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27 Year Old Recently Married Gay Man Dies In Horrific Manhattan Skyscraper Fire

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A 27-year old man who had just recently married his 32-year old husband died yesterday while trying to escape a horrific fire in a Manhattan skyscraper. Daniel McClung (image, left) died of smoke inhalation trying to exit his thirty-second floor apartment after a fire broke out on the twentieth floor of the Strand, a luxury Hell’s Kitchen apartment building on Tenth Avenue and West 43rd Street.

McClung’s husband, 32-year old TV producer Michael Cohen, also suffered smoke inhalation injuries and is hospitalized.

The couple had married just months ago, in July, and had just purchased and moved into their condo.

UPDATE: Faulty Christmas Tree Extension Cord Blamed For Gay Man’s Death In NYC Fire

The Daily News reports that McClung “was found in the 31st-floor stairwell,” and “died at Roosevelt Hospital.” His Facebook page points to his website, which says he was “a playwright and fiction writer based in Manhattan.”

“They were a really sweet couple. They are both great guys,” a friend, Tim Curran, told the Daily News.

“My heart goes out to him (Michael),” Curran added. “It’s just an unbelievably huge loss. To lose the guy you just married and been with for years, it’s heartbreaking and really difficult.”

The News adds that a “working number for building management couldn’t be located and it was unclear if anyone had notified residents about the fire or told them to stay in their units.”

 

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On a personal note, this fire happened on our block. Our hearts go out to Mr. Cohen, his family and friends, and those of Mr. McClung’s as well.

UPDATE: Fund Created To Help Man Whose Husband Died In NYC Apartment Fire

Image of Daniel McClung and Michael Cohen via Michael Cohen’s Facebook page

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'THROWING RED MEAT TO THE RABBLE'

‘Tyranny’: Liz Cheney’s Likely Replacement Says Twitter Suspensions Are ‘Unconstitutional’

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U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is the most-likely the next Chair of the House Republican Conference after embattled Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY), who has served in that role for the past two years, is getting pushed out fast.

House Republicans want Cheney out of leadership because she publicly refuted “The Big Lie” and repeatedly stated a simple fact: Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden.

It’s no secret that Cheney is a hard core conservative, and has been her entire life (remember her very public spats with her sister, a lesbian, over same-sex marriage?) Stefanik, meanwhile, has been tidying-up her far right bona fides. In February she voted against the LGBTQ Equality Act, after having voted for it in 2019.

But speaking that one fact – that Biden won fair and square – is sufficient for the Republican Party to boot a member of Congress (and daughter of a former GOP vice president,) who voted with Trump 92.9% of the time – far more than Stefanik.

Yet Stefanik fits the bill. Despite having a bachelor’s from Harvard and despite getting elected in 2014 at the age of 30 – making her the youngest woman ever elected to Congress (Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also of New York, took that title away from Stefanik by getting elected at age 29) – she is playing the role of ignorant and out-of-control MAGA acolyte, and Republicans are thrilled.

CNN’s Daniel Dale has written about Stefanik’s election lies, and posted some of them to Twitter.

Stefanik is still playing to the rubes, as she did Thursday morning when she lied that Twitter temporarily suspending her communications director (apparently by mistake, and rectified within hours) is “unconstitutional” and “tyranny.”

She was quickly mocked.

 

 

 

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THIS IS WHAT DISENFRANCHISEMENT LOOKS LIKE

‘That’s Not Normal’: DeSantis Signs Voter Suppression Bill Into Law – Bars All Local News but Gives Fox ‘Exclusive’

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Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis Thursday morning signed a voter suppression bill into law that massively restricts access to the ballot box, following the lead of Georgia GOP Governor Brian Kemp. DeSantis, a Trump acolyte rumored to be a possible vice presidential choice should the former president decide and be able to run in 2024, barred all local news outlets from covering the event for Florida citizens.

But the Florida Governor did allow one media entity to broadcast the signing: Fox News, as Media Matters’ Matthew Gertz notes:

Jay O’Brien, reporter for CBS12 News covering Florida politics:

Voting rights expert, Mother Jones’ Ari Berman, called the move “extremely telling.”

Here’s DeSantis signing the bill on Fox News:

Reporters caught DeSantis exiting the hotel through a back door. He bragged about him signing the bill on “national news.”

 

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Arizona Trump ‘Audit’ Plagued With Problems — and Is Nowhere Close to Completion

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The dubious Arizona election “audit” is plagued by problems and nowhere close to completion.

The Democratic secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, sent a letter Wednesday pointing out that ballots have been left unattended, laptop computers unlocked and unsupervised, and untrained workers are using inconsistent procedures to count more than 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, reported the Washington Post.

The review is far behind schedule, with only about 20 percent of the ballots counted after almost two weeks of work, and workers must vacate Veterans Memorial Coliseum when their rental agreement ends May 14, and the venue’s operators say previous commitments to a high school graduation cannot be undone.

Hobbs, the current secretary of state, said in her letter that elections are “governed by a complex framework of laws and procedures designed to ensure accuracy, security, and transparency” but the recount effort ordered by the GOP state Senate and led by Florida firm Cyber Ninjas “ensure none of those things.”

Former Arizona secretary of state Ken Bennett, a Republican who’s acting as spokesman for the audit, did not respond to a request for comment by tweeted that Hobbs’ allegations were “baseless claimes [sic].”

“The audit continues!” read the tweet.

Volunteers are helping Cyber Ninjas, whose CEO pushes election conspiracy theories on Twitter, look for evidence of fraud that may have deprived Donald Trump of an election win.

Contractors have examined ballots under microscopes and UV lights to search for watermarks, based on claims that originated among Qanon conspirators, or traces of bamboo, which conspiracy theorists believe would prove the ballots were imported from China and, therefore, fraudulent.

“What they’re doing is to find out if there’s bamboo in the paper,” said John Brakey, an assistant to Bennett. “They’re doing all sorts of testing to prove if it was or wasn’t, and that’s very important, because the only way you’re going to persuade people on changing is having facts, and we’re on a mission for facts.”

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