a one-night-only streaming concert benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The free streamed event can be watched at broadwaycares.org beginning at 8 pm Eastern on Thursday, February 11.

Business Insider: GOP elected officials lost thousands of Twitter followers over the weekend, as the company cracked down on QAnon accounts in the aftermath of the Capitol Hill riots. Rep. Jim Jordan’s followers took the biggest dive with nearly 150,000 purged or defected.

• ABC News: Amazon Web Services has responded to Parler’s lawsuit against it with a series of screenshots of hateful content – loaded with threats of violence and racial slurs – that allegedly spread on the platform. One screenshot of a Parler post features a slew of racial slurs about Michelle Obama and another states, “The only good democrat is a dead one.”

Variety: Lady Gaga is set to sing the national anthem for the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 20. Film and recording star Jennifer Lopez will perform as well.

 

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A post shared by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga)

Trump Orders ‘Stars and Stripes’ Newspaper Shutdown Then Reverses Amid Controversy

(image: public domain/WhiteHouse/Flickr)

Can you say ‘bad timing?’ This isn’t really a good time to shut down the revered 160-year-old military newspaper The Stars and Stripes.

From NPR:

The Pentagon ordered the closure of the venerable military newspaper, Stars and Stripes on Friday. But hours later, President Trump tweeted that he wouldn’t allow that to happen “under my watch.”

The twists and turns played out as Trump faced a firestorm of criticism for reportedly calling American Marines who died in World War I as “losers” and “suckers.” Trump vehemently denied the remarks, though several news organizations have now cited sources saying he made the statements in 2018 during a trip to France.

Stars and Stripes remains popular among many military members and has bipartisan support in Congress, especially among those who previously served in the armed forced.

But a memo signed by U.S. Army Col. Paul Haverstick said the newspaper would be shut down by Sept. 30, the last day of the government’s 2020 fiscal year. The memo gave no reason for closing the publication other than saying funding was not in next year’s budget request.

We know Trump has serious issues with the free press but this really takes the cake.

Considering the day he’s having with the article from The Atlantic about calling military service members “losers” it’s no surprise he reversed on this one.

Top General Apologizes For Appearing In Lafayette Park Trump Photo

Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (image via White House)

Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, apologized for appearing in the now-infamous Lafayette Park photo opp with Donald Trump after peaceful protesters were forcibly removed from the area.

From the Washington Post:

The Pentagon’s top general apologized on Thursday for appearing alongside President Trump near the White House after authorities forcibly removed peaceful protesters from the area, saying that it “was a mistake that I have learned from.”

Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the remarks in a prerecorded graduation speech to students at the National Defense University. He has been roundly criticized for thrusting the military into politics by walking alongside the president on June 1 as Trump traveled on foot to a nearby church that had been damaged during protests following the police killing of George Floyd.

Milley advised the students that it is important to keep “a keen sense of situational awareness” and that he had failed to do so as he walked from Lafayette Square in combat fatigues alongside the president, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and other senior advisers.

“As many of you saw the results of the photograph of me in Lafayette Square last week, that sparked a national debate about the role of the military in civil society,” Milley said. “I should not have been there. My presence in that moment, and in that environment, created the perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”

It takes a mature, responsible adult to admit making a mistake. Good on Milley.

Pentagon Ordered To Release Trans Military Ban Documents

A federal judge has ordered the Department of Defense to turn over 35,000 documents the Trump administration used in drafting its transgender military ban.

Via Stripes.com:

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman ruled the Pentagon must turn over drafts, communications and documents used by Defense Department officials in shaping and justifying its 48-page policy released in February 2018 that effectively ended open service for transgender men and women.

That policy, which faces several legal challenges, went into effect in April, barring the military enlistment of nearly any person with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, the medical condition associated with individuals who do not identify with their birth sex.

Lawyers with Lamda Legal, representing transgender plaintiffs in the case of Karnoski v. Trump in U.S. district court in Seattle, sought the documents as evidence in their case, which seeks to overturn the partial ban on transgender military service on the basis that the policy was rooted in illegal discrimination.

SCOTUS Rules Trump Can Use Defense Funds For Border Wall

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the Trump administration can use Pentagon funds to build Donald Trump's beloved border wall.
Donald Trump

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the Trump administration can use Pentagon funds to build Donald Trump’s beloved border wall.

From the AP:

The Supreme Court said Friday that it would lift a freeze on the money put in place by a lower court. The Supreme Court’s action means the Trump administration can tap the funds and begin work on four contracts it has awarded. Four liberal justices wouldn’t have allowed construction to start.

A trial court initially froze the funds in May and an appeals court kept that freeze in place earlier this month. The freeze had prevented the government from tapping approximately $2.5 billion in Defense Department money to replace existing sections of barrier in Arizona, California and New Mexico with more robust fencing.

Pentagon To Divert $1 Billion From Military Pay & Pension For Trump Wall

According to the Associated Press, the Pentagon is planning on diverting $1 billion from military pay and pension funds to help pay for Donald Trump’s beloved wall at the Southern border.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told The Associated Press, “It’s coming out of military pay and pensions. $1 billion. That’s the plan.”

Durbin said the funds are available because Army recruitment is down and a voluntary early military retirement program is being underutilized.

The development comes as Pentagon officials are seeking to minimize the amount of wall money that would come from military construction projects that are so cherished by lawmakers.

Can you imagine if Democrats proposed taking money from military service members pay and pensions???

Pentagon Refuses To Acknowledge Pride Month For First Time Since ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

For the first time in six years, senior Pentagon officials have declined to acknowledge LGBTQ Pride Month.

Ever since the misguided ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy was repealed in 2012, the Pentagon has issued an official memo which served as an official endorsement of Pride Month and effectively encouraged local events.

A former senior Obama administration official, speaking off the record, told The Washington Post, “It makes it known that there’s an authorization, that there’s support.”

But this year, there was no memorandum issued for Pride.

That said, there was an event held at the Pentagon on Monday by DoD Pride, the LGBTQ employee group at the Defense Department. However, unlike previous years no high-level department officials showed up to address the crowd.

According to The Washington Blade, the tension at the DoD event was “palpable” as folks were keenly aware of the elephant in the room – President Trump’s proposed ban on transgender service members.

Even though the policy proposal is held up in four federal courts, LGBTQ military service members are wary.

In another sign of lagging support, the Defense Department’s Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity’s web site lists event-specific posters designed for Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Dr. Martin Luther King Day. But nothing for Pride Month.

So, DoD had to create its own poster (see above).

When asked why there was no official declaration this year, Pentagon spokewoman Air Force Maj. Carla Gleason sidestepped the question.

“The Department of Defense supports diversity of all kinds across our military and we encourage everyone to celebrate the diversity of our total force team,” said Gleason. “We value all members of the DOD total force and recognize their immense contributions to the mission.”

This is also the second year that Donald Trump’s White House failed to acknowledge Pride Month.

There were presidential proclamations to recognize June as Great Outdoors Month, National Ocean Month, National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month, and National Homeownership Month, but no presidential proclamation for Pride Month.

Trump’s “Generals And Military Experts” Did Not Know Trump Anti-Trans Policy Was Coming

Even though Donald Trump began his tweet banning transgender military service members by stating, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts…” it’s become clear that the top military leaders at the Pentagon were surprised by the bombshell announcement yesterday.

As CNN’s Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr points out, today’s announcement from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating there will be no changes in policy in the short term, does not offer any clear support for the president’s sudden shift in direction on transgender military.

Watch below.