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Matt Baume's 'Downton Abbey' Inspired Dissection of Aaron Schock's Resignation and Anti-LGBT Politics: WATCH


Having recovered from St. Patrick's Day, Marriage News Watch's Matt Baume is back again this week to take a look at Rep. Aaron Schock's resignation and why, gay or straight, the Illinois politician is part of a larger problem of anti-LGBT lawmakers perpetuating the "closet" and profiting from discriminatory policies.

There's also a spot-on recreation of Downton Abbey's "Masterpiece Classic" opener featuring some choice Schock Instagram photos that even the Dowager Countess herself would approve of.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Matt Baume's 'Downton Abbey' Inspired Dissection of Aaron Schock's Resignation and Anti-LGBT Politics: WATCH" »

Aaron Schock Quotes Taylor Swift When Cornered About 'Downton' Office: 'Haters Gonna Hate' — VIDEO


Jeff Zeleny of ABC News cornered Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) on Capitol Hill on the way to a meeting and asked him about his Downton Abbey-inspired offices and the way he paid for their redesign. Schock has been hit with an ethics complaint after the interior decorator Annie Brahler (who also said that the offices were inspired by Downton) told a Washington Post reporter that she had done them for free (accepting services as a gift is a violation of House rules).

Schock told Zeleny that he's "never been an old crusty white guy" and that's why the offices are so colorful, telling the reporter that his last offices were "Democratic blue".

Added Schock:

“I'm different. I came to Congress at 27. When I go take a personal vacation I don’t' sit on the beach, I go do active things. And so, I'm also not going to live in a cave. So when I post an Instagram photo with me with my friends, as Taylor Swift said, 'haters are gonna hate.'"

Schock continues to claim that he has never seen an episode of Downton Abbey.

Watch Schock shake it off, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Aaron Schock Quotes Taylor Swift When Cornered About 'Downton' Office: 'Haters Gonna Hate' — VIDEO" »

Rep. Aaron Schock Hit With Ethics Complaint Over 'Downton Abbey' Office, Accepting Free Services

The Office of Congressional Ethics has been asked by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to investigate whether Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) violated House rules by accepting free interior decorating work on a 'Downton Abbey'-inspired office which was the subject of a Washington Post article published yesterday.

SchockCREW reports, via press release:

The redesign was provided by Anne Brahler, an interior decorator from Illinois, and her firm, Euro Trash. A member of Rep. Schock’s staff told the Post Ms. Brahler “offered her services for free.”  Ms. Brahler also redesigned Rep. Schock’s previous congressional office.

“Perhaps it’s not totally surprising that the same congressman who spent campaign money on P90X workout DVDs wanted to create a more picturesque setting in which to be photographed, but the rules clearly require him to pay for those renovations himself,” said Anne Weismann, CREW’s Interim Executive Director.  “Again and again, Rep. Schock’s seeming obsession with his image impedes his ability to conduct himself in ethical manner.”

House rules broadly prohibit members of Congress from accepting gifts, which are defined in the rules as any “item having monetary value,” including “gifts of services.”  The rules explicitly prohibit members from using “outside private donations, funds, or in-kind goods and services” to pay for their congressional office expenses.  Only appropriated funds or a member’s personal funds may be used for these purposes.

Read the ethics complaint HERE.

Also, under investigation is whether Schock used campaign funds to pay for his office furniture:

CREW reported in 2012 that Rep. Schock’s campaign paid $5,522 to Ms. Brahler’s company for what it described as “office equipment.”  Today’s revelation that Ms. Brahler redecorated Rep. Schock’s previous suite strongly suggests Rep. Schock used campaign funds to pay for the furniture in that office — a violation of House rules — and raises questions about whether he used campaign funds to pay for the furniture in his new office.

Read our post about Schock's 'Downton' office HERE.

Aaron Schock's New Office Decor is Inspired by 'Downton Abbey'


Rep. Aaron Schock's new office decor is inspired by the red room from the UK drama Downton Abbey, reports Ben Terris, hilariously, at the Washington Post.

SchockBut drama of another kind erupted when Terris went to the office and began being shown around. Word got out to Schock’s communications director, Benjamin Cole, who demanded to know why he was looking at the decor:

“Are you taking pictures of the office?” he asked. “Who told you you could do that? . . . Okay, stay where you are. You’ve created a bit of a crisis in the office.”

A staff member then came and asked me to please delete the photos from my phone.

Terris was being shown around by the interior decorator herself, Annie Brahler, "whose company is called Euro Trash."

Terris adds that although it has "bright red walls...A gold-colored wall sconce with black candles....a federal-style bull’s-eye mirror with an eagle perched on top...a drippy crystal chandelier, a table propped up by two eagles, a bust of Abraham Lincoln and massive arrangements of pheasant feathers," it's not an exact replica of the Downton room but just "takes inspiration" from it, according to Brahler.

“I guess because he’s fresh-minded and forward-thinking, he’s not hung up on doing things the same way as everyone else,” Brahler said. “It’s gotten to where he’s comfortable with everything I do.”

Except, perhaps, when she gives a tour of his office to a journalist.

Of course, Schock's maverick style has come out before. In June 2010, a photo of Schock at a White House picnic in white jeans, an aqua belt, and purple gingham shirt posted by Gawker sent rumors he is gay into overdrive. Schock later tweeted that he "burned the belt" after the photo went viral.

And Schock isn't the first Republican to worship Downton. Rep. Michelle Bachmann and her family posed like the Crawley clan for a Christmas card in 2014 that they called 'Bachmann Abbey' on Facebook.

But Schock doesn't want to be so public about his Downton worship, or showing outsiders his office. Perhaps he's worried about what reporters might find in the office closets?

(top image vanity fair)

Downton Abbey Reportedly Ending After Upcoming Sixth Season


British tabloids are reporting the hit 20th century aristocratic drama Downton Abbey will be coming to an end later this year after its sixth season. 

People reports:

Abbey1The Daily Mirror says writer Julian Fellowes is turning his back on Downton so he can work on a new project for NBC, The Gilded Age, set in 19th century New York. 

"We wouldn’t comment on speculative stories about our programs," the show's U.K. broadcaster, ITV, says in a statement, while a show insider tells PEOPLE. "There has been this speculation since [season] 2." 

The show is commissioned on a season-by-season basis, and the only thing insiders know is which cast and crew will be working for the next, sixth season. 

The Mirror said that ITV was on the hunt for a replacement drama and that actors were actively seeking new work while they were in Los Angeles for the SAG Awards. But this is normal, the insider adds. 

Season 5 is currently airing Sunday nights on PBS. 

The Ladies of Downton Abbey Play Cards Against Humanity: VIDEO


Lady Edith, Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes, also known as as Laura Carmichael, Lesley Nicol and Phyllis Logan respectively, sat down to play your favorite dirty card game, Cards Against Humanity, for the first time and the results are nothing short of hilarious.

Find out what ruined Mrs. Hughes' class field trip and what Lady Edith will bring back in time to convince people she's a powerful wizard, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The Ladies of Downton Abbey Play Cards Against Humanity: VIDEO" »


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