Friday, December 2, 2016

News Round-Up: December 2, 2016

Fitness model Nick Sandell

Some news stories you may have missed:

• Nick Sandell wishes you a calm and pec-ful weekend (via Instagram).

• New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie now wants to replace Reince Priebus as head of the Republican National Committee. Since he's not getting a plum spot in the Trump administration, why not?

• Depending on the size of your "YUUUUGE" contribution to the Trump campaign, you may be offered a whole lot of perks for your donation - luncheons, dinners, inaugural balls, access to The Donald. All this could be yours, if the price is right.

• Mad Magazine names outgoing North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to it's annual "20 Dumbest List" over his support for the anti-LGBT legislation, HB2.

• Here's how to get a job in the Trump administration - criticize the Trumpster's "victory" over Carrier Corporation like Sarah Palin just did.

• Walmart comes out on the losing end of a lawsuit after denying same-sex spouses the same health benefits as heterosexual couples. Hurray for the good guys!

• Philadelphia-based, out singer-songwriter Aiden James released a cover of the famous Joni Mitchell tune "River," reimagined with two men at the center of the story.

Video: Countdown To HAIRSPRAY LIVE!


NBC gives us this sneak peek "Countdown to Hairspray Live!"

From Entertainment Weekly:

Hairspray might be set in the ’60s, but the stars of NBC’s upcoming live version of the film and Broadway show think it has a lot to say about modern times, too. “The subject of Hairspray is very current to today,” Jennifer Hudson, who plays Motormouth Maybelle, says in a new featurette. She later explains, “To me, the power in Hairspray is no matter your size, your color, where you’re from, what type of lifestyle you live, it celebrates everyone.”

Hairspray got its start in 1988 as a film, written and directed by John Waters. That version starred a young Ricki Lane as Tracy Turnblad, a plus-size teen girl determined to dance on a local television show, redefine their beauty standards, and desegregate the cast. It then became a Broadway musical, and Adam Shankman directed a feature film adaptation in 2007. Now, Hairspray is the latest in NBC’s slate of live musical broadcasts.

Watch Hairspray Live! on Wednesday, December 7 at 8/7c on NBC.

President Obama And Family Light The National Christmas Tree For The Last Time


Man, I'm going to miss this president.

For the last time, the First Family lights this year's National Christmas Tree.


Unemployment Drops To 4.6% - Lowest Since August 2007


Remember all the cries by Obama bashers who called him "worst president ever!" and "he's made EVERYTHING worse!"

Well, I'm happy to report that the Bureau of Labor Statistics informs us today that the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.6% - the lowest rate since August 2007.

Kind of a funny definition of "the worst," huh?

By all metrics this is fantastic news for the U.S. considering the incredibly deep hole the Bush administration left the country in. As Bush departed the White House, the U.S. economy was hemorrhaging over 700,000 jobs a months for several months.

American businesses have added 15.6 million jobs over more than 6.5 years of job growth.

During the month of November, the U.S. economy saw total nonfarm employment increase by 178,000 jobs.

Additionally, reports show that average hourly earnings increased by 2.5% compared with 12 months ago.

Donald Trump says he's going to "make America great again." His mantra was "Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!"

Well, he's being handed an economy in pretty great shape.

If the unemployment rate goes anywhere but down, it will be a clear black mark on his administration.

(source)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Radio Show: Observing World AIDS Day 2016


Since 1988, we have observed World AIDS Day.

In this episode of The Randy Report radio show, I share messages from world leaders like President Obama and Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom, along with his own remembrances of the impact of this hideous disease.

World AIDS Day is held on the 1st day of December each year, and it is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.

Being diagnosed with HIV today means something very different than it did 20 or 30 years ago. HIV is no longer a death sentence. However, people’s attitudes can make living with HIV really difficult.

Some things from the 1980s and 1990s are worth revisiting, but HIV stigma isn’t one of them. It’s time to end HIV stigma.

During this show, I take a look into the history of the day, how the world looks at the ongoing epidemic and what it means to us as individuals.

What can you do? What is on the horizon in terms of HIV treatment?

Plus, I share my own initial encounter with HIV and what it meant to a 20-something gay man in NYC at the time.

And if you're at a loss for what to do to be a part of this World AIDS Day, I suggests a donation to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS which has been at the forefront of the epidemic since the mid-80s.

Take a listen, and feel free to share this show. Together we can make a difference.

Matt Baume: Trump's 10 Worst Appointees And The Damage They Could Do To LGBTs


From Matt Baume:
Donald Trump's the most pro-gay Republican president-elect in history, right? Well, no -- he's stacking his administration with people who've spent their entire careers going after queer people.

Here are the ten most dangerous people Donald's appointed, the harm that they could do in their new jobs, and what you can do to stop them.

President Obama On World AIDS Day 2016: "Rededicate Ourselves To Ending This Epidemic Once And For All"


World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.

World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.

In the U.S., President Obama's administration was the first to develop the first comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy.

I'm sharing President Obama's full proclamation below not only because today is World AIDS Day, but because I think it's important to know the many varied efforts that take place throughout the year (and years) to help those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Via The White House:

Presidential Proclamation -- World AIDS Day, 2016

WORLD AIDS DAY, 2016

- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Thirty-five years ago the first documented cases of AIDS brought about an era of uncertainty, fear, and discrimination. HIV/AIDS has taken tens of millions of lives -- and far too many people with HIV have struggled to get the care, treatment, and compassion they deserve. But in the decades since those first cases, with ingenuity, leadership, research, and historic investments in evidence-based practices, we have begun to move toward an era of resilience and hope -- and we are closer than ever to reaching an AIDS-free generation. On World AIDS Day, we join with the international community to remember those we have lost too soon, reflect on the tremendous progress we have made in battling this disease, and carry forward our fight against HIV/AIDS.

By shining a light on this issue and educating more communities about the importance of testing and treatment, we have saved and improved lives. Although we have come far in recent decades, our work is not yet done and the urgency to intervene in this epidemic is critical. In the United States, more than 1.2 million people are living with HIV. Gay and bisexual men, transgender people, youth, black and Latino Americans, people living in the Southern United States, and people who inject drugs are at a disproportionate risk. People living with HIV can face stigma and discrimination, creating barriers to prevention and treatment services.

My Administration has made significant efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, including by encouraging treatment as prevention, expanding access to pre-exposure prophylaxis, eliminating waiting lists for medication assistance programs, and working toward a vaccine. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, no one can be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions like HIV, and millions of people can now access quality, affordable health insurance plans that cover important services like HIV testing and screening. In 2010, I introduced the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy in the United States, and last year, through an Executive Order, I updated it to serve as a guiding path to 2020. This update builds on the primary goals of the original Strategy, including reducing the number of HIV-infected individuals and HIV-related health disparities, improving health outcomes for anyone living with HIV and increasing their access to care, and strengthening our coordinated national response to this epidemic.

Currently, more than 36 million people, including 1.8 million children, are living with HIV/AIDS across the globe, and the majority of people living with HIV reside in low- to middle-income countries. We need to do more to reach those who are at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS, and the United States is helping shape the world's response to this crisis and working alongside the international community to end this epidemic by 2030. We have strengthened and expanded the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), with now more than $70 billion invested, to accelerate our progress and work to control this epidemic with comprehensive and data-focused efforts. With PEPFAR support for more than 11 million people on life-saving treatment and through contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria -- including a new pledge of more than $4 billion through 2019 -- there are now more than 18 million people getting HIV treatment and care. Because in sub-Saharan Africa young women and adolescent girls are over eight times more likely to get HIV/AIDS than young men, we launched a comprehensive prevention program to reduce HIV infections among this population in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. This summer, PEPFAR established an innovative investment fund to expand access to quality HIV/AIDS services for key populations affected by the epidemic and reduce the stigma and discrimination that persists. We have also helped prevent millions of new infections worldwide, including in more than 1.5 million babies of HIV-positive mothers who were born free of HIV. By translating groundbreaking research and scientific tools into action, for the first time we are seeing early but promising signs of controlling the spread of HIV.

Accelerating the progress we have made will require sustained commitment and passion from every sector of society and across every level of government around the world. A future where no individual has to suffer from HIV/AIDS is within our reach, and today, we recommit to ensuring the next generation has the tools they need to continue fighting this disease. Let us strive to support all people living with HIV/AIDS and rededicate ourselves to ending this epidemic once and for all. Together, we can achieve what once seemed impossible and give more people the chance at a longer, brighter, AIDS-free future.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 1, 2016, as World AIDS Day. I urge the Governors of the States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join me in appropriate activities to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support and compassion to those living with HIV.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

BARACK OBAMA

Christmas Music: Michael Bublé "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"


From Michael Bublé's 2011 release Christmas.

The fab bombastic arrangement, the smooth Bublé slipping and sliding through the snow, and those oh-so-va-va-voom vocals.

How can you not like this? I actually got a little star-struck when I met the handsome Bublé a few years ago. But - he was completely cool and awesome. Every bit the sexy crooner you want him to be :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gerald McCullouch Talks "Daddy" & "Bear City 3"


Director/actor Gerald McCullouch chats on his new indie film, DADDY, and the upcoming BEAR CITY 3 in this episode of my online radio show, The Randy Report.

I know so many of you read my posts here on the blog, I really encourage you to hit the player below and hear what I actually sound like when I'm interviewing folks.

As an actor, Gerald ("Bones," "NCIS," "House") is recognized around the world for his 10 seasons as Bobby Dawson on “CSI," as well as his critically praised portrayal of "Roger" in the Bear City movies.

Thanks to the global and diverse fan bases of “CSI” and the Bear City movies, he was honored as one of the 100 most compelling people in OUT Magazine’s “OUT 100," and featured in The New York Daily News, LA Daily News, The New York Post, US Weekly and The Advocate, among others.

Gerald originated the role of "Colin" in the NYC world premiere stage production of DADDY and produced the critically acclaimed West Coast premiere, in which he also starred, receiving rave reviews.

DADDY The Movie fared equally as well with the critics. Here are a few quotes from critics:

CIFF: “Funny, erotic, and heart-tugging DADDY explores what a hot, beautiful mess friendship and loyalty are and how to age gracefully while kicking and screaming.”

The Film Reel: “It’s hard to say that the film is anything but wonderful…outstanding.. very powerful and filled with emotion…a fantastic film.”

Zone Culture: "Nothing short of miraculous… credit must be given to the talent of the Via-McCullouch team for making one of the most touching, heartwarming and believable friendships in the history of gay movies.”

Progressive Pulse: “Wonderful and beautiful performances…an impressive directorial debut”

More info on Gerald at www.gerald.biz

Listen to my interview below. And if you like, I really ask that you share :)

News Round-Up: November 30, 2016

Fitness model Nick Sandell

Some news stories you may have missed:

• Who can ever get enough of fitness model Nick Sandell?

• After closing all LGBT charities and legally banning sexual lubricants (because they "promote" homosexuality) earlier this year, the government of Tanzania has now banned all HIV/AIDS outreach programs.

• After years of physical and verbal bullying, 13 year old Tyrone Unsworth of Australia committed suicide last week. "Faggot," "fairy," and "gay boy" were daily taunts Tyrone heard at school until he took his own life.

• Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price, opposes same-sex marriage, opposes protections for transgender folks, says LGBT rights cost too much and wants to completely cut off all federal funds for Planned Parenthood. Sounds like a great guy, huh?

• Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is prepping legislation to extend legal protections for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. This is in anticipation of Donald Trump revoking the executive orders by President Obama which has protected over 700K young people to avoid deportation.

• More from calendar season! Today, we've got out singer/songwriter Tom Goss offering up his "beefcake" calendar. Head over to his official website to order.

Christmas Music: Josh Groban "Little Drummer Boy"


Josh Groban's 2007 release NOEL should be a staple in anyone's holiday collection.

I love the drama of the arrangement, and the military drum section kills.

Anti-LGBT Gov. Pat McCrory Looks To Be Toast As Roy Cooper's Lead Crosses 10K Threshold


It looks like anti-LGBT North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is going to need to face the reality that his days in the North Carolina state house are coming to an end.

And it couldn't happen to a better guy. You'll recall McCrory championed, signed and defended his state's HB2, an anti-LGBT law which among other things prevents transgender folks from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

Thanks to the law, the Tarheels state has lost millions in income as conventions, concerts and other events have cancelled over the discriminatory legislation.

Democratic challenger, state Attorney General Roy Cooper, refused to defend HB2, and currently has a lead of more than 10,000 votes in the race for the governorship.

Hump Day: Bryan Hawn Is Most Definitely A "Mother*ckin" Starboy

Bryan Hawn puts the "humpy" in Hump Day

It's Hump Day! And what better way to celebrate than a bit of Bryan Hawn's magical "humps."

Hawn is on fire as a humpy fireman crooning his version of The Weeknd's "Starboy."

Plus, Hawn brings along a playmate for the video romp.

Make sure you follow Hawn on Facebook here.

Click the clip below and take a well-deserved mid-day brain break.



The Trump Cabinet Is Not Looking Good For The Gays


Newsflash - Donald Trump, who during the presidential campaign said he'd be "so much better for the gays," is not doing so great for the gays when you realize that all of his administration appointments so far oppose equal rights for LGBTs.

The guy who could barely pronounce "L-G-B-T-Q" at his national convention looks like he's rounding up every anti-LGBT political personality he can find.

Let's look at Trump's choice for Attorney General, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. Sessions voted against marriage equality, repealing DADT, and received a prefect "0" rating from the Human Rights Campaign.

Really makes you feel like America's next "Top Cop" is really going to be looking out for you, huh?

Secretary of Education nominee, Betsy DeVos, donated $700,000 to various anti-LGBT groups who fought tooth and nail against same-sex marriage. Plus, she basically opposes fixing public schools and would like to see school vouchers become the norm.

Secretary of Health and Human Services choice, Tom Price, is another total zero, at least when it comes to his Human Rights Campaign rating thanks in great part to his co-sponsorship of the First Amendment Defense Act which would legalize LGBT discrimination based on "deeply held religious beliefs. Plus, he called the Obergefell decision "a sad day for marriage."

Vice President Mike Pence - where to start? He started an international shit storm last year when he signed Indiana’s anti-LGBT ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’ into law, giving businesses the right to discriminate against gay people on the grounds of religion.

Pence would also like to repeal President Obama’s executive protections on LGBT rights, so that “the transgender bathroom issue can be resolved with common sense at the local level”.

Under Reince Priebus' leadership,  the GOP adopted it's most into-LGBT platform in years. Priebus has been tagged for the plum role of Chief of Staff in the Trump administration. He also bears the pride of a zero rating from the HRC,

Incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has a long history of opposing gays in the military. Most recently he was very verbal about allowing transgender folks to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces.

Stay tuned for more. I'm sure this is just the tip of the titanic Trump iceberg.

BREAKING: Officer Who Shot Keith Lamont Scott "Acted Lawfully"


From CNN:

Charlotte police Officer Brentley Vinson's deadly use of force was lawful the day he killed Keith Lamont Scott, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray said Wednesday in announcing no charges will be filed in the case.

In response to public speculation about whether Keith Lamont Scott was armed the day he was killed by police, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray said "all the credible evidence" leads to the conclusion Scott was armed.

His DNA was found on the grip of a gun found at the scene, Murray said.

Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray is holding a news conference, describing new details from the day Keith Lamont Scott was killed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Brentley Vinson.

Murray showed surveillance footage from a convenience store shortly before Scott was shot at an apartment complex. The footage showed a bulge around Scott's ankle. Murray said the bulge is consistent with the holster and gun later described by officers.

The district attorney also said at least three officers reported seeing Scott holding a gun before he was shot, though dashcam video did not show that detail.

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