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Publication Of Invalid Anti-Gay Regnerus Study Referred To Committee On Publication Ethics

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In recent weeks, the publication of a study by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, Austin in the Elsevier scientific publishing company’s journal Social Science Research has been fueling unjustified political contempt for gay people.

Though Regnerus’s study is not sociologically valid, he, his funders, and other enablers have been misleading the public about the scientific merits, and/or lack thereof, of his study.

This article is the story of how Elsevier decided on July 4, 2012 to refer the publication of Regnerus’s study to the Committee on Publication Ethics.

INTRODUCTION: REGNERUS’S INVALID STUDY

Mark Regnerus’s scientifically invalid parenting study appears to violate the published ethics guidelines of Elsevier, the company that owns and operates the journal Social Science Research, in which Regnerus’s offending article appeared on June 11, 2012.

Regnerus alleges that his study shows that children raised by homosexuals are faring dramatically worse, as young adults, than those raised by heterosexuals. Yet, as is easily verifiable, Regnerus made no valid comparison between children of heterosexual and homosexual parents or guardians. His work has been definitively rejected by respected sociologists and professionals in relevant additional fields, and championed only by religious right-wing figures with established histories of opposition to LGBT equality.

Regnerus’s study currently is being used as a political weapon by anti-gay-rights forces all across the United States, where a prominent Republican, Rick Santorum recently disgraced himself by asserting that a child is better off with a heterosexual father in prison than with two loving gay fathers in the home. Regnerus has frequently implied opposition to marriage equality, for example, in his editorial One Man, One Woman, One Marriage. His editorial title there is precisely the political position of his study’s funders. Regnerus furthermore appears never to have expressed support for the rights of gay parents. That would not be of consequence, were his science sound, but it is not. It appears beyond doubt that Regnerus is politically in cahoots with his study’s funders. If he wants to adjust that appearance, he should immediately express personal support for marriage equality, on grounds that marriage equality supports family stability for those gay and lesbian couples raising children. Do not hold your breath, expecting Regnerus to make such a public declaration; he is beholden to his study’s anti-gay-rights funders. Disingenuous, duplicitous declarations about Regnerus’s supposed scientific independence from his study’s funders —  coming from the University of Texas, Austin, or any other source — must unwaveringly be countered with the mountainous evidence that Regnerus appears not to be independent from his study’s funders.

UNDERSTANDING THAT REGNERUS MADE AN INVALID COMPARISON IS NOT DIFFICULT

The reason Regnerus’s study is scientifically invalid, is that he made no valid sociological comparisons. For an introduction to the scientific concept of validity, go here.

Whereas;

1) Regnerus’s heterosexual control group was comprised of the married heterosexual parents of his young adult survey subjects, the;

2) young adults he surveyed who had been raised either by men who have sex with men (MSM), or women who have sex with women (WSW) mainly were;

3) the offspring of failed marriages in which one spouse was heterosexual and the other homosexual.

As Regnerus himself reported in his study, for those of his survey subjects who were raised by MSM or WSW — (whom Regnerus misleadingly labels as “Gay Father” and/or “Lesbian mother”, about which, see more below) — “a failed heterosexual union is clearly the modal method.”

Thus, Regnerus is not even attempting to deny that he did not make a valid comparison.

REGNERUS’S DATA DO NOT SUPPORT HIS CONCLUSIONS

Regnerus compared people raised by stable heterosexual couples, to those raised by unstable mixed-orientation couples, and then declared that “gay” parents have significantly worse child outcomes than do heterosexual parents, though his data does not support that conclusion.

For Regnerus’s comparison even to have begun to be valid, he would either have had to compare 1) stable same-sex-headed households to i) stable heterosexual-headed households, or 2) unstable heterosexual households to ii) unstable mixed-orientation-headed households.

There is no need for any further discussion as to whether Regnerus made a sociologically valid comparison; he did not. This issue alone is the beginning and the end of whether his published study is valid.

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Nathaniel Frank said that Regnerus: “fails the most basic requirement of social science research — assessing causation by holding all other variables constant.”

To illustrate what Dr. Frank means, if 1) Regnerus wanted to determine through sociological research how child outcomes differ between heterosexual and homosexual parents, then 2) instead of doing what he did, comparing children of stable heterosexual couples with children of unstable mixed-orientation couples, he either would have had to compare 3) children of stable heterosexual couples with i) children of stable gay couples, or 4) children of unstable heterosexual couples with ii) children of unstable gay couples.

In the 21st century, it is severely exasperating that one must keep repeating the A,B,C’s of Sociology, in the face of Regnerus’s absurdist, disingenuous misrepresentations of his own supposed field.  In his written study, Regnerus says that his sampling method — (the strategy used for reaching suitable survey subjects) — is superior to many methods used for previous studies of gay parenting. He specifically notes that although researchers commonly note the limitation of their sampling methods, “it is often entirely lost in the translation and transmission of findings by the media to the public.”

It therefore is dismaying, nay, flabbergasting, that Regnerus appears on ABC-TV, and elsewhere, bragging about his sampling methods, falsely alleging that he found that child outcomes for heterosexual parents are better than those for homosexual parents, and yet, he does not explain 1) what constitutes a valid comparison in sociology and 2)  that he did not make one.

Talk about things getting “entirely lost in the translation and transmissions of findings to the public.” Regnerus verifiably is a hypocrite, with hypocrisy being defined as “the practice of professing virtues that one does not possess; falseness.”

Additionally it must be said, that using a convenience or a snowball sample, rather than a probability sample as Regnerus did, does not in itself invalidate a sociological analysis, but using an invalid comparison in an analysis does. Regnerus knows that, but has been propagandizing with his study anyway. There is some appearance that Regnerus has deliberately been attempting to muddy the waters of public understanding of the basics of Sociology as a discipline, the better to promote his invalid study. He has talked and talked and talked to the public about the marvels of probability sampling, and how his sampling method was superior to that used for studies showing good results for gay parents, but he never explains to the public what constitutes a valid sociological comparison.

REGNERUS HAS EXHIBITED ADDITIONAL, VERY SUSPICIOUS PROFESSIONAL SHORTCOMINGS

A word is in order regarding Regnerus’s continual references to his study subjects’ parents as “LM” and “GF” for lesbian mother and gay father; those are the designations he erroneously uses throughout his study.

Regnerus did not research whether his study subject parents were gay or lesbian. He admits as much in an article in Slate, where he wrote apropos of his survey question in which respondents were asked whether their parent had ever had a same-sex romantic relationship. Regnerus says:  “I realize that one same-sex relationship does not a lesbian make, necessarily. But our research team was less concerned with the complicated politics of sexual identity than with same-sex behavior.”

The correct professional sociological designations for the parents whose children Regnerus studied are MSM (men who have sex with men) and WSW (women who have sex with women). As UC Irvine Professor Tom Boellstorff puts it in explaining the reasons for using MSM and WSW instead of “gay” or “lesbian;”

“the term MSM   . . . ostensibly separates behavior from identity and is thereby more inclusive than the term “gay.”

This particular issue could not be any plainer. Regnerus admits he was less concerned with sexual identity than with same-sex behavior. Sociologists concerned with same-sex behavior and not sexual identity use MSM rather than gay because the designation separates behavior from identity.

We should be mindful that when Regnerus emphasizes “homosexual behavior” over identity, he sounds to be echoing the common anti-gay bigot taunt that homosexuality is “a behavior.”

When Regnerus refers to his study subject parents as “Lesbian mother” or “Gay father,” he is being inaccurate and misleading. Without any reference to the anti-gay-rights crusaders who funded Regnerus’s study, one absolutely can demonstrate that Regnerus’s study is invalid and unprofessional, yet it should not go ignored that Regnerus is making distorted uses of sociological terms, which distortions happen to fit well with his funders’ political demonization of homosexuals.

Peer reviewers and editors, competent and of good faith, would not have allowed such glaring errors through into publication.

Incredibly, though Regnerus could not be bothered properly to pose questions concerning the “complicated politics of sexual identity” to ascertain whether his study subjects actually had been raised by gay parents, his Survey Instrument asks the young adult respondents when they last masturbated, and whether they have ever had anal intercourse. Regnerus gives the following definition for anal intercourse: “By anal intercourse, we mean when a man inserts his penis into his partner’s anus or butt hole.”

What that has legitimately to do with measuring child outcomes is anybody’s guess.

Whether a young adult has ever  had anal intercourse or not — and that is all Regnerus asked; whether these young adults had ever had anal sex — is no measure of the quality of parenting the person received when growing up. That Regnerus posed that question in his survey is a marker of his not acting in good faith.  Regnerus takes his Catholic faith very seriously; the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls masturbation “an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.”  We do not know whether that can help us to formulate any idea of why Regnerus asked survey respondents when they last masturbated,  but Elsevier’s executives above the level of Social Science Research editor-in-chief James Wright should not continue to permit their company’s publication to defame gay and lesbian parents through a study that 1) did not measure child outcomes for gay parents; 2)  misleadingly labels as “Lesbian mothers” and “Gay fathers,” persons whom sociologists accurately instead label as MSM and WSW; and 3) ridiculously asked study subjects when they last masturbated and if they have ever had anal sex.

Elsevier CEO Youngsuk Chi’s History of Enabling Vicious Anti-Gay Political Bigots

Elsevier is the Amsterdam-based scientific and medical publisher that owns Social Science Research. Youngsuk Chi is Elsevier’s CEO. He additionally holds various official positions at Princeton University, such as Trustee of the Princeton University Press, which may in part explain how Robert George has gotten certain known falsehoods about gays published with the Princeton name attached to them.  Princeton Professor Robert George, head of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage, had a hand in getting Regnerus his $55,000 “planning grant,” and in getting Regnerus his study funding, once Regnerus’s study plan was approved. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s 2012 Intelligence Report on Robert George’s National Organization for Marriage is titled National Organization for Marriage Continues to Spread Lies About Gays.  Regnerus’s planning grant of $55,000 — a hefty sum for a planning grant in Sociology — and later the remainder of his known $785,000 in study funding, came from the Witherspoon Institute. Robert George is a Witherspoon Senior Fellow; Witherspoon President Luis Tellez is a NOM board member.

The question of whether Chi, with his authority over some publishing at Princeton, has ever enabled NOM’s Robert George to publish anti-gay lies, has yet to be fully researched. Read the article Princeton Complicit in Prof. Robert George’s Hate Speech here.

Elsevier CEO Youngsuk Chi has made political donations to Senator Tom Inhofe of Oklahoma, one of the most virulent political gay-bashers in the United States. NOM’s Robert George drafted a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage throughout the country; Inhofe supports that. He has voted against prohibiting job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and has a policy of not hiring gay or lesbian staffers. He has said that he is “very proud” that there has never been a homosexual relationship in the recorded history of his family.  Inhofe is notorious for running campaigns on the basis of “God, guns, and gays” in which he inflames anti-gay sentiments in voters in order to attract votes for himself.

In 2008, Chi donated to Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who fiercely opposed DADT repeal, opposes extending federal rights and benefits to same-sex couples, and is adamantly against marriage equality and civil unions for gay people.

Elsevier presently is boycotted by over twelve thousand researchers, including Sir William Timothy Gowers, FRS, a Royal Society Research Professor at the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics at Cambridge University. Speaking about the boycott to the New York Times, Dr. Ingrid Daubechies, president of the International Mathematical Union said “We feel that the social compact is broken at present by some publishing houses, of which we feel Elsevier is the most extreme.” For 2010, Elsevier had revenues of $3.2 billion.

Go here to read the article NOM-Regnerus ‘Gay Parenting’ Study; A One-Percenter Dirty Campaign Trick.

As I previously reported, 200+ Ph.D.s and M.D.s have sent a Letter of Complaint to Social Science Research about its publication of Regnerus’s study.

“SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH” EDITOR-IN-CHIEF JAMES WRIGHT

Dr. James Wright is editor-in-chief of Social Science Research, the journal in which Regnerus’s paper appeared on June 11, 2012. He is the Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Central Florida.

Wright is a co-author of the paper Attitudes Toward Gay Marriage in States Undergoing Marriage Law Transformation.

Therefore, one would expect him as a sociologist to be able to recognize an invalid comparison in a paper submitted to Social Science Research.  One also would expect him, as a sociologist who has studied attitudes towards marriage equality for gay couples, to understand the distinctions between “MSM” and “gay” and “WSW” and “lesbian.”

I asked Wright his reactions to the Letter of Complaint about his publication of the Regnerus study.

Wright said that as the letter was calling for a public accounting of the internal processes by which the Regnerus paper was vetted, reviewed and accepted for publication, he was asking Editorial Board member Darrne Sherkat to undertake that audit.  He said Sherkat’s findings would be published in the journal in November. That step alone plainly does not address the particulars and the urgency of the matter. For one, as Wright appears to have committed the infraction of publishing an invalid sociological study, we can not rely on anybody over whom he has power to investigate him. Additionally, as the paper, with its invalid comparison and invalid assigning of the terms “Lesbian mother” and “Gay father” to parents not really known to be homosexual, must not be left benefiting from an unwarranted imprimatur of scientific respectability throughout the 2012 election season in the United States.

Wright additionally told me this: “I think the findings speak less to the parenting skills of same-sex parents than to the extraordinarily challenging social environment in which these parents tried (and are trying) to raise their children.” He added:  “Given that social environment, the surprise to me is not that the reported differences could be found in the data, but rather that they were not larger and more pervasive.”

Williams Institute Distinguished Scholar Dr. Gary J. Gates says that Wright’s assertion about social stigma is “just not relevant, since the Regnerus paper didn’t address the core question supposedly motivation the research; do children with LG parents differ from children with non-LG parents.” Gates also says: “The Regnerus paper did not provide any evidence that children with lesbian and gay parents are different from children with non-gay or non-lesbian parents. To assess that, he would have had to compare children with heterosexual parents to children with homosexual parents, regardless of whether their heterosexual parents were single, divorced or married. He simply did not do that.”

To elaborate on Gates’s remarks, it would be sociologically valid to compare single heterosexual adoptive parents with single gay adoptive parents, but not to compare single heterosexual adoptive parents with married gay adoptive parents, if one aimed to study the difference between homosexual and heterosexual parents.

Repeating for emphasis and for reinforced understanding, in the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Nathaniel Frank said that Regnerus: “fails the most basic requirement of social science research — assessing causation by holding all other variables constant.”

Notice Wright’s carelessness in his remarks. He said that he thinks Regnerus’s findings speak to the social situation in which “these parents tried (and are trying) to raise their children,” as if any of the parents of the young adults Regnerus surveyed were still “raising” the young adults Regnerus surveyed. Wright was talking about Regnerus’s findings, so his reference to “these parents” logically has to be to the parents of the young adults Regnerus surveyed, and not to any actual gay parents raising children now, as Regnerus did not study them so can not possibly have made any findings about them or their social situation. Whereas Regnerus himself has admitted that most of his study subjects were products of failed heterosexual marriages, Wright is talking about “these parents” as though the parents in a failed heterosexual marriage in the 1970s were the same as gay parents raising children now.

Wright’s competence to think professionally as required about Regnerus’s study is in question. One could get the impression that some force steered Regnerus towards Social Science Research knowing certain things about Dr. Wright, including that he was going to publish the anti-gay Loren Marks’s study simultaneously. When civil rights leader Julian Bond learned of NOM’s internal strategy documents talking about plans to “drive a wedge” and to “fan hostility” between African-Americans and gays, he said: “It confirmed a suspicion that some evil hand was behind this.”

ELSEVIER DECIDES TO REFER THE WRIGHT-REGNERUS MATTER TO THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATION ETHICS

I wrote to Elsevier, asking for comment from company CEO Youngsuk Chi. I wanted to know if he believed Regnerus’s study was scientifically sound, and how Elsevier planned to respond to the ever-widening scandal surrounding Wright’s publication of Regnerus’s invalid study. An Elsevier spokesperson responded, saying they were leaving to Wright, as editor-in-chief of Social Science Research, the responsibility of overseeing a review of how the Regnerus paper came to be published. I sent back a response ending thusly: “Is Elsevier going to acknowledge that this scandal requires review from an impartial expert from outside Social Science Research with no conflict of interests with the journal’s staff, or is Elsevier going to continue acting with dangerous complacency?”

Elsevier’s Harald Boersma, Senior Manager for Corporate Relations, replied by saying “in order to establish beyond reasonable doubt whether Wright followed due process in the handling of this material, we will be submitting this case to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) which is a forum for editors of peer-reviewed journals to discuss issues related to the integrity of the scientific record.” Boersma further said; “We take our professional responsibility very seriously and we therefore use the established escalation procedures for cases like this.”

COPE’s Code of Conduct for Journal Editors is here. A record of past Complaint resolutions may be viewed here.

The Code of Conduct says, among many other things, that all editors are expected to maintain the integrity of the academic record, and that errors, inaccurate or misleading statements must be corrected promptly and with due prominence.

The Singapore Statement on Research Integrity notes that there are “principles and professional responsibilities that are fundamental to the integrity of research wherever it is undertaken.” One of the Statement’s Principles is; “Honesty in all aspects of research.”

When Mark Regnerus says that his sampling method was better than that used for studies showing good child outcomes for gay parents, without saying that his study’s comparison is invalid, he is not being honest in all aspects of research.

Here’s hoping that no monkey business plays a role in the Committee on Publication Ethics’ review of the publication of Regnerus’s study.

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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News

Rick Scott’s IVF Pledge Using His Own Grandkids Slammed as ‘Lie’ by Democrats

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U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), running for re-election and running to replace Mitch McConnell as Senate Republican Leader, has put out a new seven-figure ad that uses his children and grandchildren as he pledges to protect in-vitro fertilization (IVF), but Democrats in the Sunshine State are accusing him of lying.

“My wife Ann and I have two daughters and seven perfect grandkids. Each is a precious gift from God. But sometimes families need help. Millions of babies have come into this world from IVF, in-vitro fertilization. In fact, our youngest daughter’s receiving an IVF treatment right now, hoping to expand her family. She and I both agree IVF must be protected. For our family, for every family,” Senator Scott says in his latest ad he’s also posted to social media (below).

Democrats are calling Sen. Scott out for what they say is a lie.

On Thursday, Scott voted against the Right to IVF Act, Democratic legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who blasted him on Friday: “You literally voted against my bill to protect IVF yesterday.”

READ MORE: Right Wing Justices Rule Ban on Gun Accessory Used in Major Mass Shooting Unlawful

On Thursday, Senate Republicans blocked Duckworth’s bill in a 48-47 vote. Only two Republicans, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins voted with Democrats for the legislation.

“Rick Scott voted against protecting access to IVF — a miracle treatment that has allowed millions of Americans to start families,” Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried said in a statement that also includes his voting record and statements on IVF and other issues including abortion. “Scott has made it crystal clear that he will stop at nothing to rip away personal decisions from women and their families — and it will cost him his Senate seat.”

“Scott previously blocked legislation to protect IVF treatment that was introduced in response to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that stored embryos have the same legal protections as children,” the Florida Democratic Party statement also reads. “Scott is now trying to cover up his anti-IVF record by touting an ’empty, symbolic’ resolution that would do nothing to actually protect IVF and spending millions to lie to Floridians about his phony support for IVF.”

The Florida Phoenix last week reported, “Scott, a Republican, will likely face former South Florida Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in November. Both candidates must get through their respective party primary elections in August.”

READ MORE: ‘Pyongyang in the Rotunda’: GOP Red Carpet Rollout for Trump’s DC Trip Likened to North Korea

“Mucarsel-Powell has been relentless in criticizing Scott’s record on abortion rights. Last week, her campaign issued a statement noting that the Scott had received an “A+” rating from Students for Life Action, an anti-abortion organization that opposes IVF.”

Political consultant Dana Houle observed, “If you’re running ads trying to convince people you’re not opposed to IVF (which in effect he is, since he voted against protecting it) you’re in pretty big trouble. It’s crazy to think that it’s likely that one of the decisive events of the 2024 campaign occurred in Alabama.”

That also appears to be the position of Florida Democratic Party executive director Phillip Jerez, who responded to Scott’s ad by asking, “Didn’t you vote AGAINST the IVF bill in the Senate yesterday?”

“Rick Scott is now putting up this 7-figure ad because he needs to work OVERTIME to lie to Floridians,” Jerez added. “He’s never won an election by more than 1% and never in a presidential year. Rick Scott is in trouble.”

David Simon, the well-known author, journalist, and screenwriter known for his colorful language, also responded to Sen. Scott: “Shitheel, you voted against the bill to protect IVF and then ran out to tweet this horseshit the next day. Even by our American standards of grifting, empty political hacks, this is wondrous.”

See Sen. Scott’s ad above or at this link.

RELATED: GOP Will Ban IVF if Trump Wins After Southern Baptists Condemnation: Expert

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Right Wing Justices Rule Ban on Gun Accessory Used in Major Mass Shooting Unlawful

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In a 6-3 decision along partisan lines, right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a bump stock, an accessory used in America’s most-deadly mass shooting, that effectively turns an AR-15 into a machine gun, cannot be regulated under current law. Justice Clarence Thomas authored the majority opinion. The device is so dramatically lethal pro-gun President Donald Trump banned it in 2018.

“The Supreme Court just effectively legalized machine guns,” is the headline of Ian Millhiser’s report at Vox. He says Friday’s ruling “effectively legalizes civilian ownership of automatic weapons.”

“Bump stocks increase an AR-15’s rate of fire from 180 rounds per minute to 400-800 rounds per minute,” explained Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, in response to Friday’s Supreme Court ruling. “They inflict mass carnage by allowing the gunman to shoot automatically, without pulling the trigger. Yet the Supreme Court declares that they do not create a ‘machinegun.’ ”

READ MORE: ‘Pyongyang in the Rotunda’: GOP Red Carpet Rollout for Trump’s DC Trip Likened to North Korea

Legal and gun experts might delve in to the mechanics of what makes a gun a gun, what makes a machine gun a machine gun, add in the conservative justices’ “textualism” and “originalism” theories where words are supposed to only mean what they meant when the Constitution, or, in this case, a law was written, but as Stern and Aaron Fritschner, the deputy chief of staff for a Democratic U.S. Congressman discussed (social media post below), the Supreme Court appears, they say, to have interpreted the plain language of words differently than their plain meaning to reach the conclusion they did:

Indeed, as senior advisor to the nonprofit organization Court Accountability and self-described “lapsed lawyer” Mike Sacks noted, in her dissent, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined by liberal Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, wrote: “When I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.”

Sacks adds, “Sotomayor calls out *every* *single* *one* *of* *her* *Republican* *colleagues* for abandoning their textualist ‘principle,’ in a paragraph that concludes, “Today, the majority forgets that principle and substitutes its own view of what constitutes a “machinegun” for Congress’s.”

Berkeley professor of public policy and former Cabinet Secretary Robert Reich wrote, “Koch-backed groups called on SCOTUS to overturn the federal bump stock ban. Clarence Thomas secretly attended Koch fundraising events, but of course didn’t recuse from this case — he wrote the majority opinion. Our nation’s highest court is beyond compromised.”

NBC News reported in December of 2018 that Donald Trump “had urged the federal government to ban bump stocks this past spring following a deadly Valentine’s Day shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead. However, the device gained notoriety when a lone gunman killed 59 people and injured at least 527 others attending a country music festival in Las Vegas in October 2017. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, had 22 semi-automatic rifles and 14 of them were equipped with bump stocks. They allowed him to fire the rifles continuously with a single pull of the trigger, resulting in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.”

That shooting to this day remains the deadliest mass shooting in modern day history.

See the social media posts above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Don’t Breathe Easy Yet’: Abortion Pill Safe Only ‘For Now’ Experts Say After SCOTUS Ruling

 

 

 

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OPINION

‘Pyongyang in the Rotunda’: GOP Red Carpet Rollout for Trump’s DC Trip Likened to North Korea

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Donald Trump’s first return to Capitol Hill since the violent and deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection he fomented elicited responses of celebratory embrace, near-coronation, and a whitewashing of history from House and Senate Republicans and some of the mainstream media. That has critics sounding the alarm, likening their remarks to those of the subjects of authoritarian dictators like North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Trump is the Republican Party’s presumptive 2024 presidential nominee, a convicted felon awaiting sentencing who remains criminally indicted and out on bail in three other jurisdictions, an adjudicated rapist and fraudster who has been credibly accused by at least 18 to 23 or more women of varying degrees of sexual misconduct including harassment, assault, and rape, who allegedly had sex with a Playboy Bunny, and a porn star, the latter just four months after his third and current wife had given birth to their four-month old son.

He is a one-term, twice impeached ex-president who made over 30,000 “false or misleading claims” during his four years in the Oval Office, whose “inept and insufficient” response was in part responsible for about 40% of the COVID-19 pandemic deaths in the U.S., according to a February 2021 study that deemed them preventable.

And as of today, Donald Trump is 78 years old, and the subject of a New Yorker column published Friday alleging “age-related diminishment of a candidate.”

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The ex-president met with House Republicans Thursday morning at the same restaurant where a pipe bomb was found outside on January 6, 2021. It’s just a seven-minute walk from the halls of Congress, where many of those same lawmakers who were jovially dining with and cheering on Trump, had huddled, hunkered-down, and fled through that centuries-old symbol of American democracy, afraid for their lives as supporters of the then-Commander-in-Chief – some of whom have said in court documents they believed were acting under his instructions – attacked the U.S. Capitol building and police, used the American flag as a spear, defecated on the walls, broke windows, damaged, destroyed, and stole U.S. Government property, hunted for the Democratic Speaker of the House, calling her by name, and hunted for the Republican Vice President, chanting their threats to “hang Mike Pence,” in a coordinated effort to help Trump overturn the results of the 2020 election he had lost by over seven million votes, and 74 Electoral College votes.

None of that matters now to the people’s elected representatives of the Republican Party in the House and Senate.

U.S. Senator, venture capitalist, and former “Never Trumper,” J.D. Vance (R-OH) on Thursday, walking in Washington, D.C. after he and nearly all of the Republican Senators met with Donald Trump and gave him a 30-second standing ovation, told reporters the GOP has absolved Trump of guilt and responsibility for the deadly insurrection three years ago.

“Well look, I think no real Republican with any credibility in the party is still blaming him for January the 6th. Frankly, some of his critics were in the room (Thursday) and were supportive and are supportive. So I think it’s a good thing and the Republican Party’s in a good place.”

After House Republicans had breakfast with Trump, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, criticized for apparently not remembering Congress is a co-equal brach of the U.S. government and Donald Trump is no longer a leader of any branch of government, glowingly bragged the ex-president “said I’m doing a very good job.”

Aaron Fritschner, deputy chief of staff for a Democratic U.S. Congressman, blasted Senate Republicans after they met with Trump, saying they “just rolled the red carpet out and welcomed him back with smiles and handshakes.”

READ MORE: GOP Will Ban IVF if Trump Wins After Southern Baptists Condemnation: Expert

He posted a photo of Trump warmly shaking hands with Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who reportedly had not spoken to Trump since before the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S Capitol, and on that day declared him “practically and morally responsible” for the insurrection.

Journalist and Public Notice founder Aaron Rupar posted a “supercut” of Republicans responding to Trump’s visit, also likening their embrace to how subjects speak of dictators.

Award-winning Talking Points Memo publisher Josh Marshall praised Rupar and blasted Republicans: “For all the ‘triumphant returns’ and ‘Trumps flexes’ and all the rest I don’t think anyone beside @atrupar really captured it. This was Pyongyang in the Rotunda. The maniacal clapping in unison, MTG almost breaking down in tears cuz Trump smiled at her. Total North Korea vibe.”

Critics are slamming not only House and Senate Republicans, but the mainstream media’s coverage, especially a social media post by the Associated Press, which declared Trump’s return to D.C. “triumphant,” a term often reserved for a conquering or undefeated hero.

Veteran journalist and D.C. Bureau Chief of Mother Jones, David Corn, co-author of the 2018 book, “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump,” criticized the AP’s post, saying: “Sounds like a North Korean report.”

Award-winning journalist Steve Silberman called the AP’s post, “an instant candidate for the Museum of American Fascism.”

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