JgACTOR JOEL GREY: 'I'm a gay man'.
TEASER: Netflix reboots Wet Hot American Summer.
VIDEO: Teacher leads high school in 'Uptown Funk' lip dub.
WATCH: Jon Stewart tosses the Sarah Palin word salad.
ALABAMA: Justice Roy Moore won't recognize gay marriage ruling.
NEW MUSIC: St. Vincent, Kate Tempest, SOAK, Brash Flair.



Melissa Rivers Files Malpractice Suit Against Joan Rivers's Voice Doctor


Melissa Rivers has filed a malpractice suit against Yorkville Endoscopy, alleging doctors at the NYC clinic were "reckless, grossly negligent and wanton" in the treatment of her mother Joan last August following surgery complications that ultimately resulted in the death of the 81-year-old comedian.   

The New York Times reports:

The lawyer for Joan Rivers’s voice doctor, Gwen Korovin, is denying allegations that she panicked and then abandoned Ms. Rivers when she went into cardiac arrest during a routine procedure last summer in New York.

Dr. Korovin’s lawyer said that contrary to claims in a malpractice lawsuit filed by Ms. Rivers’s daughter, Melissa, Dr. Korovin had faithfully stood by her patient and was in fact the last doctor remaining in the procedure room, not the first to leave.

“What happened was she never left the room,” the lawyer, William Lewis, said in an interview this week. “Not only did she never leave the room, she was the last doctor to leave the room after Miss Rivers was taken away by E.M.S. in an ambulance.”

USA Today adds:

"The level of medical mismanagement, incompetency, disrespect and outrageous behavior is shocking and frankly, almost incomprehensible, " Melissa said in a statement.

Among other things, the clinic doctors and Joan's own doctor are accused of allowing a cellphone selfie to be snapped of Rivers while she was unconscious on the operating table.

"The conduct is unfortunately outrageous," said one of her lawyers, Ben Rubinowitz. "Not only is there medical mismanagement but you have a situation where doctors are taking photos of a patient when she needed assistance. They didn't recognize the fact that she wasn't getting sufficient oxygen."

Still, Melissa said filing the suit was one of the most difficult decisions she had to make.

"What ultimately guided me was my unwavering belief that no family should ever have to go through what my mother, Cooper and I have been through," she said, referring to her son.

The Washington Post notes that the complaint "echoes what federal investigators for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services outlined in a report last fall." Yorkville Endoscopy is scheduled to lose its federal accreditation as a result of the investigation. 

Posted Jan. 29,2015 at 9:25 AM EST by in Deaths, Joan Rivers, Melissa Rivers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Social Conservatives Demanding GOP 2016 Candidates Weigh In Against Gay Marriage


With gay marriage legal in most states and the Supreme Court set to weigh in this summer, likely ruling in favor of marriage equality, this issue should be all but done with by now. Even members of the GOP elite are switching in favor and would be happy to move on from the issue...but their constituents won't let them, as Politico points out. 

Iowa Senate contender Sam Clovis said: 

If you dodge the question, then it’s the kiss of death. Candidates have got to be declarative about where they stand. Period. If you’re not vocally pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, I don’t think you can win here because you’re going to get hammered.

The elite may desire to move on or even change, and the less-elite like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Scott Walker are willing to concede the loss, but the Tea Party is only too happy to keep wallowing in the issue with Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, and Ted Cruz all continuing to wave the "gay marriage is evil" banner:

  • “I don’t think it’s over. I don’t hear any fat lady singing. I think we have to continue to stand up for what we believe in." - Ben Carson
  • "There’s no such thing in the Constitution as judicial supremacy where the courts make a ruling and it becomes quote ‘the law of the land." - Mike Huckabee
  • "I know that many politicians are evolving, or so-called evolving, on this issue based on the polls. I don’t change my views based on the polls." - Bobby Jindal
  • "From the beginning of this country, marriage has been a question of the states, and we should not have the federal government, or unelected judges, setting aside the policy judgment of the elected legislatures and imposing their own instead." - Ted Cruz

Making the issue even nastier and more complicated is the insistence of evangelicals entangling the issue of legal, civil gay marriage with religious liberty violations.

Posted Jan. 29,2015 at 9:00 AM EST by in Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, Gay Marriage, Mike Huckabee, Republican Party, Tea Party, Ted Cruz | Permalink | Comments (6)

Rachel Maddow Is Chomping at the Bit for the 2016 'Total Mess' Election - VIDEO


Rachel Maddow stopped by the Late Show with David Letterman last night and shared her thoughts on the 2016 presidential election, the assorted nuts trying for the GOP nomination, the coronation of Hillary Clinton, and why she couldn't be happier things are a "total mess" on both sides of the aisle. 


Continue reading "Rachel Maddow Is Chomping at the Bit for the 2016 'Total Mess' Election - VIDEO"

Posted Jan. 29,2015 at 8:40 AM EST by in 2016 Election, Rachel Maddow | Permalink | Comments (7)

Alabama Probate Judges Org. Backs Down, Advises Members To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses If Stay Is Lifted


With Alabama poised to become the 37th state with marriage equality on Feb. 9, an association of probate judges announced Wednesday it will no longer stand in the way. 

The Alabama Probate Judges Association — whose 67 members issue marriage licenses — previously took the position that last week's federal court decision striking down the state's marriage ban applied only to plaintiffs Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand (above). However, after U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade issued an order Wednesday clarifying that her ruling applies statewide, the association backed down. 

From AL.com

That means the final hope for opponents of same-sex marriage is that the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will agree to a request by the state to extend a "stay" Granade ordered delaying the ruling from taking effect until Feb. 9.

"It is the opinion of the Association, on the advice of legal counsel, that until the stay is lifted, probate judges cannot issue marriage licenses to same sex couples," Monroe County Probate Judge Greg Norris, the group's president, said in a prepared statement. "However, on the occasion that the stay is lifted, same sex couples may apply for marriage licenses."

The Washington Blade sheds light on the likely reasoning behind the group's decision to reverse course:  

Adam Romero, senior counsel and Arnold D. Kassoy scholar of law at the Williams Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, said the clarification makes clear the decision wasn’t specific to plaintiffs in the case.

“If and when that decision goes into effect, any Alabama official that enforces the state’s bans on same-sex marriage are in danger of not only being hauled into Judge Grande’s court and added to the pending lawsuit, but also getting hit with the costs of doing so,” Romero said.

Of course, it's still possible some probate judges will put their religious beliefs above the law or bow to pressure from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who plans to send a letter advising them not to issue licenses. But depending on the outcome of Attorney General Luther Strange's appeal to the 11th Circuit, same-sex couples in Alabama could be in store for a very special Valentine's Day. 

Posted Jan. 29,2015 at 8:20 AM EST by in Alabama, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, LGBT Rights, Roy Moore | Permalink | Comments (4)

Search for Survivors Ends as Malaysia Declares MH370's Disappearance an 'Accident' - VIDEO


After nearly 11 months of searching, the Malaysian government has officially declared the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 an accident and has said that there were no survivors, CNN reports:

The formal declaration, read Thursday by civil aviation director Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, will allow the families of those presumed dead to continue the compensation process with the airline or with insurers.

"It is therefore, with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that, on behalf of the Government of Malaysia, we officially declare Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident in accordance with the Standards of Annexes 12 and 13 to the Chicago Convention and that all 239 of the passengers and crew on board MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives," Azharuddin said.

MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 - triggering international search efforts and wall-to-wall coverage and speculation from cable news outlets (Don Lemon's "black hole" theory anyone?).

BBC News adds that officials have said the recovery operation for the wreckage will continue. Watch a portion of yesterday's announcement, AFTER THE JUMP... 

Continue reading "Search for Survivors Ends as Malaysia Declares MH370's Disappearance an 'Accident' - VIDEO"

Posted Jan. 29,2015 at 7:59 AM EST by | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Over Pledge to Defy Gay Marriage Ruling

Chief Justice Roy Moore

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore really, really dislikes gay marriage. We reported this week on how he's calling for the governor of Alabama to resist "judicial tyranny" and refuse to comply with a federal judge's ruling overturning the state's same-sex marriage ban. Well, that call for resistance has inspired the Southern Poverty Law Center to file an ethics complaint against Moore, with SPLC President Richard Cohen saying,

Moore is once again wrapping himself in the Bible and thumbing his nose at the federal courts and federal law. As a private citizen, Moore is entitled to his views. But as the chief justice of Alabama, he has a responsibility to recognize the supremacy of federal law and to conform his conduct to the canons of judicial ethics.

The SPLC article also points out that Moore is not a good student of history, not even his own, as ethics violations a decade ago stemming from his refusal to comply with a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building resulted in a lawsuit from the SPLC that culminated in Moore being removed from the bench. He was re-elected to his position in 2012 - because evidently Alabamans would rather have someone who panders to petty beliefs than is dedicated to doing the entirety of his job - but if Moore continues down this path he may once again find himself on the losing end of a lawsuit and once again removed from his job in even more disgrace.

He'd better hope he's not cheating on his wife while he's at it.

In related news, AL.com is reporting that certain campaign ads for Moore's 2012 campaign were created by video production company All Good Creatives - owned by none other than Cari Searcy, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that overturned the state's gay marriage ban. 

Posted Jan. 29,2015 at 7:30 AM EST by in Alabama, Gay Marriage, Law - Gay, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

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