News Round-Up: May 7, 2021

Sergio J. Matos and Jim Newman
Sergio J. Matos and Jim Newman
Sergio J. Matos and Jim Newman

Some news items you might have missed:

OUT: The Village People’s Jim Newman (above) moved to Brazil for love. The Broadway daddy would love a return to performing, but for now he’s happy hunkering down on the beach with his fiancé, Sergio J. Matos.

Instinct Magazine: Ryan Reynolds wants his anti-hero super-hero Deadpool to be pansexual (per the original source comics) in the upcoming Marvel Studios film Deadpool 3.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Check out Kenneth’s weekly round-up of the what’s what in LGBTQ publications like the latest issue of WireMag (below) featuring body builder Steve Rogers.

NBC News: Middle school students in Texas have accused a teacher of defacing their chalk art of Pride flags by scrawling “heteros rule” over top of it. The school district is apparently dodging the issue by sending out a “vague” email implying there was a dustup (but didn’t explain what happened).

Axios: Oklahoma has secured a $2.6 million refund for a malaria drug purchase once touted by Donald Trump as a treatment for COVID-19. Trump repeatedly promoted hydroxychloroquine last year despite health officials warning that the drug should not be prescribed for treating COVID-19 outside of research or hospital settings due to serious side effects.

Twitter: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told a Trump supporter he “led the fight” to overturn the 2020 election (take that Josh Hawley). But as the cultist grows more fervent, Cruz (aware a camera is on him) has to pull away.

Randy Rainbow’s Latest Parody Takes Aim At ‘Ted And Lindsey’

Randy Rainbow's latest song parody takes aim at Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham

Randy Rainbow's latest song parody takes aim at Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham

For those who thought Donald Trump’s exit from the White House might leave Randy Rainbow without any further inspiration…

Based on “Kansas City” from the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, OKLAHOMA!, the satirical genius offers his version of the song taking aim at Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

As always, the parody lyrics are totes clever:

Everyone loves to hate on Ted and Lindsey
Their problem isn’t popularity
You’d think they’d be ashamed of the shenanigans they try
But never Cancun Cruz or Lady G

Happy Monday, folks!

News Round-Up: February 19, 2021

New scintillating ad from DSquared2
New scintillating ad from DSquared2
(screen capture via DSquared2)

Some news items you might have missed:

Instinct Magazine: The acclaimed indie film, Ma Belle, My Beauty, a queer polyamorous love story that was embraced by critics when it debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, has scored a distribution deal.

AP News: A federal judge has dismissed a discrimination lawsuit by a transgender fire chief due to a technical flaw with the initial complaint she filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Rachel Mosby led a rural Georgia city’s fire department for more than a decade, then got fired 18 months after first coming to work as a woman.

DSquared2: Model Malik Delgaty (top image) puts on a private show in this provocative one minute spot for the brand’s Stripped2 underwear line. “What happens in the Secret Room will remain at the Secret Room.”

BosGuy: It’s ‘Furry Friday’ at the Boston-based LGBTQ blog and this week’s hottie ticks the “fur” and “ginger” boxes 🙂

HuffPost: Six Capitol Police officers have been suspended with pay and 29 others are under investigation for their alleged roles in the riot last month. According to Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), one of the suspended officers took a selfie with a person who was part of the mob that overtook the Capitol. Another wore a “Make America Great Again” hat and appeared to direct rioters around the building.

New York Post: Wait – Sen. Ted Cruz’s Mexico vacation blunder gets even worse. After telling reporters his home, like many Texans, had lost water and heat – he apparently left the family poodle Snowflake behind in the cold.

Ted Cruz Takes Family On Cancun Vacay While Texas Freezes

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Being a native Texan, I’ve been checking in on my brother and friends who have been severely impacted by the terrible freezing cold catastrophe happening in the Lone Star state.

As I’m sure you’ve seen, there are rolling blackouts (or just plain ‘blackouts’) happening across the state. My brother, like many Texans, went without water for a few days. And now 7 million residents are being told to boil water before drinking it as water treatment plants haven’t gotten back up to speed.

First, Gov. Greg Abbott tried to blame the power outages on the Green New Deal which isn’t even effective legislation anywhere. Abbott pointed to wind towers freezing as a big part of the problem when wind only makes up about 7 percent of the state’s power.

The real problem has apparently been the fact that natural gas lines froze, plus Texas has refused to spend any money on its energy infrastructure in forever.

Warmer weather is thankfully on the horizon (my weather app says temps will get back up in the 40s on Saturday), but Twitter flipped out last night when it was discovered Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) boarded a plane for a family vacation to Mexico while his constituents are in the midst of a statewide emergency.

Fox News reports:

Sen. Ted Cruz flew to Cancun, Mexico, with his family this week as Texas dealt with a winter storm that left millions without power, Fox News has confirmed.

Photographs of Cruz, R-Texas, at an airport began circulating on social media late Wednesday, with people alleging that the senator had left the state for Cancun amid a major crisis. A Republican source told Fox News that the allegations Cruz was traveling to the Mexican city are true.

“The photos speak for themselves,” the source said. Cruz’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Thursday morning.

Cruz put out a statement saying his family asked to go on a vacation so he accompanied them to Cancun but meant to return today. But there are reports his original return ticket was for Saturday.

Not a good look abandoning your state during an enormous natural disaster, Rafael.

Ted Cruz Joins The Cast Of ‘Electoral College Scrabble’

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

More players sign up for political theater as 11 Republican Senators announce they will join in objecting to certifying state Electoral College results.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is apparently up for joining Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) for the reindeer games on Wednesday in an attempt to play up to Donald Trump and his followers as he’s certain to make another run for the White House in 2024.

From Axios:

Cruz, who, like Hawley, is thought to be considering a 2024 presidential bid, plans to release a statement this afternoon announcing his plans. Once the Texas Republican does so, several other senators from his party are expected to follow in a coordinated effort they consider distinct from Hawley’s.

Republicans involved in these talks include Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), as well as Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).

Basically, the exercise on Wednesday will consist of reading the results of each state in alphabetical order. If a House member and a Senator object in writing to any state’s results the two chambers separate and are given two hours to debate whether to accept the challenge.

In that the House is controlled by the Democrats, we know the House will vote the effort down. Even though the Senate is led by a bare Republican majority, Democrats will only need a handful of sane GOPers to vote down any challenge.

But what this will do is slow down the confirmation of the Electoral College by a rate of two hours for each state the nutjobs challenge.

IF the Senate were to agree to the challenge and the House oppose it, the Electoral College Act calls for the tie to be broken by counting the slate of electors certified by the top executive officer of a state – the governor.

“The votes of the electors whose appointment shall have been certified by the executive of the State, under the seal thereof, shall be counted.”

In all of the swing states Trump has tried to question – Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Nevada – the governors have certified Joe Biden electors.

All that to say, as I began, that this is all political theater.

News Round-Up: March 16, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

• Finally, a public bathroom sign (above) that makes sense.

• The Advocate takes a look at newly-announced presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s history on LGBTQ issues.

• GOP Sen. Ted Cruz has been fined $35,000 for failing to disclose $1 million in campaign funds.

• Michael Jackson fans are suing his alleged victims for taking part in the recent HBO documentary Leaving Neverland for sullying the memory of the pop star.

• Having surpassed over 65,000 donors, out White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg has qualified for the 2020 Democratic presidential debates.

• Indie singer/songwriter/producer Lauv (nominated for “Best New Pop Artist at the 2019 iHeart Radio Music Awards) drops his stripped-down video of hit single “i’m so tired…” with Troye Sivan.

Lauv said on the stripped performance, “Troye and I went to Henson Recording Studios to make this acoustic version of ‘i’m so tired…’ and we ended up including the infamous bridge. Also, Troye is an angel…go check it out and enjoy.”

Troye added, “I’ve had the insane joy of playing this song live now for the last few weeks and have never felt a ground swell like this for a song I’m on before. So excited to put out this acoustic version of ‘i’m so tired…’ with Lauv!”

Anti-Ted Cruz Ad Uses Donald Trump Sound Bites

We all knew this was coming. I’m just surprised it took this long.

A new anti-Ted Cruz ad from Progressive Change Committee (not affiliated with Beto O’Rourke campaign) uses images of Sen. Ted Cruz and sound bites from Donald Trump to describe the Texas Republican:

“I must tell you something about Ted Cruz. I have never, never met someone who lies more than Ted Cruz.

One of the great liars of all time. That’s why we call him ‘Lyin’ Ted.’

Lyin’ Ted! He holds the Bible high, and then he lies.

Ted Cruz, he’s taken so much money from so many different people, and he’s totally controlled.

He’s a nasty guy, nobody likes him, nobody in Congress likes him.

Cruz is not a truthful person.

Cruz is the most dishonest guy I think I’ve ever met in politics.”

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Trump On Ted Cruz: “He’s Not ‘Lyin Ted’ Anymore – He’s ‘Beautiful Ted!'”

Donald Trump says that he and Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz have buried the animosity of the 2016 Republican primary as he heads to Texas today.

“He’s not ‘Lyin Ted’ anymore; he’s ‘Beautiful Ted!'”

Trump is traveling to Texas to hold a massive get-out-the-vote rally for Cruz in the final days of a closer-than-expected race against Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

Watch below.

Houston Chronicle Endorses Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke Over Sen. Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz (L) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (R)

The editorial board of the Houston Chronicle, the hometown newspaper of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, has endorsed his Democratic opponent, Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

With eyes clear but certainly not starry, we enthusiastically endorse Beto O’Rourke for U.S. Senate. The West Texas congressman’s command of issues that matter to this state, his unaffected eloquence and his eagerness to reach out to all Texans make him one of the most impressive candidates this editorial board has encountered in many years.

Despite the long odds he faces – pollster nonpareil Nate Silver gives O’Rourke a 20 percent chance of winning – a “Beto” victory would be good for Texas, not only because of his skills, both personal and political, but also because of the manifest inadequacies of the man he would replace.

Ted Cruz — a candidate the Chronicle endorsed in 2012, by the way — is the junior senator from Texas in name only. Exhibiting little interest in addressing the needs of his fellow Texans during his six years in office, he has kept his eyes on a higher prize.

He’s been running for president since he took the oath of office — more likely since he picked up his class schedule as a 15-year-old ninth-grader at Houston’s Second Baptist High School more than three decades ago. For Cruz, public office is a private quest; the needs of his constituents are secondary.

RealClearPolitics’ average of polls shows Cruz ahead of O’Rourke by 7 points.

Texas: Rep. Beto O’Rourke Raises A Record $38 Million For Senate Race

Sen. Ted Cruz (L) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (R)

Democratic senatorial candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke has raised more than three times the amount of incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz for the upcoming midterm elections.

From The Texas Tribune:

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, raised $38.1 million for his U.S. Senate campaign in the third quarter, a new record for the largest fundraising quarter ever in a U.S. Senate race, according to his campaign.

The haul more than tripled Republican incumbent Ted Cruz’s fundraising for the past three months, which Cruz has said was over $12 million. O’Rourke has consistently raised more than Cruz in the race, but this is the widest gap yet.

The $38.1 million is by far the largest amount raised in a quarter by a Senate candidate, surpassing Republican Rick Lazio’s record of $22 million in 2000 for his bid against Democrat Hillary Clinton in New York.

Cruz currently averages a 7 point lead in the polls according to RealClearPolitics.

And according to the most recent Texas Senate Quinnipiac poll, Cruz leads O’Rourke, 54%-45%.

Plus, Cruz’s favorability is +8 (52-44) while O’Rourke has a divided 45%-47% (-2) favorability rating.

Although, I see RCP doesn’t list this new poll from Reuters/IPSOS that shows O’Rourke leading by 2 points.

Could the tide turn at just the right time?