Sunday, November 23, 2014

Manhattan's Coming New Skyline

The New York Daily News has published a recap of Manhattan's insane boom in skyscraper construction. Embiggen the bottom image for a tally on the coming supertalls, several of which will eclipse the Empire State Building's 1250 feet. The supertall in the center of the top image, 111 West 57th, will be the world's skinniest skyscaper at 1350 feet tall and only 43 feet wide. With only 100 units, most of that tower's apartments will be floor-through. The building on the far right, One57, was recently completed. The bankster that bought its 13,500sf triplex penthouse for $90M is already trying to flip it. (Tipped by JMG reader Ed)

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Former DC Mayor Marion Barry Dies

Controversial former Washington DC mayor Marion Barry died today at the age of 78.
His death was announced by his family in a statement released through a spokeswoman for Barry. According to the statement, he died at the United Medical Center in Southeast Washington, after having been released from Howard University Hospital Saturday. Natalie Williams, a United Medical Center spokeswoman, said Barry arrived at the hospital around 12:30 a.m. and died at 1:46 a.m. She declined to discuss his symptoms presented or the treatment rendered. No cause was given in the family statement, but he had suffered from many health problems over the years. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said in a statement that he would work with Barry’s family and the D.C. Council to plan ceremonies worthy of a “true statesman of the District of Columbia.” In pre-dawn statements, both Gray and mayor-elect Muriel Bowser expressed sadness at Barry’s passing. Bowser was at the hospital early Sunday and gave remarks at an impromptu news conference in the hospital auditorium where more than a dozen Barry aides and supporters gathered, some of them sobbing.
Barry spent four terms as DC mayor, but his third and fourth terms were separated by a brief stretch in prison after being caught smoking crack with a former girlfriend (and FBI informant) as federal agents watched from an adjoining hotel room. Barry famously snarled, "Goddamn bitch set me up!" during his televised arrest, a line that was frequently quoted during the recent saga of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford. Barry spent the last decade as a DC city councilman.

RELATED: In 2008 Barry declared that he would vote for same-sex marriage if such a bill were to be presented to the DC City Council. However in December 2009 when the bill did arrive, Barry voted against it, saying, "All hell is going to break lose. We may have a civil war. The black community is just adamant against this." The bill passed by a 12-1 vote. Pandemonium ensued in the council's building after the vote and police had to remove screaming evangelicals. The city began issuing same-sex marriage licenses in March 2010.

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The Silent Treatment Is Really Witchcraft

"Did you know the silent treatment (which is the stubborn refusal to talk to someone, especially after a recent argument or disagreement) is a form of witchcraft? Witchcraft is sometimes a spiritual force, but it’s also a work of the flesh listed in Galatians. Intimidation is a form of fleshly witchcraft. Purposely ignoring people to ‘teach them a lesson’ can be a form of fleshly witchcraft. Manipulation tactics, like pouting and crying to get people to do what you want or make them feel guilty, are forms of fleshly witchcraft. I can tell you this, folks won’t get far with Spirit-led Christians playing those sorts of flesh-driven games. We’ll pray for you but we won’t bow to manipulation. 1 Samuel 15:2. Rebellion to God’s Word is as the sin of witchcraft. Trying to punish people with manipulation is rebellion. Can somebody say amen?” - Jennifer LeClaire, writing for Matt Barber's website.

RELATED: Last month LeClaire accused "atheists on Twitter" of siccing witches on her. Several days before that she let us know that "Satan celebrates" every time a gay person is on television.

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GOP Holiday Sale

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SNL On Immigration Reform

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

REPORT: Accused HRC Co-Founder Terry Bean Met Teenaged Boy On Grindr

Portland police yesterday reported that accused HRC co-founder Terry Bean, 66, met the teenaged boy he is charged with molesting on Grindr. The boy was identified after police were given his phone number by Bean's former partner, Kiah Lawson, 25, who has also been charged with sexual abuse of a minor. Via the Oregonian:
Bean and Lawson are accused of setting up an encounter with the teen through the iPhone app Grindr, a mobile social network that helps men find "local gay, bi and curious guys for dating.'' The app advertises, "Meet the men nearest you with GPS.'' Bean, 66, and Lawson, 25, are accused of having sex with the boy at a Eugene hotel on Sept. 27, 2013. A Lane County grand jury indicted both on two counts of third-degree sodomy and one count of third-degree sexual abuse. On Friday afternoon, Lawson pleaded not guilty to the three-count indictment in Lane County Circuit Court. Bean, who posted bail, is set to appear in court Dec. 3. "The surprising thing to me is Kiah was indicted in this case because it was Kiah who helped authorities find this kid,'' said Jeffrey Dickey, Lawson's attorney at the time. "If someone is going to cooperate and be helpful for the police there should be some kind of reward for that. It could have a chilling effect on others coming forward.''
Bean contends that he is the victim of an "extortion ring" that included Lawson, who claims to have discovered that Bean secretly videotaped sexual encounters with Lawson and other men in Bean's bedroom. It was Bean who first went to police in June to charge that Lawson and others were demanding money in exchange for remaining silent about the videotaping.

In March of this year, Bean filed for a restraining order against Lawson, claiming domestic physical abuse. In that petition, Bean claimed that Lawson is a crystal meth addict who had burglarizing his home and charged $15K on stolen credit cards. He also accused Lawson of dealing meth out of  Bean's second home, a condo where Lawson lived at that time. Bean claims that police characterized his accusations as a civil dispute between landlord and tenant.

UPDATE: Lawson's mother has weighed in.
Lawson’s mother, Tim Nouanemany, told KOIN 6 News after the hearing her son never had contact with the teen, and that Terry Bean arranged the encounter. She also said Lawson is himself the victim, a pawn used by Bean to “get young kids.” She called it “grooming,” and claimed several times Bean gave her son alcohol and Viagra as part of the grooming process to entice the teen. Nouanemany is sticking by her son and said she just wants the truth to come out. She also hopes he gets to take a lie detector test. Lawson, she said, went from being a happy young man last year after first meeting Bean to someone who is not himself lately.
And there's this from the 15 year-old's lawyer: "He’s been traumatized and he’ll be living with that trauma. It’s important that the two adults involved he held to account for that. Something like this can follow a victim for their life. As we go to electronic court records, everything becomes searchable."

RELATED: In August of this year, a New Jersey man filed a federal lawsuit against Grindr, alleging that the hook-up app's "lax age verification standards" led him to be arrested for having sex with a 13 year-old boy, who had been allowed to be a paying member of the site. Grindr's motion to dismiss cites the Communications Decency Act, which they claim immunizes companies from bad acts resulting from misinformation provided by other parties. They additionally claim that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it is "not feasible" for web publishers to verify the age of users. 

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Ex-Gay Group: HRC Should Fund Torture Therapy For Alleged Sexual Abuse Victim

"It is outrageous and tragic that the Founder of the largest gay activist organization in the world is molesting boys, while at the same time their leadership is pushing for laws across the United States to keep those same boys out of the counseling office to heal trauma at the hands of homosexual pedophiles. In light of these serious allegations, we are calling on HRC to donate a considerable amount of funding in their 2015 budget to fund Reparative Therapy (or whatever preferred SOCE therapy of their choosing) for their pedophile Founder, and his victim. Voice Of The Voiceless will work with HRC to locate appropriate, highly qualified licensed counselors that are trained in advanced therapeutic techniques to heal trauma for the victim. How many more children will have to be molested before America realizes the damage being inflicted by HRC and other gay activists? Instead of trying to keep sexually abused and confused children out of the counseling office, HRC and their allies need to take a hard look in the mirror at their tactics to secure 'equality' and stop using innocent, sexually confused children as pawns in their political agenda." - Ex-gay nutjob Christopher Doyle, responding to the arrest of HRC co-founder Terry Bean.

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Bachmann To Stage Anti-Immigration Rally On Steps On Capitol Building

Michele Bachmann is calling on Fox News viewers to join her for an anti-immigration rally on the steps of the Capitol Building.
Bachmann, appearing Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity," called for citizens to got to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, December 3 at "high noon" on the west steps of the Capitol. "We need to have a rally, and we need to go visit our senators and visit our congressmen, because nothing frightens a congressman like the whites of his constituents' eyes," Bachmann said. "We need to say, you're not going to do this with our Constitution." Bachmann says she wants Congress to defund Obama's executive action legalizing up to 5 million illegal immigrants.

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Jim Parsons For Intel


(Via Aksarbent)

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ALABAMA: Social Security Administration Denies Death Benefits To Gay Widower

JMG reader Paul Hard has received the above letter from the Social Security Administration which advises him that since he and his late husband were not married "under the laws of Alabama," he is not eligible for federal death benefits. Last month Lambda Legal sued the federal government on behalf of a Texas widow that was told the same:
SSA should not be telling widowed lesbians and gay men already grieving the loss of a spouse—‘you live in the wrong state so you don’t get Social Security spousal benefits. Thousands of same-sex spouses, like our client Kathy Murphy, have married, even though their home states refuse to recognize their relationships. Since Windsor, these aging lesbian and gay Americans believe that, at the very least, their marriages finally will be respected by the federal government. But, relying on discriminatory state marriage bans declared unconstitutional by an avalanche of courts around the country, SSA continues to deny same-sex spouses their benefits. Widows, widowers and retirees, wherever they live, need Social Security spousal benefits, earned through years of hard work, to support them as they age. They should not have to wait one more day to be treated with dignity by the federal government.
We've seen amazing, truly historic advances with the feds since Windsor, but we're still not there.

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Beyonce - 7/11

A big change from her usual lavishly produced clips.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

FLORIDA: Liberty Counsel Files Amicus Brief With Eleventh Circuit Court

The Orlando-based Liberty Counsel today filed an amicus brief with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in defense of Florida's ban on same-sex marriage. Last week Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed that court's first same-sex marriage appeal. In today's brief, Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver cites Mark Regnerus and Maggie Gallagher and argues that same-sex marriage should remain banned because gays get a lot of icky diseases and regularly beat their partners.
The personal, social and financial costs of these homosexual-specific health problems concern not just those who engage in homosexual activity, but also the larger community of citizens who help provide services and who must bear part of the burdens imposed by the health challenges. It is eminently rational, if not compelling, for the voters of Florida to seek to minimize the deleterious effects of these conditions on public health, safety and welfare by affirming that marriage in Florida remains the union of one man and one woman. In addition, same-sex relationships, particularly relationships involving two male partners, carry greater risks for domestic violence than do marriages.
There's also this:
To hold that the FMPA does not even pass rational basis would be to hold that 5 million Florida voters acted irrationally in voting for the Amendment. Furthermore, such holding would essentially proclaim that billions of people in every government and major religion worldwide, as well as every state in the union from the founding until 2003, were irrational in their universal support of man-woman marriage. (Marriage was defined as the union of one man a nd one woman by every government, world religion and state until 2003.) Such a conclusion is breathtaking.
Florida's marriage ban passed by a mere two points, which I believe was a closer margin than any other state. Staver also mentions Alfred Kinsey, saying that his research has spawned an evil culture that "even the homosexual-tolerant ancient Greeks could not imagine." You may recall that Liberty Counsel once loudly denounced Pam Bondi for what they said was her tepid defense of Florida's marriage ban. Such criticism stopped several months ago after Bondi became more aggressive. Staver was repeatedly denied in his attempts to intervene in Florida's marriage lawsuits on the basis of Bondi's perceived inactions.

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MISSISSIPPI: State Supreme Court To Hear Same-Sex Divorce Case

Via the Associated Press:
The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear arguments Jan. 21 from a woman who wants the state to recognize her same-sex marriage in order to grant a divorce. In 2013, DeSoto County Chancery Judge Mitchell Lundy Jr. ruled that the Mississippi Constitution and statutes prevented him from granting a divorce to Lauren Czekala-Chatham and Dana Ann Melancon. They married in San Francisco in 2008 and bought a house in Mississippi before separating in 2010. They could divorce in California, but Czekala-Chatham says they shouldn't be treated differently than straight couples. They have agreed on a division of property. Czekala-Chatham is pressing ahead with the legal challenge of Mississippi's stance on same-sex marriage, hoping to set a precedent for same-sex couples whose parting might be less amicable. But the Mississippi attorney general's office argues in briefs that the state's traditional marriage laws defining and recognizing marriage as the union between one man and one woman are not unconstitutional. The attorney general said Mississippi is not required to recognize California same-sex marriage for purposes of granting Czekala-Chatham a divorce.
It's possible that the case will be made moot by the any-day-now ruling in a separate case to overturn Mississippi's marriage ban. However that ruling, should it go our way, will likely be stayed pending an appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court.

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GOP On Obama's "Imperial Presidency"

The clip uses a 2008 anti-Bush speech by Hillary Clinton.

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NOM Vows To Stop Same-Sex Marriage Even If It Takes Them A Hundred Years

"We have to resolve that we will stand for marriage and fight for however long it takes - it might be 20 years, it might be 50 years, it might be 100 years - to rebuild the marriage culture and to restore in law, where it has been displaced, a sound understanding of marriage. As a result of this, we will draw ridicule. We will bring scorn upon ourselves, because powerful people in institutions reject our understanding of marriage. They reject what everyone understood marriage to be until yesterday. And they claim that anyone who disagrees with them is a bigot, or a hater, or is motivated by irrational animus, or archaic religious beliefs. Yet we must suffer that, be willing to suffer that opprobrium, perhaps discrimination, perhaps the loss of friends, perhaps even conflict within the family, for the sake of rebuilding marriage, because so much for people depends on it, and especially for the poor." - NOM chairman emeritus Robert George, via email.

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AFA: Rabid Homosexuals Want To Bully The Duggar Family Off Reality Television

Via email from the American Family Association:
Dear Supporter, Rabid homosexual activists have made America’s favorite family enemy Number One. The Duggar Family from TLC network’s 19 Kids and Counting has shared their strong Christian faith with millions of families across America for years. They are unashamedly pro-life and Christ-centered. Because of their uncompromising stand on marriage and abstinence, the homosexual lobby has drawn a bully bead on Jim and Michelle Duggar. Gay activists are publicly labeling Jim and Michelle with words like “ignorance” and “fear mongering.” In the past week, homosexuals launched a very frightening and fast-growing petition asking TLC to cancel 19 Kids and Counting. Already, their hate-filled petition has gathered 130,000 signatures, thanks to the liberal media’s propaganda machine. TLC needs to know you support the Duggars and 19 Kids and Counting! If TLC hears from enough Christians, they will not even consider canceling the show. Our goal is 1,000,000 signatures by Christmas!
Anti-gay activists have also launched a Twitter campaign at #DefendTheDuggars. What are you waiting for?

UPDATE: Somebody's ever so pissed about our little project.

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GAMBIA: President Signs Bill Making Gay Sex Punishable By Life In Prison

Gambian president Yahya Jammeh has signed a bill that makes homosexuality punishable by life in prison.
The law targets those with a previous conviction for homosexuality, those living with HIV, and same-sex partners of people with disabilities - all of whom could be imprisoned for life. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Thursday the law violates fundamental human rights - among them the right to privacy, to freedom from discrimination and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention. "I call on The Gambia to fulfil its international obligations to promote and protect the human rights of all persons without discrimination, to repeal all provisions of the Criminal Code that criminalise relations between consenting adults and to put in place an immediate moratorium on arrests on the basis of such laws," he said in a statement.
Homosexuality was previously punishable by 14 years in prison. When Gambia's national legislature approved the bill in September, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer applauded the move on Twitter.

PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: Gambian president Yahya Jammeh declares that his nation "will fight homosexuality like we fight malaria." Jammeh is named one of 2013's worst anti-gay villains by Human Rights Watch. Jammeh compares himself to Mohammed because he has "cured" 68 AIDS patients with herbs. Jammeh says no amount of foreign aid will bring LGBT rights to Gambia. Jammeh threatens to decapitate "any homosexuals found in Gambia."

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Kirk Cameron: Freep Rotten Tomatoes To Trick People Into Seeing My Movie

Via Raw Story:
Kirk Cameron is asking his fans to help boost the putrid reviews his new “Saving Christmas” movie has gotten on the website Rotten Tomatoes. The conservative Christian and former child actor took to Facebook after professional and amateur critics savaged the movie, which opened last week. “Send the message to all the critics that WE decide what movies we want our families to see!” Cameron posted. “If 2,000 of you (out of almost 2 million on this page) take a minute to rate Saving Christmas, it will give the film a huge boost and more will see it as a result!” “Jesus came back, saw this, and gave up on humanity,” wrote Justin H. at Rotten Tomatoes. The professional critic rating was an abysmal 10 percent on the review aggregating site, but Cameron’s fans had helped lift the audience score to 60 percent as of Friday afternoon.
(Tipped by JMG reader DM)

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Deborah Cox - Everywhere



Above is the edit of Deborah Cox's new single Everywhere, followed by the Tom Stephan remix, which makes its premier on JMG today. Cox has scored twelve #1 singles on Billboard's dance chart and has recorded the vocals for an upcoming Whitney Houston biopic as the producers were unable to get the rights to Houston's actual tracks.

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SEOUL: Christians Storm Into City Council Meeting, Thwart LGBT Rights Panel

Via the Korea Times:
The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) postponed a public hearing on gay rights Thursday after some 200 activists opposed to fair treatment of homosexuals stormed into the capital’s City Hall to stop the proceedings. SMG officials initially planned to gather opinions from a range of experts during the hearing in an effort to draft a Charter of Human Rights for Citizens in Seoul. Experts are divided over whether to include a clause on protecting sexual minorities in the charter. Some Christian groups are vehemently opposed to including this statement — “Every Seoul citizen has a right not to be discriminated against based on sexual orientation, sexual identity, educational background, religion, and the right not to be subject to any form of discrimination banned by law.” Among the protestors were members of the Christian Council of Korea, which represents some 45,000 churches, and is on the record as opposing gay rights.
Earlier this year hundreds of Christians laid down in the street to block Seoul's gay pride parade.

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Harlem Hate Pastor James David Manning: It's Absolutely True That Starbucks Laces Their Lattes With Sodomite Semen

"This is not a quietly kept secret, but Starbucks really has discovered that sodomites love the taste of semen in their lattes. And Dracula loves to drink blood. I'm mean, this has been going since child sacrifices have been happening. There are people who love to drink semen and who love to drink blood, and so many of the people that attend Starbucks, you know, are there for the purpose of a partner-less sexual oral experience! Nine dollars! That's cheaper than a 42nd Street streetwalker! For nine dollars at Starbucks you can have an oral sex semen-laced latte and have the same kind of pleasures if you like drinking that kind of stuff. I think that parents and church members and others that walk past Starbucks and see people with such delights on their faces and cups up to their lips, they need to know what's going on. People are saying that I'm off my rocker by suggesting that Starbucks has found a way to have sex in public for nine dollars a hit. And they're trying everything to smear me. No! It is true! It is absolutely true about Starbucks and semen in their lattes." - Harlem hate Pastor James David Manning, doubling down on his claim that Starbucks laces its lattes with "sodomite semen." Also: Coco-Cola has a formula for synthetic cocaine that South American drug lords are desperate to get their hands on.

UPDATE: YouTube satirist Adam Reakes has animated Manning's original claims about Starbucks. You'll like this.

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Ben Carson: I Can Feel The Fingers Of God Telling Me To Run For President

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IDAHO: Gov. Butch Otter Keeps Trying

Via Boise's NBC affiliate:
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter wants to file additional arguments in his attempt to have an 11-judge panel review the three-judge ruling that overturned Idaho's gay marriage ban. Otter argued in a motion filed Wednesday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that another reply is needed because a separate federal court has since upheld same-sex marriage bans in other states. He added that the analysis in that case defending marriage between one-man and one-woman should also be included because the Idaho plaintiffs, the four lesbian couples who filed the original lawsuit nearly a year ago, claim fears of redefining marriage are unsubstantiated.
Several other states are also flailing about to keep their appeals active in the hopes of a SCOTUS ruling that would allow them to undo same-sex marriage.

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Ninth Circuit Court To Alaska: Get Lost

Via the Fairbanks Daily New-Miner:
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected Alaska's request that an 11-judge panel review a decision overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Now, gay and lesbian couples will continue to be allowed to wed in Alaska unless the state wins before a three-judge panel at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — which has already ruled against other states’ bans on same-sex marriage — or successfully appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Gov.-elect Bill Walker said Thursday he plans to evaluate the case to see whether his administration will continue to defend the ban, indicating a shifting stance from before the election, when he called the current administration’s defense an “unwise” use of state money. On Tuesday, a deadline passed without action by the 9th Circuit: None of the 29 judges on the court, which oversees Alaska and eight other states, had asked for a vote to hear Alaska’s appeal under what is called an “en banc” review before an 11-judge panel. That meant the state's request was denied, though the appeal remains alive.
So far Alaska has spent over $100K defending its ban on same-sex marriage. If the plaintiffs are awarded their legal fees, that amount could go higher than $350K.

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NEW YORK CITY: At The Out 100 Party

Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims and boyfriend Brandon McMullin were among the gay glitterati in attendance at last night's Out 100 party at Stage 48 in Hell's Kitchen. Also seen above are Out 100 honorees Freedom To Marry head Evan Wolfson with his husband Cheng He, journalist Chris Geidner, Liz Margolies, founder of the National LGBT Cancer Network, and her trans activist husband Scout, director of LGBT Health Link. Orange Is The New Black actress Lea DeLaria hosted and pop singer Mary Lambert was among the performers. I hung out for a bit with NYC Councilman Corey Johnson and Dan Pepitone (above) and caught glimpses of Jason Collins and Zachary Quinto, but didn't get a chance to grab a photo, dammit.

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Boehner: Obama Is Deliberately Sabotaging Bipartisan Reforms

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MAP: Richest Members Of Congress

At #1 is GOP car thief (seriously) Rep. Darryl Issa, who is worth at least $357M.
Issa lists seven high-yield bonds as being worth more than $50 million — the highest disclosure category. How much those bonds are actually worth is unknown; they could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars each. But just as his wealth could be many times higher than the picture provided by his disclosure, it also could be far less. Issa maintains two liabilities valued at $75 million — one personal loan from Union Bank that is between $25 million and $50 million and another personal loan from Merrill Lynch that is listed in the highest category of $50 million. That loan could be many times more than Issa is obligated to report. His true rank on our list depends greatly on how much he actually owes to Merrill Lynch. Before his election to Congress, the Californian made his fortune founding Directed Electronics — based in Vista, Calif. — which manufactures car alarms. Now, Issa appears to make his money through the bond market and high-end real estate.
Roll Call has a full breakdown of the 49 other richest members of Congress. Embiggen the map for all the names.

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LGBT Groups Disappointed With President Obama's Plan For Immigration Reform

Via press release from Lambda Legal:
While we praise President Obama’s efforts to do what is in his executive power to improve immigration, we are deeply disappointed that his plan unfairly excludes many members of the LGBT community. President Obama’s plan allows immigrants who have children who are citizens or lawful permanent residents to obtain legal work documents and temporarily be protected from deportation. We urge President Obama to undertake reforms that are more LGBT-inclusive, such as recognizing length of residency as a stand-alone qualification. Thousands of LGBT immigrants, many who have fled countries where LGBT people are unprotected and subjected to horrific abuse and violence, have been waiting for humane immigration reform for years due to Congressional inaction and cannot afford to wait any longer.

This effort by the President does not absolve Congress of its responsibility to provide a permanent fix to our outdated immigration system so that it is fair to all the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US today, waiting to be fully American. So while we commend this order for providing much-needed immediate relief to many undocumented immigrants, we note that requiring individuals to have children disproportionately excludes LGBT immigrants who are childless because the barriers to creating a family are higher for people who cannot afford assisted reproduction or are disqualified from adoption by antigay laws. We need a plan that recognizes community ties and longtime residency.
From the National Center for Lesbian Rights:
We welcome today’s announcement as a first step towards repairing a broken and discriminatory immigration system that has victimized undocumented immigrants and their families, including at least 267,000 undocumented people who identify as LGBT. We applaud the vision and courage of our President in making good on his promise to act on immigration reform. We know that this is a first step and we are gratified that many of the cruel policies of the past will be replaced with more humane and effective strategies. However, we remain deeply concerned that the plan leaves out too many LGBT immigrant families. LGBT families are less likely to have legally recognized or biological relationships with each other, and thus relief based wholly on familial ties will exclude too many LGBT families. In addition, many of the restrictions requiring consistent employment and limiting access for people with non-violent criminal histories will disproportionately impact LGBT immigrants, especially in the transgender community.

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KANSAS: ACLU To Sue To Force State To Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

Via the Wichita Eagle:
The lawyer who successfully sued to overturn Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriage in federal court now plans to amend the lawsuit in order to force state agencies to grant marriage benefits to same-sex couples. Same-sex couples in Kansas can get marriage licenses from Sedgwick and other counties and use those licenses to marry anywhere in the state after a federal district court ruled the ban was unconstitutional earlier this month. However, state agencies have refused to grant newly married same-sex couples the same rights as other legally married couples while Attorney General Derek Schmidt appeals the case.

Doug Bonney, who represented the couples suing the state, said the plaintiffs would amend their complaint to force state agencies to recognize the marriages and grant full legal rights to the newly married couples. This includes the right to change the last name on your driver’s license to your spouse’s. For the spouses of state employees, it also includes receiving state health care benefits. Bonney said they would sue Gov. Sam Brownback if necessary. He added the governor has the authority to direct agencies on how to respond to the ruling but said the administration’s combative response was disappointing. He also said it would cost taxpayers a lot of money in the long run.
A large number of Kansas counties are also continuing to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

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Conchita Wurst - Heroes

The lyric clip was released two weeks ago and today we get the full production video.

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Church Threatens To Sue "I'm Not Gay No More" Man Over iTunes Release

Via TMZ:
The church where the "I'm Not Gay No More" guy went straight is not only intolerant toward gays, they have an intense dislike for people who steal their tunes. The Church of God in Christ insists Andrew Caldwell call in the lawyers because their now-famous parishioner jazzed up his hilarious moment with background singers and released it on iTunes. A church honcho says they're ordering him to stop hawking the song partly because they own the audio, but also because they feel Andrew is making a mockery of the service ... and that's hilarious. But Andrew's calling BS, telling TMZ he's copyrighted the song. And he says it's his voice and he -- not even God -- can claim ownership of it.
Here's a snippet of the single.

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MONTANA: County Allows Staff To Refuse Marriage Licenses Over Religious Beliefs

Via Montana's CBS affiliate:
A few clerks in Yellowstone County have decided not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because of their religious beliefs. The county anticipated the ruling and the human resources department had told Clerk of District Court Kristie Boelter that employees can choose not to issue marriage licenses for religious reasons. The County cited Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Part of Title VII states "It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin..." Boelter said 20 clerks work in her department and the opting out was not a problem. She says one clerk cited religion and four others said same sex marriage went against their morals and values. However, Boelter said morals and values do not apply to Title VII. While individuals can decide to not issue licenses, she said it is her duty to uphold the law.
Yellowstone is Montana's most-populous county and is home to Billings, the largest city in the state. (Tipped by JMG reader CM)

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

LIVE VIDEO: President Obama Addresses Nation On Immigration Reform

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Boehner Prebuts Obama's Speech

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LOUISIANA: Lambda Legal Files Appeal Of Marriage Ruling To Supreme Court

Via Lambda Legal:
Lambda Legal and the lawyers representing Forum for Equality Louisiana and seven same-sex Louisiana couples today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review September’s U.S. District Court ruling upholding Louisiana’s discriminatory marriage ban. The groups are seeking U.S. Supreme Court review in advance of the hearing in the case, Robicheaux v. Caldwell, before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled for January. “The ruling from the lower court in this case is a time-warped reading of the Constitution and neglects developments in the law, including since the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor,” said Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Kenneth D. Upton, Jr. “We have seen a blizzard of well-reasoned rulings in recent months holding similarly discriminatory bans unconstitutional, including rulings out of the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth and Tenth Circuits Courts of Appeal. We are asking for the Supreme Court’s review now while it is considering the Sixth Circuit decision because together these cases present the full gamut of aberrant arguments supporting these discriminatory bans, and, in Louisiana specifically, present in one state a case covering both the right of same-sex couples to marry, and for legally married same-sex couples to have those marriages recognized.
Read the appeal.

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Folsom Street Fair 2014 Raises $322K For HIV/AIDS, LGBT Rights, And Homeless

This year's Folsom Street Fair raised $322,666 for a multitude of local charities including Project Open Hand, the Transgender Law Center, and the AIDS Memorial Grove. Members of the benefiting organizations comprised the majority of the event's volunteer workers.

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GOP Slams Obama On Immigration

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New Kirk Cameron Movie Finishes In 15th Place During First Weekend Of Release

According to Box Office Mojo, Kirk Cameron's new movie Saving Christmas finished in 15th place during its first weekend of release, when it opened on 410 screens nationwide. The film grossed just under one million dollars despite a promotional campaign by the American Family Association and the Family Research Council, among other Christian groups. With a per screen average gross of $2420 and an average ticket price of $8.00, that means a total of about 300 people attended last weekend's 15 showings at each theater. That comes out to a national average of 20 people per showing. But everybody got a great seat!

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Kirk Cameron & Banana Man Ray Comfort: How To Preach To Homosexuals

Cameron: "And they're PROUD of their sin! What do we do with these people?" The clip ends with an except from Gravy Train's You Made Me Gay, which was adorably lip-synced a decade ago by JMG reader Jeb.

(Via Christian Nightmares)

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There's A Creationist Vending Machine

The Friendly Atheist reports that the above vending machine has been installed in a Massachusetts mall, where for a mere $14 you can choose from a broad selection of creationist books by authors such as Ken Ham, Ken Ham, Ken Ham, Ken Ham, Ken Ham, and Ken Ham. Noting that the machine bears the slogan, "Get Your Answers Now!," Friendly Atheist blogger Hemant Mehta has asked his readers for a better tagline. Leading the favorites at this writing: "Change Not Accepted."

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SOUTH CAROLINA: AG Vows To Fight On

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Country Music Star Ty Herndon Comes Out

County music star Ty Herndon, 52, came out today, nine years after being busted for possession of crystal meth during a sex sting in a public park. Via Entertainment Tonight:
"I have an awesome relationship that I've been in for a good number of years," Herndon tells ET in a new sit-down airing Thursday. "[I] love him very much and he loves me." Married twice before, Herndon reveals that both of his ex-wives were "absolutely" aware of his sexuality. "I had a lot of people around me that I trusted at a time and I was like,'Hey, you know this about me but the world doesn't. So I'm gonna need to call on your services for a little while,'" he confessed. "It was unfortunate that I had to do that, but I felt that's what I had to do to have my career. Standing on some pretty solid legs today, so I get to tell my truth today." The news brings new meaning to the singer's latest album, Lies I Told Myself, which was released in 2013. Today, Herndon reveals that the biggest lie he told himself is "that I couldn't be gay in country music."
Herndon has scored seven top ten singles on Billboard's country music chart, three of which went to #1. Hit the link for a video interview on today's announcement. Herndon notes that he's been in a relationship for a "good number of years" and hopes that his boyfriend proposes now that he's formally come out.

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South Carolina & Kansas Turn Sapphire

Not only has South Carolina joined the states displaying our favorite color, Wikipedia's marriage monitors have decided to remove the red stripes of shame from Kansas even though most counties continue to withhold marriage licenses and state agencies continue to refuse to recognize the marriages that have taken place.
Gov. Sam Brownback's administration will not make any policy changes to recognize same-sex couples while it defends the Kansas' gay marriage ban against a federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said Wednesday. Hawley said all state agencies would "take the necessary legal actions once this issue is resolved." The U.S. Supreme Court said the state can't enforce its ban on same-sex marriages while the ACLU lawsuit proceeds through the courts. Some Kansas counties are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but others are not.

The agencies' refusal to recognize the marriages will prevent couples from changing their names on their driver's licenses and could affect such things as state income tax filings, The Wichita Eagle reported. "There are still cases under appeal in the courts, and the department will not do anything different until those are resolved," Department of Revenue spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda wrote in an e-mail. A Lawrence couple who were married Tuesday said they were turned away from a Department of Revenue office when one of them tried to change her last name on her driver's license.

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NEW YORK CITY: Gay Banker Found With Throat Slashed After Online Hook-up

Gay Citigroup executive Shawn Miller, 42, has been found dead in his lower Manhattan apartment after apparently hooking up with a man he met online. Miller was discovered with his throat slashed "from ear to ear," but NYPD investigators say his death was likely a suicide fueled by crystal meth and alcohol.
Cops initially suspected foul play, saying earlier that no weapon was found in the apartment and that Miller was caught on surveillance video arguing with a male companion in the building’s elevator. When crime scene investigators moved Miller’s body, they discovered a knife under him, leading them to believe he slashed his own throat and collapsed into the tub on top of the weapon, sources said. Detectives now suspect Miller killed himself after going on a booze- and drug-fueled bender since at least Monday with a stranger he hooked up with through the classified advertising website Backpage.com, the sources said. Police found evidence of alcohol and drug use in the apartment, including what appeared to be crystal meth, sources said. The man who Miller was arguing with in the elevator apparently left the banker’s apartment late Sunday or early Monday, sources. Miller called down to the lobby and asked the doorman not to allow the man back into the building, according to sources.
Records show that Miller called 911 twice to report that he was being stalked by somebody outside his apartment building. Police are seeking the man seen on the surveillance video.

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Today: Transgender Day Of Remembrance

The clip below is from GLAAD:
As the video begins, Miasha Forbes recalls being told, "I should kill you right now, you f—ing man," as she recounts an instance when she was followed and her life was threatened in a parking lot, just for being who she is. She is one of three transgender women of color speaking in GLAAD's new video, made in honor of Transgender Day of Remember, to describe the threats and physical violence they've survived, as well as the nation's epidemic of violence against the transgender community, and what TDOR means to them.

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OREGON: HRC Co-Founder Terry Bean Charged With Molesting 15 Year-Old Boy

Human Rights Campaign and Victory Fund co-founder Terry Bean, 66, was arrested in Oregon yesterday on sex abuse charges involving a 15 year-old boy. Via Williamette Week:
Law enforcement sources familiar with the case say Bean will be charged with two counts of sodomy in the third degree, a felony, and sex abuse in the third degree, a misdemeanor. He will be arraigned later in Lane County, where the crimes allegedly occurred in 2013. The arrest comes after a six-month investigation that began with allegations Bean secretly made video recordings of men having sex in his bedroom. As WW reported in June, Bean accused a former lover, Kiah Lawson, of attempting to extort him over the discovery of a hidden camera. In the spring, Bean sought to keep the allegations secret and tried to reach a $40,000 settlement with Lawson.

After WW began asking questions, Bean went to the police asking them to investigate his allegations. Bean also handed over to police what he said was evidence of additional illegal activity by Lawson and others. Lawson told WW that early this year he had discovered a hidden camera in a smoke detector above Bean's bed. Lawson claimed he was in more than one video that was made without his knowledge, and that video recording also captured at least a half dozen men “in a state of nudity engaged in intimate acts with [Bean].” At the time, Bean’s attorney, Kristen Winemiller, denied the camera had been used for any illegal or improper purpose, and that it had been installed because Bean had been the victim of theft. Winemiller said Lawson was extorting Bean.
A multimillionaire real estate developer, Bean raised more more than anyone in his state for the 2008 campaign of Barack Obama, who has reportedly hosted Bean on Air Force One. News of Bean's arrest has already rocketed around Teabagistan, with Matt Barber and Bryan Fischer tweeting out exulting reports. Scott Lively will appear on Fischer's radio program today to perform a celebratory dance. Bean's lawyer has issued a statement declaring that yesterday's arrest is linked to the above-cited extortion claims and that Bean will be exonerated.

UPDATE: Anti-gay activists are being quick to distribute the below video montage of photos of Bean with President Obama.

UPDATE II: Bean's former partner has now been arrested on the same charge.
The former boyfriend of Terrence P. Bean was arrested early Thursday on sex abuse charges stemming from the same alleged 2013 encounter with a 15-year-old boy at a hotel in Eugene. Kiah Loy Lawson, 25, was arrested at 1:15 a.m. at the Portland Police Bureau's Central Precinct and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center shortly after 2 a.m. He's accused of third-degree sodomy and third-degree sexual abuse. Lawson is expected to be transferred later Thursday to Lane County, where he was indicted, according to jail officials. His bail was set at $50,000. Detective Jeff Myers from the Portland's Sex Crimes Unit made the arrest, hours after police took Lawson's ex-boyfriend, Portland developer Terrence Patrick Bean, into custody Wednesday morning.
UPDATE III: LGBTQ Nation reporter Brody Levesque notes that the HRC has scrubbed Bean's name from their board of directors listing. Via Google's cache, here's how the top of that list looked recently.

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NORTH CAROLINA: 16 Magistrates Have Now Quit Over Same-Sex Marriage

NOM is cheering this latest update out of North Carolina:
The number of North Carolina magistrates who have resigned or retired early because of their opposition to performing same-sex marriages is higher than previously reported. Last month, a federal judge cleared the way for same-sex marriages in North Carolina, prompting the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to direct magistrates. They are required by law to perform the wedding ceremonies, if asked. AOC reports between that ruling on Oct. 10 and the end of the month, 16 magistrates left their jobs, but the state wouldn't release why they left. "I explained to the judges that I could not continue to perform as a magistrate if it included doing something that was against my sincere religious beliefs," Kallam said at a rally supporting his decision to quit his job. "I felt like to perform same sex unions would be in violation of the Lord's commands so I couldn't do that," said former Gaston Co. Magistrate Bill Stevenson after his resignation.
That only leaves 660 North Carolina magistrates who thus far have no problem fulfilling their employment requirements. They're all being forced out of their jobs!

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Celebration In Montana


(Via JMG reader Sam)

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ARKANSAS: State Supreme Court Begins Hearing On Marriage Equality Case UPDATE: Live Video Stream Is Running

Things have just gotten underway in Arkansas:
The oral arguments are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., according to a spokesperson for the Arkansas Supreme Court. After arguments end, opinions on the case are typically issued within a few weeks. With this case, an official opinion is expected to come within four or five weeks after arguments end, the spokesperson said. No photography or recording is allowed in the courtroom while the court is in session, according to the spokesperson. The Arkansas Family Council has scheduled a rally at the capitol at 11 a.m. on Nov. 19, according to a news release. Judge Piazza overturned the state’s ban on gay marriage in May, which was followed by a stay issued by the Arkansas Supreme Court a few days after. In July, the Arkansas Supreme Court agreed to take up the same-sex marriage lawsuit.
Southerners For The Freedom To Marry is live-tweeting from inside the courtroom.
UPDATE: Despite the above report, there IS a live video stream. You'll need to have Silverlight.

UPDATE II: Well, that was FAST. The court has already adjourned. Good sign?

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BREAKING: Supreme Court DENIES Stay Demand On South Carolina Marriage

BOOM! And that's THAT!

UPDATE: From the local NBC affiliate:
The United States Supreme Court has stepped in and decided to not issue an emergency stay in the ongoing political drama surrounding same-sex marriage in South Carolina. In a brief statement, the court straight denied the stay, but Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas said they would hear it. Thursday's ruling means same-sex marriage applications will be accepted beginning at noon. Last week's ruling was decided by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel, who ruled the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional late last week. After the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to issue an emergency stay on Gergel's ruling on Tuesday, Attorney General Alan Wilson said he would appeal to the high court. 

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MONTANA: Marriages Commence

Same-sex marriage technically began late yesterday afternoon in Montana after a federal judge struck down that state's ban. But the true rush to clerks' offices begins today.
Gay couples were expected to line up for marriage licenses Thursday at county courthouses across Montana after a federal judge tossed out the state's ban on same-sex marriage. At least two counties — Missoula and Park — started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples Wednesday, while court clerks elsewhere geared up to do so Thursday. Among the first Montana couples to get their licenses on Wednesday were Amy Wagner, 56, and Karen Langebeck, 48, of Livingston, who have been together for 22 years. After hearing about the ruling at 2 p.m. MST, they got on the road to get their license. "Being able to get married and introduce Karen as my wife — that's a big deal. Now I have a way to describe this relationship that everybody understands," Wagner said. In Montana's most populous county, Yellowstone, the clerk of the district court said her office is ready to issue licenses. "For my office, nothing will be different than any other day," Kristie Lee Boelter said. Also Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union will hold celebrations at county courthouses in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena and Missoula. The group will provide officiants for couples who wish to marry immediately, ACLU spokeswoman Amy Cannata said.
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox declared yesterday that he will appeal the ruling, but said that he will not seek to block marriages during that process.

UPDATE: The Billings Gazette is live-blogging the action at the courthouse. Hit the link for happy, happy photos.

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SOUTH CAROLINA: More Couples Marry

Via South Carolina's The State:
Two same-sex couples stood in line to pick up marriage licenses at the Richland County Probate Court first thing Thursday morning. One was Ed Madden and Bert Easter, the first to apply for a license in October, before appeals and judicial orders put the process on hold. The other was Tom McCutcheon and Ray Murray. Both couples immediately tied the knot, with Richland Probate Judge Amy McCullough officiating. Late Wednesday afternoon, two couples were issued licenses in Richland County as well, after the S.C. Supreme Court issued an order around 4 p.m. that allowed the state’s probate judges to issue the licenses after a previous order had prevented them.

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SOUTH CAROLINA: Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock

The Supreme Court has yet to respond to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson's demand to extend a lower court's stay on the ruling that overturned that state's ban on same-sex marriage. That stay expires at noon today. Yesterday several marriage licenses were issued and at least one gay wedding took place despite today's deadline. Has SCOTUS ever refused to even acknowledge one of these stay demands?

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Open Thread Thursday

Tonight President Obama will announce an executive order on immigration reform that has the GOP threatening to shut down the federal government. We've talked about our roots in this post in the past, but today let's hear how your family actually got to America. My own namesake arrived in Manhattan on a steamship out of Wales in 1871. How and when did your family arrive?

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Bryan Hawn - Out Of The Woods

Fitness model Bryan Hawn lip-syncs to a Taylor Swift track as he builds a marriage equality map and shows off his ridiculous rear end. This is probably office-safe.

(Via JMG reader Homo Erectus)

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Michele Bachmann: Obama Wants To Turn Illiterate Immigrants Into Democrats

"The social cost will be profound on the U.S. taxpayer - millions of unskilled, illiterate, foreign nationals coming into the United States who can’t speak the English language. Even though the president says they won’t be able to vote, we all know that many, in all likelihood, will vote. The president has a very single-minded vision. He’s looking at new voters for 2016. People do vote without being a citizen. It’s a wink and a nod, we all know it’s going to happen." - Michele Bachmann, adding to reporters that she knows these immigrants are illiterate because she's been told that by "American Hispanics" who live "at the border."

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Singer Jimmy Ruffin Dies At 78

Motown legend Jimmy Ruffin, whose 1980 smash Hold On To My Love helped usher out an era of gay nightlife, has died at the age of 78. Via the Detroit Free Press:
Ruffin, whose poignant "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" is regarded by many as one of Motown's greatest works, died Monday afternoon in a Las Vegas hospital. A Mississippi native and the older brother of the late Temptations singer David Ruffin, Jimmy Ruffin did backup work with Motown in the early '60s before being drafted into the U.S. Army and stationed in Germany. Upon returning to Motown in 1964, he cut material with little success before striking it big in 1966 with "Brokenhearted," which took him to No. 7 on Billboard's pop chart. The two brothers collaborated on the 1970 album "I Am My Brother's Keeper," and while Jimmy Ruffin ultimately notched eight solo songs on Billboard's R&B chart, his biggest success came in England, where he lived for a stretch and continued to perform frequently in later years.
Hold On To My Love, which reached #10 on the pop chart, was the final song played at the 1988 closing party of New York City's legendary Saint, perhaps the most storied gay nightclub of all time. The track had become a beloved Saint staple, largely due to the extended remix created by Saint DJ Robbie Leslie, who in that pre-computer era took Ruffin's 45rpm single and used "a reel/reel tape deck, a few razor blades, and editing tape" to create the eight-minute version of the song that continues to be a highlight of disco classics events. Shortly after the Saint shuttered its doors that day, an anonymous graffiti artist painted the song's title and Ruffin's name above the club's main entrance in what Leslie calls an "evocative tribute." You can read more about how Leslie created his version here. Hold On To My Love was written and produced by Robin Gibb.

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