Saturday, September 24, 2016

Photo Of The Day: President George W. Bush And First Lady Michelle Obama

From photographer David Kennerly on Facebook:

My favorite photo that I took today at a terrific event.

First Lady Michelle Obama gives former President George W. Bush a big hug at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture today.

President Bush signed the bill authorizing the NMAAHC in 2003.

Omarosa Says Donald Trump Wants The Presidency For Revenge

A new PBS Frontline documentary airing next week revisits the night that President Obama humiliated Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents Dinner after the Donald attempted to discredit the president as an American.

Featured in the segment is Omarosa Manigault, former Apprentice contestant, who tells us the true reason why Donald Trump is running for president:

“Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump. It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”

Longtime advisor Roger Stone says that night in 2011 was “the night that [Trump] resolved to run for president.”

The documentary airs Tuesday night on PBS.

Charlotte Police Release Officer's Body Cam Video in Shooting Death Of Keith Scott

CMPD has released the body and dash cam footage in the Keith Lamont Scott shooting investigation. The video was released days after protesters demanded that the footage be made public.

At a press conference in advance of releasing the video, Police Chief Kerr Putney said police became concerned with Scott because they became aware he was "in possession of marijuana" and then saw a gun in his car. He wasn't specific or offering many more details other than Scott wasn't "smoking" marijuana but was "in possession" of it. And that, apparently, made the possession of an alleged gun illegal.

What's unclear is how the police became "aware" of the marijuana in Scott's possession if he was inside his car? And, if he wasn't brandishing his gun, how did the police become aware of that? Did they lean into the window of his car?

I think there are many more questions to be raised after today.

Interesting - at the :43 mark you hear one officer ask the other "You on?" I'm guessing he's wondering if his body cam was on?

Trump Takes The Bait - Again

Donald Trump just can't help himself. All you have to do to get a rise out of him is lay the bait and wait.

As I reported yesterday, billionaire Mark Cuban tweeted the news that he will have a front row seat at Monday's first presidential debate at the invite of the Clinton campaign.

Cuban, as many know, has been an outspoken critic of the Donald and his presidential campaign for months now.

In what is surely the most predictable response, Trump today tweeted in retaliation.

Of course, along the way he initially misspelled Flowers first name, so he deleted and retweeted.

But what's most infantile is bringing up a woman from Bill Clinton's past as some kind of touché.

It does make you wonder if the Trumpster is planning on bringing up Bill's moral lapses of the 80s or 90s as some kind of failure on Hillary's part.

I think that's definitely a losing proposition for Trump, and will hand Hillary the advantage.

Having been with my husband for 22 years - legally married as long as the law would allow, 13 years now - I have respect for those who work their way through marital difficulties.

A whole lot more than someone who cuts and runs on his first two wives.

UPDATE: Ms. Flowers herself took to Twitter to say that she WILL in fact be attending the debate Monday night.

New York Times: Hillary Clinton For President

(image via the New York Times)

The venerable New York Times today endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president.

I'm certain it's no surprise to Republican Donald Trump that his hometown paper doesn't see him as the future leader of the free world. In fact, the Times refers to him as "the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history." (bolding is mine).

The editors focus here on the reasons why voters should consider Clinton this election cycle.

From the editorial board of the New York Times:

In any normal election year, we’d compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year. A comparison like that would be an empty exercise in a race where one candidate — our choice, Hillary Clinton — has a record of service and a raft of pragmatic ideas, and the other, Donald Trump, discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway. (We will explain in a subsequent editorial why we believe Mr. Trump to be the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history.)

But this endorsement would also be an empty exercise if it merely affirmed the choice of Clinton supporters. We’re aiming instead to persuade those of you who are hesitating to vote for Mrs. Clinton — because you are reluctant to vote for a Democrat, or for another Clinton, or for a candidate who might appear, on the surface, not to offer change from an establishment that seems indifferent and a political system that seems broken.

Running down the other guy won’t suffice to make that argument. The best case for Hillary Clinton cannot be, and is not, that she isn’t Donald Trump.

The best case is, instead, about the challenges this country faces, and Mrs. Clinton’s capacity to rise to them.

The Times goes on to list Hillary's considerable experience including her "substantial" achievements as secretary of state, her work on behalf of 9/11 first responders' health care, her efforts in the Senate Arms Forces Committee, her "unusual capacity to reach across the aisle," her life-long record of service to children and families, and her "reputation for grit and bipartisan collaboration."

The editorial board notes that Hillary's career spans the post-Cold War era of the 90s to today's ever-changing political landscape of a world "darkened" by the rise of terrorism.

The endorsement closes thusly:

Mrs. Clinton’s service spans both eras, and she has learned hard lessons from the three presidents she has studied up close. She has also made her own share of mistakes. She has evinced a lamentable penchant for secrecy and made a poor decision to rely on a private email server while at the State Department. That decision deserved scrutiny, and it’s had it. Now, considered alongside the real challenges that will occupy the next president, that email server, which has consumed so much of this campaign, looks like a matter for the help desk. And, viewed against those challenges, Mr. Trump shrinks to his true small-screen, reality-show proportions, as we’ll argue in detail on Monday.

Through war and recession, Americans born since 9/11 have had to grow up fast, and they deserve a grown-up president. A lifetime’s commitment to solving problems in the real world qualifies Hillary Clinton for this job, and the country should put her to work.

Facebook Post Of The Day: "All"

(via Facebook)

First Democratic Endorsement In 100 Years - Cincinnati Enquirer Says Hillary For President

After nearly 100 years of supporting Republican presidential candidates, the Cincinnati Enquirer has endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president.

The Enquirer has supported Republicans for president for almost a century – a tradition this editorial board doesn’t take lightly. But this is not a traditional race, and these are not traditional times. Our country needs calm, thoughtful leadership to deal with the challenges we face at home and abroad. We need a leader who will bring out the best in all Americans, not the worst.

That’s why there is only one choice when we elect a president in November: Hillary Clinton.

Located in the vastly important swing state of Ohio, the endorsement could be of some help to Clinton. No Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio.

Among her accomplishments, the Enquirer points to the inclusivity of her campaign and her ability to consider others' opinions as a hallmark of her campaign. Also noted is her constant message of "building bridges, not walls."

On the flip side, the Enquirer's editorial board takes notice of Donald Trump's weaknesses.

Trump brands himself as an outsider untainted by special interests, but we see a man utterly corrupted by self-interest. His narcissistic bid for the presidency is more about making himself great than America.

Trump tears our country and many of its people down with his words so that he can build himself up. What else are we left to believe about a man who tells the American public that he alone can fix what ails us?

Trump has played fast and loose with the support of white supremacist groups. He has praised some of our country's most dangerous enemies — see Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and Saddam Hussein — while insulting a sitting president, our military generals, a Gold Star family and former prisoners of war like Sen. John McCain.

Why should anyone believe that a Trump presidency would look markedly different from his offensive, erratic, stance-shifting presidential campaign?

Unreleased tax returns, bankruptcies, heavy-handed praise for our country's most dangerous enemies and a long list of unpaid contractors add to the Trumpster's downside.

The editorial board closes with this:

In these uncertain times, America needs a brave leader, not bravado; real solutions, not paper-thin promises; a clear eye toward the future, not a cynical appeal to the good old days.

Clinton has her faults, certainly, but she has spent a lifetime working to improve the lives of Americans both inside and outside of Washington. It's time to elect the first female U.S. president — not because she's a woman, but because she's hands-down the most qualified choice.

Former Heck Campaign Aide: Catherine Cortez Masto Not "Mexican" Enough

A former campaign aide to Congressman Joe Heck, currently running for U.S. Senate in Nevada, raised eyebrows this week when he told the world via Twitter, "Catherine is about as Mexican as I am. It's relevant when applying for scholarhsips...or running for #nvsen."

I'm guessing Tom McAllister didn't go to school on a spelling scholarship.

That aside, it's an odd attack to make on a woman who's grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico. That pretty much means "Mexican" figures into her ethnicity.

It's hard to know if McAllister feels Cortez Masto isn't "Mexican" enough for him to register on the Hispanic scale or what. It reminds me of the folks who said Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America, wasn't "black enough" to be called black.

No matter how you slice it, it's distasteful to bring questions of ethnicity into play here. Twenty-seven percent of Nevadan voters are Hispanic. This is sure to sound "Trumpian" to many of those voters.

Running to replace retiring Sen. Harry Reid, Cortez Masto would be the first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate.

Poll: 72% Of LGBT Voters Support Hillary Clinton

The latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll shows Democrat Hillary Clinton holds a wide lead when it comes to voter support in the LGBT community.

The survey indicates Clinton garners 72% of the LGBT vote compared to Donald Trump's 20%.

Who the hell are these 20% folks? Seriously?

Not only has Trump wavered back and forth in regard to his support for LGBT issues, his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, has a long history of supporting anti-LGBT positions and legislation. Among those dubious achievements are passing, then retreating from, a "religious freedom" bill in his state of Indiana which would have legalized LGBT discrimination.

Clinton still maintains a commanding lead when third party candidates Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are included in the poll. Clinton still receives 63% of registered LGBT voters support, while Trump drops to 15 percent support. Johnson almost ties Trump with 13 percent, and Stein follows down in single digits with 8%.

LGBT voters traditionally lean Democratic when voting in presidential elections. In the 2012 race for the White House, 5% of voters identified as LGBT to the NBC News exit polls, and of those 76% indicated they voted for President Obama.

Super Deluxe Remix Of Fawning Donald Trump/Jimmy Fallon Interview

The folks at Super Deluxe bring you their remix/re-edit of the now infamous Jimmy Fallon "softball" interview of Republican prez hopeful, Donald Trump, that ended in Fallon playfully humanizing Trump by mussing his hair.

Fallon has been taken to task for his fawning over the Trumpster throughout his last appearance on The Tonight Show. Super Deluxe takes the time to underscore Fallon's adoration and flattering adulation.

Contrast this with Fallon greeting Hillary Clinton wearing a face-mask upon her subsequent visit.

Green Party's Jill Stein To Protest Outside 1st Presidential Debate

Green Party candidate Jill Stein

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who did not poll high enough to qualify for the first presidential debate this coming Monday at Hofstra University, says she plans to participate "live in the debate on social media."

Additionally, Stein will take part in a "Let Jill Debate" protest in front of Hofstra University before the debate commences, as well as a "People's Debate."

The commission which plans and organizes presidential debate had set a threshold of an average of 15% polling across five major national polls (ABC-Washington Post, CBS-New York Times, CNN-Opinion Research Corporation, Fox News, and NBC-Wall Street Journal) to qualify for the first debate.

Stein is currently averaging 2.8% nationally according to Real Clear Politics.

Fellow third-party candidate Libertarian Gary Johnson also failed to make the stage as his polling average is currently 8.5%.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Just Because: Olympic Hottie Danell Leyva

Las Vegas: Nyle DiMarco Debuts With Chippendales

Sami Eskelin, Mikey Perez, Nyle DiMarco, James Davis and Jon Howes of Chippendales
Photo - Denise Truscello

Last night I attended the first performance of America's Next Top Model/Dancing with the Stars champ Nyle DiMarco as he took to the Chippendales' stage in Las Vegas at the Rio Hotel and Casino as the iconic male revue's newest celebrity guest host.

Walking out to a standing ovation, DiMarco was all smiles and confidence as he addressed the wildly excited audience. Within a few minutes, he shared that he was thrilled to be making his hosting debut and had some surprises in store. He also taught the audience how to show their applause in sign language, plus - this was really useful - how to sign "Take it off."

The second the audience signed "take it off,' the handsome 27 year old actor/model happily obliged, rippng off his shirt to a loud roar (and waving hands) from the crowd.

DiMarco makes several appearances throughout the evening, from hosting a "dating game" segment, to teaching more American Sign Language, to - yes, you know it - dancing with the men of Chippendales. One dance sequence, to "Uptown Funk," had DiMarco finding a smooth groove wearing a sexy white suit shirtless.

The audience was full of fans, including many from the deaf community. The men of Chippendales made sure several of those fans got some up close and personal time with DiMarco, bringing the thrilled ladies up on stage throughout the show.

I've been a huge fan of DiMarco for sometime now, but to see him live (those eyes), and dancing in perfect time with the men of Chippendales, all I can say is by he took his bow, there wasn't a single butt in a seat. The audience was clearly "Team DiMarco."

And speaking of Team DiMarco, Chippendales seems committed to making Nyle's run exciting for everyone. They've hired ASL translators for every one of his performance's so his fans in the deaf community feel as included as everyone else in enjoying the fun. Plus, I've heard the men of Chippendales learned some sign language in an effort to make Nyle feel as welcome as possible.

If you have time to get to Las Vegas over the next four weeks, make sure you get to the Rio Hotel and check out DiMarco and the men of Chippendales.

Terrific night.

Nyle DiMarco on the red carpet for his opening night with the Chippendales at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

Idina Menzel Drops New Album & Gets Engaged

What an awesome week for Tony Award winner and Frozen star Idina Menzel.

On same day that her new self-titled album, Idina, is released, we get the news that she is now engaged to boyfriend, Aaron Lohr.

Having worked together on the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical RENT, the two began dating after her divorce from husband Taye Diggs in December of 2013.

The two apparently began living together a year ago.

The Tony Award winner is set to star in a 2017 remake of the Bette Midler classic film, Beaches.

I've previewed Menzel's new album a few weeks ago here and here, and you can find it on iTunes here.

I'm a huge fan of Menzel's talent: vast, visceral and uniquely authentic.

Congrats on a great day, Miss Idina.

Spoken Word: "The Single Most Important Vote You'll Ever Cast"

 Spoken word artist and poet IN-Q drops these truths about the current presidential campaign.

'Sometimes you need a great villain to make a great hero/ And that great villain is here/ And that great hero is you/ there's no question in my mind what we all have to do'

From IN-Q: I'm #VotingAgainst Hate, Fear, Racism, Sexism, Bigotry, Xenophobia, Violence and Ignorance. What are you Voting Against?  Register at

IN-Q is a National Poetry Slam Champion and multi-platinum winning songwriter. His groundbreaking performances include selling out the largest one-man poetry show in Los Angeles history, being the first spoken word artist to perform with Cirque Du Soleil, and being featured on HBO's Def Poetry Jam and ESPN’s World Series of Poker.

His newest video, "The Only Reason We're Alive," went viral shortly after it was released and just passed two million views online.

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