I'm thrilled that we've sold 1/2 of the tickets to Wigstock: The Cruise on 8/16. And that's a fantastic response since much of the press is not even yet out. Unlike a club, there is a maximum of 500 attendees, so if you're a world class procrastinator like me and plan on coming, please get yer tix while we have some left from seatea.com. And advance tix are cheaper!
ALAN CUMMING AND RACHEL DRATCH JOIN CAST OF HURRICANE BIANCA!
Two supernovas join Bianca Del Rio in Hurricane Bianca, currently shooting in Texas. This is sounding better and better!
"Hello from very sunny Dallas, Texas! We just finished Day 9 of our film shoot and we have a lot of exciting news to share! The hilarious Saturday Night Live Alum Rachel Dratch and Tony Award winner Alan Cumming will be joining our cast, along with RuPaul's Drag Race favorite Shangela!
"When I read the script, I thought it was genuinely funny and the underlying message of acceptance is very timely," says Rachel Dratch. "Also, anytime I get to hang out with drag queens, I'm there!"
"I am such a huge fan of Bianca and Roy. I think this film will be an amazing way for the world to see and find out more about both of them," adds Alan Cumming.
The film tells the story of a New Yorker who moves to small town Texas to become a high school teacher but then loses his job when they discover he is gay. Peeved from the unfair termination, the teacher returns disguised as a mean lady to get revenge on the nasty town.
"I really can't tell you how my character gets his revenge, but give me forty bucks and I'll get you a scratched DVD with behind the scenes footage, which is just me getting into drag," says Roy Haylock, the scathingly funny standup comedian who catapulted from cabaret act to arena superstar last year when his drag persona, Bianca del Rio, won the sixth season of "RuPaul's Drag Race". Since then, he has performed sold out venues all over the country on his hit "Rolodex of Hate" tour. Variety Magazine recently named Bianca del Rio among their top ten comics to watch in 2015.
Miami drag queen Elaine Lancaster, who I'm joining to work in Mykonos tomorrow, has saved an italian guy by plucking him from a burning car. She's even being called a "shero" on the island. But in truth, the man was fleeing the scene of of one of her performances and he must have had some really good drugs on him for her to risk her life.
FASCINATING INTERVIEW WITH BLACK JUDGE FROM WALLER COUNTY
Waller County, where Sandra Bland died, has an unusual history of racism. Here is an excerpt of an interview with the first black judge from the county, which was the last in the country to abolish slavery.
Dewayne Charleston: "In 1963—1964, my mother went into labor. My brother, my youngest brother, was born in a utility closet right there in Waller County, Austin County. He was born in a utility closet because they would not allow my mother to give birth in rooms that were reserved for whites. Then, if you go forward another 40 years, there’s a lawsuit because the cemeteries are not integrated. The city of Hempstead will not allow certain people to be buried in certain cemeteries, and they will not maintain the Jewish, the white and the black cemeteries equally, even though they own the deeds and have all of the stuff. They settled out of court and supposedly were supposed to begin. So, from cradle to the grave, from the beginning of time of the state of Texas, the republic of Texas, to now, Waller County has been at the forefront of suppression and oppression of African Americans."
ALSO OF NOTE--A VERY DISTURBING VIDEO ON POLICE BRUTALITY AND RACE:
Finally, people are telling the truth about how ridiculous Bible passages are and how people pick and choose the scriptures they like and ignore the crazier ones about eating shellfish. I didn't expect to hear it from a church, but this pastor is lighting up his congregation with what I think is the truth.
I've never watched any Kardashians show in it's entirety, but I did give Caitlyn's show a shot last night. I'm not a fan of reality TV in general, but is this really what people settle for as entertainment nowadays? Such a snooze! And here's a hint--if adding teal hair extensions is as eventful as the "plot" gets, they might have wanted to save all the slightly interesting/funny/touching moments to debut on the show. All of them had already been seen on repeat in the teaser. The chat with the mom, the sports bra joke, the teary "I just want her to be proud of her daddy" and the "Mom already has this dress" look through the closet with Kim. Don't show it to me in advance and then show it again stretched out into an hour and expect praise.
Maybe some of you may feel a connection with Bruce from the Kardashian shows and that makes his transition more interesting to you. Having never seen him as Bruce on those shows, Caitlyn strikes me as a sweet, likable goof. And for people who've had no exposure to trans anything, I guess this show can serve as a Transsexualism 101 and dig into it's many challenges from suicide to family tensions. The last people to evolve on many issues are straight men. By seeing a sports hero who they idolized in their youth dealing with a core change like this, guys are forced to acknowledge that even someone who seemed to have everything may be struggling with something as deep-seated and unsettling as gender identity. This isn't just anyone announcing that they were born in the wrong body. This is a famed Olympian who dudes may have had a poster on their wall of. I don't have to enjoy the TV show to welcome this dialogue. Unfortunately for the show, Caitlyn doesn't seem to have much of a struggle. It would make for better TV if she did. Can't they at least throw in a cat fight with Kris? Trainwrecks, not well adjusted people, rack up reality ratings.
A central theme is Caitlyn's desire to shed light on the tough life that trans people face. She visits the home of a family of a trans teen who has committed suicide. To get there, she switches cars 3 times and even lays down in the back of one to avoid the paparazzi. Caitlyn claims that photos of her are now going for $250,000 a pop. Just a hint: maybe luxury SUVs might attract less attention? Again, America has let reality TV flourish and nothing much really happens on it so you may be used to this. But taking 3 cars to chat with a family whose child has already committed suicide? I think I'd rather see Caitlyn learn of an impending suicide, bust into athlete mode and snatch a trans kid away from a cliff they were about to jump off. But that would require writers with an imagination. Instead, we got to see the star attend a memorial service for the lost teen. Just a thought--maybe save a trans teen who is still alive? I guess that didn't fit in with their shooting schedule.
Throughout the show and in interviews, Caitlyn asserts that she wants to help the LGBT community she's recently joined. A self-described Christian Republican wants to eradicate the negative messages that both her church and her political party help to spread and create the very negative attitudes which drive GLBT kids to suicide? Then she needs to also transition out the the Republican party, because they actively slam GLBT rights as a way to gin up their bigoted base. They're busy right now sending out newsletters about how trans women flock to ladies rooms to molest women and children. So if Caitlyn really is going to be an activists for GLBT causes, publicly denounce the GOP, take a few $250,000 a pop photos and donate the money to a party which actually supports GLBT equality. Otherwise, her claims to be an activist make no sense. Don't ask me to support your journey while your votes and your faith regularly spit on the rights of my community. Oh, and as a christian, I know Caitlyn will give away most of the money she makes and urge her super-wealthy family to do the same. Because any good christian knows Matthew 19:24--"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
I'd definitely tune in to see Caitlyn turning her $3.5 million Malibu home into a shelter for homeless transgender teens and chastising Kim and Kris for "leaking" that sex tape in the name of Christ. Until then, we've got a new Kardashian star with an irritating voice who just isn't very entertaining. And Caitlyn is as sincere an activist as Kim is a talent.
From NYC drag veteran Sweetie: CALLING ALL ARM CHAIR ACTIVISTS....... Instead of verbally masturbating on your love and respect for Caitlyn Jenner.....get off your ass and volunteer at a shelter for LGBT teens. Mentor an LGBT kid. Give a day at Gods Love We Deliver, GMHC or the LGBT Center. Be a real part of what's going on. Lift your fingers off your keyboard and do your part.
DAILY KOS: “We’re not going to have adequate coverage for our children or our grandchildren without Medicare. I paid into that for years and years just like all these other seniors here and now you want to take it away?” said the woman, who did not identify herself and left before the town hall concluded. “Why are you always attacking the seniors?”
“Well, I’m not,” Bush responded. “Here’s what I said: I said we’re going to have to reform our entitlement system. We have to.”
“It’s not an entitlement,” the woman shot back. “I earned that.”
Jeb Bush raised 88% of his campaign cash from donors who gave the primary maximum of $2,700. (I wonder what Hillary's percentage is? It might give you a clue on what she's going to try to cut. Like Obama suggested cutting Social Security through chained CPI cuts? Expanding "entitlements" isn't a clean split along party lines. Bush is called a centrist and he wants to cut extremely popular programs like Medicaid? Hillary's called a centrist, too. Beware of centrists.
My parents live in Chattanooga and my mom said she'd been very depressed since the shooting of several military personnel there a week ago. Mom visited the grave and brought flowers to the memorial since her brother was a marine. She also said that the local papers were reporting that gun sales had jumped sharply since the shooting. While I understand that people get scared and feel the need to defend themselves, if brutal shootings are the problem then circulating more shooting devices aren't the answer.
Just week later, there's a new shooting in all over the news. Lafayette, Louisiana had just been named "the happiest city in the USA." I wrote something on the 4th of July which I don't think went over too well. It was a post about how the USA stands for oppression, weapons and murder both here and abroad. Look at the centuries of sadness experienced by blacks during slavery and then segregation--only to end up with a black president and Attorney General who can't stem the bloodshed their own people experience at the hands of the very law enforcement agency which ought to be protecting them. That #Blacklivesmatter is a heartbreaking statement to even have to utter in 2015. Look at the Indians we savaged to build this country. Brutality is the American way.
Equally heartbreaking as the fact that we killed 1 million Iraqis in a war we should never have started--and this recent figure wasn't even picked up by major news outlets. Obama's secretive drone war may have taken out some high level terrorists, but they've also indiscriminately killed many civilians. Look at the shocking number of rapes in both the military and colleges. Look at how school children at Sandy Hook were gunned down, cinema patrons gunned, military personnel, House member Gabby Giffords--we simply aren't safe. But there is a way out. You don't find many lone gunmen shooting up public places in other countries. You also don't find the NRA and the Pentagon running the governments of those countries. The NRA represents gun deaths and the Pentagon represents war. Wouldn't we be safer if we knocked these purveyors of death down to size? But you can never do that with the bulk of our corrupt politicians at their beck and call. But wait--who elects these politicians? Us. And we've got some work to do. It's literally a matter of life or death.
A interesting segment on Uber's rapid growth. I've seen a few FB friends posting about Uber--some hate it, some love it. You're going to use the service that works best for you. I don't like it because I love putting out my hand and hailing a taxi. And because unlike many younger folks, I don't like to have my head buried in a phone. OK--and because men from faraway lands who can't speak english are more likely to get confused enough to let me blow them for the fare. But when you take away whether you like the service to not, the bigger debate is over how much you feel jobs should be regulated. Uber doesn't offer it's drivers insurance and the jobs are part time. That's the quality of many of the jobs added under Obama. Does working less for less $ seem like a good trend to you?
I have no idea whether Donald Trump is serious about running for president or not. I haven't been following the news a lot lately, but my impression is that his comments dismissing John McCain's war hero status have caused some Republicans to denounce him. But let's be clear about this--the Republican party wasn't denouncing him a week ago. He jumped to the top of the GOP presidential polls because he said latino immigrants were rapists, etc. His refusal to back down from those comments mobilized the Republican base. So Huffpo can win points by posting snarky articles about how they'll relegate their coverage of Trump to the entertainment section, but the racism of his party is very much a part of US politics. We've only got two parties and one is that racist towards latinos. Do you think they feel differently towards other minorities--whether racial or sexual? Or hell, even about women and their rights? Take note: this man may be a loudmouthed fool, but his shenanigans were working a week ago.
A Note About Our Coverage Of Donald Trump's 'Campaign'
Parents Dedicate New College Safe Space In Honor Of Daughter Who Felt Weird In Class Once
THE ONION: “When our Alexis felt weird after hearing someone discuss an idea that did not conform to her personally held beliefs, she had no place to turn,” said Arnold Stigmore, standing outside the $2 million space that reportedly features soothing music, neutral-colored walls, oversized floor cushions, fun board games, and a variety of snacks. “God forbid any of you, in your years at this institution, are ever confronted with an opinion you do not share. But if you are, you will have a refuge on this campus.”
CUBA: A BOLD MOVE OR JUST ADJUSTING THE USA'S TYPICALLY BAD ATTITUDE?
An interesting overview of US/Cuba relations. I don't know that much US history, much less cuban history. But from what it looks like to me, Obama's "historic" move to normalize relations with Cuba is really just righting the wrongs of past administrations which reinforced the USA's usual role of bully. And as is usually the case with Obama, not going far enough to do what's really right. Even if it concerns one of his clearest campaign promises. Maybe that's to come.
DEMOCRACYNOW.ORG: "People talk about violation of human rights and due process in Cuba. And I’ll tell you, Amy, there is violation of human rights and due process in Cuba, and it’s in Guantánamo. I mean, we’re holding prisoners there for years without trial, tortured them. And President Obama took the office with a promise that he would close Guantánamo as a prison, and he has not. I think he will before his term is over, but, you know, it’s been six years, and six years of prison for people without trial, six years of torture. I think he needs to do something. But beyond that, beyond closing it as a prison, the United States needs to return that territory to Cuba. That is sovereign Cuban territory. The United States has no business there. If they want a base somewhere, they can put it in Mississippi, Alabama, but not in Cuba. Cuba belongs to Cuba, not to Washington."
ANOTHER SEGMENT WITH CODEPINK'S MEDEA BENJAMIN AND DANNY GLOVER
From 1989 to 1998, ACT UP/NY photographer Bill Bytsura took portraits of ACT UP members across the US and around the globe. Now, he plans to create a coffee-table book that showcases the best of this photo collection, as a memorial to our departed comrades. Please support Bytsura's Kickstarter campaign to make this important book a reality.
See the Kickstarter video and some portraits from the collection here:
First of all, this Pride event banning drag queens is an alternative event to Scotland's main pride so they can choose whatever performers they like. Secondly, Bianca Del Rio (pictured) features an offensive type of humor which I and many others love. But we drag queens are the first ones they call when they performers are needed at an AIDS benefit or fundraiser for gay marriage--and most confirm without hesitation because we are a part of this community and we care. Suddenly drag might be too offensive for a gay pride event, especially "cis drag acts"--whatever the f#ck that is--who might make "the "Trans/Non Binary Caucus" uncomfortable. I'm a drag queen for 30 years and don't even know what non binary is supposed to mean.
I love their idea that drag acts might confuse those who were not yet out as trans. What's so confusing about dressing as the opposite sex for a performance and then taking it off? Or getting in drag just to hang out and drink and socialize because that's what you enjoy and have fought for the freedom to do it? It's confusing to me that a straight guy wants to have a sex change to become a lesbian, but I would never dare suggest that it isn't his right. If these precious, delicate angels can't handle drag, then we may have to consider locking them up in a room lest they get exposed to the seditious work of Tyler Perry, The Birdcage, Martin Lawrence, To Wong Foo, Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, Eddie Murphy, RuPaul, Conchita Wurst, Eddie Izzard, Frank Marino, Dame Edna and every gay bar in the world.
How about this? Treat everyone with equal respect and labels won't mean a godd@m thing.
THE GROUPS STATEMENT ON WHY THEY ARE BANNING DRAG PERFORMERS:
"The decision was taken by transgender individuals who were uncomfortable with having drag performances at the event. It was felt that it would make some of those who were transgender or questioning their gender uncomfortable.
It continued: “It was felt by the group within the Trans/Non Binary Caucus that some drag performance, particularly cis drag, hinges on the social view of gender and making it into a joke, however transgender individuals do not feel as though their gender identity is a joke.
“This can particularly difficult for those who are not out and still present as the gender they were assigned at birth. While it was discussed whether we could have trans drag acts perform, it was agreed that as it would not be appropriate to ask any prospective drag acts whether or not they identified as trans.
“It was therefore decided that having no drag acts perform would be the best option as it would mean no-one would feel pressured to out themselves.”
IT'S NOT APPROPRIATE TO ASK A DRAG ACT IF THEY ARE TRANS? WHY NOT? WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? IF THEY ARE TRANS THEN HOW CAN YOU BAN THEM IN ORDER TO BE SUPPORTIVE OF TRANS OR WANNABE TRANS?DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE TO YOU?
Gun rights groups have suggested that the victims of the Charleston shooting would be alive today if they had carried guns to their bible study class.The NRA suggested the same immediately after Sandy Hook's shooting. This shows how well their logic works.
A #blacklivesmatter activist was stopped for a minor traffic violation. Police slammed her head to the ground and took her to jail. She died there two days later. If this doesn't bother you, there's something wrong with you. Because if law enforcement is emboldened enough to be pulling these kinds of stunts nationwide, it could happen to you.
"So, there are about 215,000 people in federal prison at this time, and there are around 2.3 million people incarcerated in the country as a whole. And so, a lot of those are in state prisons. Again, state prison, a lot of people convicted of violent offenses, those aren’t people that Obama is addressing when he talks about this large-scale prison reform. And then we have 750,000 people in county jails. And most of those people are incarcerated pretrial. They haven’t been convicted of anything. Most of those people who are in there pretrial are there because they can’t pay their bail. They’re there because they’re poor. And we have to remember this is also a racial justice issue, that people are given higher bails generally when they’re black."
"She’s brought into the prison. The county sheriff there, the Waller County sheriff, Glenn Smith, who made the first public comments about Bland’s in-custody death, had been fired from a past job for his actions involving alleged humiliation and mistreatment of young African-American males. In Hempstead, the place where he was the sheriff before, the City Council placed him on probation for six months and ordered him to take anger management classes."
STOP WAR WITH IRAN--CONTACT YOUR REPS IN CONGRESS TODAY!
New Yorkers and residents of NJ--it isn't just Republicans trying to sabotage the Iran nukes deal. It's hawkish Democrats like Chuck Schumer (NY) and Bob Menendez (NJ) who may vote against Obama's "historic" deal. If they are your senators and you don't see the need for Iran, please contact them and urge them to vote for it. Time to put the pressure on! It's Democrats who fail to distinguish themselves on a variety of issues like starting wars who are killing the party. Hillary is one such hawkish Democrat. The American people have clearly said that they are sick of wars and would prefer to use those billions to fix THIS country. Not to mention that it's an absurd policy even for Obama or anyone else to say "Accept this deal or there will be war." Is that really even diplomacy? The US is a bully and while Iran's leadership ain't exactly sweethearts, compare the number of people we've killed to the number they've killed in the past decade and Iran will seem benevolent. At one point they were actually helping us to defeat ISIS. Are there extremists in Iran's government? Sure. Does that mean we have to attack them unless the do what we want? No.
Some buffoon/journalist interviewing Obama about the Iran deal stooped to asking him if Bill Cosby's Kennedy Center Award could be revoked due to the rape accusations against him. And MSNBC stooped to show and analyze his answer. This is total tabloidization of the news! For what it's worth, Obama said that he didn't think there was a method by which honors were revoked. He went on to say that if you gave drugs to someone and had sex with them, that was rape and you should be tried in any civilized society. (Although I've been known to have sex with people because they had drugs.)
People--the man is trying to sell a major foreign policy deal. Why would anyone with access to the leader of the free world waste his time on withdrawing presidential honors which he never even bestowed? Whatever you FEEL about Bill Cosby, at this point there are only allegations. Even if he raped every one of his accusers, he earned that award by entertaining us royally for decades. Surely, even Cosby's harshest critics should be more concerned with justice for the alleged victims that subtracting a trophy from Bill's mantle. Glad I could waste your time by complaining about the news wasting ours. I just wish our news was still news. Paging Walter Cronkite!
Here's what you'll hear in the media about the "historic" deal with Iran.
Democrats say it's a huge part of Obama's legacy and proof that his shift towards diplomacy rather than war is working. To which I say: tell that to the drone victims in Obama's drone secret war no one discusses. But to his credit, Obama won a Nobel Peace prize for his willingness to negotiate with Iran and it seems to have worked if we can get it through Congress. Obama is a war president who just sent troops back to Iraq and never left Afghanistan as he promised. But he didn't win the prize for his work in those countries. He won it for Iran negotiations. So bravo for the president. Obama's work paid off.
Republicans are howling that the deal is a sign of weak foreign policy which they'd remedy if they win the White House. And any victory for Obama makes their party look weaker. All Republicans want war. That's why we flew into Bush's senseless war in Iraq on "faulty intelligence" aka lies. So the GOP is disappointed that there won't be a war in Iran. If there were, think of all the weapons manufacturers and military contractors who'd get paid. Dick Cheney's Halliburton made $39 billion from the Iraq war.
Here's what I have to say on it.
What gives the USA the moral authority to monitor or take away any country's nukes? We are the only country that's ever bombed another country with nuclear weapons so the notion of us as peacekeeper is a joke. It could be argued that our tough sanctions on Iran forced them into making a deal which in essence is "Allow Iran to finally prosper economically without sanctions and Iran will give up the right to defend ourselves." I'm not sure the average American understands how cruel sanctions are. US sanctions on Iraq which kept medicines and food out of that country lead to 576,000 Iraqi children dying--that was one of the 3 reasons Osama Bin Laden gave for masterminding 9/11.
Rachel Maddow crowed last night (twice) that in all 42 years of her life, she assumed that a war with Iran was coming. Now it looks like it isn't and she's relieved. But why did she assume it was coming? Because the US is a bully who'll go to war with anyone who opposes it. We don't spend more on defense than most countries combined to have our soldiers and weapons sit at home. So the threat of war was coming from hawks in the US government. Like all Republicans and Hillary. Obama found another path--in Iran, anyway.
So we've de-nuked a country that is/was driven by extreme religious views in the Middle East. There's another country in the Middle East which owns nukes and is very belligerent to it's neighbors: Israel. Why aren't de-nuking them as well--instead of buying their weapons for them? There's an unholy alliance between the USA and Israel which people are finally waking up to. When you hear "hard-liners" on the news, know that it refers to people in our government who see it as their role to strengthen Israel's defense by financially supporting it. Hard-liners are mainly Republicans (and Hillary), though even Bernie Sanders has always voted to arm Israel in his decades in the Senate. If it had completed nuclear weapons, Iran could never launch them anywhere near the US--but they could attack Israel. If that's truly our concern, maybe we should coax Israel into being less hateful instead of arming them annually.
Maybe one reason that Iran felt it needed nukes is that Israel is out of line--and that it needed to protect itself from it's belligerent neighbor. Netanyahu's coalition partner said this about the deal which prevents Iran from developing even 1 nuclear weapon: "“Today a terrorist nuclear superpower is born, and it will go down as one of the darkest days in world history." How the hell is a nuclear superpower "born" when we've killed it's ability to make 1 nuclear weapon? But Iran and Israel despise each other and a former head of Iran even denied the Holocaust. So we de-nuked one crazy. An even bigger step towards peace would be to de-nuke the crazies in Israel rather than force US tax-payers to keep paying for their weapons.
People in the streets of Tehran rejoiced last night--even briefly waving an American flag as they chanted "Obama." And the majority of Americans wanted this deal because we're sick of war. So isn't this diplomatic victory with no boots on the ground refreshing? Not to Republicans, Hillary or Israel--who always prefer war. Iran has actually been helping fight ISIS in the Middle East. If we could cooperate with instead of occupy, bomb and sanction countries in that hotbed region, maybe there could be peace there one day. And I really need to ride one of those camels to the Pyramids in Egypt before I get too fat for them to support my ass. But if I am caught by jihadists en route, I just pray that I can give them head before they behead me. If you're happy about this deal, make sure you contact your reps in Congress and tell them to support this deal. Otherwise, Obama's commendable, historic efforts will have been in vain.
Sign the petition: Defend the Iran deal and stop Republicans from starting a war with Iran This is the final showdown to stop Republicans from starting a war with Iran.
The United States, Iran and five other world powers announced a historic deal to dramatically curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing international sanctions on Iran.
Republicans are trying to sabotage the deal, put us back on the path to confrontation with Iran and start a war – but they can't do it unless Democrats help them.
We need to build an impenetrable firewall in Congress to prevent Republicans from passing any legislation to kill the deal and putting us back on the path to confrontation and war. Tell Democrats to go on record in support of the deal.
We'll send your message to your senators and member of Congress, as well as to House and Senate Democratic leadership.
Not a fan of religion. But definitely a fan of the truth and of lurid lingo like "dung of the devil." As I root for socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, I'm glad to a prominent religious leader blasting the cruelty of capitalism. It makes him seem relevant and if workers make more, they can give more to the church.
"Hillary Clinton won't propose reinstating a bank break-up law known as the Glass-Steagall Act -- at least according to Alan Blinder, an economist who has been advising Clinton's campaign. "You're not going to see Glass-Steagall," Blinder said after her economic speech Monday in which she failed to mention it. Blinder said he had spoken to Clinton directly about Glass-Steagall.
This is a big mistake.
It's a mistake politically because people who believe Hillary Clinton is still too close to Wall Street will not be reassured by her position on Glass-Steagall. Many will recall that her husband led the way to repealing Glass Steagall in 1999 at the request of the big Wall Street banks.
It's a big mistake economically because the repeal of Glass-Steagall led directly to the 2008 Wall Street crash, and without it we're in danger of another one."
Here's Russell Brand on Uber. As you may know, Uber jacks up it's prices when it's busy. Metered taxis can't do that. What I didn't know that Uber is partially owned by Goldman Sachs, the banksters who brought us the mortgage crisis and laid the groundwork for Greece's financial collapse. And that through your cellphone which you book it on, they collect your data and can drive up your fares based on what you can afford since they can see your purchase history, credit rating, who knows what.. If this cabbie is to be believed, this resulted in 1 London woman being charged 150 pounds for a 4 mile ride.
I dislike Uber for a different reason. 1 is that like to put my arm out and hail a cab the way I've always done. I know that isn't possible everywhere but that's why I love NYC. And my first experience with Uber was horrible, And I don't think they're always insured as heavily as cabs are, which are doubly insured by both the city and the cab co. Uber was also recently forced in CA to claim one of their drivers as an employee. Without being an employee, Uber has to pay no benefits so it's typical of the crappy jobs added under the Obama administration. Hillary may even have to jump into this as she has claimed she'll crack down on "misclassification" which enables employers to cheat workers by claiming they are independent contractors. (I'd love to see Hillary take on Uber, but it's unlikely since she has her tongue up any large corporation's butt.)
What really fascinates me is Bill Clinton's former Labor Secretary Robert Reich's take on Uber, air bnb and other businesses dubbed the "share economy". They're really, according to Reich, a "share the scraps" economy pointing to a grim future. If you are industrious or super broke and want to make a little extra $ driving people around or renting your home, good for you. But I don't think we'd want to do either if we had decent paying jobs. I've linked to Robert's article below--well worth a read. Another downside to Uber is as Russell Brand points out: these large companies siphon profits away from local economies. Pay for a cab and the money stays right here in this area where the cabbie can spend it at your business.
I don't think people are talking about this much--other than mags featuring ads for Truvada or PreP who might therefore soft-pedal it's risks. If there is a new way to stay HIV- w/o condoms, then bring it on, throw your legs up and take multiple loads. I'll join you! But if that new way involves trusting an HIV+ top who you just met online or is drunk in a bar and he SAYS he's on PreP but may have missed a few doses which raises his viral load up to a point where he could infect you, then you're putting your life in the hands of a complete stranger. I know that getting HIV is no longer a death sentence. I also know that drugs can mutate and that I'm constantly hearing that young people don't use condoms. As Greg Scarnici says here, many people ask tricks who want to use condoms not to bother. I often get guys telling me that a condom reduces their sensitivity. To which I say, "Laying in a coffin reduces mine."
"It (Capitalism) turns everything, including human beings and the natural world, into commodities to be exploited until exhaustion or collapse. In the extraction process, labor unions are broken, regulatory agencies are gutted, laws are written by corporate lobbyists to legalize fraud and empower global monopolies, and public utilities are privatized. Secret trade agreements—which even elected officials who view the documents are not allowed to speak about—empower corporate oligarchs to amass even greater power and accrue even greater profits at the expense of workers."
Does this chilling explanation of Greece's situation sound familiar? It should. Obama is trying to ram just such secret trade deal through Congress right now. And it's terms were written by corporate lobbyists and are secret. All US unions have slammed the deal and only Republicans and the saddest of Democrats support Obama's fast track. We only know what we do know about the trade deal because of wikileaks. If we did know what was in the TPP, we'd be howling with outrage since it kills US jobs, which is what we need most. But our news prefers to focus on the all-important Cosby and Caitlyn. From Fox to MSNBC, our news prefers to focus on anything other than how both parties continue to screw American workers. They call the TPP "NAFTA on steroids." Bill Clinton, a Democrat, was responsible for that trade deal which killed 1 million manufacturing jobs. Ya know, the kind that paid well enough for a head of household to work while the other stayed home and raise kids. Even send them to higher education. That America is gone. Obama is trying to make it worse.
The suffering of the Greeks is just like the suffering of ordinary Americans—the only thing that benefits is the profit margins of financial institutions. When will human life be of concern to corporate capitalists?
They say never try to compete with pet or kids on camera. I can't even hear the audio of this but I can't take my eyes off Dolly. I wonder at what age Dolly will take over playing herself? I hope it's around 25! She looks pretty much the same.
Dolly Parton Surprises Little DollyDolly Parton surprises Alyvia Lind with the big news that she will portray little Dolly in the upcoming NBC movie #CoatOfManyColors.
Posted by NBC on Monday, July 13, 2015
Far be it from me to tell anyone where to shop. But many of us are complaining about NYC and other cities losing their flavor--mom & pop stores provide that flavor. And every time one closes, a Subway, Duane Reade, large bank or Starbucks opens. Making NYC more like everywhere else in the country. Presumably, we pay a fortune to live in small apartments because NYC is so unique. We can help keep it unique by supporting less chains. When you support the a mom & pop business, you support the 99%.
Wigstock's Sea Tea Cruise Sets Sail on Sunday August 16th!
It’s been over 10 years since the last Wigstock festival was held. The famed NYC drag Labor Day bash attracted 30,000 revelers at it’s height and became the subject of the film Wigstock: The Movie in 1995. But after 20+ years of sequins, fake lashes and immaculate coiffures, organizers Lady Bunny and Scott Lifshutz needed a break. A long one! But the celebration of wigs hasn’t completely curled up and dyed. On August 16th, the gang will take hi-jack Michael Fesco’s Sea Tea for a 4 hour cruise to recapture some of the wiggy magic from beloved festivals past. Bunny will host, emcee and perform, along with many of the event's most celebrated performers, including downtown legends Sister Dimension, Linda Simpson, HRH Princess Diandra, Flotilla Debarge, Sweetie, Sugga Pie Koko, David Ilku and Ffloyd. DJ Johnny Dynell of Jackie 60 fame will recreate the 90s club sound from when Wigstock was at it’s peak, along with DC's Ed Bailey. So prepare to boogie to the sounds of CeCe Peniston, Ultra Nate, Crystal Waters, Barbara Tucker and all of the tunes that made going out such a non-stop blast during NYC’s golden club years. Think The Love Boat on acid with a killer new soundtrack of classic NYC house music. To kick it off, Linda Simpson will present her 90s Drag Explosion photo exhibit complete with her hysterical commentary. It’s basically a retelling of every time Linda was sober enough to pull out a camera and snap it during her My Comrade days with pics of every queen from RuPaul to trans model Page.
Why revive a Wigstock-themed event now? Says, Bunny: “Someone recently sent me an photo spread from the UK’s Guardian featuring Michael James O’Brien’s shots from Wigstock during the 90s, calling it “New York’s hair-raising 90s drag scene.” It made me nostalgic, just as people are nostalgic for clubs which don’t only play top 40 tunes and drag acts which focus more on talent than on contouring ability. Then I got wind of a new Wigstock party in South Africa in addition to other annual events in Tel Aviv, Sweden and Melbourne, Australia and had to ask myself “Why should everyone else have all the fun?” and “How much should I sue for?” Everyone is always telling me “Bring back Wigstock!” so this Sea Tea cruise will test the waters, literally, and relive the party on a smaller scale. This may lead to other full-scale Wigstock festivals in the future or a possible partnership with Bushwig, the Brooklyn drag festival. I’ve performed on Michael Fesco’s Sea Tea in the past and this boat ride seems like the perfect way to reunite the crazy crew of very gifted performers. And to show that the Wigstock vibe is unsinkable! This cruise offers a unique opportunity to relive one of the Village’s maddest moments. A lot of people complain about how the Manhattan scene has lost it, so we’re trying to recapture some of that zaniness by doing something about it. Revelers are encouraged to come in costume—and we’ll award $250 for the freakiest wig. I always marveled at wigs’ powers to bring out people’s crazier sides—whether they’re real women, body builders or even dogs. But enough about Linda and Sweetie! Nothing makes a “girl” feel more “fish” than gliding along the sparkling waters of the Hudson. But please, wear wedges or sensible heels! Rock The Boat isn’t just a song and this ride is ill-suited to spikes!”
The Hornblower boards at 6PM promptly, sails at 7:30PM and is back on the dock at 10PM. It departs from Pier 40 near Christopher Street. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at Pier 40 the day of. 21 and over. Admission includes a free dinner buffet, two decks with deejays Johnny Dynell and DC’s Ed Bailey spinning actual music and an hour and a half of entertainment in the typically wacky Wigstock style which ranges from singing live, lip-synching the house down, live singing, comedy, and of course one of those rotten Laugh-In skits that Bunny still milks in her own act! Don’t miss the boat on this one—come and join us!
Out with my mom, Lypsinka and ballerina Misty Copeland, who made history recently becoming he 1st ever African American principal dancer with the American ballet theater. Misty was very amused when I had the nerve to flirt with equally gorgeous date. I was only offering to mercy-f#ck him, which I routinely do as charity work.
A fascinating interview with Rolling Stone's fantastic Matt Taibi on how former Attorney General Eric Holder has gone back to his old job since leaving the White House. And what might that job be? A corporate lawyer at Covington & Burling which represents big banks--they kept a corner office open for him the entire 6 years Eric worked in the Obama administration. Holder can't now technically work for almost two years due to a cooling off period aimed to keep lobbyists and corporate interests from determining national policy. Guess what? It was aimed to keep them out of government. It clearly has failed.
DEMOCRACYNOW: "The law firm’s client list has included many of the big banks Holder failed to criminally prosecute as attorney general for their role in the financial crisis, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup. We speak with Matt Taibbi, award-winning journalist with Rolling Stone magazine. "I think this is probably the single biggest example of the revolving door that we’ve ever had," Taibbi says."
Lefties and peaceniks knew that Holder was a joke as soon as Obama was elected. That's when he claimed that impeachment of Bush and Cheney for war crimes was off the table--presumably because Obama didn't want to set a precedent for prosecuting presidents for war crimes so that he could commit his own. But this interview shows what a joke many Obama's appointees are. The new attorney general is touted as the first black female Attorney General, which makes Obama seem like a progressive who is breaking racial and sexual boundaries. In fact, Loretta is conservative on some issues like legalizing weed and capital punishment and while hailed as a tenacious prosecutor, she didn't prosecute banking giant HSBC when she had a chance to hold their feet to the fire for laundering money for drug cartels who behead people. Wait! Is that the same beheading process that "forces" the US to declare war against ISIS? But Loretta Lynch as US attorney wouldn't prosecute a bank which washes money for drug-dealing beheaders in a region which we don't seek to militarily dominate. That's the difference.
Progressive hero Liz Warren has written a 13 page letter to Obama slamming his last Wall Street-connected appointee, just as he prepares to nominate more SEC officials from the world of big finance. It truly is a revolving door between Wall Street and the White House. This was a change Obama never intended to make. And this is a change which Hillary, bloated with donations from these same financial giants, will never even attempt to make. Bernie's motto is BREAK UP THE BIG BANKS! You know, the kind that have plunged Greece, other southern european countries and Puerto Rico into chaos. You might remember these darlings from the US when the housing bubble burst or were too big to fail so taxpayers bailed them out while their CEOs reported record profits. Our government represents wealthy banks, not the people. If you criticize Hillary for her close ties with banks, take a look at the sitting democratic president. Isn't it also wrong when he does it? And he's still got over a year to go and a phone number and email where you can reach him to express what you want to see in this country...
I applaud this Republican South Carolina state senator for making this stirring speech in favor of removing the state flag from the capitol's grounds. That's the smaller picture.
As we know from even Lindsey Graham, Nikki Haley and other SC GOP politicians, they knew they had to somehow atone for this gruesome murder in order to seem like they aren't the party of racism which they usually are. But the flag didn't kill those 9 people. A gun in the hand of a crazy white supremacist did. And Dylann was influenced by attitudes against blacks which aren't creaky, eroding prejudices spread only in fringe groups like the KKK. All the shooter would need to do is turn on Fox national news to have his hatred and fear of blacks reinforced. It's national news and it's right there in the open, not relegated to secret societies wearing hoods and burning crosses. And the GOP constantly seeks to take away voter rights which target minorities nationwide with ID laws and ending early voting because they know that the more blacks who vote, the less votes the Republican party will get. So that party is really just saving face, here. If Republicans care so much about injustice for people of color, stop demonizing them. The fool Donald Trump just shot up to the top of the GOP presidential candidates BECAUSE he spewed absurd racial slurs against Mexican immigrants.
Now let's look at keeping guns out of crazies' reach and how both parties either actively support or at least refuse to challenge systemic racism which railroads black men to prison if they're lucky enough to survive the police who kill then and usually get off without charges.