Just two days after referring to Democratic women as “abortion machines,” on Friday’s show serial sexist Rush Limbaugh made a vulgar reference to single mothers as “receptacles for male semen.”
The right wing talk show host made the comment about unmarried Democratic mothers voting in this week’s Virginia gubernatorial race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli.
Let’s hope Congress also appropriates the funds for this.
Thursday’s development represents the biggest step that Congress has taken to expand mental health care in nearly a full year since Sandy Hook. If passed, the bill will “establish criteria for certified community behavioral health clinics to ensure the providers cover a broad range of mental health services — including 24-hour crisis care, increased integration of physical, mental, and substance abuse treatment so they are treated simultaneously rather than separately, and expanded support for families of people living with mental health issues,” according to a press release from Stabenow’s office. The version passed in committee today would set up federally-funded pilot programs in 10 states to expand access to mental health care along those lines.
“Our bipartisan bill expands access to care and improves quality of care so people living with mental illness can get the treatment they need,” said Stabenow in a statement. “Instead of merely talking about this issue in the wake of tragedies, it is time for Congress to finally take action.”
Other bipartisan federal legislation such as the Mental Health First Aid Act and Mental Health In Schools Act are still stuck in Congress. On Thursday, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) — a former psychologist — introduced his own legislation aiming to boost outpatient mental health care, make it easier for Americans in rural regions to get treatment, and create behavioral health awareness programs for teens to reduce the stigma of mental illness among young people.
Years of growing friction between the Republican Party leaders and its Tea Party faction has erupted into what one conservative said today was “full-scale civil war.”
House Speaker John Boehner, whose strategies have been repeatedly thwarted by Tea Party revolts in recent years, was blunt today when asked whether he thought the ultra-conservatives should get in line.
“I don’t care what they do,” Boehner replied.
The speaker lashed out at Tea Party activists.
“Well, frankly, I think they’re misleading their followers,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters today. “I think they’re pushing our members in places where they don’t want to be.”
“And frankly, I just think that they’ve lost all credibility,” Boehner said.
An unusually well-preserved fossil of a duck-billed dinosaur has revealed a body part never seen before on any dinosaur.
The Edmontosaurus regalis specimen found west of Grand Prairie , Alta., last year had a soft, fleshy comb on its head, similar to those found on roosters.
“It’s a structure that was completely unexpected,” said Victoria Arbour, a University of Alberta paleontologist who co-authored the scientific paper published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, describing the new fossil.
“It kind of makes us wonder what other dinosaurs might have had.”
Edmontosaurus was a plant-eating dinosaur with a duck-like bill that grew to be 12 metres long — about the length of a bus. It was thought to have roamed North America in herds during the late Cretaceous, about 75 and 65 million years ago, and belonged to a group of dinosaurs known as hadrosaurs, which were the most common dinosaurs on the continent at the time.
Strange and secretive North Korea made news again Thursday when the powerful uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was executed as a “traitor for all ages,” the official news agency reported. North Korean media said Jang Song Thaek had been purged for crimes that included faction-building, corruption, drug use and womanizing. Here are some of the most bizarre stories that have been reported about the country since Kim Jong Un took power in late 2011.
Catholic Bishops Call ‘Baseless’ ACLU Lawsuit Over Abortion Doctrine, Woman’s Miscarriage at Muskegon Hospital
MUSKEGON, MI - The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops calls “misguided” and unfounded an ACLU-backed federal lawsuit stemming from a woman’s alleged experience at Muskegon’s Mercy General Health Partners before she miscarried in 2010.
The ACLU lawsuit against the U.S. bishops’ conference, filed on behalf of Tamesha Means of Muskegon, claims the conference’s religious-based policy banning abortions prevented her from getting appropriate care.
The lawsuit seeks damages and a declaration that the conference’s actions were negligent, “not only to provide a remedy for the trauma she suffered, but also to prevent other women in her situation from suffering similar harm in the future,” in the words of the legal complaint.
“This claim is baseless,” Archibishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., said in a Dec. 6 statement about the ACLU lawsuit. Kurtz is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Calls for the closer integration of science in political decision-making have been commonplace for decades. However, there are serious problems in the application of science to policy — from energy to health and environment to education.
One suggestion to improve matters is to encourage more scientists to get involved in politics. Although laudable, it is unrealistic to expect substantially increased political involvement from scientists. Another proposal is to expand the role of chief scientific advisers1, increasing their number, availability and participation in political processes. Neither approach deals with the core problem of scientific ignorance among many who vote in parliaments.
Perhaps we could teach science to politicians? It is an attractive idea, but which busy politician has sufficient time? In practice, policy-makers almost never read scientific papers or books. The research relevant to the topic of the day — for example, mitochondrial replacement, bovine tuberculosis or nuclear-waste disposal — is interpreted for them by advisers or external advocates. And there is rarely, if ever, a beautifully designed double-blind, randomized, replicated, controlled experiment with a large sample size and unambiguous conclusion that tackles the exact policy issue.
In this context, we suggest that the immediate priority is to improve policy-makers’ understanding of the imperfect nature of science. The essential skills are to be able to intelligently interrogate experts and advisers, and to understand the quality, limitations and biases of evidence. We term these interpretive scientific skills. These skills are more accessible than those required to understand the fundamental science itself, and can form part of the broad skill set of most politicians.
Sylvester J. Schieber
Sylvester J. SchieberFmr. chair of the Social Security Advisory Board
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Ignoring Sexual Assaults Can Be Deadly
Posted: 12/10/2013 12:38 pm
Inside DC, Metropolitan Police Department, Dc Council, Rape, DC News
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On May 7, 1998, my daughter, Shannon, a 23-year-old student at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, was raped and killed by a man who broke into her apartment at 2 a.m. Her killer previously had raped at least four other women before Shannon, all students living alone within a six-block radius of Shannon’s apartment, and all in early morning attacks.
However, the police failed to realize they had a serial rapist on their hands because detectives had classified two of the cases as “non-criminal offenses” and failed to investigate. According to the police statements, they did not believe the victims or found the victim’s memory of events unclear.
A report about the Metropolitan Police Department’s response to sexual assault cases in the District of Columbia identified similar issues. On December 12, the public will have its first chance to voice its opinions on proposed legislation to improve the MPD’s response to sexual assaults at a hearing of the DC Council.
The proposed DC legislation was prompted by a January Human Rights Watch investigation that concluded that the MPD failed to properly investigate scores of sexual abuse cases between 2008 and 2011 and often mistreated survivors who sought police assistance. A June report, conducted at the Council’s request by attorneys at Crowell & Moring, disputed Human Rights Watch’s methodology but echoed their recommendations for transparency and external oversight.
Initially, the Police Commissioner, John Timoney, downplayed the misclassification of cases, chalking the lapses up to bad training or occasional “sloppiness.” Fortunately, the Philadelphia City Council, rather than letting the matter drop, pressured Timoney to review cases going back five years. Ultimately, 2,000 sexual assault cases classified as non-crimes were audited. As a result, 700 of the cases were reclassified as rapes and another 500 as alternative forms of felony assault. In other words, there was sufficient evidence in the police files to suggest a serious crime had been committed in fully 60 percent of the cases.
Federal authorities are seeking to expand their jail misconduct investigation by convincing sheriff’s deputies to provide evidence against colleagues and higher-level officials in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, according to interviews.
Some sheriff’s officials are already cooperating with federal investigators, including at least one who agreed to become a confidential informant earlier in the inquiry. Legal experts who reviewed the indictments unsealed this week said some deputies mentioned but not identified by name are also likely to be cooperating.
Many of the 18 former and current deputies charged in the jail scandal face potentially lengthy prison sentences if they are convicted of crimes that include conspiracy to obstruct justice, lying to federal agents and beating inmates and writing false reports to cover up the assaults. The prospect of tough punishment gives deputies an incentive to help with the investigation in exchange for a deal, legal experts said.
Two groups that push so-called “reparative therapy” for gay people in the United States and abroad have teamed up to make a documentary explaining their junk science in an attempt to counter efforts to ban the practice for minors.
Family Watch International - a group affiliated with the World Congress of Families that supports the criminalization of homosexuality abroad and retains Uganda anti-gay crusader Martin Ssempa as a “volunteer” staff member - teamed up last month with leaders of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) to produce the half-hour documentary, “Understanding Same-Sex Attraction.”
In the film, NARTH psychologists and self-proclaimed “ex-gays” - some of them with their faces blurred out for privacy - push any number of anti-gay myths, including that homosexuality is caused by sexual abuse, absent fathers, and overbearing mothers.
We’ve put together a short highlight reel:
Of course, one of the pioneers of “reparative therapy,” Exodus International, renounced their work last year, and last summer, a California law that makes reparative therapy illegal was upheld by a Federal Appeals Court, but why let a few inconvenient facts and the rule of law get in the way of good old American grifting?
Grifting that damages young people.
I hope that one day, karma gives Family Watch International a swift kick in the ass.