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Regnerus Scandal: Prominent Sociologist Delivers Devastating Professional Evaluation

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Dr. Andrew Perrin — a cultural and political sociologist — teaches at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The topmost ranks of the American Sociological Association respect him greatly, as is evidenced by his being a co-author of the Report to the American Sociological Association Council Regarding the 2010 National Research Council Assessment of Doctoral Programs.

Characteristic of his interests is a 2011 paper he co-authored with Katherine McFarland – Social Theory and Public Opinion – which appeared in the Annual Review of Sociology.

Perrin’s voluminous academic credits reflect a rigorous quest for an understanding of what constitutes state-of-the-art methodologies for the field of sociology.

For example, with Jeffrey K. Olick, Perrin translated and edited works by Theodore W. Adorno. The Harvard University Press notes that Olick and Perrin “make a case that these experiments are an important missing link in the ontology and methodology of current social-science survey research.”

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In an e-mail exchange, I interviewed Dr. Perrin about the New Family Structures Study, carried out by Mark Regnerus and now being used as a demonizing weapon against gay people.

Perrin’s professional assessment of Regnerus’s work is devastating. Here is what he says:

“I think the study is so thoroughly flawed, in particular with respect to its categorization of ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian,’ that no conclusions can be drawn with sufficient confidence to report, publicize, or use them.”

I asked Dr. Perrin about Regnerus’s data analyses, some of which were carried out with the assistance of  W. Bradford Wilcox, who, as a Regnerus study funding agency representative, organized the study and collaborated with Regnerus on its design booby-trapped against gays. The analyses of the raw data led to dubious “findings” about gay parents and child sexual victimization. In that regard, Perrin said this about Regnerus and Wilcox:

“They should state publicly that the study does not support the ‘gays are pedophiles’ conclusion.”

I wanted to know specifically what Dr. Perrin thought of Regnerus’s “finding” that 23% of his study’s young adult children of “lesbian mothers” had suffered childhood sexual victimization. This is how he responded:

“The fundamental flaws in data collection and interpretation are sufficiently grave as to make this finding very suspect.”

Regnerus has published claims that no funding agency representatives were involved with designing and carrying out his study. Yet, Regnerus’s chief funder is the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute.

Brad Wilcox was Director of the Witherspoon program that first organized the Regnerus study. Wilcox held the title of Director when he collaborated with Regnerus on study design. Dr. Perrin says this:

“Regnerus’s claim that the funders were not involved in the study design is clearly not true given Wilcox’s status.”

Dr. Perrin further states: “The other important angle on this is that Wilcox’s “academic” work is not particularly well respected and is highly politicized — (Philip Cohen did an excellent critique on his blog a while ago) — so it is not plausible that Regnerus engaged his services for primarily scholarly reasons. Regnerus certainly knew any advice he received from Wilcox would be heavily slanted toward the point of view Witherspoon routinely pursues.”

(One of Dr. Cohen’s critiques of Wilcox is titled Distorting Data on Divorce at the National Marriage Project. Wilcox is Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia).

I also asked Dr. Perrin whether Regnerus could be considered in violation of the American Sociological Association’s Code of Ethics.  

A specific example I gave was that of Regnerus having absurdly told The American Independent that Witherspoon’s Brad Wilcox “did not represent Witherspoon” when; 1) Wilcox was Director of the Witherspoon program that organized the study, and when 2) Wilcox, as Director of that Witherspoon program organizing the study, collaborated with Regnerus on the study design.

Dr. Perrin said: “If in fact he is lying about the relationship, then my understanding is that he would be in violation of the ASA code of ethics.”

Commenting on his own sociology blog, Dr. Philip N. Cohen said:

“Yes, it seems clear that Regnerus lied, and that Wilcox acted unethically by acting as a reviewer, program officer and consultant.”

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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‘Will You Accept the Results?’: Cruz’s Election Denialism Shut Down in ‘Brutal’ Interview

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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) promoted Donald Trump’s false election denialism and was challenged by a CNN anchor in an interview being praised by several media watchers.

During the Wednesday interview Cruz suggested to host Kaitlan Collins that Democrats or Hillary Clinton criticizing election results was equivalent to Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” campaign, which included over 60 legal challenges and countless false allegations of massive fraud. He also insisted there was a “peaceful transfer of power” after the 2020 presidential election despite the violent and deadly January 6 insurrection for which more than 1200 people have been criminally charged and for which the ex-president is facing several indictments. In the end, Collins appeared to cut the interview short.

“Will you certify the election results?” in the November election, Collins asked the Texas Republican on Wednesday, noting he was the first in the Senate to say he would not certify the 2020 election results. “Do you plan to object or will you accept the results regardless of who wins the election?”

“So Kaitlan,” Cruz replied, “I gotta say, I think that’s actually a ridiculous question.”

“It’s a yes or no question,” Collins replied.

“No it’s not that let me explain why it’s a ridiculous question,” Cruz alleged combatively. “It’s not a question – have you ever asked Democrat that?”

READ MORE: ‘Investigate Now’: As Alito Scandal Grows Pressure Mounts on ‘MIA’ and ‘AWOL’ Judiciary Chair

“Of course,” Collins replied.

“What Democrat?” Cruz demanded to know.

After a short back-and-forth, Collins said, “I know, I know, I’ve been on this road many, many times, but no Democrat – you can not compare the two situations. We have talked about that, we’ve seen the audio of that when they protested,” Collins said,  appearing to refer to Hillary Clinton having called the 2016 presidential election “stolen,” which she did three years after the election, in 2019.

“Have you ever had a sitting president who refused to facilitate the peaceful transition of power refused to acknowledge that his successor won the presidency?” Collins asked Cruz.

“So, A, we did have a peaceful transfer of power. I was there on January 20. I was there on the swearing in,” Cruz insisted, ignoring the January 6 insurrection.

“Barely,” Collins replied..

Cruz continued to refer to individual “objections” Democrats have made about results of elections – not formal, legal objections (except Al Gore in 2000) but comments or remarks, or individual objections to one state elections – not organized campaigns.

So you’re asking, ‘Will you promise no matter what to agree an election is illegitimate regardless of what happens?’ and that would be an absurd thing to claim,” Cruz said.

Again, after some back-and forth, Collins said, “This isn’t a game. There was no widespread voter fraud.”

“It is a game,” Cruz responded. “You only ask Republicans that.”

It November of 2022, the right-wing Cato Institute published an opinion piece titled, “Yes, Democrats Have Called Some Elections Illegitimate. GOP Election Denialism Is Far Worse,” and added: “It’s not even close.”

READ MORE: ‘Contemptuous’: Justice Alito’s Actions ‘Close to Treason’ Suggests Constitutional Scholar

Collins later pointed out that it is only Republicans who have “tried to block the transition of power. You have to acknowledge that.”

“So my question for you again: free and fair election. Will you accept the results regardless of who wins?” Collins again asked.

“Look, if the Democrats win, I will accept the result, but I’m not going to ignore fraud regardless of what happens.”

“Was there fraud in 202o?” Collins pressed.

“Of course there was fraud,” Cruz insisted.

“No, that wasn’t and you still objected,” Collins pointed out.

“Oh, you know, for a fact there was zero voter fraud really? What’s your basis for that? Show me your evidence,” Cruz demanded, inserting “zero” when Collins meant fraud “that would have changed the outcome,” as she noted later.

Commenting on the interview, writer Charlotte Clymer, a former press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign said, “This is brilliant.”

“I seriously cannot remember the last time any journalist on cable news confronted the bad faith of a MAGA politician this insistently,” Clymer remarked. “For five minutes (!), Kaitlin Collins pressed Ted Cruz and demanded a good faith answer.”

Democratic strategist and former DNC official Adam Parkhomenko commented, “this is just brutal.” He added Cruz was “being humiliated.”

Calling it, “Well done,” journalist Ahmed Baba wrote: “Kaitlan Collins interjecting with fact-checks multiple times and ending the interview after Ted Cruz refused to engage in the facts and continued to spread his propaganda.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

 

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‘Investigate Now’: As Alito Scandal Grows Pressure Mounts on ‘MIA’ and ‘AWOL’ Judiciary Chair

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Revelations over the past week that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito flew flags associated with the January 6 insurrection and the far-right Christian nationalist movement at not one but two of his homes have drawn tremendous outrage, and heightened demands that Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) hold hearings on the jurist, and pass legislation to reform the Court.

Chairman Durbin, first elected to Congress in 1982, has focused his attention on ensuring President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees are confirmed. Wednesday morning he celebrated confirming 200 judges nominated by President Biden to the federal bench.

But critics, including legal experts, say the Chairman has done little to reform the Supreme Court or hold the judicial branch to account.

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

Durbin did not hold any hearings over Justice Clarence Thomas’s numerous alleged ethical violations. Some legal experts say he has not only violated the people’s trust and judicial ethics rules, but federal law.

And now, critics say, Chairman Durbin is not responding sufficiently to the Justice Alito scandal.

The Chairman did release a statement on Wednesday after the New York Times bombshell of a second Alito flag, calling for the Justice to “recuse himself immediately from cases related to the 2020 election and the January 6th insurrection.”

Critics say that’s not enough, recusal is also not enough, and a statement from Durbin doesn’t rise to the level of Alito’s actions.

Professor of law, election law expert, and Director, Safeguarding Democracy Project Rick Hasen Wednesday did not hold back.

“WTF Justice Alito?” he wrote. “I was uncertain if revelation of first flag merited J Alito’s recusal in the first case, but I now believe he must recuse in the Trump immunity and related cases. His impartiality could be reasonably questioned;no blaming it on spouse.”

Historian and professor Heather Cox Richardson, responding to Hasen, wrote: “Recuse? He needs to resign.”

Justice Alito’s flags indicate support for the January 6, 2021 insurrection, suggests University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, Laurence Tribe, a professor of law and top constitutional scholar who wrote a major textbook on the U.S. Constitution.

In an interview Wednesday he also suggested Justice Alito’s actions come close to treason.

READ MORE: ‘Going for the Jugular’: Legal Scholar Warns ‘Trumpers’ Want to End Major Civil Right

Professor Tribe alleged Justice Alito may have committed impeachable offenses, including “giving aid and comfort to an insurrection against the Constitution of the United States, which is close to treason,” he said in his Wednesday interview on the MeidasTouch Network. He also called for a “serious investigation” by the U.S. Senate into Alito, who “has been contemptuous for quite a while.”

But Tribe also aimed his criticism at the Judiciary Chairman.

“This isn’t just about the insurrection-abetting Sam Alito, it’s about the AWOL Senator Durbin. He has no excuse for not holding hearings about Alito now.”

On Tuesday, even before the second Alito flag was discovered, Tribe demanded action.

I’m sorry, Senator Durbin, you’re MIA on this. You have a solemn responsibility to conduct oversight here. This is deadly serious! Key Senate Democrat doesn’t plan to probe Justice Alito over upside-down flag. Excuse me, why the heck not??”

Earlier, on Saturday, Professor Tribe had already been pushing for Durbin to act.

Talk is cheap. Chairman Dick Durbin needs to do more than call on Alito to recuse himself from the insurrection cases. Durbin needs to step up and use the subpoena power to demand Alito’s appearance and explanation before the Senate Judiciary Committee!”

On Monday, NBC News’ Sahil Kapur had reported, “Durbin has NO plans to hold a hearing on Justice Alito. ‘I don’t think there’s much to be gained with a hearing at this point… He should recuse himself from cases involving Trump and his admin.’ And if Alito won’t? Durbin says no recourse but impeachment—and they aren’t there.”

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

Attorney Dan Coffin, who writes about constitutional issues, disagreeing with Durbin’s claim, says there must be an investigation.

“An impeachment hearing should be preceded by an investigative hearing to establish the facts regarding the flag incident, as well as other matters currently known or as developed in an investigative hearing. The public needs to know the facts. Alito likely would refuse to appear, even with a subpoena, and the public needs to know that,” he said. “There should also be an investigative hearing regarding Thomas & his wife.”

Progressive talk show host Thom Hartmann also blasted Durbin.

“Dick Durbin needs to haul Alito and Thomas before the Senate Judiciary Committee to get to the bottom of their collision with Trump’s attempt to overthrow American democracy. Will he find the courage?”

Adam Cohen, Lawyers for Good Government Vice Chair, Board of Directors on Thursday also took aim at Durbin.

“Dick Durbin is the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair,” he began. “He needs to investigate Supreme Court Justices Alito and Thomas-NOW.”

“Chief Justice Roberts must testify about the MAGA takeover of the Court-and what he’ll do to stop it,” Cohen insisted, warning: “Americans are losing their rights … This CANNOT continue.”

See the social media posts above or at this link.

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‘Contemptuous’: Justice Alito’s Actions ‘Close to Treason’ Suggests Constitutional Scholar

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Laurence Tribe, a top constitutional expert, is suggesting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s actions may be “close to treason,” after the jurist flew flags associated with the January 6 insurrection and the far-right Christian nationalist movement at two of his homes.

Professor Tribe alleged Justice Alito may have committed impeachable offenses, including “giving aid and comfort to an insurrection against the Constitution of the United States, which is close to treason,” he said in his Wednesday interview on the MeidasTouch Network (video below). He also called for a “serious investigation” by the U.S. Senate into Alito, who “has been contemptuous for quite a while.” He added, “it’s about time that he be held to account.”

Justice Alito “serves not for life but during good behavior. That’s the language of the Constitution. It is settled that any judge or justice who commits high crimes and misdemeanors, and that certainly includes giving aid and comfort to an insurrection against the Constitution of the United States, which is close to treason, that any such person is subject to impeachment by the House of Representatives,” declared Tribe, University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, a professor of law, and author of a major textbook on the U.S. Constitution.

READ MORE: Why Alito’s ‘Stop the Steal’ Flag Story Just Fell Apart

“Obviously, this House of Representatives is not going to impeach Samuel Alito,” he continued.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, a Christian nationalist, has the same flag Alito flew at his New Jersey home outside his congressional office.

The GOP-led House “is very much in league with Donald Trump. He controls Mike Johnson, but he’s subject to impeachment and then trial in the Senate. The very fact that the House of Representatives will not do its duty is not an excuse for the Senate, not to at least initiate a serious investigation into whether impeachable offenses have been committed. And in any event, whether an enforceable meaningfully enforceable code of ethics, enforceable by an Inspector General, whether that should be enacted. That’s something within the Senate’s purview as well.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) is under increasing pressure to hold hearings into Justices Alito and Clarence Thomas, and to pass legislation to reform the Supreme Court.

“To have that kind of investigation without Samuel Alito being called to testify – and if you won’t testify, voluntarily being subpoenaed – is like playing Hamlet without the prince. He is, in this scenario, the prince, perhaps the Prince of Darkness, he needs to be heard from. He needs to be asked what he meant by allowing that symbol of sympathy with insurrectionists to fly in front of his home. It’s not enough for him to say casually to the Fox News Service, ‘Oh, that was just my wife responding to nasty comments about FU to Trump and to us by our neighbors.’ As far as I can tell, it seems that his defense for unethical behavior and worse, for expressing aid and comfort to an insurrection against the Constitution is that his neighbors were exercising their First Amendment rights in a way that he thought was not going to be nice for his children.”

READ MORE: ‘Going for the Jugular’: Legal Scholar Warns ‘Trumpers’ Want to End Major Civil Right

“Let him do it under oath,” Tribe continued, “and if he refuses to show up, in response to a subpoena claiming some new kind of judicial privilege, it doesn’t exist. He could be held in contempt, and should be. He has been contemptuous for quite a while, it’s about time that he be held to account.”

Watch below or at this link.

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