On this blog you I am going to share my world with you. What can you expect to find here -- First of all lots of sexy men, off all shapes and types, something for everyone, as I can find beauty in most men. You are going to find that I have a special fondness for Vintage Beefcake and Porn of the 60's, 70's, and 80's. Also, I love the average guy, and if you want to see yourself on here, just let me know. Be as daring as you like, as long as you are of age, let me help you share it with the world! Also, you are going to find many of my points of views, on pop culture, politics and our changing world. Look to see posts about pop culture, politics, entertainment, sex, etc. There is not any subject that I find as something I won't discuss or offer my point of view. Most of all, I hope you are going to enjoy what I post. ENJOY!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mom of girl wrestler who lost to trans boy has sympathy for him

Mack Beggs of Texas is in the state championships.
From: OutSports
Mack Beggs
Mack Beggs is a transgender teenage boy in Texas and a wrestler. Under insanely outdated and silly rules in the state, Beggs must compete in meets in the girls division because that was the gender on his birth certificate. It’s engendered sympathy for him even from a parent of a girl he beat.

"Mack wants to wrestle boys and he'll never be recognized as a boy because of the birth certificate in the state of Texas," Lisa Latham said after Beggs' 18-7 victory over her daughter Taylor in the 110-pound class in the first round of the state meet Friday. "And female wrestlers don't have a chance."

This is a lousy situation for Beggs, who wants to compete with boys. It’s also lousy for girls like Taylor who will have little chance against a boy bigger and stronger. All it does it point out how stupid and ignorant Texas sports officials are to keep a rule requiring student-athletes to compete in the gender division listed on their birth certificate.

Beggs has not lost yet this season and is in the state championships. Parents such as Lisa Latham have complained that Beggs has an unfair advantage because he is allowed to take testosterone while transitioning. But the use of the steroid was OKd by state high school officials as a medical necessity for him. Parents complaining about this should train their anger on the policy, not on a teenager who simply wants to compete. Do they think he should just not wrestle anybody?

Beggs is facing intense media coverage this weekend. “When the match neared, cameras circled around Beggs as he warmed up,” the Dallas Morning News reported. “Beggs came running out of an opposite entrance just before the bout and wrestled Latham. Television cameras and media lined the match during the entire bout.”

I understand the media attention, but it is a lot for a 17-year-old to deal with. He is wisely not commenting and I hope this absurd situation leads to meaningful change for trans athletes in Texas.

Making America Hopeful Again

Dustin Lance Black on his first time as an activist, the power of collective protesting and changing hearts with ‘When We Rise’
From: Gloss
 With an emotionally resonant acceptance speech, Dustin Lance Black accepted the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2009 for Milk, a powerful tribute to gay political hero Harvey Milk. Could an Emmy be next?

It’s possible, even if the 42-year-old Sacramento native is too modest to admit that his latest screen ambition, When We Rise, the accomplished filmmaker’s tremendous seven-part undertaking chronicling the progressive uprising of the ’60s and ’70s, is certainly golden statue-worthy. Partly inspired by LGBT rights activist Cleve Jones’ memoir, When We Rise: My Life in the Movement, the miniseries sheds light on our foremothers and -fathers who raised hell – working to combat misogyny, homophobia and racism – to create a changed world for future generations of, as the show declares, “others.”

“With this show, I measure success by whether I get a phone call from one of my Southern family members who have never talked about being gay,” Black says. “When that happens, and that conversation is started, it will have succeeded.”

And should that conversation stretch beyond Black’s own parochial loved ones, its influence could be life-changing for those in the queer population who now find themselves trying to resist the oppression of Trump’s America.

For that reason, When We Rise is shockingly relevant, especially considering its half-century-old history isn’t just history – it’s our current reality.

During this intimate conversation with Black, the filmmaker gets candid about the beginning of his activism at age 7, the importance of “we” in any resistance movement, and how sharing a story is the first step in changing a mind.

Tell me how this miniseries ended up on a commercial network like ABC.

This project started for me four years ago, when I heard a rumor that ABC was looking at optioning LGBT history properties, and I called my agent and was like, “Is that true?” Just four years before, I had to charge the development cost of Milk on my credit card because no one wanted to pay for it – no one was interested! So, I had made my agent book a meeting with the powers that be at ABC, to look them in the eye and see if it was true – and it was. The funny thing is, they said, “We can’t afford you, but who do you think would be good to write and create something like this?” and I just laughed (laughs). Like, come on!

So, I thought, “Boy, this is an incredible opportunity to tell our LGBT story, or a part of our LGBT story, and not be preaching directly to the choir.” I had other networks that had been interested for a long time in something of this nature, and I thought, “They’re gonna spend more money, they’re gonna give me all the time in the world, it’ll be a great experience and we’ll get it absolutely right… and we’re gonna turn around and preach directly to the choir and we might not change a single mind.” Here, I had a chance to tell our stories on the network that I watched as a kid, because as a kid, I grew up in the South, I grew up in the military, I grew up in a conservative home, in a Christian home, and we trusted ABC because ABC told family stories. I thought, “Well, here’s a chance to finally be able to tell the story of my LGBT family to my actual family,” and that’s what I set out to do. That’s why I think it’s remarkable that it’s on ABC. We’ve come to a place where we can perhaps talk the same language of family between these two Americas, and perhaps change hearts and minds in a time when that seems absolutely, critically necessary.

Did you go to the recent Women’s March? And having shot a similar march for When We Rise, did it feel like history repeating itself?

I’m living in London, and we certainly walked through Trafalgar Square, which was jammed with thousands of people. I have to say, I’ve heard the rallying cry at many marches that says, “Gay, straight, black, white, same struggle, same fight.” But usually it’s either mostly black and a little white, or mostly gay and maybe a few straight, even though we chant that chant. This is the first time it truly seemed gay, straight, black, white. It was diverse. And that was, frankly, heartening.

The reason I designed this show the way I designed it was because four years ago, I was concerned that social justice movements were becoming incredibly myopic and self-interested, forgetting that we need to work together if we’re gonna get anywhere. Not understanding the intersections of our movements, losing sight of where those intersections are, and certainly forgetting the great power that we can gain by working together. So, I was worried. We were becoming divided, and it’s why I insisted when designing the show that I find real people who came from other movements, not just the LGBT movement – people who came from the women’s movement, the black civil rights movement, the peace movement, and the series eventually touches on immigration and healthcare.
The most important word in the struggle for equality is “we.” It’s why I told ABC right from the beginning when we designed the title: “We” has to be the biggest word in it. It’s a word we’ve forgotten, and it’s the answer to beating back a backlash. The key is that we have to struggle together. So, I was heartened, frankly, by the diversity I saw, not just in the march that I was physically present for here in London, but the ones I paid careful attention to on TV and online. It gives me a little bit of hope.

When We Rise touches on this glancingly, but I want to remind gay men that the Gay Liberation Front (of 1969) started as a group of men who were feminists because feminism says loud and clear that “gender ought not determine destiny,” and that means one thing to women, but it certainly means that gay men ought to be able to love who they love regardless of gender. So, gay men need to examine why we haven’t been more vocally feminist.

How was the idea for When We Rise first conceived?

I toyed with the idea for a long time. After Milk was over, I started to think about other stories that need to be told, and I’m doing other LGBT-themed history projects, but I always wondered, “Was there something bigger, and how would I go about doing that?” As I met people – activists – along the way, I would sort of catalog their names in my head in case I ever got the chance to do something like this, and it was ABC saying they would actually pay for a year of research to really figure out who to depict that set it in motion.

So, it was always something I wanted to do, and I thought ABC was the right home for it. So then, at great personal expense, I set out on a journey. Let me just say nobody made any money off this thing. If anything, my poor agent and business manager were sweating it as we got it to year four.

You have Rachel Griffiths, Mary-Louise Parker and Guy Pearce, and then a terrific cast playing them in their youth. How did the casting process work for this? Did you have any of these actors in mind while researching the real-life person they’re playing?

I never think about who will play the parts while I’m writing if it’s based on a true story because I’m working so hard to get the real people right. Certainly, by the time I was writing the finale, I started brainstorming, and I had one dream for (lesbian women’s rights activist) Roma Guy and that was Mary-Louise Parker, and I had one dream for Cleve Jones and that was Guy Pearce.

Then, I got this very emotional, beautiful phone call from Michael K. Williams (who plays Ken Jones, African-American community organizer) while I was at the airport scouting locations in San Francisco. He told me how personally meaningful the scripts were to him, and he talked about the people he lost – his friends and fellow artists in New York – when he was growing up, and I could just tell it was coming from a very personal place, so you can’t beat that personal connection.
The young cast – we went out searching, and we just wanted to cast the very best people. (Transgender civil rights leader) Cecilia Chung was a really interesting one to me. I had said to my casting director that I only wanted to cast trans actors and actresses in the show to play the trans roles, and they brought up Ivory (Aquino) to play Cecilia Chung. I got a little upset with him and said, “You know, I told you it’s important we make an effort and cast trans actors and actresses for these roles,” and he said, “We think you need to get on the phone with Ivory,” and Ivory came out to me as trans on the phone call. She’s now come out to the world.

Why was it important for you to include actual trans actors in the trans roles?

First and foremost, when I’m casting any role, I’m gonna look for somebody who can bring a part of their experience to the role. They still have to be a great actor, so if I can’t find anyone in the world who shares some experience that they’re about to portray in this character, who’s also a good actor, then I’ll happily go for someone else. And the big surprise is, it was not hard to find amazing trans actors and actresses to play these parts. What was difficult was deciding who to cast because so many great tapes came in. So, I call bullshit on Hollywood if they say it’s difficult. And if they think it’s difficult, then they should call our casting directors because they found unbelievable trans actors and actresses, and it was actually tough to decide who to cast.

I think people have the impression it is difficult based on what they’ve heard from directors and casting agents, so this is refreshing to hear.

It’s not true. I’ll tell you what was difficult: Years ago, it was difficult to find openly gay actors to play openly gay roles – that was difficult. When we were doing Milk, that’s what we said we wanted to do, and the studio gave us full permission to do that. So, we called agents and manager friends and they all said they didn’t have any gay actors or actresses, which is funny since I knew some of their clients were gay! (Laughs)

It was very frustrating, but thankfully that’s begun to change as well, particularly in this young generation of actors and actresses who, in one way or another, have come out on social media when they were kids and there’s no putting them back in the closet in today’s social-media age.
An interesting tidbit to share is, they also worked incredibly hard with the real people when that was possible. For both the young cast and the old cast, on my own dime, I flew up the real people to wherever we were shooting so they could be there to work with the costume department, the set design department and the actors, just to make sure we were as close to truthful as possible.

Do you remember the first time you stood up for something you believed in?

(Ponders) My mom was paralyzed from polio since she was 7 years old. She had the use of her arms, but that was about it. So, I grew up with a severely disabled mom, and I didn’t quite know that or realize that until I was probably 7 years old, somewhere in the early years of elementary school when we started having to be out in public with strangers. The way they looked at her and the way they treated her, it ate at me.

I was an incredibly shy kid. I rarely said a word in school. But there was this student named Anthony who was severely mentally disabled, and he would get bullied constantly. I remember the time I finally stood up for him. I was very afraid, because I was a tiny little thing (laughs). And I remember trembling, but the bullies backed down. I told that story to my mom, and my mom looked me in the eyes and said, “You have a strong sense of justice – where does that come from?” And the answer is pretty obvious: I was hiding a pretty big difference of my own, and I knew at that point that I had crushes on my guy friends and not the girls in school. Certainly, having watched my mom being treated so differently because of her difference, those sorts of moments of witness instilled a sense of justice in me.

And now you are one of our most recognized activists.

Well, your job’s incredibly important right now. I can’t overstate how much we depend on journalists right now to stand up for the truth, so good on you.

We both tell stories about LGBT people, and I imagine, like me, you hope that non-queers see your work and come away with a sense of just… humanity.

That’s the key, isn’t it? Listen, this show is for ABC. As a kid who grew up watching ABC in the South in a Christian, military home I knew I could show up at the dinner table with all the laws and facts and science I wanted and I wouldn’t change a single mind. You want to change a mind in that other America? You gotta lead from the heart, and you do that by telling stories, not by arguing facts or the Constitution.

So, that’s what I came armed with for When We Rise. I went out and did my best to find true stories – in particular, stories of families, because the family story transcends these two Americas. There’s not a lot we think we have in common right now, but both Americas have family stories, and we can both be moved by each other’s family stories. That’s why I mine family stories: the families we lost when so many of us were outed or came out, the makeshift families we had to build to survive, and eventually the families we were able to build and raise.
So, by that design, you tell an emotional story, you can change a heart; if you can change a heart, you can change a mind; you change a mind, you can change the law. But it goes in that order, and so this is the first step of that. Let’s try and change some hearts.

Locker Room Mural by Leonard

Leaked ObamaCare bill outlines GOP plan

From: The Hill
A draft House Republican ObamaCare bill would dismantle the core aspects of the healthcare law and replace them with a system centered on a new tax credit.

The draft bill was provided to The Hill by a lobbying source and was first reported by Politico.

The measure is dated February 10, so it is not the most recent version of Republicans’ plan. It is unclear how much has changed since then.

The bill would eliminate subsidies for people to obtain coverage, and federal funds for states to expand Medicaid would be phased out in 2020. The mandate for people to buy insurance would also be killed. 

Those elements were also included in an outline that House Republicans circulated to lawmakers last week. The draft bill, though, includes dollar figures, which that outline had not included.
The plan calls for a tax credit, which would increase based on a person’s age, to help recipients afford insurance. The credit would be between $2,000 and $4,000.

In contrast to ObamaCare, the credits are not based on income, which Democrats argue means not enough help is given to low-income people to be able to afford coverage. Republicans say income-based credits discourage work.

The plan also includes $10 billion per year in “state innovation grants,” which are a version of high-risk pools but appear to allow for a broader array of uses for the money by states. The money could be used by states to help sick people get coverage and stabilize premiums.

As an alternative to ObamaCare’s individual mandate, the plan would allow insurers to charge people 30 percent more on their premiums if they had a gap in coverage and then signed up again.

The plan also includes a “per capita cap” for Medicaid, which imposes a per-person cap on federal spending on Medicaid. A lobbyist who reviewed the language said the Medicaid provisions were more generous than expected, based on the growth that is set out for the cap on federal payments.

What to do about the federal funds allowing states to expand Medicaid has been a huge point of division for Republicans.

States that expanded Medicaid, many of them run by GOP governors, do not want to see the federal funds killed off. Other Republicans say they should be phased out.

The GOP plan is paid for in part through a proposal to start taxing more generous employer-sponsored health insurance plans. The proposal would start taxing plans above the 90th percentile of premiums.

That idea is controversial among Republicans, with some warning the idea is imposing a new tax.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee had been eyeing March 1 for a markup on a ObamaCare repeal-and-replacement bill, but sources now say the markup is not likely until at least the week of March 6.

Laverne Cox and Gavin Grimm Speak Out About Trump’s Anti-Trans Actions on The View

From: Towleroad
Laverne Cox spoke by telephone and Gavin Grimm appeared Thursday on daytime television talk show The View to discuss Grimm’s forthcoming Supreme Court case that will decide the applicability of Title IX protections for transgender students, as well as the Trump administration’s recent action to roll back federal guidelines to schools offering such protections.

The joint participation of the two followed Cox’s supportive mention by name of Grimm on the Grammy Awards telecast last week. Cox, speaking from Los Angeles, explained her motives:

“A lot of people know more about his story now, so that this young man can come forward with his courage and brilliance and assert his humanity, because ultimately this is about the humanity of trans young people.”

Cox said of Grimm that she felt “often in our country’s history, it is a person that is not intended to be a symbol or to be famous who has just stood up for what is right who has been chosen.” She reminded those listening that the issue of “bathroom access is often not about bathrooms” but about equal treatment. For his part, Grimm said that although his fight began about his individual case, “we’re looking to do whatever we can for people who come after me.”

With regard to the Trump administration’s torpedoing of Obama’s federal educational guidelines, both were united in opposition, and were applauded by the hosts and studio audience in doing so. Grimm pointed out that “when you leave decisions on civil rights up to states, it happens for a very long time that people don’t have civil rights,” while Cox agreed that “this is not a states’ rights issues—it is a civil rights issue.”

Cox also cited troubling statistics, namely that 77% of trans children experience bullying or harassment in schools while nearly 50% attempt suicide, in highlighting why it is so important to offer trans students the support they need.

La La Land’s inevitable Oscars win is a disaster for Hollywood – and for us

This year’s other best picture nominees have heart, soul and humanity. Damien Chazelle’s tawdry, dispiriting confection has none – it’s the tale of two narcissists who sacrifice love for self-interest
From: The Guardian
La La Land:
When Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is not whitesplaining jazz,
he is mansplaining it to Mia (Emma Stone).
Photograph: Dale Robinette/Lionsgate
Rarely have the Oscars seen such a dead cert. If you fancy La La Land for best picture, the most attractive odds you will get are 9-2 on. The film is also nominated in another 13 categories, tying with Titanic and All About Eve for most ever nods. It has already snagged a record-breaking seven Golden Globes, and five Baftas.

Critics have been equally charmed. In Britain, the coveted five stars have been bestowed not just by the Sun, the Mirror and Metro, but also by the Guardian, the Times and the Telegraph. Audiences have followed suit. The film has taken more than 10 times its $30m (£24m) budget at the box office.

In such circumstances, you would expect a bit of a backlash, and a La La Land insurgency has duly kicked off. The male lead, Ryan Gosling’s Sebastian, has been indicted for boorishness and insensitivity. When he is not whitesplaining jazz, he is mansplaining it to Emma Stone’s Mia. Both characters have been thought shallow, and chemistry between them has been found lacking. Technique has also been faulted. Gosling and Stone are no Fred and Ginger in the hoofing stakes, and their “reedy voices” have disappointed. For some, the narrative sags and the plot fails to convince. Just why do Seb and Mia break up? A temporary separation doesn’t have to destroy a relationship. Then there is the counterfactual ending. What is it supposed to mean? That they should have stayed together? When they could have, but didn’t and appeared content with the alternative paths they had chosen?

Naysayers have made yet more sweeping charges. La La Land has been branded feeble, dull, flat, humourless, bloodless and unengaging. It has been called a “sort-of-musical, sort-of-movie-about-jazz, sort-of-underdog tale” that is “disappointingly mediocre”.

In fact, these reactions can be traced to a deeper deficiency: the Oscar favorite is a fake movie. Poke your finger through the sugary icing and you find no cake beneath – no heart, no soul, no joy, no warmth, no wonder.

To create the illusion of charm, the film relies not on intrinsic strengths but on external trappings. There is the glamour of its beauteous stars, and recollections of their past, more stirring, pairings. There is the tinselly glitz of Hollywood and the Californian sunshine. Above all, La La Land depends on parasitising other, better films marinated in the nectar of nostalgia.

When Gosling hangs from a lamp-post, it is to tell you this is Singing in the Rain. West Side Story, Funny Face, The Young Girls of Rochefort, Shall We Dance, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and plenty of others are similarly appropriated. La La Land wants you to believe that it shares the joy, humour, tragedy and humanity of such celluloid treasures. It doesn’t.

Most of the films referenced are romances. They celebrate love and life. La La Land does the opposite. Its principals don’t find meaning in each other. For the most part, their relationship is glossed over in montage. Their heart-to-hearts are rendered in stilted cliche.

They get together when their careers are failing, and spend their time sharing notes. Once they have co-mentored themselves on to the road to personal advancement, they ditch each other like a rocket’s blast-off section.

The aspirations they pursue instead of each other involve neither duty nor philanthropy, but only self-realization. City of stars, are you shining just for me? You damn well ought to be, because I’m worth it.

Mia points out the window from which Bogart and Bergman gazed in Casablanca. That film was about sacrifice for love. In La La Land, love is sacrificed for self. Once this becomes clear, La La Land’s disparate vagaries start to explain themselves. Of course, its characters are humorless and insensitive: narcissists usually are. They can’t be rich and complex, because self-obsessives aren’t.

For this role, Gosling learned to play the piano in three months.
 If it is that easy,
we can all imagine uploading ourselves into the ultimate Instagram ego trip.
 Photograph: Dale Robinette/AP
Mia is a cipher because she is just the prisoner of ambition. Seb sees himself as a heroic champion of art, but he is more of a nerd than a musician. For him, jazz is mainly fodder for his vanity and pomposity. Real enthusiasts consider that purists such as him are holding back the genre, not rescuing it from ruin.

The puzzles of the narrative also begin to resolve themselves. The reason not much seems to happen is that egotists are not deeply conflicted and don’t go in for much interaction with others. When Seb arrives to pick up Mia, he blasts his car horn rather than ringing the doorbell. Never mind the neighbors; it’s only Seb who counts. When Mia is looking for Seb in a cinema audience, she stands in front of the screen and blocks the picture. Of course. She matters; the other film goers don’t.

We can now see why these sweethearts separate. On their last night together they pledge eternal love; but they also promise to follow their dreams. For them, the latter was bound to trump the former: self-worship brooks no distractions. If, at the end, Seb seems a little lonely and Mia seems a little bored, no matter. Their final smiles indicate that both have attained what really matters: self-satisfaction.

Still, La La Land is a film for our time. With our self-nurturing, self-promotion, clicktivism, Twitterstorms, sexts and selfies, we are all narcissists now. This being so, many of us would kill to get into Seb or Mia’s shoes. The Strictly and X Factor level of the film’s performances hints that we might. To prepare for this role, Gosling picked up piano-playing in a mere three months. If it is that easy, and you don’t have to be very good, we can all imagine uploading ourselves into the ultimate Instagram ego trip.

Nonetheless, our descent into solipsism still carries with it lingering disquiet. La La Land helps us put this aside by spangling self-love with stardust. This may be a neat conjuring trick; whether it entitles the film to cinema’s highest honor is another question.

It is easy to see why the Academy’s voters have embraced La La Land. Many of them will have followed a path all too similar to Seb and Mia’s. Seeing their life-choices vindicated by the witchcraft of their trade must have been something of a comfort. All the same, the best picture winners that stick in the memory, such as Schindler’s List, Gandhi, Chariots of Fire and Titanic, tend to extol humanity’s better nature, not its shortcomings.

This time round there are also films among La La Land’s doomed rivals that could make us proud of our species. Moonlight deals with love. Manchester by the Sea offers contrition. Arrival honors inquiry. Hacksaw Ridge celebrates selflessness. Any of these would be a worthier winner than Damien Chazelle’s tawdry and dispiriting confection. La La Land’s victory on Sunday night will tell us something about our era. But it will be no triumph for film-makers, film goers or film.

A Good Bareback Fuck

GOP Rep. Darrell Issa Calls for Special Prosecutor in Russia Probe

From: NBC News
A prominent Republican Congressman from California has called for a special prosecutor to be appointed in an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the election and whether anyone on Donald Trump's campaign had contacts with Russian officials.

Rep. Darrell Issa said on "Real Time with Bill Maher" Friday that the Senate and House intelligence committees should investigate, and said Attorney Jeff Sessions can't lead the probe without appearing compromised.

"You're right that you cannot have somebody, a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions who was on the campaign and who is an appointee," Issa said. "You're going to need to use the special prosecutor's statute and office."

Issa, who supported Trump, cautioned that "there may or may not be fault" uncovered. But he said it would not be enough for Sessions to recuse himself and assign the matter to a deputy, because "that's another political appointee."

Issa, former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Russian President Vladimir Putin "murders his enemies."

U.S. intelligence agencies have alleged that the Russian government was involved in an operation to try and interfere with the U.S. presidential election, which intelligence agencies have said evolved into an effort to help Trump win.

Trump has denied that anyone on his campaign had any contacts with Russian officials during the campaign. At a news conference last week, the president said: "I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does."

There have been some calls in Congress for investigations into allegations of Russian interference in the election, and about conversations former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had with Russia's ambassador, before Trump took office, in which sanctions were reportedly discussed.

Flynn resigned on Feb. 13. Trump last week said he didn't believe Flynn did anything wrong in talking with the ambassador, but that he fired Flynn because he misled Vice President Mike Pence about the content of the conversations.

The Senate Intelligence Committee opened its probe into alleged Russian interference in the election in January, and the House Intelligence Committee is also investigating.

But some Democrats have accused Republicans of focusing on leaks to the media about Flynn rather than the contacts.

The top Republicans of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Judiciary Committee last week sent a letter to the Department of Justice inspector general regarding "potential inadequate protection of classified information."

Jack Harte Photographed by Bruce of Los Angeles

From: Male Models Vintage Beefcake

Ivanka Trump, Kushner publicly silent as White House rolls back transgender protections

The couple is seen as a moderating force on social issues, but transgender allies want them to take a stand as the new administration rolls back Obama-era policies on school bathrooms.
From: Politico
In the past,
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have described themselves as supporters of gay rights.
Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, seemed to speak for their socially progressive generation last month when they helped to kill a proposed executive order that would have rolled back LGBT protections.

But their involvement in that high-profile gay-rights issue — they encouraged Donald Trump to uphold Obama-era workplace discrimination protections for federal contractors — now serves only to underscore their silence after the White House on Wednesday revoked protections that had allowed transgender students to use the public school bathroom of their choice.

“Yesterday’s actions really puts into question whether there are allies in this administration,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “It’s important to define what an ally is — it’s not someone who sends the occasional tweet, it’s not someone who has people talking on background to reporters about your supposed view. An ally is someone who stands up, champions and fights for our community.”

In the past, Ivanka Trump and Kushner have described themselves as supporters of gay rights.

A spokeswoman for Ivanka Trump declined to comment on Trump’s position. A White House spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment about Kushner’s position.

The debate inside the Trump administration already pitted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who reportedly originally opposed the move, against Attorney General Jeff Sessions. But it also puts additional pressure on the first daughter and her husband.

Since the campaign, Ivanka Trump has had the difficult task of acting as a surrogate for her father, while claiming she is not always ideologically in line with his most hard-line positions. “I’m a daughter, not a clone,” she said last year in an interview with "Good Morning America." “There are times when I’ve disagreed with him.” She did not, however, go into details about areas where they did not see eye to eye — and since then, she has made it clear that she does not plan to publicly challenge the president when there is disagreement.

Gay rights are not officially part of either Ivanka Trump’s or Kushner’s portfolios. But the couple is seen, both internally and externally, as the great, socially moderate hope for voters who are worried about the more extreme factions of Trump's administration.

Kushner, according to people who have met with him, outlines his role in the White House in broad terms: dealing with trade agreements, international peace agreements, outreach to the business community and personnel matters. Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump has become a regular presence in the White House, where she is using her influence to push women’s economic empowerment issues.

This week, Ivanka Trump met in the Roosevelt Room with members of the House and Senate to discuss including a deduction for child care expenses in their tax overhaul, Bloomberg News reported. On Thursday, she joined the president at the White House for a listening session with manufacturing CEOs. She has no official position in the White House, but she has been there every day this week.

But her involvement in politics, so far, has been inconsistent, with periods of engagement, followed by an expectation that she will not be held accountable when she decides to remain silent and behind-the-scenes. On Monday, Ivanka Trump got ahead of her father when she called for "religious tolerance" on Twitter, in response to a rash of threats to Jewish community centers. Her father had yet to comment on the anti-Semitic acts and passed on an opportunity to do so at a news conference last week, though he has since condemned them explicitly.

Some LGBT rights activists said the problem is deeper than whether or not Ivanka Trump chooses to weigh in.

“It seems to me that when you have to rely on Ivanka Trump to advocate for civil rights issues, that’s a problem,” said Anthony Kreis, a law professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law who specializes in LGBT civil rights cases. “What is her role here? There's the deeper question, of whether we should have to rely on the president’s daughter to go toe to toe with the attorney general.”

In a First, The New York Times to Advertise During Academy Awards

From: kenneth in the (212)
I've been asking if the news media was planning to go on the offensive now that we've been supplanted on the right by purveyors of fake news -- no, I'm not referring to news that conservatives just don't like, I'm talking about actual "fake news" -- and Donald Trump has branded us the enemy of the people. This is a start.

Dish of the Day #93

From: Deep Dish

I won’t ever understand how anyone pisses through a boner. It’s not even possible for me at all. :(

Ed Forsythe Photographed by Bruce of Los Angeles

From: Male Models Vintage Beefcake

Crack A Smile

From: Boy Culture


Anonymous vintage beefcake. #boyculture #bootyπŸ‘ #malebutt#malebubblebutts #bubblebutt #beefcake#shirtless #shirtlessguys #vintagegay #gay#lgbt🌈 #photography #feet #feetπŸ‘£

Zero Trans People Have Been Arrested For Bathroom Misconduct—But These Three Republicans Were

Seems like we're worried about the wrong people.
From: NewNowNext
 Republican legislators in Florida, Texas, Arizona and elsewhere are trying to enact so-called “bathroom bills” and other measure designed to keep trans people from using the bathroom associated with the gender identity.

Their reasoning? Trans people are sex fiends who will try to molest you while you pee or pee.

Only there are no reported cases of trans men or women assaulting people in bathrooms.


#northcarolina #trans#unitedstates

 According to Media Matters, there haven’t even been any reports of men “pretending’ to be transgender to gain access to women’s spaces and commit crimes against them.”

You know who have been arrested in public bathrooms for sexual misconduct: Republican politicians.

Without even diving too deep, we found three GOP legislators who were picked up for lavatory indiscretions. Obviously we need laws against senators using bathrooms, not trans people!

 Jon Hinson

In 1981, this Mississippi congressman was arrested for engaging in oral sex in the House of Representatives bathroom with a Library of Congress clerk.

It was actually Hinson’s second offense: He had been arrested in 1976 for exposing himself to an undercover agent at the Iwo Jima memorial, but blamed it on alcoholism and managed to get reelected in 1980.

After the bathroom incident, though, Hinson resigned—and soon came out as gay. To his credit, the former politician spent the rest of his life as an LGBT activist, fighting the military’s ban on homosexuals and forming the Fairfax Lesbian and Gay Citizens Association in Fairfax, Virginia.

He died of AIDS-related illness at age 53.

 Larry Craig

 The Idaho Republican was famously arrested in 2007 for lewd conduct in a men’s room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

An undercover officer claimed he tried to initiate a sexual liaison, but Senator Craig insisted he just had a “wide stance.”

Craig pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct in August, but tried to withdraw the plea two months later, and reversed his decision to resign from the Senate.

He finished out his term under a cloud of scandal and declined to run for re-election in 2008.

 Bob Allen

That same year, Florida state Representative Bob Allen was arrested after allegedly agreeing to pay $20 to perform oral sex on an undercover police officer in the men’s room of a public park.

Allen, a longtime Republican, resigned later that yea but maintained he was only in the restroom because he was scared of the African-American men in the park, including the arresting officer.

“I certainly wasn’t there to have sex with anybody and certainly wasn’t there to exchange money for it,” he insisted. “This [officer] is a pretty stocky black guy, and there’s other black guys around in the park… I said ’they’re around here, you ought to know about that.'”

We guess a Florida Republican would rather be branded a racist than gay.

Sleeping Beauty

From: Brent's Auto Wall

Birthday Boy Toy: Sean Astin's Adorable Plump Ass

From: Fleshbot
 Sean Astin 

 That's naked Sean Astin leading the pack above in the movie Daddy Who, and here's another look at butt from Toy Soldiers. AND some stills below cause, damn he's a sexy little hobbit!

GOP Lawmaker Invokes Gabby Giffords in Concerns About Town Hall Safety

From: CNN
A Texas Republican lawmaker invoked the shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords to explain why he is not hosting in-person town halls.

"Unfortunately, at this time there are groups from the more violent strains of the leftist ideology, some even being paid, who are preying on public town halls to wreak havoc and threaten public safety. Threats are nothing new to me and I have gotten my share as a felony judge," Rep. Louie Gohmert told constituents in a letter Tuesday.

"However, the House Sergeant at Arms advised us after former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot at a public appearance, that civilian attendees at congressional public events stand the most chance of being harmed or killed -- just as happened there," he wrote.

Giffords, a former Arizona Democrat, was shot in the head in January 2011 at a "Congress on Your Corner" event near a Tucson grocery store.

Jared Lee Loughner wounded 13 people and six people were killed during the shooting rampage. Authorities said Giffords was the main target.

Giffords issued a response to Gohmert Thursday, rebuking his decision not to meet with constituents in person.

"To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls," said Giffords in a statement.

She added: "I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning, my offices were open to the public. Ron Barber -- at my side that Saturday, who was shot multiple times, then elected to Congress in my stead -- held town halls. It's what the people deserve in a representative."

In an interview with CNN's Erin Burnett on "OutFront" Thursday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders echoed Giffords' message.

"If you don't have the guts to face your constituents, then you shouldn't be in the United States Congress," Sanders said. "If you need police at the meetings, that's fine, have police at the meetings, have security at the meetings, but don't use that as an excuse to run away from your constituents."

Following Giffords' shooting, Gohmert unsuccessfully proposed allowing members of Congress to carry guns in Washington and on the floor of the US House of Representatives.

Gohmert said in his letter he will host "telephone town halls" until "the threat of violence" decreases.

"In the same amount of time it takes to have a town hall meeting, which usually has between 30 and 100 attendees in east Texas, I can communicate with thousands of my constituent bosses through a telephone town hall meeting," he wrote. "When the threat of violence at town hall meetings recedes, we can go back to having the civil town hall meetings I've had in the past to supplement the masses reached in our telephone town halls."

Town halls with lawmakers are often relatively mild affairs, but they have increasingly become heated as citizens across the country let lawmakers know that they don't support Donald Trump's positions on the Affordable Care Act, immigration and other issues.

While some White House officials have dismissed many of those pushing back on the administration as paid protestors, other Republican lawmakers who have hosted the events say the attendees are constituents deeply concerned about the President's direction for the country.

Gohmert said a group asking for town halls for the purpose of agitating circulated a manual instructing attendees on how to be disruptive.

"Statements like this in their community organizing materials are not 'non-partisan,' " as they their playbook tells them to claim that they are," Gohmert said. "Some public town halls from this particular group recently boasted having agitators even come in from other states to cause havoc."

Something To Think About...

Gabby Giffords to GOP: If I could go to town halls after getting shot, you can show up for voters

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a mass shooting while holding a public event with voters in 2011, is calling on Republicans to attend town hall meetings with constituents, instead of ducking them as so many have been lately.
From: Share Blue
Former Arizona Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords issued a powerful statement, and a challenge to Republican officials who are trying to avoid their angry and frustrated constituents:
Town halls and countless constituent meetings were a hallmark of my tenure in Congress. It’s how I was able to serve the people of southern Arizona. I believed that listening to my constituents was the most basic and core tenant of the job I was hired to do.
I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning my offices were open to the public. Ron Barber — at my side that Saturday, who was shot multiple times, then elected to Congress in my stead — held town halls. It’s what the people deserve in a representative.
In 2011, Giffords was shot in the head while meeting with constituents at a supermarket in Arizona. Six other people were killed, including a district judge, one of Gifford’s aides, and a nine-year-old girl. Thirteen other people were wounded in the attack.

Republicans have been facing an avalanche of criticism at town hall meetings as a groundswell of opposition to the Trump agenda has emerged.

Members of Congress have been confronted on their support for repealing Obamacare, Trump’s Muslim ban, attacks on women’s health care, and a whole host of other issues. In response, many Republicans have simply refused to hold meetings with constituents, and the ones that do have often been caught on video cutting events short, being condescending (or claiming that attendees are not real local voters), or running away.

In her statement, Giffords, who is the co-founder of the gun safety group Americans for Responsible Solutions, also notes the cowardice and hypocrisy of many of the Republicans avoiding town halls:
Many of the members of Congress who are refusing to hold town halls and listen to their constituents concerns are the very same politicians that have opposed commonsense gun violence prevention policies and have allowed the Washington gun lobby to threaten the safety of law enforcement and everyday citizens in our schools, businesses, places of worship, airports, and movie theaters.
She concludes, “Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls.”

Democratic Governors Move to Blunt Trump's Attack on Transgender Students

From: Daily Kos
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy
Here's a glimmer of hope after a dismal week in LGBTQ news: Democratic governors are moving to offset the effects of the Trump administration's assault on transgender protections.

Both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy have taken steps to explicitly protect the rights of transgender students in their states. In a letter to New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia Thursday, Cuomo wrote:

"In light of the federal government's action to rescind federal protections for transgender students, the state Education Department needs to immediately issue a directive to school districts making it clear that transgender students in this State are expressly protected from discrimination and harassment under New York State's laws and policies."  
In 2010, New York lawmakers passed the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) promising students a harassment-free learning environment based on “gender” and “sexual orientation,” among other classifications. Cuomo's letter explicitly states that gender "includes a student's actual or perceived gender, their gender identity or expression."

Gov. Malloy issued an executive order stating that "discrimination based on sex, including gender identity or expression," in public schools and higher learning institutions is now "prohibited by Connecticut law."

The order also promised to deliver guidelines to public schools on how to implement the policy and charged the University of Connecticut with developing policies consistent with the new law.

Demand an independent investigation of Trump & GOP's collusion with Russia!

CPAC Attendees Seen Waving Russian Flags

From: The Hill
People attending the Conservative Political Action Conference could be seen waving small Russian flags emblazoned with the word “Trump” during Trump’s speech.

It appeared to be a prank. CPAC workers quickly began to collect the flags after they were being waved.

Snapchat’s Peter Hamby captured some of the action in a tweet:

Organizers told some attendees that anyone caught waving or holding the flags would be thrown out. 

An attendee from San Francisco told a reporter from The Hill that he didn't want to give up the flag, which he had sought to keep as a souvenir. The man also said that no one had a sense of humor any more.
Trump’s ties to Russia have dominated the news during his nascent presidency.

The intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered in the presidential election to help Trump, and Hillary Clinton’s Democratic campaign has blamed Moscow for her loss.

Just last week, Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned after leaks about his own discussions with Russian officials.
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