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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dish of the Day #54

From: Deep Dish

‘It Was My Primal Scream’

A lifelong progressive was so disgusted with her party, she voted for Trump. Will Democrats care enough to win her back?
From: Politico
Three weeks before Election Day, as she sat at her kitchen table to fill out her ballot, Kim McKinney Cohen was angry and fed up. The Democratic Party, to which she had been unswervingly loyal for four decades, had sabotaged her chosen candidate, Bernie Sanders, and then lectured her about the need to vote for a woman whose hawkishness and arrogance rubbed her the wrong way. When Hillary Clinton said dismissively supporters of Donald Trump were “a basket of deplorables,” Cohen had heard enough.

“Well, then,” she sighed, "I guess I'm a deplorable.”

She took a black ink pen and carefully shaded in the rectangle next to the name Donald J. Trump.

With that she had defied every vote she had made since 1974. She defied a president she had supported twice, officials of a party to which she had devoted countless hours of volunteer labor and her fellow progressives, even her husband, who accused her of aiding and abetting a racist. She ignored her own belief that Trump was a “buffoon” and a “showman.” She never wore a “Make America Great Again” hat or a “Women for Trump” button or carried a Trump sign, because she never believed in anything he stood for. But hers wasn't a vote in favor of someone; it was a vote against.

A longtime home health care aide, Cohen has many characteristics of a voter the Democratic Party typically relies on winning: African-American, environmentally conscious, pro-choice, pro-labor, pro-gun control. But this year she checked another box: pro-change. When it came down to it, she was angrier at her own party's leaders than she was appalled by a man who cozies up to white nationalist and anti-Semitic groups. She wanted to throw it back in the face of her party.

Kim McKinney Cohen and her husband Robert Carl Cohen 
“It was my primal scream,” Cohen says. “I wasn’t gonna take it anymore.”

She honestly never imagined Trump would win. And even though she finds his choices for Cabinet and other top White House jobs “cringe-worthy,” Cohen doesn't regret her radical act of defiance. She feels that by helping take the Democrats to rock bottom, they’ve been “given a gift” to rebuild their party.

“I wanted it burned down ... so that we could build a new, hopefully more equitable one that meets the needs of all, not only the super-rich,” she said.

Statistically, Cohen’s vote makes her an outlier. She is among the 10 percent of liberals, 8 percent of blacks and 42 percent of women who voted for Trump, according to the New York Times exit polling data. She’s not a member of the white working class, some already lukewarm Democrat who hoped Trump would bring back jobs to the local coal mine or save the air-conditioning plant from moving to Mexico. In fact, as an older black woman, Cohen belonged to a group that sided overwhelmingly with Clinton. Most minority protest voters, according to Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher, went for third-party candidates, and they were young, between the ages of 18 and 29.

“It’s not like there were a ton” of black liberals who voted for Trump, Belcher said. “But [Cohen] was important because she contributed to Hillary’s failure.” (In Cohen's case, this contribution may have been mostly symbolic; her home state of Colorado was considered a swing state, but went for Clinton.)

As Democrats fret over how to woo back the white working class, they’d also be well served by taking a look at how many true believers like Kim Cohen they lost, as well, and what it will take to make peace with them.


The roots of Cohen’s disenchantment with her party go back to the Iraq War. She was incensed in May 2007 when Democrats caved to GOP demands to continue funding the war with no deadline to withdraw troops. Cohen, at the time a precinct captain in Boulder, Colorado, railed against the newly installed Democratic majority. “By giving in to Bush, the Democratic Party bosses have demonstrated their disdain for their base,” Cohen, her hair in dreadlocks, shouted into a microphone. “Their attitude toward us, the voters, seems to be: They don't have to worry about losing our support because we have nowhere to go; it's a two-party system.”

She was mad at Democrats for backing Bush tax cuts and bailing out rich bankers while struggling people lost their homes. Even her president, whose historic election she had celebrated eight years ago through tears of joy, seemed to have grown complacent and cautious. Republicans were still the enemy, in her mind, but Democrats were betraying their own agenda.

Bernie’s campaign spoke directly to her, perhaps not so surprising for someone who had supported Dennis Kucinich in 2004 (she was a convention delegate). Twelve years later, she hopped on the popular socialist’s bandwagon. She gave his campaign contributions totaling $262, which for her, with a chronically ill, 41-year-old son living at home, was a hardship. But she believed Sanders could repair economic inequality, curb corporate greed and weed out special interests in Washington.

Cohen had never been particularly enamored of Hillary Clinton. She didn’t like the way Clinton, when her husband first ran for president in 1992 and later, as first lady, handled her adulterous husband’s “bimbo eruptions.” In fact, her exasperation with the Clintons led her to become a political activist. After the bombshell news dropped in 1998 that President Bill Clinton had carried on an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office, Cohen would spend hours glued to TV coverage of the unfolding scandal and ensuing impeachment proceedings. Her husband finally told her, “ Quit yelling at the TV and go do something about it!” (She left the house and came home later announcing she’d enlisted to become a precinct captain.)

During Clinton’s campaign this year, Cohen was angrily reminded of a comment from the former first lady in 1996, when she called young black criminals “super predators.” And then came the midsummer WikiLeaks revelations—courtesy of the Kremlin—that Democratic National Committee officials undermined Sanders’ legitimacy as a candidate. They confirmed her worst suspicions about the party and the woman who had locked up its nomination. But the final straw was Clinton’s “deplorables” comment at a rally in September. Hillary had again insulted working-class Americans, Cohen felt. The thought crossed her mind: Maybe I’ll join them.

“I went all in for Bernie,” she said. “But the DNC burned him, so I went off the plantation to become a deplorable.”

Cohen’s passion for justice comes from an early life of hard knocks. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Cohen was 7 when her mother abandoned her and her siblings, on the same day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. She moved to Los Angeles at 13, had a child at 15, married four years later and had a son. Her husband lost his job, turned to drugs and committed suicide on Memorial Day 1980. A little over a decade later, after marrying and divorcing a truck driver, Kim met her current husband, a Jewish artist and liberal activist named Robert “Bob” Carl Cohen, who made a series of films sympathetic to Communist regimes in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including “Inside Red China” and “Inside East Germany,” as well as an exposΓ© on the anti-Communist witch hunts by the House Un-American Activities Committee. (He also made the low-budget film, “Mondo Hollywood,” which became a cult classic in the 1970s.)

Last summer, Bob, 86, wasn’t pleased that Kim’s live-in son, Dale, who suffers from malignant hypertension, had begun watching Fox News regularly. (Dale also wound up voting for Trump.) One night before bed he asked his wife, who shared his aversion to the conservative news network, to put a stop to it.

“I went out there, I said, ‘Dale, Bob says you’re watching right-wing media.’”

She said Dale shushed her and said, “Come on, sit down.” When Trump famously asked black voters, “What the hell do you have to lose?” Kim Cohen thought to herself, “Yeah, what the hell do I have to lose?”

Bob and Kim would argue about Trump, but he never tried to talk her out of voting for him. (He wasn’t exactly fond of Clinton either; he wrote in Bernie Sanders’ name on his ballot.) He says he understands how she was “pushed to the wall by the cynicism” of her party’s establishment and why she views them as “hypocritical opportunists.”

A proud feminist, Kim Cohen had fought all her life for equal rights for women. But in the end, she decided, “I need a job more than I need a woman in the White House.”

Cohen’s stepdaughter, Julia Cohen, a prominent Washington progressive political and environmental consultant who ran the 2000 Youth Vote Coalition, said she was “shocked” when, over Thanksgiving, her father and stepmom visited and Kim announced that she had carried out her threatened act of nonviolent resistance. Julia made a concerted effort to listen to her stepmother, whom she said she loves and admires, but also went to some lengths to avoid awkward clashes between Kim and her emotionally wounded friends who had just returned from working on the Clinton campaign.

Bob Cohen said his wife’s vote is her business. “I love her as a person,” Bob Cohen says of his wife, “but I refuse to have any opinion regarding how she, or anyone else, may or may not vote.” Still, according to Kim, he wasn’t above giving her a dig after the election, asking: “How do you like the KKK now?”


Locally, Kim Cohen’s protest vote didn’t change anything. Colorado voted for Clinton anyway. And this raises the question of how seriously Democratic Party leaders will take Cohen’s protest vote. They can write her off as an aberration, some misguided radical; or they can take a hard look at this African-American committed progressive, the quintessential Democratic base voter, who couldn’t be swayed to vote for the fuzzy-messaged candidate at the top of the ticket.

Belcher, an African-American pollster who studies racial demographics and the uthor of A Black Man in the White House, calls Cohen’s vote “important” because she still contributed to Hillary’s failure by embracing, what he calls, “the greater of two evils.” Belcher views Cohen’s vote for Trump as dangerously counterproductive, however. The president-elect, he said, is an “existential threat to people of color in this country like we have not seen since George Wallace.”

“You do our forefathers a great disservice when in the face of this threat you throw a temper tantrum. [Clinton] wasn’t the candidate who was putting a white nationalist in the White House,” Belcher said, referring to Trump’s chief adviser and former head of Breitbart.com, Steve Bannon.
But simply running a defensive campaign against Trump, rather than crafting a message with broad appeal to voters anxious about income stagnation, clearly failed to inspire voters like Cohen, whom the party assumed were in the bag.

Doug Hattaway, a Democratic research and communications strategist, advised Democrats after their disastrous showing in the 2014 midterm elections that the party needed to shift from what he calls “transactional messaging”—selling policy prescriptions to specific groups—to “aspirational communications.”

“You speak to people’s aspirations because that’s what motivates people,” says Hattaway.

Belcher concurs that if Democrats want to win back those who strayed, they’ll need to run a different campaign and “quit chasing this mythical white swing voter, a resistant segment of the marketplace. It makes no goddamned sense.”

Judging from congressional Democrats’ weak attempts at self-rehabilitation since Election Day, Kim Cohen is not especially optimistic they’ll reform. Reelecting Nancy Pelosi—whom Cohen calls a “lightning rod”—as the minority leader in the House was unwise by Cohen’s standards. Choosing Senator Charles Schumer as their Senate leader doesn’t show much understanding for the need for change, either, she says.

But there are plenty of prominent people who still say the voters are ultimately responsible for the disastrous outcome. Karen Finney, a Clinton campaign spokeswoman whose late father was a prominent civil rights activist and lawyer, is still reeling from the election loss. As a biracial woman, she takes this year’s protest votes very personally.

“It’s just irresponsible,” Finney said, likening this year’s protest voters to those who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, handing the election to George W. Bush and “indirectly contributing to the Iraq War and so many lives lost.” She said it’s “painfully ironic to see history repeat itself” with Trump “fostering a climate of bigotry and mainstreaming white nationalism right into the White House.”

Cohen is sickened, too, by the hate-mongering she has seen surrounding the Trump campaign, but she doubts things will get much worse than they are already for people of color just because Trump is in the White House. Her biggest concern remains: How will her party reclaim its liberal mission?

“I hope I never have to vote for a Republican ever again,” Cohen said.


From: Manhunt Daily
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Guydar: Windy City

From: Boy Culture
I shot this a while back, but this is how it's felt in NYC lately — like Chicago, windy to the point of WTF.

Nick Canon held a ball in his hands


Milk wore tights

cap'n crunch
πŸ“Έ : @nisian

Rodiney Santiago went skiing shirtless


Andy Cohen opened wide

Trying out possible new hosting poses for the new studio! #WWHL

Tyson Beckford gave a view from the best angle

Hello there chest dayπŸ’ͺ🏾#teamtyson #tysonbeckford #fitness#beckfordbar #abs

Justin Bieber returned to Instagram, via his good ole dad‘s account.

Built like I was now I'm fat lol #handsomeson

Eliad Cohen wore his towel to the beach

Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully. πŸŒ…

Simon Dunn got in the Christmas spirit

Have you been NAUGHTY or NICE this year? πŸ“Έ: @studiochristianscott

Abercrombie poster boy Alex Libby was horny in the library.

Books make me horny

Brad Goreski took his coffee in bed

I love New York like I love a good cup of coffee πŸ—½❤️☕️ It's been fun having you as my home away from home this year!

74th Golden Globe Awards -- Best Screenplay

And The Nominees Are:

Damien Chazelle 
La La Land

Tom Ford 
Nocturnal Animals

Barry Jenkins 

Kenneth Lonergan
Manchester by the Sea

Taylor Sheridan
Hell or High Water

Google Doodle for December 18, 2016

Steve Biko’s 70th Birthday

Black is beautiful. Steve Biko knew this fully well, and fought to spread this message across South Africa at the height of the apartheid movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

While in medical school, Biko co-founded the Black Consciousness Movement, which rejected apartheid policies and encouraged black people to take pride in their racial identities and cultural heritages. Biko famously said, “Black Consciousness is an attitude of the mind and a way of life, the most positive call to emanate from the black world for a long time.”

In February of 1973, the pro-apartheid government banned Biko for anti-apartheid activism. Under this ban, Biko wasn’t allowed to speak to more than one person at a time, was forbidden to speak in public and to the media, and was forced to stay in a single district. In spite of this, Biko continued to form grassroots organizations and organize protests, including the Soweto Uprising in June of 1976.

On the 70th anniversary of Biko’s birth, we remember his courage and the important legacy he left behind. Thank you, Steve Biko, for dedicating your life to the pursuit of equality for all.

23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards - Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

And The Nominees Are:

Millie Bobby Brown 
Stranger Things 

Claire Foy 
The Crown 
Queen Elizabeth II

Thandie Newton 
Maeve Millay

Winona Ryder 
Stranger Things
Joyce Byers

Robin Wright 
House of Cards 
Claire Underwood

Favorite Birthday boy for December 18th

Favorite Hunk Hall of Famer Brad Pitt turns 53 today.
From: Favorite Hunks & Other Things


Favorite Pic of the Day: December 18, 2007

From: Favorite Hunks & Other Things

TCM Remembers 2016

Our memories of & farewells to all those actors and filmmakers who've passed away in 2016. We will always remember you.

Guydar: Hung With Care

From: Boy Culture

Dish of the Day #1801: Holiday Hunks

Today's Dish is Sean Zevran.
From: Deep Dish

25 Gays of Christmas

It’s December: Get Christmasy with Sofonda Cox and Friends

Toronto drag performers Sofonda Cox, Jada Hudson, and Devine Darlin’ bring in the holiday season with a classic Mariah lip sync while chilling with Santa, performing a street side mannequin challenge and dancing choreography at the mall in front of a giant light-up reindeer. Ho ho ho!

Favorite Stade Guy of the Day: December 18, 2007

LoΓ―c Jacquet
From: Favorite Hunks & Other Things

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