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maddezmom's Journal
maddezmom's Journal
August 28, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Undercover At NOM's Anti-Gay Student Conference

This year, NOM expanded its ITAF conference to include recent college graduates in their early twenties. Being a 24-year-old gay blogger who has spent the better part of the past two years tracking NOM's anti-gay extremism, I wasn't expecting much when I applied to ITAF's "Emerging Leaders" program in mid-June. I'd spent most of the month publishing blog post after blog post about ITAF's anti-gay "suggested reading" list, its roster of extreme anti-gay speakers, and its ties to a megachurch linked to the "ex-gay" movement. The application didn't require me to disclose my place of employment, but a quick Google search of my name would plainly reveal that I was no friend of NOM. Jennifer Morse, the president of NOM's Ruth Institute, had even specifically responded to a post I'd published about her. I saw my application as more of a joke than anything else.


But, I wanted to see it for myself. Attending ITAF would give me an opportunity to find out what NOM was really saying about LGBT people when it wasn't mincing words for mainstream media outlets.

So on Thursday, July 26, armed with little more than my camera phone, a notepad, and a hastily-concocted backstory, I boarded a flight to San Diego to attend what would end up being one of the most disturbing and overtly homophobic experiences of my life.

more: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/08/28/exclusive-undercover-at-noms-anti-gay-student-c/189596

August 27, 2012

Making the Election About Race

Making the Election About Race
The Republican ticket is flooding the airwaves with commercials that develop two themes designed to turn the presidential contest into a racially freighted resource competition pitting middle class white voters against the minority poor.

Ads that accuse President Obama of gutting the work requirements enacted in the 1996 welfare reform legislation present the first theme. Ads alleging that Obama has taken $716 billion from Medicare — a program serving an overwhelmingly white constituency — in order to provide health coverage to the heavily black and Hispanic poor deliver the second. The ads are meant to work together, to mutually reinforce each other’s claims.

The announcer in one of the Romney campaign’s TV ads focusing on welfare tells viewers:

In 1996, President Clinton and a bipartisan Congress helped end welfare as we know it by requiring work for welfare. But on July 12, President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping the work requirement. Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you a welfare check. And welfare-to-work goes back to being plain old welfare. Mitt Romney will restore the work requirement because it works.

Web sites devoted to examining the veracity of political commercials have sharply criticized the ad.

more: http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/making-the-election-about-race/?hp

August 27, 2012

GOP Details Huge Medicare Change In Leaked Platform

The platform, snagged by Politico on Friday night after the Republican National Committee accidentally posted it to its website before taking it down, is scheduled to be approved at the convention early this week.

The text details the privatization policy that GOP lawmakers have supported for years, and that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are selling as necessary to “save” Medicare. But in an unusual twist, it addresses the specific aspect of the proposal that makes it a departure from what Americans know as “Medicare.”

“The first step is to move the two programs [Medicare and Medicaid] away from their current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model,” the draft platform reads. “While retaining the option of traditional Medicare in competition with private plans, we call for a transition to a premium-support model for Medicare, with an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee’s choice. This model will include private health insurance plans that provide catastrophic protection, to ensure the continuation of doctor-patient relationships.”

The esoteric language gets to the heart of the change that ends the basic structure of Medicare. Since its inception in 1965, Medicare has been a government-run insurance program that directly pays medical bills for the elderly per their needs (i.e. “defined benefit”). Republicans want to turn it into a partially privatized system that pays seniors a fixed amount to buy their own health insurance (i.e. “defined contribution”).

more: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/republican-party-platform-medicare.php

August 27, 2012

OOPS! RNC swag bag has Romney book with unaltered health care section

TAMPA — All credentialed media checking into the Republican National Convention are being given a swag bag featuring brochures and items from various sponsors such as sunglasses and a pocket fan. But the bag also contains a copy of the original hardcover version of Mitt Romney’s book No Apology, in which he suggested his approach to health care in Massachusetts could be accomplished in the rest of the country.

The allusion was later altered for the paperback version of the book, a change that became a contentious issue during the Republican primary.

On page 177 of the hardcover version of No Apology that’s being given out at the RNC, Romney describes his Massachusetts health care law, and writes: “We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care.”

This language was problematic, because it implied, contrary to what Romney has said elsewhere, that Romney thought his Massachusetts health care law could be a model for the nation. Such phrasing complicated his argument for why his law was different from President Obama’s national one.

more: http://washingtonexaminer.com/rnc-swag-bag-has-romney-book-with-unaltered-health-care-section/article/2506045#.UDuw3taPW8B

August 27, 2012

Romney's Unsubtle Race-Baiting Campaign Can't Be Ignored


The New York Times' Tom Edsall meticulously breaks down how the Romney campaign is trying to reach 51% by pitting race against race:
Ads that accuse President Obama of gutting the work requirements enacted in the 1996 welfare reform legislation present the first theme. Ads alleging that Obama has taken $716 billion from Medicare — a program serving an overwhelmingly white constituency — in order to provide health coverage to the heavily black and Hispanic poor deliver the second. The ads are meant to work together, to mutually reinforce each other’s claims.
The goal is not to make a legitimate critique, but to portray Obama as willing to give the “undeserving” poor government handouts at the expense of hardworking taxpayers.
The importance to the Romney-Ryan ticket of two overlapping constituencies — whites without college degrees and white Medicare recipients — cannot be overestimated. Romney, continuing the Republican approach of 2010, is banking on a huge turnout among key white segments of the electorate in order to counter Obama’s strengths with minority voters as well as with young and unmarried female voters of all races.
Faced with few if any possibilities of making gains among blacks and Hispanics — whose support for Obama has remained strong — the Romney campaign has no other choice if the goal is to win but to adopt a strategy to drive up white turnout.
New York magazine's Jonathan Chait, highlighting an anonymous Republican operative's quote to The Atlantic, also illuminates the Romney race gambit, and argues that if it works, it means the end of Social Security and Medicare as we know it:


August 27, 2012

Mitt Romney Suggests Obama Welfare Waivers Are A Tactic To 'Shore Up His Base'

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney escalated his attacks on President Barack Obama's welfare waivers Monday, suggesting that welfare recipients make up President Barack Obama's political "base."

In an interview with USA Today, Romney defended his much-criticized ads, which falsely accuse the president of removing the work requirement in welfare. He insisted that the spots were accurate and that Obama had pursued his policy as part of an electoral calculation.

"There's no question in my mind that the president's action was calculated to... shore up his base," Romney said, according to an extended quote that USA Today provided to The Huffington Post. "Weakening the work requirement in welfare is an enormous mistake."

The racial components of Romney's welfare ads have already been much discussed, and Romney's suggestion that welfare recipients are Obama's "base" seems likely to only further anger those who view the attack ads as divisive. Welfare recipients, in fact, would make up quite a small "base" -- there were only an average of 4,417,445 recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families in 2011, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Asked about the quote, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul responded: "President Obama’s liberal base are the people who believe the same way he does: that government is the solution to everything."

more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/27/mitt-romney-welfare-waivers_n_1832871.html?1346082043

He's not even trying to hide his racists comments. Disgusting!

August 27, 2012

Republican Party is anti-science

Last Modified: Monday, August 27, 2012 at 7:52 a.m.

Recent events have caused speculation that the current Republican Party is anti-science.

For a nation that values its traditional science and technology edge over most of the rest of the world, it is somewhat astonishing that so many Republican politicians treat science as unproven theory or disregard it completely.

When Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., made his now-infamous remark that women who are victims of "legitimate rape" won't get pregnant, it was immediately noted that Akin, who is running for a Senate seat, is a member of the House Science and Technology Committee.

Akin, who is firmly against abortion for any reason, apologized for his appalling lack of knowledge about biology, but he immediately got $100,000 in campaign donations from sympathetic Republicans

much more: http://www.newschief.com/article/20120827/NEWS/208275002/1013/opinion?Title=Republican-Party-is-anti-science

August 27, 2012

The origins of the GOP's war on women can be traced back to the summer of 1980

The importance of women to Barack Obama’s reelection hopes is no secret. The president consistently trails Mitt Romney among male voters, but so far that deficit is more than wiped out by his strength with females – which explains why the Obama team is redoubling its efforts to turn women against Romney and the GOP brand.

The proximate reason for this is the behavior of Republicans, who have placed a new level of rhetorical and legislative importance on reproductive issues in the past few years.

The shock value of Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment a week ago made it an instant national story, but the controversy also focused attention on the lack of a rape exception in the anti-abortion platform language Republicans will ratify in Tampa this week. This came a few months after the congressional GOP picked a fight with Obama over the administration’s efforts to mandate contraception coverage, and after Gov. Bob McDonnell and his fellow Virginia Republicans were forced to abandon a plan to compel women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound before having an abortion. (Instead, McDonnell signed a bill that mandates a non-invasive ultrasound.) There’s also been a proliferation of “personhood” amendments at the state level, along with numerous other Republican-led efforts to restrict abortion. All of this has allowed Democrats to accuse the GOP of pursuing a “war on women.”

To understand the roots of the gender politics of 2012, though, you need to go back more than three decades, to the summer of 1980.

It can be hard to appreciate now, but the Republican Party that nominated Ronald Reagan in Detroit that July was far more diverse, demographically and ideologically, than today’s. In some ways, Reagan’s primary season victory cemented the rightward shift that Barry Goldwater’s 1964 nomination had begun, but the old Rockefeller wing wasn’t yet dead. Authentic liberals like Jacob Javits, Mac Mathias and Lowell Weicker remained prominent, and the party wasn’t intimately identified with Southern-tinged evangelical Christianity the way it now is.

more: http://www.salon.com/2012/08/27/where_the_gender_gap_was_born/

August 26, 2012

Editorial: Romney failed once again leadership test (Birtherism)

Mitt Romney wants to have it both ways — he wants to distance himself from Donald Trump’s remarks on President Obama’s birth, but not from Trump himself.

Trump continues to push conspiracy theories about Obama’s birth.

On Tuesday, Trump once again embraced the discredited birther movement by declaring on CNBC that “there are some major questions here that the press doesn’t want to cover.”

“Nothing’s changed my mind,” Trump said, reaffirming his doubts about the president’s Hawaiian birth certificate. “I walk down the street and people are screaming, ‘Please don’t give that up.’”

In response, Romney sought to distance himself from the conspiracy comments while still embracing the man who made the remarks.

“You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me, and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said. “But I need to get 50.1 percent or more, and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

more: http://www.phillytrib.com/commentaryarticles/item/4320-romney-failed-once-again-leadership-test.html

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Upstate NY
Home country: USA
Current location: Houston Area TX
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 05:30 PM
Number of posts: 135,060

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