Mayor Mike Rawlings signs Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination

Posted on 23 Jan 2017 at 2:46pm

Mayor Mike Rawlings

Mayor Mike Rawlings joined a coalition called Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination. His signature appears along with three other mayors from Texas: Austin Mayor Steve Adler, DeSoto Mayor Curtistene McCowan and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The website explains:

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is a bipartisan coalition of municipal leaders dedicated to securing inclusive nondiscrimination protections for all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, at all levels of government. We recognize the special role mayors play in protecting the rights and safety of residents and in advancing policies that move our communities and our country forward.

In 2012, Rawlings refused to sign the Marriage Equality Pledge, the only mayor of a top 10 city not to sign. He said at the time he didn’t sign pledges.

The current coalition isn’t a pledge and Dallas already has equality ordinances in place. The city’s right to maintain its own laws is under attack from the state in the current session of the legislature. So the issue is much more than discrimination. The issue is local control.


Cakegate 2017: Baker admits she replicated 2013 Obama cake at ‘client’s’ request, then donated the profit to HRC

Posted on 23 Jan 2017 at 12:55pm

On the left is a photo of the cake commissioned for Trump’s “Salute to Our Troops” Inaugural Ball on Friday night. It appears nearly identical to the cake Duff Goldman made for Obama’s 2013 inaugural ball, pictured on the right.

After the TV news stations started showing video of Trump’s inaugural balls on Friday, Jan. 20, I heard someone say that celebrity baker Duff Goldman, executive chef at Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and star of numerous Food Network shows, was claiming that whoever had baked the cake for Trump’s inauguration had stolen the design from the cake he made for President Obama’s 2013 inauguration.

He tweeted: “The cake on the left is the one I made for President Obama’s inauguration 4 years ago. The one on the right is Trumps. I didn’t make it,” and included an image (above) with side-by-side photos of the two cakes.

My first thought was, well, how many different ways can you design a cake for an inauguration? There will always be SOME similarities, right? But then I saw the side-by-side comparison with a photo of Duff’s cake for Obama and the cake for Trump, and … . Um, yeah. It looks pretty much like an exact replica.

New York Daily News posted this story about CakeGate on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 21.

What a shitty thing for a baker to do, right?

Then more of the story came out.

Tiffany MacIsaac, owner of Buttercream Bakeshop in Washington, D.C., explained that “a client” — who she refused to name — had commissioned her bakery to replicate Goldman’s 2013 Obama cake for Trump’s 2017 “Salute to Our Troops” inaugural ball. She said, according to the UK’s Daily Mail, that her employees tried to convince the client to go with a cake inspired by Goldman’s creation, but the client insisted that they replicate Goldman’s cake because it was perfect.

MacIsaac said Saturday via Twitter: “While we most love creating original designs, when we are asked to replicate someone else’s work we are thrilled when it is a masterpiece like this one. @duff_goldman originally created this for Obama’s inauguration 4 years ago and this years committee commissioned us to re-create it.”

And then came the “best part”: MacIsaac said via Twitter that the profits from making the cake are being donated to the D.C.-based LGBT rights organization Human Rights Campaign: “Best part is all the profits are being donated to @humanrightscampaign, one of our favorite charities who we have loved working with over the years. Because basic human rights are something every man, woman and child~ straight, gay or the rainbow in between~ deserve!”



Last night, Bill Maher’s concert was … missing

Posted on 23 Jan 2017 at 9:50am

Bill-MaherFriday was a crazy day in America, what with Scrooge McDuck ascending to the presidency with as much class and honesty as professional wrestling, so it was a salve that, the same night, comedian Bill Maher returned from hiatus for his essential talk show Real Time on HBO. Bill was in true form Friday, which only whetted Dallas audiences’ appetite for his live performance, scheduled last night at Fair Park. The concert was sold out. At 7:20 p.m., though, the auditorium doors still hadn’t opened for the 7:30 show. Then at 7:21, this announcement:

“Due to mechanical problems on Bill Maher’s plane, tonight’s show in Dallas at Music Hall at Fair Park has been postponed. More details to come in the following days.”

A collective sigh as folks left the theater, a little disheartened. After all, we needed some straight-talking liberalism to gird us even more than the women’s marches.

As of this morning, there’s no word on rescheduling, but let’s hope it’s soon. We need you Bill!


The View from D.C.: The first batch of photos from the Women’s March

Posted on 21 Jan 2017 at 7:50pm


The View from D.C.: When the women marched ….

Posted on 21 Jan 2017 at 4:01pm

Headed to the march

Remember yesterday, when I posted those photos from the riots and the protests happening around D.C.? Remember that video from the balcony here, with the emergency vehicles and the sirens, and remember how I said it had been that way all day?


Well, that was yesterday. Today is a whole different story.

This morning, as my temporary roommates stirred, making breakfast and taking showers and getting dressed, I stood on the balcony and watched.

Early on, the streets were quiet, pretty still. But as I stood and watched, I begin to see them. Women mostly, but men, too, Coming out of apartments and hotels, out of side streets, converging into a tsunami of humanity rolling toward the halls of power here in Washington, D.C.

We left our apartment and joined the tide, headed toward the designated spot where the pre-march rally was to be held. We got, I think, maybe a mile away from that main stage before it became too crowded too really even walk.

I did get a glimpse of a Jumbotron showing scenes from the stage where speakers were gathered for the rally. But only a glimpse. I did hear America Ferrera speak, but I didn’t see her. Not even on the Jumbotron.

We turned to get out of the heaviest part of the crowd and maybe swing around to get there a different way, but that’s when I got separated from the group. And since cell service was non-existent, at least on my phone, I decided to just go it alone. We all knew how to get home, anyway.

So I wiggled my way out to the Mall, where the crowd was less dense, taking photos and watching people, listening to the chants. There was an ebb and flow, as strong and sometimes inescapable as the tides of the oceans themselves.

Unable to get to the actual location of the march, and unable to see or hear the speakers on the stage — like I said, we were probably a mile or so away — would start their own marches. Friends who had come to the event together would begin to chant as they made their way through the crowd. Others would join in, and the crowd would part to make way for them.

A large crowd — I’d say at least a couple hundred people — had gathered on the steps of the National Gallery of Art on Madison Drive, just on the north side of the Mall. And as they cheered and whistled, others staged their own march down Madison. Waving signs, they chanted and sang. For a minute, I thought that was the actual march.

There was even a group, each wearing coveralls decorated to look like brick walls, and led by a jazzy band playing “When the Saints Go Marching In.” They each represented, one woman explained to me, a brick in the wall we must build to keep out Trump’s hatefulness and divisiveness.

Eventually, I made my way to the Capitol Building, circling the large pool out front before finding Pennsylvania Avenue. I decided if I couldn’t get to the front to the march, then I would beat it to the White House.

Lots of other folks had the same idea. In the end, I never saw any of the many celebrities who were here today, and I only saw the throng of the “official” march across the expanse of the Ellipse in front of the White House.

But I was surrounded all day by the strength and the spirit of this Women’s March on D.C. There was anger and frustration, yes. But there was also determination, hope and a fierce kind of joy that seems to promise that while we may have suffered a setback, we can’t really be beaten.

And when I got back to the apartment and began to see the reports of the hundreds of people gathering for the sister marches back in Texas — in Dallas, in Fort Worth, in Austin — and around not just this country but the world, I felt that dark cloud that has haunted us since November start to lift.

Yesterday was a day of sirens here in D.C. Today though, there was a very different sound. You could hear it throughout the heart of the city, a muted thumping that grew into a roar. You could hear it start blocks and blocks away, the sound of thousands of voices yelling out, and it would move across the crowd — like in a sports stadium when the crowd does “the wave.”

“Here it comes,” a woman standing near me said one time. “Get ready.” And then she yelled. Everyone was yelling. Not in anger, but in determination. In hope.

I hope we keep that wave building, and the sounds of our voices joining together will sweep across this country. Don’t let the spirit of this day die.



Thousands march from Dallas City Hall

Posted on 21 Jan 2017 at 11:45am

Flags flew at half staff at Dallas City Hall as thousands of people gathered to protest the Trump administration at 10 a.m. on Jan. 21. Groups protested in Fort Worth and Denton locally and a large march took place in Austin as well timed to coincide with the Women’s March in D.C.

State Rep. Victoria Neave coordinated the march locally.

Large numbers of LGBT people participated in the Dallas march. Among the immediate issues for the community is one of the first acts the new administration — removing any mention of LGBT from the White House website.

Former Dallas city Councilwoman Veletta Lill noted how this march differed from the many Vietnam era protests.

“My husband dropped me off in the Porsche,” Lill said.

State Rep. Eric Johnson attended the Dallas march with his son.

“It’s so important that he learn from the earliest age women’s rights are human rights,” Johnson said. Trump’s “world view is not what we believe. We treat everyone with respect.”



The View from D.C.: One more video, an evening protest at 13th and M Street NW

Posted on 20 Jan 2017 at 7:18pm


The View from DC: Sirens outside my window

Posted on 20 Jan 2017 at 6:53pm

Remember when I mentioned the sirens earlier?

Here’s a video of what’s outside my window. It’s been like this all day.


The view from D.C.: Protest outside my window

Posted on 20 Jan 2017 at 6:24pm

Here’s a short snippet of a protest from earlier. Just video’ed another one coming down the street right outside the window, at least 200 protestors chanting, Hey-hey, ho-ho, Donald Trump has got to go. I’ll put that up in a bit:


The view from D.C.: More photos of Friday afternoon

Posted on 20 Jan 2017 at 5:53pm