August 20th, 2012

light research

Are 'Swift Boat' attacks on Obama bogus?

Are 'Swift Boat' attacks on Obama bogus?
By Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst
updated 2:07 PM EDT, Sun August 19, 2012

Editor's note: Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst, is a director at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank that seeks innovative solutions across the ideological spectrum, and the author of the new book "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden -- From 9/11 to Abbottabad."

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A group of former U.S. military and intelligence officers, including retired Navy SEALs, appear in a 22-minute documentary that was released on Wednesday asserting that the Obama administration has leaked considerable classified intelligence about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden for political gain.

They also claim that the administration has given itself too much credit for this feat of American arms and intelligence gathering. The film even makes the dramatic charge that the Obama administration is "purposefully putting lives in jeopardy" because of its purported leaks about national security.

The charges bear some resemblance to the "Swift Boat" tactics used against Sen. John Kerry in the tight 2004 presidential election against President George W. Bush in which Kerry's service in Vietnam, seemingly a strength of the candidate, was turned into a weakness.
Collapse )
normal

Conservative Science: Rape Cannot Cause Pregnancies and Other Mysteries!

The Junk Science of Tomorrow, Today.

Rep. Todd Akin: Wrong, But Not Alone

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) opened up a can of controversy on Sunday when he claimed that women who are the victims of "legitimate rape" are unlikely to become pregnant. (Akin was defending his belief that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape and incest.) Then Akin, who is running against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill for Senate, issued the obligatory statement saying he simply misspoke and really feels very deeply for women who are raped.

But here's the thing: Akin didn't make this idea up. That women can't get pregnant when they're raped is a thing that some people actually believe. I stumbled across this several months ago while researching another story. It turns out to be an idea held and repeated by individuals who oppose abortion in any circumstance.

Read for yourself. John C. Willke, an anti-abortion doctor, writes on the website Christian Life Resources about how pregnancies resulting from rape are "extremely rare" because of hormones and stuff:

Finally, factor in what is certainly one of the most important reasons why a rape victim rarely gets pregnant, and that's physical trauma. Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors can alter her menstrual cycle. To get and stay pregnant a woman's body must produce a very sophisticated mix of hormones. Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions. There's no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing of a pregnancy.

An abbreviated version of his column also appears on the Physicians for Life website. This website, purportedly created to help "troubled teens," also makes similar claims:

In cases of rape, the rate of pregnancy is actually very rare. This is due to several factors which may affect conception. The victim is in immense emotional shock and her body in turn is affected. Statistics show that the rate of miscarriage is higher in these circumstances. A major factor contributing to the rare occurrence of conception in cases of rape is psychological trauma. Stress has been known to alter bodily functions, the menstrual cycle included. And in order for a woman to conceive a complex blend of hormones must be formed. The production of these certain hormones is easily affected by emotions, in which of course the rape itself factors in greatly. Hence, the chances of actual conception—ovulation, fertilization, implantation—for the rape victim are considerably lowered.

In 1998, Fay Boozman, a Republican candidate for Senate in Arkansas, got in trouble for embracing this idea. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Boozman said the inability to get pregnant from rape stemmed from "God's little protective shield"—a report Boozman denied before saying that it was in fact an "adrenaline rush" that prevented conception from rape.

The you-can't-get-pregnant-from-rape falsehood is apparently something that enough people believe that Planned Parenthood includes it on its pregnancy FAQ page.

Akin may be wrong, but he's got company.

Rainbow

Nate Silver weighs in on Akin's comments. Some Republicans want Akin to withdraw.

Akin Comments Could Swing Missouri Senate Race

Source NATE SILVER at NYT


In my review of Senate races last week, I classified Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, who won the Republican primary earlier this month, as a very slight favorite over the Democratic incumbent in the state, Claire McCaskill.

(Image source here)


Collapse )

Mr. Long identified 21 cases in which the controversy surrounded a public statement the candidate had made. He found that, on average, these candidates received about 5  percent less of the vote than they otherwise would have on Election Day, controlling for other factors. Since most Senate races are two-way contests, losing five percentage points also implies that the opponent gains five percentage points, meaning that the net swing is equal to 10 points.


If Mr. Akin lost a net of 10 points in the polls to Ms. McCaskill because of the remark, he would be trailing her by five points in surveys rather than leading her by about that margin.


It can be easy to overrate the importance of scandals in the first few days after they occur. Many voters will vote along party lines almost no matter what, and others will decide based on factors like the economy or an incumbent senator’s voting record.


Nevertheless, my view is that insensitive comments concerning rape are especially likely to be deemed inexcusable by voters, and that the swing against Mr. Akin could be larger than the average of 10 percentage points from similar events.


Some Republican activists on social media platforms, perhaps going through a similar calculation, are calling on Mr. Akin to withdraw from the race. An effort to replace a candidate on the ballot would create controversy of its own, potentially including legal challenges. But if the swing against Mr. Akin in the polls is 10 percentage points or more, it might be an avenue Republicans would need to consider if they want to maximize their chances of taking over the seat.

number one crush forever, bamf

Poly-Baiting: Why We Need a More Inclusive LGBTQ Movement

Poly-Baiting: Why We Need a More Inclusive LGBTQ Movement

by Vivienne Chen

Anti-LGBTQ campaigners have often used the issue of polyamory–or rather, a twisted media presentation of “polygamy,” which is distinct from ethical nonmonogamy and polyamory–as a slippery slope argument against LGBTQ equality, particularly when it comes to marriage.

The worse thing is? LGBTQ activists left and right take the bait.

Just take a minute and watch this short video. Trigger Warning: Rick Santorum. (As usual, santorum is full of shit.)




Notice the crowd’s reaction to his statements.

Santorum: Are we saying that everyone has the right to marry?
Crowd: Yes!
Santorum: So anyone can marry anybody else?
Crowd: Yes!
Santorum: So anybody can marry several people?
Crowd: *mutterings and incoherent babbles of ‘No!’*

Cut to Santorum getting booed off the stage.


The problem is Santorum is right. Did I just say that? (This is where I say things that not everyone in the LGBTQ community agrees with, so my post should not be used as a monolithic representation of LGBTQ activism.)


Collapse )


source

(OP: I know this is an old article, but since ontd_p has... not done well with poly issues in the past, I thought this might be a good starting point. What do you think? Can LGBTQIA activists and poly activists work together on common issues, or will queer poly people continue to be thrown under the bus? also, tag suggestions very welcome!)


Edited to try and fix html. siiiigh

Queen

Down syndrome Pakistani girl accused of blasphemy

A Christian girl with Down syndrome has been arrested on blasphemy charges in Pakistan, accused of burning pages inscribed with verses from the Koran, police and activists said on Sunday.
Police arrested Rimsha, who is recognised by a single name, on Thursday after she was reported to be holding in public burnt pages that had Islamic text and Koranic verses on them, a police official said.
Collapse )

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/down-syndrome-pakistani-girl-accused-of-blasphemy-20120820-24h15.html

Just to let you know that Akin isn't alone in his beliefs.

Akin’s Spiritual Mentor: Women Occasionally Invite Rape, Victims Are ‘Hysterical’

Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) spiritual mentor Reverend D. James Kennedy harbored extreme and sometimes flatly misogynistic views about rape and abortion, according to a ThinkProgress review of Kennedy’s sermons on the topic. The Senate candidate, who set off a massive controversy by claiming this weekend that victims of “legitimate rape” don’t get pregnant, has deep ties to Reverend Kennedy, having cited some of his sermons as key intellectual influences and having been named in Kennedy’s book How Would Jesus Vote? as one of the Reverend’s “favorite statesman.”

Kennedy, who the Anti-Defamation League has termed a “Christian supremacist,” repeatedly railed against legalized abortion, calling it the “American Holocaust” and suggesting that it would lead inevitably to genocide in the United States. But Kennedy’s discussions of rape and abortion in particular betray extraordinarily disturbing views about rape victims:

1. Kennedy believed that rape victims who chose abortion are “hysterical.” In “Abortion: Myths and Realities,” Kennedy labels victims of rape who chose unsafe abortions when safer procedures are illegal “hysterical,” saying “We are told by some of the radical feminists that the women will become hysterical, that they will abort themselves with coat hanger.” Abortion rates are, in fact, higher in nations where the procedure is criminalized, and men describing women whose choices they disapprove of as “hysterical” has a storied sexist history.

2. Kennedy suggests rape victims can be responsible for being raped. In “Life: An Inalienable Right,” Kennedy expresses concern that rape victims who chose to get an abortion are occasionally responsible for their own rape, saying that “Even if they want to say the woman had some part in it—which in most cases they probably don’t—surely the baby did nothing wrong, so the only innocent party is killed and the rapist often goes free.” He doesn’t elaborate on how this might be true, but another Kennedy sermon says “the immodest woman is contributing to the lust of other people” by wearing revealing clothing.

3. Kennedy held that the Bible should set our laws about rape and abortion. Kennedy is very explicit on this point, saying “In the Bible, the child of rape was allowed to live and the rapist was put to death. Today, we find that the penalties against rape have become more and more lenient, whereas the child is now the subject of capital punishment. Justice has been totally destroyed and perverted in that the guilty are practically allowed to go free and the innocent are killed.” This fits with Kennedy’s general view that we should “rebuild America based on the Bible.”
(Except that's a huge pile of bullshit, as Deuteronomy states that a Rapist must marry his victim and pay the father 50 pieces of silver for violating her. And in the case of the victim being already married and living in the city, she must also be stoned to death along with the rapist.)

4. Kennedy thought husbands should determine if their wives can have abortions. Though not specifically addressing rape, Kennedy approvingly cited a Roman prohibition on abortion motivated by the husbands should have control over women’s reproductive choice, saying “That newly created life is as much the husband’s as it is the wife’s. Historically, it is interesting to note that when the Roman Empire did away with laws that allowed abortion, it was done not because of the woman or the harm that abortions were doing to women (and indeed they do vastly more harm than most people are aware of), but because the husband was being defrauded of his progeny.” Interestingly, Akin has worried that criminalizing marital rape provides women “a legal weapon to beat up on the husband.”

source: http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/08/20/713571/akins-spiritual-mentor-women-occasionally-invite-rape-victims-are-hysterical/
red corset

Todd Akin, Paul Ryan, and Redefining Rape



On Sunday, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who is challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill in the Missouri Senate race, used an interview with a local television station to defend his belief that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape: He claimed that women who are the victims of "legitimate rape" are unlikely to become pregnant. Akin said that the female body has "biological defenses" that prevent rape victims from getting pregnant. (That's not true.) The implication of his position is that if you were raped and became pregnant, you must have actually wanted it—it wasn't really rape.

This isn't the first time Akin has expressed fringe views about rape in the context of the abortion debate. Last year, Akin, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and most of the House GOP co-sponsored a bill that would have narrowed the already-narrow exceptions to the laws banning federal funding for abortion—from all cases of rape to cases of "forcible rape."

After I reported on the "forcible rape" language in January 2011, a wave of outcry from abortion rights, progressive, and women's groups led the Republicans to remove it. But a few months later, in a congressional committee report, Republicans wrote that they believed the bill would continue to have the same effect despite the absence of the "forcible" language.

So why was the "forcible" language so important? Pro-life advocates believed they needed to include the word "forcible" in the law to preempt what National Right to Life Committee lobbyist Doug Johnson called a "brazen" effort by Planned Parenthood and other groups to obtain federal funding for abortions for any teenager by (falsely) claiming statutory rape. Abortion rights groups, Johnson warned, wanted to "federally fund the abortion of tens of thousands of healthy babies of healthy moms, based solely on the age of their mothers." Richard Doerflinger, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops'* top anti-abortion lobbyist, echoed Johnson in congressional testimony, arguing that the "forcible" language was "an effort on the part of the sponsors to prevent the opening of a very broad loophole for federally funded abortions for any teenager." Planned Parenthood flatly denied having a plan to open up such a loophole.

The idea that women who are "legitimate" rape victims can't get pregnant has currency in some corners of the fringe right. Akin embraces it. Does he embrace the conspiracy theory about the need for the "forcible rape" language, too?

*The name of the organization has been corrected.

By Nick Baumann, Sunday August 19th, 2012 3:21 PM PDT


Source

I think we're way overdue for a "war on women" tag. :)

Edited to add: We've got the tag! :D
oh holy shit
  • chaya

Todd Akin Asked to Leave Senate Race By GOP

Republican U.S. Congressman Todd Akin is quitting his senate race, according to multiple GOP politicos, including CNN’s Erick Erickson, and Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney’s former foreign policy spokesperson.

"Richard Grenell @RichardGrenell
Breaking: Senior GOP official: Akin advisors making preparations for a withdrawal tomorrow.
"

Collapse )

This is a developing story — no word on whether Akin will resign his House seat.

Source.

You're kidding right? - Deb

I Misspoke—What I Meant To Say Is 'I Am Dumb As Dog Shit And I Am A Terrible Human Being'

As a politician, I often find myself in situations where, unfortunately, I express a certain thought or idea poorly, or find my words taken out of context. Indeed, that is what happened this weekend. Upon reviewing the impromptu remarks I made Sunday afternoon, I can now see that I used the wrong words in the wrong way. I would now like to set the record straight with the American people and clear up some confusion about what it was I intended to convey.

You see, what I said was, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” But what I meant to say was, “I am a worthless, moronic sack of shit and an utterly irredeemable human being who needs to shut up and go away forever.”

Collapse )

Onion Source