Mitt Romney had the most conservative immigration policy of any Republican presidential candidate during most of the primary, but now that’s he trying to appeal to Hispanic voters as he pivots to general election, the presumed GOP nominee has been shifting back towards the center. Yesterday, he opened to door to a Republican alternative to the DREAM Act — a law he vowed to veto during the primary — and earlier, he said that he never called for making Arizona’s harsh immigration law a “model” for the nation.
But that’s not how one of the key people behind that law, former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, sees it. The former Republican lawmaker, who was ousted in a recall election, was the key force behind turning SB-1070, authored by Romney adviser Kris Kobach, into law.
He told reporters today that he “absolutely” believed Mitt Romney had endorsed the law as a model for the country. The Huffington Post’s Elise Foley reports:
“The folks that he’s said [are] his advisers on this, I have worked with for years and have great confidence and trust in them,” Pearce told reporters after a Senate subcommittee hearing on the immigration law. “I know Romney is a compassionate man, most of us, I’d like to think, are. But I think he also understands the crisis and the damage to this republic and the need to enforce our law.” [...]
Romney also has advocated for what he called “self-deportation,” or making things difficult for undocumented immigrants until they decide to leave, one of the central tenets of the Arizona law. [...] “[Self-deportation] is in SB 1070,” Pearce said.
Previously, Pearce has said that Romney’s “immigration policy is identical to mine.”
Romney has tried to distance himself from Kobach, who also helped author the controversial immigration crackdowns in Alabama, South Carolina, and other states. But Kobach quickly contradicted him, saying he regularly advises senior members of Romney’s staff.
The bracket thus far. The first three rounds have been blowouts. Will today be any closer?
1. HERMAN CAIN'S LONG PAUSE ON LIBYA
On Oct. 23, 2011, Libya celebrated its independence from Muammar Gaddafi. It was sort of a big deal, the revolution having dominated news coverage for months. Poor Republicans had no idea what to do, given the positive resolution of the war. It's hard to criticize the president for playing a helpful role in the revolution, without costing our nation lives or significant treasure?you know, the opposite of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Still, Herman Cain had three weeks to figure out how to deal with the question of Libya when he sat down with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal's editorial board on Nov. 14. The results, if you can bear to watch that painful first minute:
Here's a transcript. Note, those few words below filed 65 eternal seconds:
Okay, Libya. [really long pause] President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi. Just want to make sure we?re talking about the same thing before I say ?Yes, I agree,? or ?No, I did not agree.?Painful. Cain was already on a downward trajectory following revelations of his serial sexual harassment. This interview sealed his fate.
I did not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason: [brief pause] nope, that?s a different one. Uh? I gotta go back, I got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me did I agree or not disagree with Obama?
2. JFK MAKES RICK SANTORUM PUKE
When you are a Catholic candidate supposedly seeking Catholic support, you:
a) Embrace JFK as a transformational figure in the Catholic community, or at worst, ignore him, or
b) Talk about how much he makes you want to puke?
That's not a trick question, but it sure as hell tripped up Rick Santorum.
His full comments:
To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case?Hoookay. Two days and much sturm and drang later, Santorum lost the Michigan Republican primary Catholic vote 44-37 to the guy whose religion isn't even considered legitimate! Had he won Catholics, he would've won the state and we'd still be caring about the GOP nomination contest tonight. Even conservatives were shaking their heads.
That makes me throw up and it should make every American who is seen from the president, someone who is now trying to tell people of faith that you will do what the government says, we are going to impose our values on you, not that you can?t come to the public square and argue against it, but now we?re going to turn around and say we?re going to impose our values from the government on people of faith, which of course is the next logical step when people of faith, at least according to John Kennedy, have no role in the public square.
Today Ingraham, a conservative radio host, told the former Pennsylvania Senator that she believes he is a tolerant person but ?sometimes Senator, when you?re out there and it?s like ?I?m going to throw up when I heard JFKs line on that.? I mean, as a Catholic, he?s a revered president of the United States, assassinated, I probably wouldn?t have gone down that road with JFK and I was going to throw up. We generally don?t want to hear presidential candidates talking about throwing up at all in any context.?It's particularly unpleasant to hear about presidential candidates named Santorum mention anything about throwing up.
Don't worry Johnny-boy. Everything is going to be just fine. America will be okay. You'll see.John Boehner channels his inner Glenn Beck:
The president?s economic policies have failed. I would argue they actually have made things worse. And as a result, the president has turned to the politics of envy and division...John Boehner really, really needs to get a grip. Even if he were right about Obama being the epitome of suckitude?and he's not?America would survive. Want proof? We survived eight years of disastrous economic, foreign and social policy under President George W. Bush. And we've survived nearly 18 months of government-by-hostage-crisis under Boehner's own leadership as speaker. And given that we've survived those things, there's nothing we can't survive.
America can?t live for four more years with Barack Obama as president. His policies will turn America in a direction that we may never recover from...
It?s sending America down a path that will look a lot like what we see in Europe: A big social welfare state, high unemployment, slow economic growth and a government that is overly large.
If you have a government that can give you everything that you want, you have a government that can take everything that you have.
Could it be that Europe's financial and political elites are finally coming to a "d'oh!" moment, when an unbroken string of policy failures and the simple logic of "depression plus austerity = worse depression" finally begin to get through?[...]
Read The Full Article:
"as opposed to looking backwards."Jon Corzine Is the Original George ZimmermanMatt Taibbi, Rolling StonePOSTED: April 24, 8:37 AM ETNobody disputes the fact that MF Global officials dipped into customer accounts and took over $1.6 billion of customer[...]
Read The Full Article:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has just issued a groundbreaking ruling, one so profound that it will transform many lives in years to come. Before I tell you what it is, I?m going to ask you to dive into two thought experiments and read just a bit of employment history.
First, the thought experiments. Imagine that, for years, you?ve been been doing an outstanding job at whatever it is you do: driving a forklift, or teaching biology, or engineering bridges, or putting out fires. Your job is a refuge: Here?s a place you can excel, no matter the tumult you?ve had inside. You enjoy your colleagues; you like the respect and satisfaction you get from doing things well.
Meanwhile, in your private life, you have come to the realization that only one thing would make your life worth living is adjusting your body to the sex you feel yourself to be, inside, rather than the sex you were born with and that everyone else sees. You begin the long process of transitioning from Carl to Catherine, and for the first time in decades, you are excited again to be alive. This is how you were meant to live: inside softer skin and curves, visible now as a Ms.
But at work, they?re flipping out. Two women have begun insisting that you must not use the women?s restrooms; going into the men?s is sheer humiliation, bringing mockery and, occasionally, threats; and as a result, you have to go eight hours a day without peeing. You walk into the lunchroom and overhear your manager referring to you as a freak. The snickering, the recoil?suddenly your secure job is a living hell.
Maybe they?re direct about it, and fire you, telling you that changing your sex is unnatural, or that you?d be happier somewhere where they didn?t know you when you were a man. Or maybe one day, the department is reorganized. Your manager calls you into the office. You knew it was coming; you are no longer needed. You?re escorted out of the building with a box of your things.
You get interviews for other jobs, but they fall apart as soon as they call your references. For the first time in your life, you cannot find work.
You could always get a job as a man. But you can?t get a job as a woman.
Is this sex discrimination?
Okay, second thought experiment. You?ve been a bartender at the same Nevada casino for twenty years, regularly bringing in praise for your work. One day, new management decrees that all women working in the casino must meet with a professional image consultant, and wear foundation, blush, mascara and lip color at all times. You?re a woman?but a woman who is nearly six feet tall, broad-shouldered, with a very straightforward appearance. You try, but the idea of turning into a Barbie doll every single day?when the guys you work with don?t have to?is so revolting that you want to throw up. You just can?t go out the door looking like that. You cannot be that kind of woman. And so the casino fires you.
Is this sex discrimination?
Under the law, the sex discrimination test is often phrased as ?but for?: If, but for your sex, you would have kept that job, then it is sex discrimination. But for her sex, both employees would have kept their jobs, yes? I?ve always thought so, but the courts have disagreed. The first example, above, is a consolidation of many, many stories I?ve heard over the years; born-male folks who transition to female far too often have a terrifyingly hard time making a living afterward, and they?ve found no recourse in the courts. The second example actually went up to the Ninth Circuit in Jespersen v. Harrah?s?and lost (in the Ninth, putatively the most liberal appeals court in the country!). The Ninth decided that there were grooming standards for both men and women?men had to have short hair, for instance?and there was no undue burden on the ladies.
I?ve long had trouble understanding that. In 1989, the Supreme Court decided that Ann Hopkins was discriminated against illegally when she was denied partnership at Price Waterhouse because her behavior wasn?t ?feminine? enough. There was no question, in the case, that she did great work, actually outperforming her peers. But they told her she was too ?macho,? abrasive, overbearing, and that she needed ?a course in charm school.? Her supervisor actually advised her that she?d have a better chance making partner if she would ?walk more femininely, talk more femininely, dress more femininely, wear make-up, have her hair styled, and wear jewelry.? She sued. The Supreme Court decreed that it was illegal for employers to discriminate based on sex stereotypes, and sent the case back down to trial on a higher standard: But for her sex, would she have been promoted? Hopkins won, and women have had the right (on paper, at least) to behave in many different ways, deviating from the feminine stereotype to their hearts? content.
LGBT advocates had high hopes for the Hopkins v. Price Waterhouse standard, at the time. What are my two thought experiments, above, except precisely that: firing based on stereotypical images of what a woman is or should be? But Ann Hopkins, I?ve been told, wasn?t gay; she was just a tough lady, who probably only had the nerve to bring her case because it manifestly was not about being gay. Far too often, when courts have looked at similar discrimination for lesbian, gay, or transgender employees, they?ve said: Wait, this isn?t about sex stereotypes; it?s about being gay, and there?s no law banning discrimination against gay folks. Or wait, this is about changing your sex, and there?s no law banning discrimination for that. Too bad, buh-bye!
Now here?s the great news. The EEOC has just issued a ruling that could change all that, saying that gender identity is protected under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as a subset of discrimination based on sex. At MetroWeekly, Chris Geidner has a great report on and analysis of the ruling, quoting Shannon Minter, legal director at National Center for Lesbian Rights (and someone I respect tremendously), as saying this:
Minter, who has been working for LGBT legal equality since law school in the early 1990s, says, ''This is huge. This is a real sea change.
''To have just a clear, definitive EEOC ruling that Title VII protects transgender people gives us so much more certainty and security and solid, reliable legal protection. For decades now, advocates and scholars both have been saying Title VII should be applied to protect transgender people,'' he says. ''And now, to have the EEOC confirm that, 'Yes ... Title VII should and does protect transgender people when they're discriminated against because they've changed their sex or intend to change their sex or because they're gender nonconforming. That is sex discrimination.' That is really an important capstone.''
Under this ruling, Darlene Jespersen and male-to-female transgender folks might still be fired for being the wrong kind of woman?but now they can make it a federal lawsuit.
For years, the LGBT activist community has worked fiercely to pass a federal law banning discrimination based on either sexual orientation or gender identity, called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It has repeatedly failed to pass, even though three-fourths of Americans believe you shouldn?t be able to be fired for being gay (and many agree that you shouldn?t be fired for being transgender). Gender identity has always been the most important part. Why should it matter, for the purposes of your job, whether you are a man or a woman?or switch from being one to the other? Meanwhile, if lesbians and gay men face workplace discrimination these days, it?s more often based on gender presentation ? being fey men, or butch ladies ? rather than on who they go home to at night.
The EEOC ruling can still be overturned at the Supreme Court level, so ENDA is still important. But as Shannon Minter says, this is huge. Huge.
According to the Huffington Post, Planned Parenthood clinics are being targeted in a newly organized sting operation and the "most likely group behind the campaign, Planned Parenthood suspects, is anti-abortion activist group Live Action," which is headed by Lila Rose. In advance of the suspected videos, Media Matters reviews Rose and Live Action's previous videos smearing Planned Parenthood, Rose's conservative activism, and her history with discredited activist James O'Keefe.
"The Most Likely Group Behind The Campaign, Planned Parenthood Suspects, Is Anti-Abortion Activist Group Live Action." Live Action reportedly wouldn't confirm if it was behind the new undercover sting of Planned Parenthood clinics. From an April 23 Huffington Post article:
A string of suspicious incidents at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country has given the organization reason to believe that anti-abortion activists are targeting it in a new organized sting operation.
According to Planned Parenthood spokesperson Chloe Cooney, clinics in at least 11 states have reported two dozen or more "hoax visits" over the past several weeks, in which a woman walks into a clinic, claims to be pregnant and asks a particular pattern of provocative questions about sex-selective abortions, such as how soon she can find out the gender of the fetus, by what means and whether she can schedule an abortion if she's having a girl.
While patient privacy laws prohibit Planned Parenthood from offering specific details about the visits and where they occurred, Cooney told The Huffington Post that the incidents are so unusual and so similar to each other that they have raised concerns among the organization's executives that the visits are being recorded as part of a concerted anti-Planned Parenthood campaign.
The most likely group behind the campaign, Planned Parenthood suspects, is anti-abortion activist group Live Action, which has a history of paying actors to walk into Planned Parenthood clinics and act out various controversial scenarios in an attempt to catch the family planning provider's staffers doing something illegal or immoral on tape. A recent operation involved actors posing as pimps and prostitutes engaged in human trafficking and seeking birth control, STD testing and other family planning services. HuffPost's Ryan Grim reported in February 2011that Live Action heavily edited the videos they gathered to alter the meaning of conversations and falsely imply that Planned Parenthood is complicit in sex trafficking, but conservative lawmakers and media outlets cited the group's videos in numerous subsequent political attacks against the family planning provider.
While Planned Parenthood has no proof that Live Action is behind the current series of encounters, Cooney said the group is the most coordinated in their operations and that the recent string of incidents "follows their pattern exactly."
Kate Bryan, a spokesperson for Live Action, would not confirm whether the group was behind the newest Planned Parenthood sting. "As you can understand, Live Action does not comment on any investigations until after public release," she said. [Huffington Post, 4/23/12]
Rose Claimed She Caught Planned Parenthood Covering Up Child Sex Trafficking -- She Didn't. In February 2011, Rose and Live Action released a series of videos claiming to expose "Planned Parenthood's cover-up of child sex trafficking." But the videos released by Live Action failed to prove the charge. To the contrary, at least two weeks before Live Action released the first video, Planned Parenthood reported a "potential multistate sex trafficking ring" to the FBI. [Media Matters, 2/1/11; 2/22/11]
Rose Falsely Claimed Planned Parenthood Lied About Providing Mammograms. In March 2011, Rose promoted a video falsely claiming to catch Planned Parenthood lying about the organization's work providing patients with access to cancer screenings, including mammograms. The comments Rose highlighted did not contradict the undisputed fact that Planned Parenthood provides patients with access to these services. [Media Matters, 3/30/11]
Rose Launched False Attack On Planned Parenthood And Indiana Law. In June 2011, Rose accused Planned Parenthood of lying about the effects of an Indiana law which would withhold Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood. In reality, the video failed to prove that Planned Parenthood was lying and actually showed that its concerns about the law were accurate: a Planned Parenthood worker in Indiana said in the video that because of the "new law," a Medicaid recipient cannot get preventive care at Planned Parenthood. [Media Matters, 6/29/11]
Rose Falsehood: Abortion Is How Indiana Planned Parenthood "Makes Money." During an appearance on Fox News, Rose claimed that abortions are "how [Planned Parenthood] makes money" in Indiana. In reality, abortions account for 3.56 percent of Planned Parenthood of Indiana's total services and abortions account for only about 16 percent of Planned Parenthood of Indiana's revenue. [Media Matters, 6/30/11]
Rose: Planned Parenthood Using Breast Cancer As a "Front" To Garner "Public Funding For An Abortion Business." During a February 3 appearance on CNN contributor Dana Loesch's radio show, Rose accused Planned Parenthood of using "an issue like breast cancer, which has hurt so many American women, they're using this issue as a front to get -- garner public support and public funding for an abortion business." [KFTK, The Dana Show, 2/3/12]
Rose And Advocate "Advisor" Tried To Get Planned Parenthood Official To Agree "There's Way Too Many Black People In Ohio." From a 2008 article in The Advocate, a "right to life" student magazine founded by Rose:
Over the summer, The Advocate investigated the financial dealings of Planned Parenthood and made some shocking discoveries about the clinic-owning "nonprofit." We obtained the information by having an actor call clinics across the country and pose as a donor. The actor who called, The Advocate's advisor, communicated to them a very racist agenda--the one that Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood's founder, had envisioned. He then asked to donate money specifically for the abortions of African-American babies in order to "lower the number of blacks in America. [The Advocate, Winter 2008]
Rose Identified James O'Keefe As Advocate Advisor.
Advisor: "There's Definitely Way Too Many Black People In Ohio, So I Am Just Trying To Do My Part."
Public Eye: Rose Orchestrated A Similar Scheme In 2006. The magazine Public Eye reports:
In 2006, Rose deployed an actor to call Planned Parenthood clinics posing as a racist donor offering to fund abortions sought by African-American women.2 Live Action secretly recorded the phone calls, then incorporated them into videos posted on YouTube. (YouTube removed several of those videos for "inappropriate content," presumably to avoid any legal issues arising from the manner in which the material was obtained.)
While Rose is quick to note in public remarks that none of the affiliates contacted by Live Action "on that first day of calling" turned down the money, she cited only two instances in her speech last year to a right-wing gathering in Washington, D.C., where the caller made clear his racist motivation--that his earmarked donation was designed to help reduce the number of "Black kids" on "the streets."3 She did not say how many affiliates were contacted "on that first day," or the total number ultimately called. And she referred not to an actor making the calls, but an activist.
Ken Blackwell, Ohio's former secretary of state and an African-American, was then running for governor. He called for a congressional investigation into the result of a call made to a Planned Parenthood office in Columbus, in which a receptionist replied "Okay," when the caller said there were "definitely way too many Black people in Ohio."4 After losing the gubernatorial race to Democrat Ted Strickland, Blackwell joined the Family Research Council staff. At press time, with the backing of the right-wing umbrella group the National Center for Policy Analysis, he was vying for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee. [Public Eye, Spring 2009]
Rose Called For Abortions To Be Carried Out "In The Public Square." From the Huffington Post:
Anti-abortion activist Lila Rose said at last weekend's Value Voters Summit that as long as abortions are legal, they should be "done in the public square," thus disgusting people into action. And then "we might hear angels singing as we ponder the glory of conception." [Huffington Post, 9/22/09]
Rose Compared Herself To Martin Luther King Jr. From CNN's documentary, "Right on the Edge":
BOUDREAU: She promotes her organization live action.
ROSE: I get concerned sometimes because I want to say everything in the best way and I want to really communicate what I - what I know to be true.
Martin Luther King, Jr. brought him a letter and he said the world is in dire need of creative extremists. And that is a call for all of us here today that the world is in dire need of young people, especially, who will think creatively, think courageously.
BOUDREAU (on camera): You said something about being a creative extremist.
ROSE: Yes. Yes.
BOUDREAU: And what exactly do you mean by that.
ROSE: Exactly what Martin Luther King, Jr. meant when he wrote it in a letter in Framingham Jail, and those people that I were thought to be extremists will be seen as the streaking (ph) in life advocate. Just as Martin Luther King, Jr. who was thought to be an extremist is now recognized as hero.
BOUDREAU: Lila hopes to one day produce movies or better yet be an actress. But for now, she's happy being an activist. [CNN, 10/3/10, emphasis added]
2006: Lila Rose And "James O'Keefe Came Up With The Idea To Infiltrate Clinics." According to the Los Angeles Times:
In fall 2006, when she was a UCLA freshman, she and fellow conservative activist James O'Keefe came up with the idea to infiltrate clinics. Rose, by e-mail, and O'Keefe, in a phone interview, said they were inspired by the work of Mark Crutcher, a Texas antiabortion activist who in 2002 taped fake calls to hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics around the country featuring women posing as pregnant minors. [Los Angeles Times, 4/26/09]
Rose And O'Keefe "Received Criticism" For Their Deceptive Tactics, Which O'Keefe Called "Justified." The Los Angeles Times reported:
O'Keefe, 24, said he and Rose have received criticism from some of their associates for using deception. "It's a pretty complicated ethical issue," he said, "but we believe there is a genocide and nobody cares, and you can use these tactics and it's justified." Rose and O'Keefe visited their first clinic -- UCLA's Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center -- in 2006. They videotaped an employee telling them "some pretty bad things," said O'Keefe, including that the fetus is a collection of cells. "That's what set us in motion." [Los Angeles Times, 4/26/09]
Rose Launched The Rosa Acuna Project To Document Planned Parenthood's "Use Of Unscientific And Fabricated Medical Information To Convince Women To Have Abortions." From the Live Action website:
The "Rosa Acuna Project" is a multi-state undercover investigation documenting Planned Parenthood's use of unscientific and fabricated medical information to convince women to have abortions. A series of hidden camera videos shot in clinics across the United States reveals the exploitative tactics abortion doctors and clinicians employ to conceal the truth about abortion from women who most need honest and accurate information. Leading embryologists have denounced Planned Parenthood's conduct caught on tape as "erroneous and scientifically absurd." [LiveAction.org, accessed 2/1/11]
Rose: "Abortion Is Truly Impacting, Devastating The African American Community And Planned Parenthood Is Behind That." From the March 30, 2008, edition of Fox News' Hannity's America:
ROSE: Seventy-nine percent of their clinics are in minority neighborhoods. And an African American baby is almost as likely to be aborted because of this as it is to be born. Abortion is truly impacting, devastating the African American community and Planned Parenthood is behind that.
All seven states which was the extent of the investigation did not hang up the phone despite his racist request. Instead they agreed to process his donation which would target an African-American woman or they said they would get back to him to find a way to do so.
HANNITY: In a statement to the FOX NEWS Channel, the organization explained, quote, "Planned Parenthood's mission is deeply rooted in the philosophy of equality for all and our doors are open to everyone. Planned Parenthood firmly and unequivocally denounces racial bias in the delivery healthcare. Two local employees violated the organization's principles and practices when they responded to deceptive calls from a political opponent who posed as a racist donor and secretly taped the conversations. It is clear these employees made serious mistakes and we apologize again for they way this was handled." [Fox News' Hannity's America, 3/30/08, accessed via Nexis]
Rose: Planned Parenthood Funding Should Be Cut Because "The Economy Isn't Doing Too Well And We're Looking To Cut Government Spending." From an interview on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
ROSE: This is common. This is widespread and has been going on for years, the cover-up of sexual abuse of young girls. Young girls go into these Planned Parenthoods needing help, looking for help. And they're given a bag of condoms. They're given an abortion and sent right back into the arms of the abuser.
This is happening. I've seen it myself personally in dozens of clinics across the country. I've seen it in Los Angeles. I visited two Los Angeles Planned Parenthoods when I was a freshman. I found the coverup and sexual abuse then. This is a national problem. And this organization receives almost -- over $300 million a year in government money.
O'REILLY: Yes, for the money, too.
O'REILLY: Right, right, for reproductive activities.
ROSE: And their choice of.
O'REILLY: OK now, you're a college student in California, right?
ROSE: That's right.
O'REILLY: And you've been doing this. Why? Why do you do this?
ROSE: Well, it's my passion. It's -- the group of students and I, we do this work together to investigate Planned Parenthood and hold them accountable for these crimes. They are receiving this huge chunk of money and especially in these economic times, where the economy isn't doing too well and we're looking to cut government spending. [Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, 12/4/08, accessed via Nexis]
Fox News Boosted Rose's Smears Of Planned Parenthood. When Rose released her videos of Planned Parenthood in February 2011, Fox News heavily covered the deeply dishonest videos. Like the Rose videos, Fox's coverage was relentless, unabashedly hostile to Planned Parenthood, and deeply misleading. Rose herself repeatedly appeared on Fox to push her false claims both in the immediate aftermath of the video's release and in the months that followed. [Media Matters, 2/21/12]
Rose Has Benefited From The "Generous Assistance" Of "Powerful Players" On The Right. As reported by AlterNet:
Steeped in conservative Christian politics, Rose has already benefited from the generous assistance of powerful players like communications firm The Leadership Institute, a high-powered conservative Christian legal organization, and a well-known DC-based Public Relations firm. She was the recipient of Operation Rescue's 2008 Person of the Year Malachi Award, and her campaign at UCLA to urge administrators to cut ties with Planned Parenthood received the endorsement of Dr. Alveda King, the ultra-conservative niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. [AlterNet, 6/24/09]
Rose Received $44,000 Award From Anti-Choice Gerard Health Foundation. According to its 990 IRS tax form, the Gerard Health Foundation awarded Lila Rose $44,000 in 2009. The Gerald Health Foundation is funded by Raymond Ruddy, a conservative businessman who has smeared Obama as an infanticide supporter and promoted fringe views on birth control, sex-education and reproductive rights. [Guidestar.org, accessed 4/23/12; Media Matters, 2/18/11]
Gerard Health Foundation Funded Live Action's Anti-Planned Parenthood Hoax. A December 3, 2010, press release from Live Action titled "Live Action to Launch Major Investigations in 2011 with New Fundraising" said:
Live Action, the youth-led pro-life group responsible for exposing statutory rape cover-up, racism, and medical misinformation at Planned Parenthood, is preparing to launch several major investigations of the abortion industry next year. A donor fund has awarded Live Action a $125,000 matching gift, and Live Action is now starting a fundraising campaign to match the gift and fund the new investigations. [Live Action, 12/3/10]
Live Action did not report the identity of the donor. On January 22, Life Prizes, an initiative of the Gerard Health Foundation, held an invitation-only awards ceremony. Peter Smith of LifeSiteNews.com reported on that ceremony in a January 25 article:
[Gerard Health Vice President Claude] Allen announced that Life Prizes 2008 award winner Lila Rose had been offered an additional $125,000 matching grant for her investigative work exposing the practices of other abortionists.
"Lila has met that match," he announced, which the audience met with loud applause.
Laura Ingraham, a nationally syndicated talk show radio host and FOX News contributor, was master of ceremonies for the event, her second time in that role. [LifeSiteNews.com,1/28/11; Media Matters, 2/18/11]
Rose Trained Through Leadership Institute. Boston Globe columnist Joanna Weiss wrote:
Rose also represents a new wave of conservative activists who understand the power of a sensational story. She got training through the Leadership Institute, a D.C.-based group that seeds college campuses with conservative groups. And her inspiration and mentor is James O'Keefe, a former Leadership Institute employee who conducted secret videos of the community group ACORN -- posing as a pimp himself, complete with a fedora and fur jacket -- and managed to get the group stripped of federal funding. (He was also arrested last year for entering Senator Mary Landrieu's office, in a different costume, intending to tamper with her phones.)
Morton Blackwell, the Leadership Institute's founder, told me last week that O'Keefe and Rose have taken at least one of his lessons to heart: Put out your negative news in increments, hurting the enemy further by keeping the story alive. With the drawn-out release of her Planned Parenthood tapes, Rose has increased her media profile, and helped to jeopardize Planned Parenthood's federal funding in a newly hostile House of Representatives. [Boston Globe, 2/13/11]
Rose Has Received Free Legal Counsel From The Alliance Defense Fund. As reported by the Los Angeles Times:
David French, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group, gave her free advice when Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles threatened action, and appeared at her side during an interview with conservative TV talk-show host Bill O'Reilly. She also receives guidance from CRC Public Relations, a Washington-area firm that represents conservative clients and had a hand in the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign that targeted Democrat John F. Kerry during the 2004 presidential race. [Los Angeles Times, 4/26/09]
Rose Spoke At Conservative Political Action Conference. Rose moderated an anti-choice panel at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference. [Colorado Independent, 2/12/12]
Rose Was A Featured Speaker At Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit. Rose spoke at the 2011, 2010, and 2009 Values Voter Summits. The summits were hosted by the conservative Family Research Council. [ValuesVotersSummit.org, 2011, 2010 and 2009 schedules accessed on 4/23/12]
Rose Moderated Presidential Forum With Republican Candidates. Rose moderated a January forum with Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. [LiveAction.org, 1/20/12]
Rose Founded Anti-Choice Student Magazine The Advocate. From Rose's bio on the Live Action Website:
In fall 2006, as a freshman at UCLA, Lila founded the pro-life student magazine The Advocate, administered through the new UCLA student chapter of Live Action. The Advocate has since gone national and is distributed at over 80 different high school and college campuses across the country with a circulation of nearly 100,000. [LiveAction.org, accessed 2/1/11]
Rose And James O'Keefe "Said They Were Inspired By The Work Of Mark Crutcher." As reported by the Los Angeles Times:
[Lila] Rose, by e-mail, and [James] O'Keefe, in a phone interview, said they were inspired by the work of Mark Crutcher, a Texas antiabortion activist who in 2002 taped fake calls to hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics around the country featuring women posing as pregnant minors. [Los Angeles Times, 4/26/09]
Crutcher Made Connections Between Slavery, Eugenics, And Abortion. Mark Crutcher, "a white abortion opponent in Denton, Tex." wrote and directed a documentary alleging that slavery still exists in the guise of abortion, making "connections among slavery, Nazi-style eugenics, birth control and abortion." [New York Times, 2/26/10; MAAFA21.com, accessed 2/1/11, Slate, 3/12/10]
For more on Lila Rose's inspiration, Mark Crutcher, click HERE.
It seems that this is the week when both candidates turn their attention to the young. Yesterday, Mitt Romney argued that Obama would be terrible for their futures in a second-term, and today, Obama made his pitch for policies to relieve the burden of student loan debt. His main focus was on a measure to extend the current interest rate for federal student loans. At the moment, students pay a 3.4 percent rate on Stafford loans. In the absence of additional action, this will jump to 6.8 percent, and effectively act as a tax hike on young Americans.
The White House is going on hard on this, and has scheduled two other visits to college campuses to press it?s case. Likewise, Mitt Romney believes that the low rates should be extended, and campaign has issued statements to that effect. It should be said that this is an incredibly small-bore measure; the size of student loans has exploded over the last decade, and millions of people are stuck with obligations they can?t afford. What?s more, the cost of college has only gotten more expensive and will continue to do so: over the last three decades, the average tuition at four-year state universities almost quadrupled.
Of course, it's worth noting the extent to which, as far as partisan politics goes, there aren't any big proposals for handling the student loan crisis. The simple fact is that neither Obama nor Romney has proposed anything appropriate to the scale of the problem. If there is a difference, it's that one party, the GOP, is committed to gutting the welfare state and its wide array of programs for students and young people. On some level, it doesn?t matter what Romney proposes; if his preferred budget plan were implemented by Congress, it would end most forms of student aid as a matter of course.
One last point: It goes without saying that Obama?s speech was a campaign event as well as an attempt to push a particular policy outcome (there were chants of ?four more years?). And if anything stood out in particular, it was his pointed pushback against the notion that he has lived a privileged life:
I didn?t just read about this?Michelle and I, we?ve been in your shoes. Like I said, we didn?t come from wealthy schools. When we graduated from law school, we had a mountain of debt. When we got married, we were poor together?We paid more in student loans than we did on our mortgage for the first eight years.
To a large degree, Romney and Obama embody their respective platforms. The former Massachusetts governor came from a life of incredible wealth and privilege, and wants to defend it with the tools of government. President Obama, by contrast, rose from more modest means, and?at the very least?wants a government that will facilitate mobility for all Americans.
Given this, I won?t be shocked if we hear a lot more about Obama?s struggle with student loans over the next seven months.
The SAFE California Campaign has managed to qualify for the November ballot an initiative that would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life without the possibility of parole. Polling indicates the campaign will have a bit of an up hill fight[...]
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Our nation has taken yet another giant step backwards with the criminalization of poverty.
How did breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay end up behind bars? She didn't pay a medical bill -- one the Herrin, Ill., teaching assistant was told she didn't owe. "She got a $280 medical bill in error and was told she didn't have to pay it," The Associated Press reports. "But the bill was turned over to a collection agency, and eventually state troopers showed up at her home and took her to jail in handcuffs."
Although the U.S. abolished debtors' prisons in the 1830s, more than a third of U.S. states allow the police to haul people in who don't pay all manner of debts, from bills for health care services to credit card and auto loans. In parts of Illinois, debt collectors commonly use publicly funded courts, sheriff's deputies, and country jails to pressure people who owe even small amounts to pay up, according to the AP.
Under the law, debtors aren't arrested for nonpayment, but rather for failing to respond to court hearings, pay legal fines, or otherwise showing "contempt of court" in connection with a creditor lawsuit. That loophole has lawmakers in the Illinois House of Representatives concerned enough to pass a bill in March that would make it illegal to send residents of the state to jail if they can't pay a debt. The measure awaits action in the senate.
Illinois isn't the only state locking up residents for being too poor to pay their bills. A report from the ACLU found that Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Washington were also doing this, and at "increasingly alarming rates."
A report from the New York University's Brennan Center for Justice found that states are also adding "poverty penalties," including late fees, payment plan fees, and interest:
Alabama charges a 30 percent collection fee, for instance, while Florida allows private debt collectors to add a 40 percent surcharge on the original debt. Some Florida counties also use so-called collection courts, where debtors can be jailed but have no right to a public defender.
Being denied a public defender seems to me would be a violation of the Constitution, but I'm no law expert. Any of you legal eagles want to weigh in?