The congressional district Michele Bachmann (R-MN) represents has seen a huge spike in anti-gay bullying and related teen suicides — nine teen suicides, overall, in the past two years alone — so many that the area Bachmann represents has been labeled aÂ “suicide contagion area.” This should surprise no one, as Congresswoman Bachmann for the better part of a decade has built her political career on the backs of the very gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens she purportedly represents.
“Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied,” reports Stephanie Mencimer at Mother Jones. “And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman’s closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish. Bachmann, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically silent on the tragic deaths that have roiled her districtâ€”including the high school that she attended.”
â€œIf youâ€™re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, itâ€™sÂ bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement,” then-State Senator Bachmann said at theÂ EdWatch National Education Conference in 2004, when she created the non-existent “problem” of same-sex marriage coming to Minnesota, advocating to write discrimination into the state constitution in the form of a ban on marriage equality.
TheÂ Anoka-Hennepin has been fighting GSAs — Gay-Straight Alliances — and anti-bullying programs under the expected guise that they advance “the homosexual agenda,” ignorantly not acceptingÂ the fact that research shows that kids who live in these conservative, anti-gay environments are far more likely to attempt suicide — whether they are gay or straight. And GSAs are believed by the same researchers to be an effective weapon against teen suicides. So much so that the federalÂ Department of Justice and Department of Education publicly advocate for them.
It wasn’t a one-off statement. There was also this at the conference:
“You have aÂ teacher talking about his gayness. (The elementary school student) goes home then and says ‘Mom! Whatâ€™s gayness? We had aÂ teacher talking about this today.’ The mother says ‘Well, thatâ€™s when aÂ man likes other men, and they donâ€™t like girls.’ The boyâ€™s eight. Heâ€™s thinking, ‘Hmm. IÂ donâ€™t like girls. IÂ like boys. Maybe Iâ€™m gay.’ And you think, ‘Oh, thatâ€™s, thatâ€™s way out there. The kid isnâ€™t gonna think that.’ Are you kidding? That happens all the time. You donâ€™t think that this is intentional, the message thatâ€™s being given to these kids?Â Thatâ€™s child abuse.â€
And so much more.
So Bachmann advocated to ban same-sex marriage, by speaking out, one might say religiously, against homosexuals and homosexuality. And while her marriage ban failed to pass, as she feared, child abuse — in this case, children learning to hate homosexuals — and possibly, themselves — thanks to Bachmann’s obsession with homosexuality — grew into a raging suicide epidemic.
The Mother Jones piece adds that in addition to the nine successfully-completed teen suicides, at least seven “students at Anoka Middle School have been hospitalized for attempting or threatening suicide,” this year alone.
Anoka-Hennepin has a policy on the books known colloquially as “no homo promo,” which dates in back to the mid-1990s. Back then, after several emotional school board meetings, the district essentially wiped gay people out of the school health curriculum. There could be no discussion of homosexuality, even with regard to HIV and AIDS, and the school board adopted a formal policy that stated school employees could not teach that homosexuality was a “normal, valid lifestyle.”
Later the policy was changed to require school staff to remain neutral on issues of homosexuality if they should come up in class, a change that critics saidÂ fostered confusion among teachers and contributed to their inability to address bullying and harassment, or to even ask reasonable questions about some of the issues the kids were struggling with, like sexual orientation. Both policies were put into place at the behest of conservative religious activists who have been among Bachmann’s biggest supporters in the district. They include the Minnesota Family Council (MFC), and its local affiliate, the Parents Action League, which has lobbied to put discredited “reparative therapy” materials in schools.
That’s the sort of counselingÂ reportedly practiced by Bachmann & Associates,the mental health clinics run by Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus. The clinics reportedly counsel people on how to “pray away the gay” to become straight. Before entering politics, Bachmann served as the education advisor to the MFC-affiliated Minnesota Family Institute, a relationship she has continued. This spring, sheÂ headlined a fundraising dinner for MFC, along with Newt Gingrich.
TheÂ Anoka-Hennepin has been fighting GSAs — Gay-Straight Alliances — Â and anti-bullying programs under the expected guise that they advance “the homosexual agenda,” ignorantly not accepting the fact that research shows that kids who live in these conservative, anti-gay environments are far more likely to attempt suicide — whether they are gay or straight. And GSAs are believed by the same researchers to be an effective weapon against teen suicides. So much so that the federal Department of Justice and Department of Education publicly advocate for them.
Bachmann allyÂ Bradlee Dean, the head of the heavy-metal ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, last yearÂ took to the radio to decry efforts to create a more tolerant climate in the public schools. “We were just talking about the homosexual indoctrination,” Dean said. “The state-run media is going after the schools for resisting the homosexual indoctrination. The homosexuals are now blamingâ€”they are playing the victimsâ€”the homosexuals are now blaming [the schools’] stance as the reason that young homosexuals are committing suicide because of the schools’ intolerance to the lifestyle of homosexuality.” Another one of Bachmann’s longtime allies,Â Janet Boynes, an “ex-gay” who works with the ministry Exodus International, has also joined the fight. In May, she spoke at an Anoka-Hennepin school board meeting supporting the neutrality policy.
With all this anti-gay hate coming from Michele Bachmann, her husband Marcus and their Bachmann and Associates Christian counseling practice, which has been proven to practice what every major medical association has labeled as harmful — ex-gay, reparative therapy — is it any wonder that the environment in Bachmann’s district is so toxic?
“One of the plaintiffs eventually dropped out of school and later attempted suicide. Another student, who’d been reporting anti-LGBT harassment for two years, was advised by the school district to find another school because they couldn’t protect him. A third student claims that after he was violently assaulted and called a “faggot” in the hallway, a teacher stood by and watched without intervening. After he reported the incident, the school official blamed him for provoking the attack.”
–– Mother Jones
Mother Jones continues:
The anti-gay climate in the schools in Bachmann’s district has been so extreme that it has attracted the attention of the Justice Department and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which are both investigating allegations of anti-gay bullying. The Southern Poverty Law Center has also been on the ground investigating discrimination against gay students. On Thursday, itÂ sued the school district over its “neutrality” policy, which the group views as a potential violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. In a letter to the district superintendent in May, SPLC wrote:
The gag policy bears no rational relationship to any legitimate governmental purpose. On the contrary, the history surrounding the policy’s enactment clearly shows that the policy was adopted solely in deference to some community members’ disapproval of, and animus toward, a particular class of citizensâ€”LGBT people. The law is clear that mere animus toward an unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental purpose.
The letter describes the plight of LGBT students, several of whom had been harassed physically and verbally for long periods of time. According to the SPLC, the students reported the harassment to school officials, who ignored the complaints. One of the plaintiffs eventually dropped out of school and later attempted suicide. Another student, who’d been reporting anti-LGBT harassment for two years, was advised by the school district to find another school because they couldn’t protect him. A third student claims that after he was violently assaulted and called a “faggot” in the hallway, a teacher stood by and watched without intervening. After he reported the incident, the school official blamed him for provoking the attack.
Of course. Because, as Bachmann and her ilk falsely believe, if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, it’s a “lifestyle choice,” and therefore you have control over it, because it’s not “natural,” it’s, as Bachmann has said,Â â€œpart of Satan, IÂ think to say that this is ‘gay.’ Itâ€™s anything but gay.â€
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Ethics Complaint Against Sinema Urges Investigation Into Staffers’ Duties and Her Possible ‘Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars’
If you are hired to work in Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s office on Capitol Hill there is a 37-page memo you’ll want to read detailing all the responsibilities her staffers are required to perform, from getting her groceries, calling Verizon and going to her D.C. home to wait for a repair person if the internet goes out, scheduling massages, and ensuring her very detailed airplane requirements are met.
“It is your job to make her as comfortable as possible on each flight,” the memo says, as The Daily Beast first reported in December.
But now a group of 13 non-profit organizations have joined to file an ethics complaint against Senator Sinema (I-AZ), a new Daily Beast report reveals Friday, including details from that 37-page memo which the newly-independent lawmaker directed to be drawn up. Dated Thursday, the complaint is titled: “Letter to Senate Ethics Committee Regarding Reports of Sinema Abusing Taxpayer Dollars.”
“Senate Ethics guidelines stipulate that staff should not be asked to perform personal errands for members. This is an unambiguous ethical boundary,” the group’s complaint reads.
It also points to that 37-page memo, which it says, “indicates that staff are required, as a condition of their jobs, to carry out numerous tasks that are outside the scope of public employment, including doing personal errands for the Senator, carrying out household tasks at her private residence, and advancing their own funds for her personal purchases. It makes unreasonably precise scheduling demands, and former staff have confirmed some of the allegations.”
The allegations continue.
“And, most troubling, it calls on staff members, who are employed and paid by the public and explicitly barred from campaign activity, to schedule and facilitate political fundraisers and meetings with campaign donors, presumably during the workday while they are on the clock and physically on federal property.”
“Senate staff are prohibited under your guidelines from engaging in political activity ‘on Senate time, using Senate equipment or facilities.’ While you have not prohibited campaign activity outside work hours, the plain language of the memo clearly implies that Sen. Sinema expects her staff to carry out these scheduling tasks during the workday. And these tasks may separately violate Senate Rule 41.1, which explicitly prohibits Senate employees from ‘solicit[ing]’ campaign funds.”
The complaint also alleges that “Sen. Sinema required her staff to schedule three physical therapy and massage sessions a week related to her training for athletic competitions, and to tightly manage her dietary schedule — while allotting only a 30-minute period on Wednesdays for meetings with the constituents she represents.”
The carefully-worded complaint adds, “the allegations paint a picture of a Senator who is not only unresponsive to her constituents, but also disrespectful and even abusive to her employees and wholly unconcerned about her obligations under the law.”
The Daily Beast has posted a copy of the complaint here.
You can read The Beast’s full report here.
Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report
When he left for Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. George Santos also appears to have left a string of unpaid traffic violation fines and fees in two states, including red light, double parking, and overtime parking citations totaling thousands of dollars.
The embattled serial liar and freshman New York GOP lawmaker “may owe more than $3,400 in unpaid citations, according to records from New York City and Florida,” CBS News reports.
Included in that total is $1,299.10 from Florida for toll violations that “racked up late fees and were ultimately sent to collections agencies.”
It appears that in November of 2016, as soon as he got his New York driver’s license after having one in Florida, a car previously ticket via a red light camera whose plates match one registered to Santos “began piling up citations in New York City — 29 in the next two and a half years, according to city government records, which do not identify the drivers of vehicles being ticketed.”
“More than $1,800 in payments were made for 17 citations, but another 12 remain unpaid, with $2,142.61 still due, according to city records.”
CBS News also points to a New York Post report from January revealing “a Nissan Rogue driven frequently by Santos in recent months had been issued speeding tickets at least five times since he was elected on Nov. 8, ‘including four times in school zones.'”
Santos is under numerous state and federal investigations that span the gamut from campaign finance to allegedly stolen charity funds donated to save the life of a veteran’s service dog. The dog died after the vet could not afford to pay for the operation.
‘Bioweapons? FFS’: House Oversight Chairman Mocked for Pushing Unfounded Balloon Conspiracy Theories
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer is pushing baseless conspiracy theories about the Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon floating over the United States – currently, over Montana – that the Pentagon is tracking, and he’s being widely mocked for his unfounded fear-mongering.
Fox News host Harris Faulkner set the stage perfectly for the far-right Republican from Kentucky, declaring the balloon is “the size of three buses” and that “China says was taken by wind – wind that we can’t substantiate.”
The Kentucky congressman who has falsely described President Biden as “compromised,” and stated he is going to target and investigate him, told Faulkner, “I have concern this is going to be another example of the Biden administration’s weakness on the national scale.”
Comer, 50, a former agriculture commissioner, lamented about Biden’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, claiming it hurt the reputation of America’s military and Commander in Chief.
The balloon, he said, should “never have been allowed” to cross over into the United States.
“My concern is that the federal government doesn’t know what’s in that balloon. Is that bioweapons in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan?” he asked, pushing unfounded theories while echoing the far-right’s false claims the COVID-19 virus was developed as a bioweapon and escaped the lab in Wuhan, China.
After suggesting it might have bioweapons, he then said it was “very concerning” the balloon was not shot down before reaching the U.S. – which could have spread the alleged bioweapon.
Faulkner, seen by some as a propagandist, then jumped in to exhibit her surprise that “people on Capitol Hill were not briefed” about the balloon.
“Calling for the president to ‘shoot down’ the craft,” The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona adds, “some in the GOP called the president ‘Beijing Biden’ while claiming this is further proof that ‘Communist China’ doesn’t ‘fear or respect’ Biden.”
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer to Fox News: “My concern is that the federal government doesn’t know what’s in that balloon. Is that bioweapons in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan?” pic.twitter.com/0r9JmBl4zo
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 3, 2023
“Honestly,” communications strategist Doug Gordon noted, “just surprised he didn’t find a way to include Hunter’s laptop into that conspiracy theory.”
“Actually, he did later on,” Baragona replied.
National security expert Denver Riggleman, the Republican former U.S. Congressman from Virginia who assisted the Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, tweeted: “Bioweapons? FFS”
Referring to Comer’s unfounded bioweapons claim, one Twitter user observed, “Isn’t that more reason not to shoot at it? I’m not saying I know what to do, but logic would dictate ‘don’t shoot at balloons full of bioweapons.’ Right?”
Another noted that the Oversight Chairman should have been listening to the Pentagon’s briefing “taking place now instead of running to get on Fox to talk about something he has no expertise in.”
Another, mocking Comer, noted: “If they were sending a bio weapon, why would they park it over sparsely populated Montana? *rolls eyes*”
Watch the video above or at this link.
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