Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul Wins CPAC Straw Poll

(via Washington Times)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), probable 2016 GOP presidential candidate, won the 2015 CPAC straw poll edging out recently surging Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

This marks the third year in a row that Sen. Paul has won the straw poll.

Mitt Romney won in 2012, the year he became the GOP nominee for president.

We all know how that turned out...

Religion And The Constitution

The Constitution contains 4,543 words. None of them are Jesus, Christiantiy, or the Bible.

Tweet Of The Day: Treat Williams

NYC: Check Out This 90 Square Foot Apartment


Everyone knows that living in NYC can be waaaaaay expensive. So, often, Manhattanites learn to live in smaller and smaller dwellings in the most efficient way they can.

Check out this apartment in the West Village which measure a mere 90 square feet.

"I really like getting rid of things," says Mary Helen Rowell, as she stands in the middle of her minimally furnished West Village apartment. "It's my favorite thing." Considering that Rowell's apartment measures all of 90 square feet, purging is more of a necessity than a hobby, but enjoying the process makes it easier to keep the tiny space neat. "If there are three things on the floor, it's a disaster."

Rowell found the place two years ago through a friend, who saw the listing on NYU's student listserv. "Everyone was laughing at the tiny box that was for rent," says Rowell. Even when she visited, the landlord seemed embarrassed to show it. But the rent was just $750 a month (now a whopping $775), and she took it on the spot.

The room is about 78 inches wide, which is smaller than a standard bed frame.

"You have to keep it in check," says Rowell. "It always has to be neat." There's a delicate balance with what can fit in the apartment. "My boyfriend tried to give me a book last week, and I said, 'No, there is no place for this.'"


(via Curbed.com)

Which Countries In The World Are Most Endowed?


Mandatory.com has done the research and added up the numbers for the countries with the biggest (and smallest) penises around the world.  Because that's the kind of info people love to find on the internet, right?

Before we get to the map (click to enlarge the images above) and list of the average erect penis sizes for 80 countries worldwide, here are some notable findings:

-The proper way to measure is from tip of the penis to the very bottom of the pubic bone.
-The global average is 5.5 inches.
-The most well hung country in our study is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (aka Congo), with an average of 7.1 inches.
-On average, South America is the most well hung continent (6.36 inches).
-North Korea has the smallest dick size on average (3.8 inches).
-Only 3 percent of men worldwide are over 8 inches. Only 6 percent of men actually need extra large condoms.
-Of the 80 countries included, the U.S. ranks #61 in average erect penis size.

(via Mandatory.com)

Donna McKechnie Joins Broadway Cast of THE VISIT


Tony Award-winner Donna McKechnie has been announced as standby for another legend, Chita Rivera, in the upcoming Broadway musical, The Visit.

"Who else could go on for a Broadway legend like Ms. Rivera but another Broadway legend?" said producer Tom Kirdahy in a statement. "The tradition of an actor standing by, should the star not be able to perform, though unlikely in Ms. Rivera's case, has been turned on its ear by this news. We are ecstatic that Donna is joining our company."

She will stand by for the 82-year-old Rivera, who plays Claire Zachanassian, a wealthy courtesan who returns to the small village where she grew up, in order to destroy the man who robbed her of her virtue when she was a girl.

Based on the 1958 drama of the same title by Swiss author Friedrich D├╝rrenmatt, The Visit musical has a score by John Kander and the late Fred Ebb, and a book by Terrence McNally. Choreography for the two legendary dancers will be supplied by Graciela Daniele.

How thrilled I am that these two Broadway icons become part of this new musical for Broadway. I had the opportunity to work with both for long periods of time. My first national touring company of A Chorus Line starred Donna; and early in my CHICAGO the Musical journey I worked with Chita when she was playing "Roxie Hart" in the Las Vegas leg of the national tour.

Love them both. As does everyone.

It's not well known, but back in the 1990s the producers of the musical The Goodbye Girl (starring Martin Short and Bernadette Peters) were in talks with Donna to standby for Bernadette. Unfortunately the show closed before the deal was done, but the same logic was in play there: who better to go on for a Broadway legend than another Broadway legend?

With Chita Rivera backstage at CHICAGO the Musical

Backstage at an all-star benefit where I helped choreograph a number for Donna McKechnie

Video: "Nowness"


Very cool experimental movement short film about physical interaction between male friends.

“It’s based on them being friends, exploring the intimacy of physical interaction between guys; of their 'bromance,'” says director Bertil Nilsson of dancers Beren D'Amico, Charlie Wheeller and Louis Gift from the experimental acrobatic company, Barely Methodical Troupe, which won the Total Theatre Award at Edinburgh 2014 for its live performance of Bromance.

“The concept of the film was to set something unusual in the real world, almost a documentary in the most abstract of senses.”


Friday, February 27, 2015

Madonna Hits #1 On Billboard Dance Chart For Record 44th Time


Madonna's latest single - "Living For Love" - becomes her 44th number one single on the Billboard Dance chart.

This ties her with George Strait for the most #1s on a single chart (his were on the Hot Country Songs chart).

Interestingly, "Living For Love" has failed to make the Billboard Hot 100 chart for singles...

Just Because...


Because... a shirtless NE Patriots Rob Gronkowski being silly in a "cat-hat" with a kitten is hot.

Happy Friday!

BREAKING: House Fails To Pass Homeland Security Funding

By a vote of 203-224, the House failed to pass a bill that would continue to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

The bill today would have funded Homeland Security for three more weeks. A version was passed in the Senate that would have funded the department for the rest of the fiscal year.

Mere hours left for the Republicans to make sure the country stays safe...


Post by msnbc.

Michael Sam Invited To 1st NFL Veteran Combine



Michael Sam, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys and the St. Louis Rams, will participate in the first NFL Veteran Combine scheduled to take place on March 22nd in Tempe, AZ.

The veteran combine is a chance for veteran players who may have slipped through the cracks during their earlier time in the NFL.

Via Sporting News:

In 2013, Sam was named the SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year. Although he was projected to be a third- or fourth-round pick, Sam was selected final round and became the first openly gay player to be drafted. He was released by Rams in August after failing to survive the final preseason cuts. Sam joined the Cowboys' practice squad in September but was waived just one month.

Sam was announced earlier this week as a cast member of the 10th season of Dancing With The Stars. Sam had indicated earlier that football is his first priority and the ABC TV show had already assured him their schedule would not interfere with his taking part in the Combine.

Should Sam leave the combine without a deal, he could still accept a one-year offer from the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes.

Rep. Aaron Schock Reimburses Government $35,000 For Office Decor

Rep. Aaron Schock (L) talks with ABC News

USA Today is reporting that Congressman Aaron Schock has repaid the government $35,000 for office renovations after allegations of improper use of government funds.

"As he said he would, Congressman Schock has fulfilled his commitment to pay for all the renovation costs of the 18th Congressional District office in Washington," said a statement released by Schock's office Friday. "Even though office expenses are often covered by the Member Representational Allowance, the Congressman believed it appropriate to pay these costs himself as part of the office review process."

USA TODAY has reported that Schock had spent more $100,000 than of his taxpayer-funded account on office renovations in prior years. The expenses included thousands for leather furniture, hardwood floors and marble countertops for his offices in his central Illinois congressional district.

According to the report, the government had apparently been paid $35,000 through Schock's office. As the story now goes, his decorator refunded that $35,000 to the government and Schock then paid via his own personal funds.

Schock has drawn much attention lately for questionable real estate sales and expenses through his office.

He retained high powered ethics lawyers this week, and he's announced full reviews of office spending to help ensure compliance with Congressional rules.

Video: Meryl Streep's Deleted Song From "Into The Woods"

Meryl Streep in INTO THE WOODS

As often happens in filmmaking, things get cut.

Even when it's a new song written by theater legend Stephen Sondheim for Meryl Streep.

But thanks to the DVD release, the song/sequence is included as a bonus feature.

In the video below, director Rob Marshall intros the song - "She'll Be Back" - which was apparently written to follow the witch's confrontation with Rapunzel.

Watch below, and order here.


Jeb Bush At CPAC: "I Believe In Traditional Marriage"


Attempting to prove his "conservative bona fides," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush answered directly when asked if he was evolving on same-sex marriage at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday:

“No. I believe in traditional marriage.”

Some rumors had been circling that Jeb might try to appear not an severe as his possible fellow candidates for the Republican presidential nomination.

He's now answered that question.

Unions Demand Apology From Gov. Scott Walker For Comparison To Terrorists


Yesterday at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker compared a president standing up against ISIS to his standing up to protesting union workers in his state:

"I want a commander in chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists does not wash up on American soil," Walker said, adding, "If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world."

Once that sh*t hit the fan, he sought to "clarify" his statement saying "if I could handle that kind of a pressure and kind of intensity, I think I'm up for the challenge for whatever might come, if I choose to run for president."

Today, however, AFSCME (the country's largest public service employees union) issued a press release demanding an apology for comparing American union workers to terrorists:

We’re not going to stand by and let Scott Walker smear hard-working Americans, simply because the exercise their first amendment freedom to disagree with him. You don’t attack good men and women who give their time every day to make this country a better place.

[snip]

To compare the 100,000 men and women who stood up in Madison and called Governor Walker out for his attack on workers’ freedom to terrorists is disgusting. That’s the desperate act of a craven, career politician, not a leader whose values are aligned with what this country stands for. In Madison, we marched alongside military veterans, firefighters, police officers, nurses, librarians and teachers. There were senior citizens and children. College students and clergy.

This cannot stand, Governor Walker, and the nation deserves an apology.

Sean Hannity At CPAC: "If I Was Stupid Like A Liberal..."


Sean Hannity took some of his free time at CPAC today to throw red meat to the crowd in the form of insults about liberal Americans:

"Let's say I had a bees nest at my house. If I was stupid, like a liberal, and I took a baseball bat and I knocked down the wasp nest and the bees sting me, it wouldn't be my fault, it wouldn't be the wasp's fault."

But this guy would tell you he's 'fair and balanced.'

He then followed up with a strange joke - “I have x-ray Fox vision and I can see some young women — you don’t even know it yet but you’re pregnant. But it’s not your fault!”

The insults start around the 7:15 mark.


Hey GOP - Funding For Homeland Security Ends In One Day


Ironically, Republicans would tell you THEY care about defending our borders more than the Democrats, even as they try to allow the Department of Homeland Security to run out of funding...

Get it together GOP. Are the party of defending the country or not?  Americans don't want games played with their security.

Broadway: Sneak Peak from "An American In Paris"


Gorgeous! Previews begin March 23 on Broadway.

For more info visit the official website here.

Star Trek Legend Leonard Nimoy Dead At 83


Leonard Nimoy, most famous for his portrayal of the stoic "Mr. Spock" of the Star Trek sagas, has passed away at the age of 83 due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Before Star Trek, Nimoy appeared in dozens of TV episodics including “Dragnet,” “Sea Hunt,” “Bonanza,” “Wagon Train,” “Rawhide,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The Untouchables,” “The Outer Limits,” “The Virginian,” “Get Smart” and “Gunsmoke.”

From Variety:

But despite his varied talents, Nimoy will forever be linked with the logical Mr. Spock. Spotted by “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry when he appeared on Roddenberry’s NBC Marine Corps. skein “The Lieutenant,” Nimoy was offered the role of Spock and co-starred in the 1965 “Star Trek” pilot “The Cage.” NBC execs liked the concept but thought the pilot too cerebral, so they ordered a second pilot of the Desilu production with some script and cast changes (only Nimoy made it through both pilots). The series finally bowed on the Peacock in the fall of 1966. After three seasons, it was canceled in 1969 but would go on to be a hit in syndication, spawning films and other TV incarnations and gaining a huge following of fans known as Trekkers or Trekkies.

In 1979, he returned to the role in “Star Trek: The Motion Picture" followed throughout the 1980s and 1990s with “The Wrath of Khan” (1982), “The Search for Spock” (1984), “The Voyage Home” (1986), “The Final Frontier” (1989) and “The Undiscovered Country” (1991).

Nimoy was also an accomplished author, poet and photographer.

"Live long and prosper" indeed.

Less than a week ago, Nimoy shared his last tweet with followers:



His famous friends shared their loss online:





Steve "All-American Boy" Grand Wants To Make A Difference


In the EPK for his debut album, All-American Boy, out singer/songwriter Steve Grand talks on what the past year and a half has been like since he became an internet sensation with his first music video of the same name (3.8 million views at this writing).

In the video below, Grand dismisses the idea that artists coming out isn't as important as it once was saying, "“You know who cares are the kids that are really struggling with this. Or the kids who feel like they would still rather be dead than live life as a gay person. I’m thinking about them all the time while I’m doing these things.”

Grand's album is scheduled to drop March 24.



Matt Baume Explains "The Phantom Roadmap To LGBT Discrimination"


Matt Baume (of the regularly scheduled Marriage News Watch videos) explains:

"Scheming villains thirst to rollback the progress our nation has made toward full LGBT equality. But, could they actually do it? Insidious laws like Arkansas' innocent-sounding "Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act" (sb202) may provide the roadmap."

With a healthy helping of humor, Baume serves up how the haters look to still discriminate.


Mary Poppins Sings Death Metal


I had heard about the recording, but this video kills!

1.5 million views in two days.



(h/t JMG)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Today In "Christian Love"





Pastor Manning is a little more "out there" than usual today.


And he wants you to know - call the homos 'faggots.'

And Christians wonder why there's a problem with religion and the gays...


Trailer: Love & Mercy


Biopic about the life of The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson - Love & Mercy.

Starring John Cusack and Paul Dano. In theaters June 5th. 


The Fall Of Madonna


Madonna has been in the spotlight of late (nothing new there), thanks in part to her fab Grammy Awards performance, and "not so much thanks" for her unfortunate tumble from the stage yesterday at The Brit Awards.

Her Madge-esty said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone that even when she delivers a great performance she gets flack about whether or not she's "acting her age."

"It's still the one area where you can totally discriminate against somebody," she says, "and talk shit. Because of their age. Only females, though. Not males. So in that respect we still live in a very sexist society."

"No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black or dare to say a degrading remark on Instagram about someone being gay," Madonna continues. "But my age – anybody and everybody would say something degrading to me. And I always think to myself, why is that accepted? What's the difference between that and racism, or any discrimination? They're judging me by my age. I don't understand. I'm trying to get my head around it. Because women, generally, when they reach a certain age, have accepted that they're not allowed to behave a certain way. But I don't follow the rules. I never did, and I'm not going to start."

The fact of the matter is: Madonna still ranks at the top of her game as an entertainer, an artist and a provocateur. Her "Living For Love" Grammy Awards performance proved it.

But just as telling was her recent fall from the stage of The Brit Awards, clearly due to a wardrobe malfunction. She soon after shared on Instagram that "Armani hooked me up! My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up! Thanks for your good wishes! I'm fine!"

And she WAS fine. She regrouped instantly, got up and finished the number. Like a true artist.

(p.s. from the audio we also have proof that she was singing LIVE, not lip-syncing, btw...)

Things happen. People trip or fall. You get back up and keeping moving forward. Just like Madonna did.

I did want to throw one thing out there about that incident, though. I saw lots of fans respond to the fall with "Fire that dancer!," referring to the dancer who pulled the cape.

First of all, Madonna prides herself on the fact she hires the best dancers in the business. Whoever that dancer was, he wasn't some "newbie" who wouldn't know what he's doing.

Second, I know from dancing myself for decades professionally that the performance was rehearsed within an inch of it's life. I'm sure that dancer did exactly as he was rehearsed.

Third, as Madonna later alluded - the cape was tied too tight. If you watch the video clip of the fall, right before "the Moment" you can see her trying to untie the cape. The dancer pulled on the count he was rehearsed to pull on. She had her back to him, so there was no way he could see if the tie was undone. He did his job.

Fourth, some have asked "why didn't the dancers help her up?" Here's the thing - when something like this happens, pretty much all the dancers know is what has been rehearsed into their bodies for hours and hours. Before the moment could even register, Madge was up and back in gear.

Plus, I can attest to what it's like to be onstage with a legend when they fall.

While I was still performing in CHICAGO the Musical in Las Vegas, Broadway icon Chita Rivera came into the company for a period of time to play the role of "Roxie Hart." As a swing, I wasn't onstage every night. But the first time I went on with Chita in the show was in a track where I danced next to her in the Act Two opener "Me And My Baby."

In the middle of the number, Chita's shoe slipped out from under her - and down she went. At my feet. She was back up and laughing as she finished the number but in my head I jokingly heard "Fire the new boy!"

In truth, I paused not knowing what the best reaction would have been: help her up (does that make her look old?) or let her get up (does that make me look insensitive?). In truth, the moment was SO quick that in the second I thought about it she was back on her feet.

I'm certain the same thing happened to Madonna's dancers. When something so unexpected happens during a moment that is rehearsed and rehearsed within an inch of it's life - you do pause.

If the legend who falls happens to be Madonna? Well, as she sings in "Living For Love:"

Took me to heaven and let me fall down
Now that it's over
I'm gonna carry on
Lifted me up, and watched me stumble
After the heartache, I'm gonna carry on

And she did.

Madonna is fine, kids. Don't worry. Trust and believe, she's not worrying.

You can trust this "queen."

Or, if not me, trust THE Queen. Because she still is.

Watch the FULL performance from The Brit Awards. She's fab.

Rep. Aaron Schock Gets The Daily Show Treatment


So, a few weeks ago an innocuous "style" piece for the Washington Post brought to light the latest decor choices made by (totally not gay) Congressman Aaron Schock of Illinois.

Not exactly the kind of attention he was looking for probably, and it ended with his communications guy resigning (albeit for reasons in addition to handling the story badly).

But the story launched a look into his spending habits - spending money other than his own. And so, now there is a congressional inquiry/possible audit into some expenses that have been covered with inappropriate funds. Word comes now that he's lawyered up to handle the allegations.

With all that happening, it was inevitable that Jon Stewart would have to bring the handsome young congressman into focus on The Daily Show.

Mexico's Steady March Toward's Marriage Equality

Click pic to enlarge

Of Mexico's 31 states, over two-thirds (22) have seen court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage in recent years. But the reaction to such rulings has been less hysterical than we've seen in the US.

From Buzzfeed:

The wave of rulings throughout Mexico hasn’t caused the uproar that has followed rulings in the United States over the past year striking down state laws barring same-sex couples from marrying. Couples have not rushed to marry nor have conservatives organized major protests.

This is in part because the technicalities of Mexican law have meant these decisions have been much more narrow in their immediate impact. Each decision applies only to the individuals who have brought the cases, and other same-sex couples will still have to sue in order to marry. It takes multiple cases meeting certain technical requirements for the courts to nullify a state law in Mexico — a hurdle that has not yet been met.

After watching the fight for same-sex marriage here in the states, it's a very interesting read to see how different the approach has been in Mexico. Read the entire report here.

Texas Sportscaster Dale Hansen Brings Common Sense To Racial Controversy


Last year, veteran sportscaster Dale Hansen of Dallas/Fort Worth's WFAA gained national attention when he addressed the issue of Michael Sam coming out before the NFL draft.

Hansen again brought his common-sense wisdom to the "Hansen Unplugged" segment of his telecast Tuesday in discussing a controversy in the Dallas suburb of Flower Mound.

At a recent basketball game against a rival, more racially diverse school, students were photographed last week holding up signs that read "White" and "Power." Hansen addressed the issue and it's origin.

Hansen chided the Flower Mound students' parents who dismissed the dustup as nothing more than an accidental pairing of signs alongside each other. He shared that his granddaughter recalled attending games at Flower Mound where students would chant "Welfare babies, do you know who your daddy is? Because we know ours."

He also reached back to his own upbringing in Iowa, where he said his mind was "twisted" by the contrast between his father's constant and casual use of the "N-word" with praise for the only black family in the county where Hansen grew up.

"Kids have to be taught to hate and it's our parents and grandparents, and our teachers and coaches, too, who teach us to hate," Hansen said. "Kids become the product of that environment. I was. And they are."

"The kids who hold the signs and chant their racist slurs — and it's not all of them. It never is," he said. "But their ignorance perpetuates the stereotype of all of us in Texas as a racist, ignorant people."

Watch Hansen's take-down below. And bravo once again, Mr. Hansen!


The Inevitable Crowd-Sourcing Fund For Anti-Gay Florist Is Here


Right on cue, a crowd-sourcing fund has been set up to "help" Barronelle Stutzman, the anti-gay marriage florist from Washington state who was found guilty of violation public accommodation laws for discriminating against a gay couple.

The goal seems to be $100,000 - to pay a $2,000 fine...

Gee, I wonder what the other $98,000 is for?

(h/t JMG)

Greetings From Minnesota


More about the fab Gov. Mark Dayton here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Madonna Takes A Tumble At The Brit Awards


A wardrobe malfunction at the Brit Awards was responsible for Madonna taking a tumble down a set of stairs.

During a live performance of Madge's "Living For Love" with her hunky minotaurs, a cape that was apparently tied too tight didn't release when pulled, and down went the Queen of Pop.

She later posted on Instagram "Armani hooked me up! My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up! Thanks for your good wishes! I'm fine! ❤️#livingforlove"

Nothing can keep a true diva down. You can see the fall below:

Madonna On Her Age: "I Don't Follow The Rules"


Madonna tells Rolling Stone she's over being judged on the issue of her age.

"No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black or dare to say a degrading remark on Instagram about someone being gay," Madonna continues. "But my age – anybody and everybody would say something degrading to me. And I always think to myself, why is that accepted? What's the difference between that and racism, or any discrimination? They're judging me by my age. I don't understand. I'm trying to get my head around it. Because women, generally, when they reach a certain age, have accepted that they're not allowed to behave a certain way. But I don't follow the rules. I never did, and I'm not going to start."

(h/t JMG)

Music Video: 2CELLOS "Hysteria"

2CELLOS

The latest music video by 2CELLOS (Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser) - "Hysteria" - from their new album Celloverse.  The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Classical chart.

This track is a cover of the alternative rock hit by Muse in 2003.

I love what these guys bring to their music. The new album showcases their unique ability to reinvent current and classic rock/pop songs with a metal-meets-classical style.

And, then, there's the fact they're easy on the eyes, too... :)

Definitely run go get their self-produced album over at iTunes or Amazon. It's brilliant.






More Moments From West Side Story At San Diego Musical Theatre


San Diego Musical Theatre, where I recently choreographed a new production of West Side Story, has put together this new video showcasing highlights from the show.

I'm really proud of this one. Take a look below.

Plus, Broadway World had some very nice things to say about the production, including the choreography:

SDMT has a huge and talented cast to fill their new stage, which is good because this show does shine when they are in their cast numbers. The "Dance at the Gym" is where you see not only the size and scope of the cast, but their dancing and the simmering tensions between the Jets and the Sharks are palpable. The staging is clever and the ebb and flow of the cast during this number feels natural and never pulls focus from what's happening at the center of the stage.

The dancing is always key in this show, and this show does not disappoint thanks to choreographer Randy Slovacek. Taking a cue from the original production, this dancing is lovely but with some edge. After all, you don't see gangs dancing through the streets much, but this choreography strikes the right balance between being beautiful and having a hint of menace to it.

And if you happen to be in San Diego, check out the show this weekend. The show closes this Sunday.


North Carolina State Senate Votes To Allow Officials To "Opt-Out" Of Performing Same-Sex Marriages

https://twitter.com/equalitync/status/570633800897556481

The North Carolina state Senate just passed SB 2 by a vote of 31-16, which would allow state officials the right to refuse to officiate any marriage based on "sincerely held religious beliefs."

This means a magistrate could refuse to officiate an interracial or same-sex marriage (or any other kind)  if they state that their "sincerely held religious beliefs" conflicted with that marriage.

The legislation now heads to the House.

Mark Cuban To Business Owners: "Just Say 'No'" To Same-Sex Couples Getting Married


In the same breath that he extols his bona fides as an ally of the LGBT community, entrepreneur and "Shark Tank" co-host Mark Cuban says businesses (like florists) should be able to deny services to same-sex couples.

"Just say 'no'" is his advice.


Lady Gaga Joins The Cast of Upcoming "American Horror Story: Hotel"

Fresh off her knock-out tribute performance of The Sound Of Music on the Academy Awards, Lady Gaga veers again into a completely different direction as she tweets the news she will be joining the 5th season of the television anthology series "American Horror Story: Hotel."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Former Marine Convicted In "American Sniper" Trial


Via Huffington Post:

A former Marine has been convicted in the deaths of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and Kyle's friend at a shooting range.

Jurors returned the verdict Tuesday against Eddie Ray Routh, whose attorneys had mounted an insanity defense and said he suffered from psychosis. Since prosecutors didn't seek the death penalty in the capital murder case, the 27-year-old receives an automatic life sentence without parole in the deaths of the famed Navy SEAL and Chad Littlefield.

The men had taken Routh out shooting in February 2013 after Routh's mother asked Kyle to help him. Family members say Routh suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq and in Haiti.

The case drew intense interest, largely because of the blockbuster film based on Kyle's memoir about his four Iraq tours.

Conversion Therapy Takes Steps Forward And Back In Four states


As Oklahoma sees legislation move forward today which would prohibit regulating "ex-gay therapy" in the state, three other states could soon join California, New Jersey and the District of Columbia in outlawing so-called "conversion"therapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT youth.

Lawmakers in Colorado, Iowa and Oregon are all considering legislation that would ban would conversion therapy on patients under the age of 18.

Studies show that conversion therapy is not successful, and in many cases has been shown to be detrimental to the point of suicide for some.

Wyoming: House Legislators Vote Down LGBT Anti-Discrimination Bill

Wyoming Welcomes You (or not, depending on how you look at it)
By a vote of 33 to 26, the Wyoming House of Representatives killed a bill which would have made discrimination on the basis of sexual identity or gender identity illegal in the state.

The legislation had already passed in the Wyoming Senate.

Anti-discrimination laws serve dual purposes for many states. One, the laws help discourage discrimination. That's a good thing.

Second, they send a signal to corporations about the work environment in the state helping corporations attract and recruit talent.

Opponents of the bill expressed concern that folks wouldn't be able to hire and fire based on sexual orientation. And that folks right to expound on the sins of gays would be curtailed.

(source)

Teens React To Pop A Cappella Group Pentatonix


Fun to watch the teens wrap their heads around the Grammy Award-winning group Pentatonix :)

"The things they can do with just their voices is ridiculous."

Another teen called them "the real life pitch perfect."

Regular readers of The Randy Report know I'm a big fan of Pentatonix. I've posted about the group before here and here and here and here.


President Obama To Veto Keystone XL Pipeline Legislation


As promised, President Obama has officially notified Congress that he will veto the recent legislation that approved the Keystone XL Pipeline.

From NPR:

The House voted to approve the measure Jan. 9. The Senate approved another version of the bill on Jan. 29. The House voted Feb. 11 to endorse the Senate's changes — which added language saying climate change was real, and oil sands should not be exempt from a spill-cleanup tax — and sent the measure to the White House.

Politicians from both parties, some unions and energy companies support approving the pipeline; environmental groups, some Nebraska landowners and some liberal Democrats oppose it.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate will vote no later than March 3 to override Obama's veto.

Republicans would need two-thirds of votes in each chamber to override Obama's veto. They do not appear to have enough votes to do that.

Republicans argue the pipeline would help America become more energy independent. However, nothing in the legislation guarantees that any oil that would travel from Canada to refineries in the US would STAY in the US. The oil, owned by oil companies, would be for sale to the highest bidder on the global market.

Republicans also claim the legislation "creates jobs." But studies show that after a two year building period utilizing temporary workers as the pipeline progressed acros the nation, the pipeline would create approximately 40 permanent jobs.

Anti-Gay Florist Takes Martyr Lap At Religious Broadcasters Convention

Washington state florist Barronelle Stutzman

Taking her martyr lap from one right wing audience to the next, anti-gay Washington state florist (who was found to have violated the state's anti-discrimination laws) appeared today at the National Religious Broadcasters convention.

Barronelle Stutzman faces fines of up to $2,000 for refusing to serve gay customers seeking flowers for their wedding. She is now the face of martyrdom for the anti-LGBT folks in America.

Stutzman says “I can’t leave my relationship at the door of the Church. Christ is my life.” But, it seems she only refuses to sell flowers to gay folks.

A flower shop is not a church; a florist isn't a pastor; and customers of a business are not required to conform to the owner's religious beliefs.