Abstinence-only education does not work, and is dangerous to women’s health. It prevents honest conversation about women’s reproductive health needs, and stops young women from getting information that could save their lives. And yet, without any notification by the Obama Administration, an abstinence-only curriculum was recently added to the pregnancy prevention program list endorsed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
[O]ne of the “new” programs is actually an old, dis-proven and dangerous abstinence-only-until-marriage program.[...]
Perhaps the Administration realized that the inclusion of Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education on this select list would call into question its commitment to young people and their sexual health. Once again, they have succumbed to the political pressure of social conservatives and allowed the ideology of the right to prevail over the health and well-being of the nation?s youth. The Obama Administration?s endorsement of this abstinence-only-until marriage program runs in direct contradiction to its stated commitment to the health and well-being of young people and, quite possibly, its promise to uphold science and evidence.
There have been many studies that prove abstinence-only education is ineffective. In states that teach abstinence-only, teen pregnancies are higher. One study found that teenagers who receive some type of comprehensive sex education are 60 percent less likely to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. The Administration’s endorsement of this program is really tacit support for a completely ineffective program that is bad for women.
Colorado voters could be asked to repeal the state’s constitutional amendment barring cities from “passing laws to protect gays from discrimination” in November, the Denver Post reports. The ballot measure is part of Senate Concurrent Resolution 1, sponsored by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Mark Ferrandino, and it would “repeal Amendment 2, which voters passed in 1992. The amendment prohibits the state and local governments from enacting laws that forbid discrimination against gays, including in housing and job hiring.” In 1996, the Supreme Court “upheld a lower court decision that declared the law unconstitutional.”
In short, Christie has hugged a terrorist-organization member, abridged free-speech rights, scorned concern over Islamization, and opposed law-enforcement counterterrorism efforts. Whenever an issue touching on Islam arises, Christie takes the Islamist side against those ? the DHS, state senators, the NYPD, even the ACLU ? who worry about lawful Islamism eroding the fabric of American life.
A perusal of the authors’ case against Christie reveals it as comically weak, full of highly questionable characterizations and buttressed by links that don’t actually demonstrate what they’re supposed to. In a typical example, they criticize Christie for voicing support for Mohammed Qatanani, imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, “on the eve of his deportation hearing for not hiding an Israeli conviction for membership in Hamas.” They do not mention that the hearing resulted in Qatanani being cleared of charges.
Pipes and Emerson knock Christie for his concern over revelations of the New York City Police Department’s spying on New Jersey Muslims, suggesting that he should’ve shown “gratitude” for the NYPD operating outside its jurisdiction.
And of course the authors take special offense at Christie’s bold defense of New Jersey state superior court judge Sohail Mohammed against attacks by anti-Islam activists, in which Christie offered the most cogent summation of the anti-sharia movement on record: “It’s crap. It’s just crazy.”
Pipes and Emerson suggest that there is tension between Christie’s friendly relations with Muslims and his “ostentatiously” pro-Israel stance. “This makes him unusual,” the authors write, “for a pro-Israel stance typically goes hand-in-hand with concern about Shari?a.” But in asserting such a zero-sum relationship between support for Muslim constituents and support for Israel, Pipes and Emerson inadvertently demonstrate two things: First, their own ignorance about Israel. Since its founding, Israel has maintained a publicly-funded Sharia court system for the some 19 percent of Israelis who are Muslim. (Israeli society is fraught with numerous challenges, but imminent takeover by sharia law does not appear to be one of them.) And second, that their real agenda involves creating difficulty for Christie among pro-Israel voters. As with all such smear efforts, the goal here isn’t to actually demonstrate that Christie has done anything wrong, merely to create the sense that there are “troubling questions” about Christie’s views and relationships.
While Pipes and Emerson fail to demonstrate that Chris Christie has an “Islam problem,” they succeed in demonstrating that National Review still has an Islamophobia problem. Last month the magazine took important steps to rid itself of two writers who had expressed bigoted views toward African-Americans. It’s long past time that National Review do the same with those of its writers expressing similar views toward Muslim Americans.
This morning, MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts discussed the divide in the African American community over North Carolina’s Amendment 1 with Pastor Ricky Woods of the First Baptist Church West. “There is of course the issue of faith, that the church deals with, but then there are issues of a citizen in a democratic republic,” Woods explained. “I am saddened that this issue has been shaped in such a way that religious has been used to define something that should be done by the state.” “We should not be putting discrimination into our laws against any particular group, regardless of how we feel about what their choices are,” Woods added. Watch it:
Most independent experts agree that the various Republican budget plans?from Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and others?would have a disasterous effect on lower-income Americans. By slashing programs like Medicaid and food stamps, and cutting taxes on the richest Americans, they would precipitate a massive amount of upwards redistribution; taking from the poor to give to the rich. But it seems that facts like this aren?t actually relevant to the day-to-day of campaigning. To wit, in a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney attacked President Obama for his (apparent) disregard for the least well-off:
At a campaign stop today in Portsmouth, NH, Mitt Romney portrayed President Obama as a foe ? and himself a champion ? of the poor, noting the ?greater and greater gap between those that have the most and those that have the least? and accusing President Obama of being ?focused on taking away from those that have the least.? [Emphasis mine]
Mind you, this is the same Barack Obama who expanded eligibility for social programs, signed universal health care, and who has been accused of trying to turn the social safety net into a ?hammock.? The only way this can be true is if ?the least? is some weird eupehmism for the rich. But since it isn?t, the inescapable conclusion is that Romney is talking nonsense.
As per usual, of course, I don?t expect anyone to call him on it.
(Elizabeth Warren/Facebook)This is likely the biggest non-issue to come up in a Senate campaign this cycle. Massachusetts Democrat and Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has Native American heritage. She identified this heritage in a directory of law schools, and was listed as a member of a minority group.
In the 1990s, Harvard listed her as a minority faculty member "to counteract criticism that its faculty was too white and too male." The Scott Brown campaign has seized upon all this with a bizarre set of criticisms: first, doubting that she really does have Native American heritage, and then blasting her for using it to take advantage of affirmative action programs.
There's a problem with that, though, because:
[O]fficials involved in her hiring at Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Texas and the University of Houston Law Center all said that she was hired because she was an outstanding teacher, and that her lineage was either not discussed or not a factor.Desperate much, Scott Brown? He's going to have to settle on a narrative here. He's trying to claim both that Warren is an elitist egghead and that she's not enough of an egghead to get a job on the merits, but had to rely on affirmative action. And is he really concerned that she's somehow exploiting Native Americans, claiming heritage she isn't entitled to, or is he damning the programs that could benefit them?
?To suggest that she needed some special advantage to be hired here or anywhere is just silly,? said Jay Westbrook, chairman of business law at the University of Texas.
Or is he just flailing wildly to try to find an issue that distracts from the myriad of problems Brown is going to have trying to sell himself as the people's candidate instead of Wall Street's candidate?
Don't let this kind of bullshit go unanswered. Please, contribute $5 to Elizabeth Warren on Orange to Blue.
It may not seem like much happened yesterday, but a very important event occurred. Yesterday the dollar index breached 78.65. The reason that is significant is because 78.65 marked the intraday low of the prior daily cycle. A penetration of that level indicates that the current daily cycle has now topped in a left translated manner and a new pattern of lower lows and lower highs has begun. Any time a daily cycle tops in a left translated manner it almost always indicates that the intermediate cycle has also topped.
In this case it would indicate that the intermediate dollar cycle topped on week two and … [visit site to read . . . → Read More: THE INFLATION TRADE IS ON: BERNANKE HAS BROKEN THE DOLLAR RALLY
Read The Full Article:
Firedoglake is continues liveblogging all the May Day actions involving the Occupy movement. Check for updates from around the country.[...]
Read The Full Article:
In the ongoing fight over student loan interest rates, it looks like Republicans have once again found an issue they can hurt themselves with. Take a look at our newest poll numbers:
Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos & SEIU. 4/26-29. Registered voters. MoE: ±3.1% (no trendlines):
Q: Who do you trust more to keep interest rates on student loans low: Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?If this topic stays front and center, it looks like the president, and not his challenger, will benefit. Not only does Obama perform far better among Democrats than Romney does among Republicans (85-9 vs. 63-16), but independents also think Obama is more likely to keep student loan rates down, by a 45-26 margin.
Barack Obama: 52
Mitt Romney: 31
Both equally: 10
Not sure: 7
And this is one issue Americans agree on quite broadly:
Q: Do you think Congress should extend the current low interest rate on student loans, or not?P.S. As always, our approval and favorability numbers can be found on our weekly trends page.
Not sure: 9
Stop me if you've heard this one. Dan Savage walks into a high school journalists' conference, and talks like... well, like Dan Savage. He uses a word that is technically an obscenity?"bullshit"?but is, in today's crude culture, considered so mild that its use wouldn't even get a movie rated PG-13. He happens to use it referring to some of what you can find in the Bible?you know, not eating shellfish, not mixing cotton and linen in the same garment, stoning to death any woman who's not a virgin when she marries, banning gay male sex while okaying slavery. Some students walk out to show their disapproval, a perfectly acceptable free speech action. And for some reason, this becomes a nationwide scandal.
Seriously? People, the man is a sex columnist. He's famous for redefining the word "Santorum" into an entirely new kind of obscenity after the good Senator ranted about "man on man, man on dog" sex. What did the high school journalists think he was going to be like in person? Sure, his brilliant "It Gets Better" campaign is a mission to save young gay people, especially young men, from the self-hatred that can scar you once you've been brutally bullied, beaten, despised, snickered at on Facebook, gossiped about in person, and otherwise tormented. That kind of life-saving mission might make him seem to be on the side of Dudley Do-Right. But he's still Dan Savage. You invite him to your conference, and that's what you get: the full Savage.
He apologized for using the word "bullshit" but not for what he meant to say. Good for him. Meanwhile, it appears that another gay teen killed himself after being bullied, this one in Utah. That's an obscenity.