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Investigation Request Filed Regarding Suspicious NOM-Regnerus Anti-Gay Study

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A study carried out by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, Austin, aroused suspicion when the public learned that the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage‘s co-founder Robert P. George had arranged for $785,000 of the funding for the study.

Though Regnerus’s stated aim in the study is to compare children raised up through the 1990’s by “intact biological families” with those raised by homosexual parents, Regnerus did not use proper methodology for surveying actual adult children raised by gay parents.

Though Regnerus’s written conclusion to the study is hedged with nuance, when he talks about the study on television, the nuance is gone, and his bottom line message is identical to NOM’s; “Homosexuals are dangerous to children.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has noted NOM’s predilection for conflating homosexuals fraudulently with pedophiles.

Since the release of his study, Regnerus has been propagandistically criticizing past, more positive studies about gay parenting outcomes, on grounds that those studies were “convenience samples” instead of samplings from the general population.

To understand how absurd Regnerus’s criticism is, think of it in these terms; if you needed to survey members of the Jane religion, would you do a convenience sampling of Janes, or would you put out feelers in the general population and hope to find a couple of Janes in the mix?

In addition to having used a bogus methodology for surveying adult children of “gay” parents, Regnerus has aroused suspicion about his motives with many of his public statements.

Without doubt, his study was ready in time for one of its main patrons, NOM’s Robert George, to use it as a political anti-gay-rights weapon in the 2012 election. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has signed Robert George’s NOM pledge. When a local University of Texas venue interviewed Regnerus, and asked him why he did not seek funding for his study from the National Institute of Health, here is what he said:

“I had a feeling when we started this project that it would not survive the politics of, in my opinion, the peer review system at the National Institute of Health (funding) — and it takes so long to get money from them, and there are revisions and revisions; I understand that works to the long-term benefit of science, but some scholars don’t feel like going that route.  I don’t have a shop with grant after grant.”

Despite Regnerus’s protests against National Institute of Health study protocol, and not having a shop with grant after grant, his study on Race and Religion in Adolescent Sexual Norms and Conduct was funded by the NIH.

An appearance has been created that Regnerus had some awareness of the timetable by which George required the study to be completed, and of the correspondence of the desired completion date to Robert George’s plans for political uses of the study. Regnerus, faced with questioning about Robert George’s connections to the study, has disingenuously said, “Professor George is a philosopher, I don’t think he has much to say about sampling theory.” With that quote, Regnerus appears to be feigning ignorance of NOM’s Robert George’s political connections and aims. It is not credible, that Regnerus would not be familiar with Robert George’s anti-gay politicking. NOM received condemnation from most mainstream commentators when a court-ordered release of its strategy documents revealed the organization’s plans to “drive a wedge” and to “fan hostility” between the African-American and gay communities. NOM appears also to fan the flames of antisemitism, where doing so will advance its anti-gay rights agenda. The NOM strategy documents revealed a plan to hire an employee specifically to find children of gay parents, willing to denounce their parents on camera. While that effort appears to have flopped, the Regnerus study could be viewed as an underhanded attempt to make it appear — on false pretenses —  that children of gay parents have provided “testimony” against all gay parents.

It might be considered noteworthy, furthermore, that a Regnerus study, “National Study on Youth and Religion,” was funded by the Lilly Endowment, one of the few major foundations to fund religion. The Regnerus-Lilly Endowment study alleged to have found that children do better when raised in conformity with a religious tradition. Regnerus’s Trinity Christian College bio says that he believes his anti-gay-rights faith should inform his research.

Between Regnerus 1) saying that it takes too long to get money from NIH; and 2) his admission that going through NIH, instead of through NOM’s Robert George for funding would have worked  “to the long-term benefit of science;” one might have an impression that Regnerus was eager for the money, and willing to compromise his professional integrity by rushing his study through in order that his patron  — NOM’s Robert George — should have it in time for use as a political weapon in the 2012 elections. If Regnerus is a scientist, and getting funding for the study from the National Institute of Health would — by his own admission — have worked to the long-term benefit of science, then why instead of serving his profession in the most honorable method did Regnerus take funding from an anti-gay-rights political activist, and then get the study finished with a slant favorable to his anti-gay-rights campaigning, and in time for the 2012 elections?

Since the release of the study, various organizations connected with Robert George, as well as the entire religious right wing have been promoting the study as proof that gays hurt children and so must not be given rights.

Meanwhile, Regnerus school, the University of Texas, Austin, has an academic dishonesty policy that forbids using misinformation in an attempt to hurt others.

I am going to repeat that for emphasis: the University of Texas, Austin, has an academic dishonesty policy that forbids using misinformation in an attempt to hurt others.

Therefore, this reporter has filed a Scientific Misconduct Complaint against Regnerus through the EthicsPoint online system, which the Texas State University System uses for receipt of complaints.  An EthicsPoint official told me that the complaint will not be delivered to the UTA employee implicated in it, but that university officials are the only persons with authority to decide whether to investigate. An initial report about the status of the investigation is due in ten days.

Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out has started a petition, asking UTA President William Powers, Jr. to investigate Regnerus.

Regnerus’s written report says that his study was supported “in part” by the $785,000 grants had through NOM’s Robert George’s Witherspoon Institute and Bradley Foundation.

This reporter asked UTA media contacts for information about who supplied Regnerus with the rest of his funding, and how much they gave. I also asked for a record of disbursement of study funds. I have specified that I want to report how much Regnerus paid himself out of the grant monies for completion of the study.

UTA’s College of Liberal Art’s Director of Public Affairs David Ochsner says that only Witherspoon ($675,000) and the Bradley Foundation ($90,000) supported the study. Yet, Regnerus in his written report on the study unambiguously makes it sound as though support for the study only came “in part” from Witherspoon and the Bradley Foundation. Here is how he put it: “The NFSS was supported in part by grants from the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation.” If Regnerus can not use English precisely for so simple a detail related to his study, why should anybody trust him to use English any more accurately to reflect his study findings? This error in wording speaks to how study quality suffered as a result of  the study being rushed to make a deadline. At the same time, we must be mindful that there actually might have been additional funders, whom Regnerus is shielding by denying that anybody other than Witherspoon and the Bradley Foundation supported his study.

Another eyebrow-raising tidbit: Ochsner informs that the Witherspoon Institute money included a $35,000 “planning grant.” Evidently, had Witherspoon not been pleased with Regnerus’s planning of the study, Witherspoon might have taken the rest of its money elsewhere.

Regnerus’s study was published in the journal “Social Science Research,” edited by James Wright, who has written demeaningly about same-sex marriage in some of his published papers. Wright simultaneously published in his journal an article by Loren Marks, who was educated at the severely anti-gay Brigham Young University. Although Marks in his article seeks to discredit researchers who have found positive results of gay parenting, observers have noted that anti-gay-rights groups attempted to use Marks as an “expert witness” in a Proposition 8-related case, but his video testimony had to be stricken from the record after it was revealed through questioning that he had not at all studied same-sex parents, a circumstance not altogether unlike that involving Regnerus’s study.

To sum up the case: 1) Regnerus admits that the way he carried out his NOM-Robert George-funded study was not in the best long-term interest of science; 2) Regnerus converted from evangelical Protestantism to Catholicism; his Church is actively involved worldwide in fighting against gay rights; 3) Regnerus admits in his published study that he can not claim any causation between having a gay parent and a bad child outcome, but, nonetheless; 4) he appears on ABC television, strongly suggesting that his study did show that homosexual parents are dangerous to children, and his activity in promoting the study that way is 5) totally in line with the way NOM and George’s other anti-gay groups are promoting Regnerus’s study. Additionally, though serving science well with this study would have required that Regnerus spend more time to complete it, he completed it in time for his funder Robert George to use it as an anti-gay-rights political weapon in the 2012 elections. And finally, the University of Texas, Austin, has an academic dishonesty policy that forbids using misinformation in an attempt to hurt others.

New York City– based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT– interest by– line has appeared on Advocate .com, PoliticusUSA .com, The New York Blade, Queerty .com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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Ethics Complaint Against Sinema Urges Investigation Into Staffers’ Duties and Her Possible ‘Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars’

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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.

READ MORE: Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report

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.”

READ MORE: ‘Bioweapons? FFS’: House Oversight Chairman Mocked for Pushing Unfounded Balloon Conspiracy Theories

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.

 

 

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Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report

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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.”

READ MORE: George Santos Says Man Interviewed for Staff Position ‘Violated’ His Trust After Secretly Recording Conversation

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.

READ MORE: ‘Bioweapons? FFS’: House Oversight Chairman Mocked for Pushing Unfounded Balloon Conspiracy Theories

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Bioweapons? FFS’: House Oversight Chairman Mocked for Pushing Unfounded Balloon Conspiracy Theories

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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.”

READ MORE: ‘Ran a Bribery Center Blocks From the White House’: Comer Mocked for Claiming No Evidence of Trump Influence Peddling

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.

READ MORE: Trump Spent 2020 Attacking Ballot Drop Boxes – but Now He’s Demanding They Be Deployed in Churches

“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.”

“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.”

READ MORE: ‘When Was Your Most Recent Period?’: Student Athletes in Florida May Be Required to Share Menstrual History

And yet another, wholly mocking Comer, who holds far-right anti-LGBTQ beliefs, said: “Or worse, what if it has woke trans undocumented drag queen athletes?”

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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