News Round-Up: December 26, 2018

Do not forget to watch the Kennedy Center Honors tonight on CBS at 8pm as Cher, Philip Glass, Reba McEntire, and Wayne Shorter receive the 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors.  Hamilton co-creators Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Alex Lacamoire receive a special Honors for groundbreaking work.
The 2018 Kennedy Center Honors air tonight on CBS at 8pm

Some news items you might have missed:

• Do not forget to watch the Kennedy Center Honors tonight on CBS at 8pm as Cher, Philip Glass, Reba McEntire, and Wayne Shorter receive the 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors.

Hamilton co-creators Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Alex Lacamoire receive a special Honors for groundbreaking work.

• An unhinged Catholic priest claimed Satan designed the Pride flag.

• Legal pot was a popular Christmas gift in California this year as cannabis businesses reported up to 5x normal foot traffic in the days leading up to the holiday.

• House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi trolled Donald Trump and his infamous wall telling USA Today he’s now shifted from a concrete structure to “a beaded curtain or something.”

• The transgender teen who was bullied by an assistant principal in a bathroom speaks to the press about the hideous experience.

• A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll asked Democratic and Independent voters who would excited them the most in the 2020 presidential race.

“Someone entirely new” garnered 59%, followed closely by former Vice President Joe Biden (who is the exact opposite of that) at 53%.

2012 Presidential debate formats & dates announced

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced dates, times, locations and formats of this election cycles debates. They will be as follows:

First presidential debate (October 3, 2012, University of Denver, Denver, CO)
The debate will focus on domestic policy and be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on topics to be selected by the moderator and announced several weeks before the debate. The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the topic.

Vice presidential debate (October 11, 2012, Centre College, Danville, KY)
The debate will cover both foreign and domestic topics and be divided into nine time segments of approximately 10 minutes each. The moderator will ask an opening question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the question.

Second presidential debate (October 16, 2012, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY)
The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

Third presidential debate (October 22, Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL)
The format for the debate will be identical to the first presidential debate and will focus on foreign policy.

All debates will be moderated by a single individual and will take place from 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time. There will be no opening statements and two-minute closing statements in all the debates. In all the debates except town meeting, the CPD recommends that the candidates be seated at a table with the moderator. Moderators will be selected and announced in August.

More info can be found here.

Vice Pres Joe Biden: “comfortable” with marriage equality

Vice President Joe Biden became the highest-ranking official in the Obama administration to signal support for same-sex marriage on Sunday during an interview with “Meet The Press.”

Biden stopped just a touch short from outright saying that he backs marriage equality. But the implication was beyond clear that he has completed the so-called evolution on gay marriage that President Obama has yet to finish.

“And you’re comfortable with same-sex marriage now?” “Meet the Press” host David Gregory asked.

“I am vice president of the United States of America,” Biden replied. “The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction– beyond that.”

A spokesperson for the vice president emailed over further clarification on the “Meet the Press” remarks, stating in part that Biden had not fully endorsed same-sex marriage.

“The vice president was saying what the president has said previously – that committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans, and that we oppose any effort to rollback those rights. That’s why we stopped defending the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in legal challenges and support legislation to repeal it. Beyond that, the Vice President was expressing that he too is evolving on the issue, after meeting so many committed couples and families in this country.”

LGBT Advocacy groups responded:

“I’ve known Vice President Biden since interning for him in the Senate in 1976. The personal and thoughtful way he has spoken about his coming to support the freedom to marry reflects the same journey that a majority of Americans have now made as they’ve gotten to know gay families, opened their hearts and changed their minds. President Obama should join the Vice President, former Presidents Clinton and Carter, former Vice Presidents Gore and Cheney, Laura Bush, and so many others in forthright support for the freedom to marry.” – Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom To Marry.

“We are encouraged by Vice President Biden’s comments, who rightly articulated that loving and committed gay and lesbian couples should be treated equally. Now is the time for President Obama to speak out for full marriage equality for same-sex couples.” – Human Rights Campaign

Read more at The Huffington Post