Trump taps loyalist Grenell as nation’s top intel official

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Richard Grenell (Photo from Gage Skidmore on Flickr)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump on Feb. 19 named Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, as acting director of national intelligence, putting a staunch ally in charge of the nation’s 17 spy agencies.

The move drew immediate criticism from Democrats who said the job should be held by someone with deep intelligence experience. It also puts a Trump loyalist in charge of an intelligence community that the president has routinely disparaged and ignored, notably in the context of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Continue Reading >>

Bloomberg pummeled, lackluster in response in bloody Democratic debate

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Michael Bloomberg faced the wrath of Democratic candidates in a bloody Democratic debate. (Photo by NBC News; used with permission)

With Michael Bloomberg ascending in the polls, fellow candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination pummeled during him — and in some cases each other — in a bloody debate Feb. 19.

Across the stage in Las Vegas, candidates seeking to thwart Bloomberg hammered him on the “stop-and-frisk” policy, allegations of sexual misconduct and discrimination and being a billionaire seeking to buy the presidency. In response, Bloomberg delivered responses that were cerebral at best, but largely seemed disengaged and lacked a presence on stage.

Continue Reading >>

Trump renews pledge in State of the Union to beat HIV/AIDS

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
Comments: 0
Above: 2019 State of the Union (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

In a speech touting economic growth and promising “the best has yet to come,” President Trump in the State of the Union address Feb.3 renewed his pledge to beat HIV by 2030.

Trump made a call to beat HIV/AIDS to cheers from lawmakers in the joint session of Congress during a portion of speech dedicated to health initiatives under his administration.

Continue Reading >>

Buttigieg becomes 1st openly gay candidate to earn presidential delegates

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Pete Buttigieg in Iowa. (Photo from Buttigieg’s Facebook)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) | The Iowa Democratic Party released partial results of its kickoff presidential caucus after a daylong delay Feb. 4 showing former Midwestern mayor Pete Buttigieg with a slight lead over progressive Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the opening contest of the party’s 2020 primary season.

The results followed 24 hours of chaos as technical problems marred the complicated caucus process, forcing state officials to apologize and raising questions about Iowa’s traditional place atop the presidential primary calendar.

Continue Reading >>

Warren pledges a Cabinet half-filled with women and non-binary people

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, photo via Warren’s Facebook page.

With weeks remaining before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3, Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren has come out with a pledge to fill half of her Cabinet as president with women and non-binary people.

Warren made the pledge within a Medium post on Tuesday titled, “Restoring Integrity & Competence to Government After Trump,” which says Trump will “leave behind a government that has been infected by corruption and incompetence” upon his presumed exit from the White House after the 2020 election and outlines her plans.

Continue Reading >>

White House, LGBTQ groups clash over new religious freedom regs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Donald Trump, photo public domain.

Following the release of new regulations from the Trump administration with the stated intent of protecting the religious freedom of federal grantees, LGBTQ groups and the White House locked in a dispute over whether they enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

Although the White House is denouncing the criticism as partisan bias, the LGBTQ advocacy groups are able to point to specific language in the regulations that would inhibit LGBTQ people from obtaining social services from religious-affiliated grantees.

Continue Reading >>

Pam Bondi named as part of Trump’s impeachment legal team

By : Samantha Neely
Comments: 0

Pam Bondi was named Jan. 17 as a part of  President Donald Trump’s legal team for his upcoming impeachment trial.   

Bondi will join the likes of former law professor and O.J. Simpson attorney Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, the former independent counsel whose investigation of former President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment, according to an anonymous source with the Associated Press. 

Continue Reading >>

House Democrats call for ICE to release all transgender detainees

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0
ABOVE: A transgender woman inside a unit for transgender detainees in Milan, N.M. Photo public domain.

More than 40 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday called for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release all of the transgender people who are in their custody.

“The United States is bound by domestic and international law to protect — not punish — vulnerable populations escaping from persecution,” reads the letter to Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence and Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf that U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) spearheaded. “We demand that ICE abide by these laws by immediately bringing facilities detaining transgender individuals into compliance, and by arranging for release of transgender individuals at risk of sexual abuse and assault in ICE custody.”

Continue Reading >>

Self-help guru Marianne Williamson drops presidential bid

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Marianne Williamson, photo via Williamson’s Facebook page.

Spiritualist and self-help guru Marianne Williamson has dropped her bid for the presidency, ending the campaign of an idiosyncratic Democratic candidate who once helped gay men dying of HIV/AIDS at the height of the epidemic.

Williamson announced she had ended her campaign Friday in a message on her website, saying she didn’t want her candidacy to make it tougher for progressives to win.

Continue Reading >>

01.09.20 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

In “Star Trek: First Contact,” the finest film in the popular franchise’s more than 50-year history, the eternal Patrick Stewart’s Captain Picard beams into theaters to lead the U.S.S. Enterprise into battle against the sci-fi staple’s deadliest threat. No, not reboots – the Borg.

The Borg are chilling, cybernetic aliens linked to a hive mind known as “The Collective.” They forcibly transform individuals into zombie-like drones through the process of assimilation, linking their victims to a collective consciousness and erasing all traces of their individuality in the process.

Continue Reading >>

01.09.20 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

I’m finding it very difficult to write this issue’s Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk. I’m having trouble putting words together which, for anyone who knows me, is not something I normally have trouble with. They might not be the smartest words, or even the correct words many times, but lack of words is usually not a problem.

As this is my first column of the most futuristic sounding year since 2000, I had planned to write all about my goals for 2020. To borrow the frequently mocked “Karen mantra,” it was going to be one of those “New Year, New Me” columns. I planned to climb into my comfy chair, legs tucked under my bum, wrapped in an infinity scarf and holding my latte close to my chest to talk about how 2020 is going to be a year of optimism and rebirth, but as I prepared to do this social media alerts started to ping on my phone about how we were about to enter into World War 3. Groovy.

Continue Reading >>

White evangelicals distinct on abortion, LGBTQ policy

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks during a dinner with religious leaders at the White House in 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead, from WhiteHouse.gov)

White evangelical Protestants stand noticeably apart from other religious people on abortion restrictions and LGBTQ discrimination protections, two of the most politically divisive issues at play in the 2020 presidential election, according to a new poll.

The findings point to an evangelical Protestant constituency that’s more firmly aligned with President Donald Trump’s agenda than other Americans of faith. White evangelicals were also more likely than members of other faiths to say religion should have at least some influence on policymaking.

Continue Reading >>