Friday, October 24, 2014

Slain Canadian Soldier's Dogs Wait For Owner To Return


As Canada continues to mourn for Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was killed standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa, these heartbreaking photos show his dogs waiting for a return that will never happen.

From Dogtube:

Corporal Nathan Cirillo, 24, was standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Ottawa, when he was shot and killed on Wednesday.

Cirillo was a single dad. He was raising his six-year-old son on his own. Cirillo also loved animals. He had pictures of a kitten in his army bag, and had currently owned two dogs. His dogs have been photographed sticking their heads under the gate of the home, waiting for Cirillo to come back home. Unfortunately, that will never happen, and flags were flown at half-mast for the fallen soldier.



Dallas: Drunk Homophobe Gets Taken Down After Attacking Possibly Gay Man


In an apparent anti-gay attack, a seemingly drunk traveler attacked what he clearly assumed was a gay man at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport yesterday.

From Raw Story:

The video is dated Thursday, October 23, and shows an unnamed angry man bellowing and threatening another passenger who is wearing a jacket and a pink shirt.

A tall man in a black cowboy hat approaches and asks the angry man what he’s upset about.

“Queers!” the man shouted. “That’s what I’m upset about. This faggot right here.”

After a tense exchange, the angry man kicks the man in the pink shirt, then slaps at him and grabs his hair.

A number of people rush to intervene as the man is tackled and put on the floor.

The man in the cowboy hat can be heard saying loudly, “No way! No way, you motherfucker. You ain’t doin’ that fucking shit, motherfucker.”

You can hear the man as he's being handcuffed saying "I punched him square in the mouth in the fuckin' mouth is what I did. Because this is America. When I get up I'm gonna beat the shit out of him."

Props to the folks who jump in so quick.  AND to Andrew Kennedy who captured the scuffle on video.



Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Files Opposition To Lifting Stay On Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi

As expected, Attorney General for Florida - Pam Bondi - has filed a brief in opposition of lifting a stay on a ruling which would allow same-sex marriage to begin.

The stay in question was set to expire today. Bondi filed at pretty much the last minute.

From Equality Florida:

Earlier this month the US Supreme Court paved the way for marriages for same-sex couples to commence in 13 states by refusing to hear appeals of five circuit court rulings that found state bans unconstitutional. The ACLU and lawyers for plaintiffs in a concurrent case immediately asked Judge Hinkle to lift the stay he put in place in January when he declared the ban a violation of equal protection and due process.

On two occasions in the past month, the United States Courts for the 9th Circuit lifted a stay while decisions on marriage equality in Idaho and Alaska are appealed. The U.S. Supreme Court also refused to order the court to keep the stay in place while appeals continue, despite appeals from the defense. Both the Circuit Court and the U.S. Supreme Court stated that they will not make couples wait to marry while appeals are pending.

“Even if she continues to pursue an appeal, Attorney General Bondi should not hold our state and our families hostage by calling for the stay to remain in place. Should she choose to appeal, let her follow the lead of the 9th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court and allow marriages to commence. Every day that Floridians are denied access to the protections only marriage can provide, our families suffer," added Smith.

See the full brief below:

Gay GOP Congressional Candidate Carl DeMaio Has ANOTHER Scandal On His Hands


Yet another scandal is rocking the campaign of Republican US House candidate Carl DeMaio as accusations of secretly authoring a UT San Diego editorial that slammed his opponent, Democratic Rep. Scott Peters have surfaced today.

From NBC 7 in San Diego:

Former DeMaio staffer Todd Bosnich said he and campaign spokesman Dave McCulloch were the authors of an editorial entitled “Scott Peters and the Mount Soledad Shuffle.”

Bosnich accused DeMaio of improper sexual conduct in an interview with CNN on October 10. The DeMaio campaign says Bosnich was fired for plagiarism.

“I worked with Dave on it,” Bosnich said. “So it was, basically, the two of us who wrote it.”

The December 2013 editorial says that “The newly renewed debate over the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial — and how Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, actually feels about it — isn’t just a tiff over trivia. Instead, it’s a revealing reminder that Peters has a history of being both slippery and in substantive.”

The emails provided to NBC 7 indicate that after the editorial ran, McCulloch reached out to a consultant, other campaign staff and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) boasting that “UT San Diego scorched Peters over the Soledad Cross today, saying ‘Peters has a history of being both slippery and insubstantive’ and that ‘rewriting his own history and ducking responsibility for his actions have always come easy to Scott Peters.’"

In response, Alleigh Marree of the NRCC said: “This is great. Will be able to use these lines A LOT.”

In the email thread provided to NBC 7 Investigates, DeMaio wrote back, “Well, we did wrote (sic) it ourselves.”

William Osborne, editorial/opinion director of UT San Diego, told NBC 7 Investigates that UT San Diego editorial writer Chris Reed wrote the editorial. According to Osborne, the DeMaio campaign claimed the email thread had been fabricated.

“If that email is authentic, I cannot explain it and won’t speculate,” Osborne said. “I can only tell you that Carl DeMaio personally denied to me that he wrote it and said it (the email) was a ‘fabrication.’”

Bosnich said the email thread was not altered in any way, adding that the editorial appeared almost “exactly word for word” as he and McCulloch wrote it.

It's worth noting that UT Sand Diego has endorsed Carl DeMaio for Congress.

San Diego City Beat reporter Kelly Davis took her thoughts public when she felt she was being stonewalled by the DeMaio campaign:









(via JMG)

Idaho ACLU and City of Coeur D'Alene Say Wedding Venue Not In Violation Of Non-Discrimination Ordinance


The Hitching Post, a Coeur d'Alene wedding chapel in Idaho, has been the center of a fake controversy this week seeming to pit LGBT non-discrimination ordinances versus anti-gay religious beliefs.

The city of Coeur d'Alene and the Idaho ACLU have issued statements saying the venue would not be violating the city's nondiscrimination laws should they decline to officiate a same-sex marriage, but the anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom is killing itself to keep the story alive.

From Boise State Public Radio:

Initially, the city said its anti-discrimination law did apply to the Hitching Post, since it is a commercial business. Earlier this week, Coeur d'Alene city attorney Mike Gridley sent a letter to the Knapps’ attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom saying the Hitching Post would have to become a not-for-profit to be exempt.

But Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn’t specify non-profit or for-profit.

“After we've looked at this some more, we have come to the conclusion they would be exempt from our ordinance because they are a religious corporation,” Gridley explained.

Court filings show the Hitching Post reorganized earlier this month as a “religious corporation.” In the paperwork, the owners describe their deeply held beliefs that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

Leo Morales of the ACLU of Idaho said the exemption makes sense as long as the Hitching Post primarily performs religious ceremonies.

“However, if they do non-religious ceremonies as well, they would be violating the anti-discrimination ordinance,” Morales said. “It's the religious activity that's being protected."

See, what happened was, quietly on October 6th, the owners of the venue changed the wording of the "purpose" of their LLC in preparation of all these shenanigans. Prior to a few weeks ago, the Hitching Post performed non-religious marriage ceremonies. BUT, that wouldn't make for as good a story as a "religious corporation" would. Check the new language on the company's business operating agreement:

“The Hitching Post is a religious corporation owned solely by ordained ministers of the Christian religion who operate this entity as an extension of their sincerely held religious beliefs and in accordance with their vows taken as Christian ministers."

So, the point is - civil weddings are fine with the Knapps. Other religions ceremonies are fine with the Knapps. It's the gays they have a problem with.

Even the group that helped draft the non-discrimination ordinance language - the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations - has issued a statement to the mayor and city council that the Knapps fall under the religious exemption in the law.

But the thing is, the anti-gay groups WANT there to be a controversy so they can point their fingers and say "See? We told you religious folks would be persecuted!" The Alliance Defending Freedom keeps perpetrating the idea that at least one same-sex couple has tried to get the owners of The Hitching Post to marry them. Except, that hasn't happened.

So, no one is being persecuted.

Fake story. Fake controversy.

BREAKING: Shooting At Washington State High School



According to the Seattle Times, the gunman appears to have shot himself to death after injuring several at Marysville-Pilchuck High School:

A gunman believed to have opened fire at Marysville-Pilchuck High School Friday morning is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to two law-enforcement sources.

Police have not released details, but there are reports of as many as seven other people shot about 10:45 a.m.

Three of the injured were taken by ambulance to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, including one with a head wound.

Anderson Cooper Shuts Down "Selfie" Request From Journalist At Site Of Ottawa Shooting


CNN's Anderson Cooper does not suffer fools lightly.

Reporting from Ottawa last night on the tragic shootings at Canada's National War Memorial and Parliament, a "journalist" named Vandon Gene who was a contributor to the Sun News approached Cooper about taking a "selfie" with him near the location of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's fatal shooting.

Cooper made clear he thought it highly inappropriate and that he was there to report on the incident, not smile for the guy's camera near the site of the soldier's death.

Gene apparently thought this made Cooper a jerk, so he pulled out his phone and recorded another request for a pic wherein Cooper repeats how inappropriate the idea was.

Then, Gene posted the video and tweets complaining about Cooper denying him a "selfie."

Cooper took a deep breath and issued this very public series of tweets to the idiot:


Gene eventually tweeted an apology, but it was waaaaaay too late. According to the Sun News, Gene no longer works for them.

You can watch the very brief interchange via Mediaite below:

Dallas Nurse Found To Be Ebola Free

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz' Chief of Staff Makes Bad Ebola Joke


Sen. Ted Cruz' Deputy Chief of Staff, Nick Muzin, made a bad joke about Ebola basically blaming the disease on "Obamacare" of all things.

It seems he thought expanding healthcare coverage (Obamacare) somehow led to infectious disease (Ebola). Or at the very least, was funny.

I know, I know... find me some logic or humor in that.

Then, he deleted the tweet and followed up with this:


But not before the world saw it and screen captured it.

This is a man who advises Ted Cruz. This is a man who has a US Senator's ear.

This guy most probably dreams of being at the White House someday.

Or, rather, did dream of such things.

A few responses from the Twitterverse:



(via Boston Globe)

First Look At INTO THE WOODS Film Featuring Meryl Streep Singing "Stay With Me"


First look at Meryl Streep singing in the upcoming movie adaptation of Into The Woods to be released Christmas Day 2014.

In this featurette, the cast and director Rob Marshall talk about bringing the musical about several fairy tales colliding in the woods on the same day.

Also stars Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Daniel Huttlestone as Jack, James Corden and Emily Blunt as the Baker and his wife, plus Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf.

And did I mention the clip features Meryl Streep singing?...

Arkansas Supreme Court To Hear Oral Arguments In Same-Sex Marriage Suit November 20th


The Arkansas Supreme Court has set November 20th as the date it will hear arguments concerning a challenge to the state's gay marriage ban.

From Buzzfeed's legal eagle Chris Geidner:



This is in addition to another case regarding marriage equality, which will also be heard on the same day in Arkansas by a federal judge.

AND - a hearing for summary judgement in Montana's gay marriage battle is also scheduled for November 20th.

Looks like a busy day for folks come the 20th.

(via Towleroad)

Nick Jonas Actually "Kind Of Dreads" Working Out

Shirtless Nick Jonas shares his tips on bulking up for his new TV role on KINGDOM
Shirtless Nick Jonas gives you abs and more abs

In an new interview for Details Magazine, Nick Jonas explains that although he packed on about 15 pounds of muscle in six weeks for his "Kingdom" role on DirecTV, he really doesn't like working out.

He kind of dreads it, even.

"I hate going to the gym. I think everybody hates cardio to some degree. I'm not the kind of person who wakes up in the morning and can't wait to work out. I kind of dread it, actually. I see it as a necessary evil."

So, I don't feel like such a slug when I look at Nick bulk and beef up. Even he doesn't like it.

Read more about Nick's journey to beefy goodness over at Details.com.

Plus, the folks at Details decided to share bonus pics of Mr. Jonas here.

More wine!

Nevada Gov. Sandoval Opposes Attempts To Re-Ban Same-Sex Marriage

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R)

Even before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Nevada's same-sex marriage ban, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval had made clear that he would not appeal the ruling should the anti-gay law be found unconstitutional.

Sandoval and the state's Attorney General didn't even defend the law in the 9th. Due to "heightened scrutiny" required in cases involving sexual orientation, he and AG Catherine Cortez Masto admitted the law could not be defended.

True to his word, when the unanimous ruling was handed down by the 3 judge panel of the 9th Circuit, Sandoval said "done," allowing gays and lesbians to begin marrying.

However, the folks over at the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage - the same group that got the law on the ballot back in 2002 - jumped in and defended the law in the 9th Circuit. And, of course, lost.

Now the Coalition is requesting the 9th Circuit consider re-hearing the lawsuit en banc, which would mean a panel of 11 judges versus the normal 3 judge panel which has already heard the case.

En banc reviews are difficult to get as a majority of the Court's 29 judges have to agree to consider the case.

University of California, Irvine, law professor Doug Nejaime told the Washington Blade, “Given the Supreme Court’s action a couple weeks ago, there may not be many judges that want to spend resources reviewing the panel decision. And then there is certainly reason, given that Perry [the case that struck down California’s Proposition 8] was also decided in the Ninth Circuit, to think a different result is unlikely.”

In a short statement on Wednesday, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Sandoval said Nevada opposes the attempt by the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage to appeal the ruling, and hopes such opposition will lead to closure on the issue.

Alaska: Sarah Palin Endorses The Opponent Of Her Former Lt. Governor

Gov. Sean Parnell (L) and Bill Walker (R)

In an interesting bit of news, it seems the Sarah Palin, the former half-term governor of Alaska, has endorsed not her former Lt. Governor - Sean Parnell - who replaced her when she chose to quit in her first term, but his opponent, Independent candidate Bill Walker.

From the National Journal:

Parnell's 2013 restructuring of the state's oil and gas taxes dismantled a prior, Palin-championed program that she considered to be one of the greatest achievements of her tenure. That difference of opinion is at the heart of Palin's conflict with Parnell, which resulted in the two campaigning on opposite sides of a ballot measure in this year's primary.
It's worth noting that when Gov. Parnell indicated that he would appeal the recent ruling against the state's ban on same-sex marriage, Walker issued a statement that he felt an appeal would be an "unwise use of our dwindling resources:

Walker, an attorney, responded later Sunday with criticism of the state's decision to appeal the ruling. A recent ruling from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- which includes Alaska in its jurisdiction -- said bans on same-sex marriage violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Such higher court rulings make the probability of a successful appeal when similar bans have already been overturned in other states unlikely.

Walker said he personally viewed marriage as existing between a man and a woman, but added that if he were governor, he would "uphold the laws of the land."

"Despite my personal views on marriage, with the state's dire financial crisis, pursuing expensive litigation that has little chance of victory is an unwise use of our dwindling resources."

(via JMG)

If You Love Animals As Much As I Do

Randy Report reader Paul Meenan with his weekend pal Todd

I know, I know - life is always so busy. We all have the best intention to do more and more. So much to do, so little time.

The funny thing is, though, finding the right outlet to give back somehow can become many times more fulfilling than we ever imagine.

I started The Randy Report as a pastime. Not only is this now my full-time job, but it's a true passion. I honestly can't wait to sit down (most days) and share all this stuff I find interesting and important with my readers. But it all began when someone said to me sharing this passion might mean something to others.

But blogging isn't everyone's passion. There are so many ways to donate time and energy that returns to us many times over.

When the weekend rolls around, my friend (and regular Randy Report reader) Paul volunteers at his local animal shelter by walking and playing with the dogs and cats that are somehow (temporarily) without families. And you KNOW many have gone missing from their true homes by accident. No tags, no micro-chips, no way to get back home :(

Now think about this - maybe you can't have a pet where you live; or your finances don't allow it right now. Volunteering at an animal shelter gives you many "pets" - all at one time! Paul gets out in the sun with the dogs, plays ball, walks them... Doesn't that sound better than laying around the house?

And you get to enjoy seeing the kids find permanent homes along the way.  Check out a recent Facebook post by Paul at the Ames Animal Shelter recently - NO DOGS to play with because they all found homes!  Whoo-hoo!  That's got to feel good :)




So, two things to consider here:

1. If you're looking for somewhere to contribute your time and energy, think about volunteering at your local animal shelter.

2. It's important to make sure all of your pets have pet id tags. Without tags, too many pets end up in animal shelters and don't find their way home.

I couldn't end without one more pic of the handsome Todd (who found a home!) playing with Paul. It's hard to tell who's having the better time here, no?

One more pic of Paul with furry buddy Todd
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