"Hey, I just vetoed their programs, I didn't shave their heads. I mean, anymore."
(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)Today's events have served to remind some people of Mitt's awkward history when it comes to gay kids and anti-bullying efforts. As governor of Massachusetts, he first vetoed a funding increase for the (Republican-governor-created) Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, then threatened to shut them down outright after the commission was seen as endorsing a (shudder) gay pride parade. One with undesirable people in it. TPM:
Romney?s spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom later confirmed that the photos were a key concern as well as the events inclusion of the transgender community.Oh dear, crossdressing too? That's just too much.
?This year, what was brought to our attention was a press release that was not authorized by this office but which went out on state letterhead promoting a parade that was hosted by a crossdresser and celebrating, among other things, transgenderism,? Fehrnstrom said.
The commission was not shut down; instead, Romney sought to eliminate the "Gay and Lesbian" part of the commission's focus, instead turning it into a more generic anti-bullying commission that would, presumably, be less prone to pissing off conservative groups. Irritated state Democrats responded by creating a new anti-gay-bullying commission, one which would not be subject to Romney's stipulations. Romney tried to veto it, the Democrats overrode his veto, and Romney then disbanded the Governor's Commission entirely, calling it duplicative.
This wasn't the only instance in which Romney specifically targeted anti-intimidation efforts or other programs directed at gay Americans. As HuffPo notes:
On Nov. 15, 2006, for example, the Boston Herald noted that Romney had cut funds for "HIV/AIDS prevention, matching grants for groups like the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs and domestic violence prevention in the gay community." It was part of the governor's $425 million emergency state spending freeze.Let's just say that anti-violence programs weren't Mitt's cup of tea.
Earlier in the year, Romney had vetoed $158,000 in funding for "intervention services and crisis housing for sexual violence in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community." As the Patriot Ledger reported on July 22, 2006, the Democratic-controlled state legislature overrode his veto.
Compare that, now, with Romney's far more recent anti-bullying pledge. Back in August, the far-right National Organization for Marriage requested candidates sign their pledge to "defend" marriage, one that Romney indeed happily signed off on. Among the pledge requirements (PDF):
"[...] establish a presidential commission on religious liberty to investigate and document reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising key civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage and to propose new protections, if needed."Got that? As governor, Mitt Romney repeatedly tried to defund anti-bullying and anti-violence programs aimed at gay Americans under the banner of austerity, and demanded his Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth stop focusing on gay youth and on anti-gay-bullying efforts. As presidential nominee, he has pledged to establish a presidential commission to support those that do the anti-gay bullying, because they're the ones whose voices are being oppressed.
It always sounded a bit seedy, but this new information about Mitt's own history as a past bully certainly casts these other events in a bit of a different light. We may have stumbled on something Mitt has an actual opinion on.
"If YOU make us look bad, that's divisive!" (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)The GOP's great hope, Marco Rubio:
Rubio said he disagrees with what he sees as the president?s use of issues such gay marriage and student loan rates for the purposes of re-election.Ah yes, equality under the law is divisive! But only when Democrats start gaining the upper hand. Because there was nothing divisive about Don't Ask Don't Tell, or the Defense of Marriage Act, or the anti-gay marriage initiatives that Republicans pushed in 31 states.
"Every week, it is an effort by this president to divide one group of Americans against another group of Americans for the purposes of getting him reelected," Rubio said.
Republicans have built their entire movement on dividing people?they hate San Francisco, and Chicago, and Massachusetts, and gay people, and Muslims, and Latinos, and African Americans, and young unwed women, and single moms, and the Girl Scouts, and atheists, and big city folks, and Volvo drivers, and latte sippers, and foreigners, and rap music, and Hollywood, and feminists, and nature lovers, and on and on and on and on.
Conservatism can't function without an internal enemy, and they're not shy in creating them.
But to spend the last 15 years passing anti-gay marriage legislation and initiatives in as many states as they can, and then whine about it when public opinion starts turning against you, is the height of absurdity.
But Rubio has never been above such things.
The Life Sciences Report: You are focused on personalized medicine. On March 20, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Mayo Collaborative Services Inc. v. Prometheus Laboratories was handed down. At issue was whether using a diagnostic test to adjust a drug dosing regimen could be patented. The decision was unanimous in favor of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (nonprofit) on the grounds that a company cannot patent laws of nature. This is a sweeping decision, and there is no appeal. What is the immediate effect of this?
Kevin DeGeeter: The immediate effect is to create more confusion in … [visit site to read . . . → Read More: Will Mayo v. Prometheus Fire Up Pharma?: Kevin DeGeeter
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Setting up a showdown over federal spending, the House of Representatives today narrowly passed a bill that would replace the cuts from the defense side of the trigger, part of the debt limit deal of last year, mostly with cuts to federal workers and the[...]
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Customs and Border Patrol agents have engaged in "widespread abuse" of travelers at points of entry along the U.S.-Mexican border, the American Civil Liberties Union alleged in a complaint Thursday.
The ACLU alleged that border patrol agents used "excessive force; unwarranted, invasive and humiliating personal searches; unjustified and repeated detentions based on misidentification; and the use of coercion to force individuals to surrender their legal rights, citizenship documents, and property."
CBP, said the ACLU, needs to "promptly investigate these individual allegations of abuse and undertake a comprehensive investigation of POE complaints involving CBP officers to determine whether CBP Office of Field Operations officers are complying with their obligations under the U.S. Constitution, international law, and agency guidelines."
The ACLU cites a 2010 incident in which a border patrol agent shot and killed a 15-year-old Mexican boy who was allegedly part of a group throwing rocks at U.S. agents. Justice Department officials declined to prosecute the border patrol agent involved.
The complaint recounts 11 instances, most involving citizens or individuals lawfully residing or visiting the U.S., in which border patrol agents allegedly disregarded "the civil and human rights of individuals crossing the border in apparent violation of the U.S. Constitution, international law and agency guidelines.
In one case, a Chilean businessman named Hernan Cuevas who was legally attempting to enter the U.S. was strip searched and detained for three hours without any explanation, according to the ACLU.
"I don't give a fuck of your educated manners and all your corporate bullshit," an agent allegedly told Cuevas. "This is my country now and when you are here, you listen to me. I don't like your kind that takes our jobs and uses our system..."
Contacted by TPM, a CBP official didn't respond directly to the allegations but said they cooperate with investigations into misconduct.
"CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe," a CBP official told TPM. "We do not tolerate corruption or abuse within our ranks, and we fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, on or off duty."
New photo of Biden getting "out a little over his skis."[...]
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The Jonah Goldberg takedown is an old and tired genre, but Alex Pareene breathes new life into it and makes it pleasurable again. [...]
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TPM Reader WB has another angle on whether it's credible that Mitt Romney doesn't remember this incident from high school ...I think the question of whether Romney remembers this incident is a really interesting one. I do think it is possible he doesn't[...]
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Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday lashed out at a reporter who asked him tough questions about same sex marriage, immigration and marijuana.
"Aren't there issues of significance that you'd like to talk about?" Romney quipped to CBS 4 reporter Shaun Boyd. "The economy -- the economy -- the economy, the growth of jobs, the need to put people back to work. The challenges of Iran. We've got enormous issues that we face. But, go ahead. You want to talk about medical marijuana."
"I think marijuana should not be legal in this country," the former Massachusetts governor opined. "I believe it's a gateway drug to other drug violations. The use of illegal drugs in this country is leading to terrible consequences in places like Mexico and actually in our own country. I oppose legalization of marijuana. I oppose legalization of other kinds of drugs."
Research has repeatedly shown that the so-called "gateway effect" of marijuana is negligible.
A 2010 study from the University of New Hampshire found that the use of harder illicit drugs had more to do with life factors like stress and employment status. Young people who had diminished stress over employment were less likely to use marijuana and other illegal drugs.
"Employment in young adulthood can protect people by 'closing' the marijuana gateway, so over-criminalizing youth marijuana use might create more serious problems if it interferes with later employment opportunities," study author Karen Van Gundy explained.
The problem with the "gateway effect" theory is that "correlation isn?t cause," Time's Maia Szalavitz wrote in 2012.
"Hell?s Angels motorcycle gang members are probably more [than] 104 times more likely to have ridden a bicycle as a kid than those who don?t become Hell?s Angels, but that doesn?t mean that riding a two-wheeler is a 'gateway' to joining a motorcycle gang," she noted. "It simply means that most people ride bikes and the kind of people who don?t are highly unlikely to ever ride a motorcycle."
Romney also repeated his position that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
"My position on gay marriage is the same that it's been, well, from the beginning. And that is marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman," he said. "That the posture I had as governor and I have that today."
"If a civil union is identical to marriage other than with the name, why, I don't support that," he continued. "But I certainly recognize that hospital visitation rights and benefits of that nature may well be appropriate and states are able to make a provision for a determination for those kinds of rights as well as benefits that might accrue to state workers. My position is the same that it's been from the beginning, which is that I don't favor a civil union if it's identical to marriage. And I don't favor marriage between people of the same gender."
"I know people have differing views," Romney admitted at an event in Oklahoma on Wednesday after President Barack Obama announce his support for marriage equality. "This is a very tender and sensitive topic, as are many social issues."
The candidate also told Boyd that he was against states creating lower in-state tuition rates for children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.
"No. My view is that to receive in-state college tuition, a person should be a legal resident of the United States," he said.
Colorado is considering a measure that would allow undocumented students to pay a special in-state tuition rate that is lower that out-of-state tuition but higher that in-state rates for legal residents.
(h/t: Talking Points Memo)
What's especially annoying about this latest act of stupidity from the TSA is that they throw the parents in the always enjoyable loop of "it's not us, it's the airline." Back in 2002 while traveling across the US, we had the distinct pleasure of hearing the same garbage. The airline blamed security and security blamed the airline, even when they were right next to each other. Lovely. Who...