BOMBSHELL: Corruption Uncovered In Regnerus Anti-Gay Study Scandal

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/bombshell-corruption-uncovered-in-regnerus-anti-gay-study-scandal/legal-issues/2012/08/29/47670

by Scott Rose
on August 29, 2012

Reposted with Permission

SOME BRIEF STORY BACKGROUND TO THE EXPLOSIVE BOMBSHELL SCOOP THAT IS REPORTED BELOW IN THIS POST

Mark Regnerus is an anti-gay-rights figure at the University of Texas at Austin.

The anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute had — for a  long time – cultivated a relationship with Regnerus before approaching him to commission a $785,000 study that would 1) demonize gay people and; 2) be available in time for pernicious exploitation during the 2012 elections.

The study — published on June 10, 2012 – was ostensibly, but not actually, on same-sex parents’ child outcomes.

And, it was purpose-designed and booby trapped for use against the rights of real-life gay parents in the present day, though it did not study them.

Top officials of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute — the chief funder of the Regnerus study — also have positions of authority over the anti-gay-rights National Organization for Marriage.

NOM’s founder and mastermind Robert P. George, moreover, is a senior fellow with the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, as well as a board member of the Family Research Council, an SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group known for spreading malicious falsehoods against its umpteen millions of victims, those umpteen millions of victims being the entire LGBT community as well as all heterosexuals who are supportive of LGBTers’ equality.

After all, a lesbian couples’ supportive grand-parents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and brothers and sisters do not want Robert George and his anti-gay hate group(s) impinging on their families’ happiness with bullying non-acceptance of gay human beings.

Since the publication of the fraudulent Regnerus study, enemies of gay rights — led by Robert George’s Witherspoon InstituteNOM and FRC – have been perniciously exploiting the “study” as a basis for their anti-gay fear-and-hate-mongering disinformation campaigns.

In response to those anti-gay hate groups’ disinformation campaigns based on the fraudulent Regnerus study, responsible scientists have taken action to correct the scientific record to the public.

For example, a Golinski-case amicus brief analyzing the Regnerus study as scientifically invalid was jointly filed by 1) the American Psychological Association; 2) the California Psychological Association; 3) the American Psychiatric Association; 4) the National Association of Social Workers; and 5) its California Chapter; 6) the American Medical Association; 7) the American Academy of Pediatrics; and 8) the American Psychoanalytic Association.

In an echo of when the American Sociological Association banned Paul Cameron – (a gay-bashing charlatan whom Robert George’s anti-gay-rights groups love to quote) – and declared that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, due to his intentional distortions of the scientific record, the American Sociological Association (ASA) is poised to take action against the Regnerus study.

Separately, over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s sent a letter to the journal Social Science Research, which published the fraudulent Regnerus study, complaining of its lack of intellectual integrity and its suspiciously rushed publication schedule.

THE ANTI-GAY-RIGHTS WITHERSPOON INSTITUTE’S BRAD WILCOX –
A REGNERUS SCANDAL CORRUPTION KINGPIN?

Keeping in mind that the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute was the main funder of the fraudulent, anti-gay Regnerus “study,” and that Regnerus got a known minimum of $785,000 in study funding:

1) Brad Wilcox is: Director of the Program on Marriage, Family, and Democracy at the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, which funded Regnerus;

2) Brad Wilcox also is: An editorial board member of “Public Discourse,” which is published by the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, which funded Regnerus;

3) Brad Wilcox also is: An editorial board member of the journal Social Science Research, which published the Regnerus study;

4) Brad Wilcox also has a history of professional collaboration with Mark Regnerus;

4)) Brad Wilcox also is: Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia;

5) Brad Wilcox also is: Documented as having been a paid Regnerus study consultant, and having assisted Regnerus with data analysis;

6) Brad Wilcox also is: Apparently, one of the peer reviewers whom editor James Wright allowed to rubber stamp the Regnerus study with unwarranted approval for publication;

7) Brad Wilcox also is: An editorial board member of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute’s publication Public Discourse. Regnerus saw gay-bashing comments in support of his study, made on line by Robert Oscar Lopez. Regnerus contacted Lopez first and then conducted correspondence with him. Shortly thereafter, a gay-bashing essay in support of the Regnerus study appeared on Public Discourse, where Brad Wilcox of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, which funded Regnerus, is on the editorial board.

8) Brad Wilcox also is: among the 18 signers of a Baylor baptist university letter supporting the Regnerus study. The letter contains multiple deliberate distortions of scientific records, all in support of Regnerus, but in apparent violation of the American Sociological Association’s Code of Ethics for public communications about sociology.  According to a Baylor spokesperson“Baylor expects students not to participate in advocacy groups promoting an understanding of sexuality that is contrary to biblical teaching.” Four signers of the Baylor letter are officials with the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, which funded the Regnerus study. In signing the Baylor letter, Brad Wilcox and three other Witherspoon officials failed to disclose their direct connection to Regnerus’s funding.

HOW DOES THIS ALL FIT TOGETHER?

Brad Wilcox of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute has a long personal history with Mark Regnerus.

Luis Tellez, President of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute also has a long personal history with Mark Regnerus.

The anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute approaches Regnerus about doing a gay parenting study, offering him a $55,000 “planning grant.”

With Regnerus’s anti-gay parenting study plan formed, heads of the anti-gay Witherspoon Institute arrange for Regnerus to have his known minimum study funding of $785,000.

Consultants with no expertise in gay parenting are paid to participate in the Regnerus study design. Regnerus includes some non-gay-bashers among the consultants, but is said to have paid no attention to their suggestions.

With the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon’s Brad Wilcox on the editorial board of the journal Social Science Research, the invalid, anti-gay Regnerus study zooms directly to the top of SSR editor James Wright‘s pile of 335 submissions.

The Regnerus submission gets a “Wham bam, thank you mam!” rush through Social Science Research‘s channels of approval for publication, seemingly appropriate to the various forms and levels of prostitution that were taking place.

In response to the science-based complaint letter sent to Social Science Research by over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s, editor-in-chief James Wright and editorial board member Darren Sherkat conspire in an “audit” of the publication of the Regnerus “study.” Sherkat says the study should never have been published, and releases information that the peer review was corrupt, yet exonerates Wright and says he may have made all of Wright’s same decisions.

Multiple journalists send Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Regnerus’s University of Texas at Austin (UT) for Regnerus-study related communications, including those between Regnerus and the Witherspoon Institute. Though UT officials can not decide whether Regnerus is going through a misconduct inquiry or a misconduct investigation at the school, UT asks Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for FOIA exemptions, claiming that releasing the requested communications could comprise UT’s investigation of Regnerus.

With multiple journalists believing that their Regnerus-related FOIA requests are stalled in limbo, Social Science Research‘s Darren Sherkat reveals the following in online comments:

“UT did respond to my FOIA seeking to identify conflicts of interests with anonymous reviewers and the editor of SSR.” (Bolding added).

As part of his “audit,” Sherkat learned the identify of the peer reviewers, whom SSR ordinarily keeps secret from the public.

SSR was intending to continue keeping the peer reviewers’ identities secret from the public.

However, the Freedom of Information Act request that Sherkat made to UT was for Regernus study-related documents that UT had involving those who did the peer review of the Regnerus study for Social Science Research.

And, because Sherkat had to specify the peer reviewers’ names in his FOIA request, in order to get the documentation that he wanted, whatever documentation UT gave him in response to the request would involve documentation for the peer reviewers.  But, the documentation would reflect work the peer reviewers had done on the Regnerus study, apart from peer reviewing it.

Sherkat needed that documentation from UT to check for conflicts of interest. (Boy, were there ever conflicts of interest!)

This reporter contacted the UT office that processes FOIA requests.

I said: “If UT’s rationale for not releasing any of the Regnerus study-related documentation was that releasing it would compromise the investigation of Regnerus, why did you release FOIA-requested documentation to Sherkat but not to the rest of us?”

Several days later, I received the same documentation UT sent to Sherkat.

Two of the same paid Regnerus study consultants appear also to have been Regnerus study peer reviewers:

1) Paul Amato; and

2) Brad Wilcox, of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, the chief funder of the Regnerus study

That is to say: 1) Brad Wilcox had a long, personal history with Mark Regnerus, and; 2) Brad Wilcox is an official at the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, the chief known funder of the Regnerus study; and 3) Witherspoon’s Brad Wilcox is on the editorial board of Social Science Research, which wound up publishing the Regnerus study, after; 4) Social Science Research editor James Wright permitted Witherspoon’s Brad Wilcox, a paid Regnerus study consultant; to be a 5) peer reviewer, rubber stamping the Regnerus study for publication.

I spoke with Dr. Gary Gates of the Williams Institute about the the Regnerus peer reviewers’ conflicts of interest.

“The smoking gun here is that a majority of the peer reviewers had specific fiduciary conflicts of interest. This is known, irrefutable evidence that the Regnerus study was not published through appropriate professional peer review. As paid study consultants, these peer reviewers had economic interests in making sure the study got published. Their names in the profession were invested into the Regnerus study, because they had been paid to consult on it. If their study design turned out to produce a study not suitable for publication, then their ability to get future paid study consulting jobs would be affected. If it’s true that one of the paid consultants also is with Witherspoon, which funded the Regnerus study, then that escalates this problematic situation up to another level. The main issue with conflicts of interest is the perception of bias. The duty of the journal editor and more broadly of the academy, is to be sure that the thing is free of conflicts of interest. The basic fact that peer reviewers were paid study consultants is enough to invalidate the peer review process. In the interest of science, the study should be retracted and put through genuine professional peer review, with none of the reviewers having any conflicts of interest. It is objectively true that two peer reviewers had fiduciary conflicts of interest. It is further true that a mass of prominent experts in the field picked up on the study’s methodological flaws that the peer reviewers allowed through. Whether or not the peer reviewer’s fiduciary conflicts of interest were the reasons they missed the study’s methodological problems, the peer review process was not valid. Social Science Research editor James Wright, and Elsevier, the publisher, should be extremely worried about the reputation of their journal in the academy and beyond. Commentators, including the editor Dr. Wright, can say what they want; Wright’s views on this are not shared by the leaders in his field. Our science-based letter of complaint to be posted shortly includes the signatures of the editor-in-chief of the leading academic journal for family sociologists, The Journal of Marriage and Family, and of Dr. Erik Olin Wright, President of the American Sociological Association. The Regnerus study should be retracted from publication and put through genuine professional peer review.”

To sign a petition telling the editorial board of Social Science Research to 1) salvage the ethically contaminated reputation of their journal; by 2) retracting the Regnerus study from publication and putting it through ethically appropriate and professional peer review prior to any future eventual re-publication, go here.

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.

Fear and Loathing in Florida 2012

From Truth Dig:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/fear_and_loathing_in_florida_2012_20120829/

By Alan Minsky
Posted on Aug 29, 2012

History repeats itself; the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.  —Karl Marx
TAMPA, Fla.—The real truth in America is hard to come by these days; even the Paul Ryan Wikipedia entry has been whitewashed, omitting that he was voted the biggest brown-noser in his high school class.

As I do not believe, in contrast to most of the press corps here, that Orwellian double-speak is the highest form of human communication, I cannot attend a political convention and not feel the anxiety of Hunter S. Thompson’s influence. However much respect books like “The Making of the President” series merit, it’s the bourbon and crank-fueled honesty of “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72” that truly captures the zombie-like soullessness of the political lapdog class.

What to make of the 2012 Republican model?

It didn’t take long to realize this convention was dominated by the same country club set that’s been running this party for decades. Fears that some new monstrous tea party/Christian fundamentalist hybrid has seized the GOP’s helm were readily dispelled as the first busloads of late-night partyers arrived in downtown Tampa on Monday night. Anyone anticipating rabid creationists from the Wichita PTA was confronted with the bland secularism of Laura Ashley and Brooks Brothers.

I explained to one woman in her early 30s that she was the first Republican I’d spoken to this week. She laughed and asked me where I was from. Los Angeles, I told her, then followed up: “Do you really support all the platforms in your party—about women, family and all of that?” She replied, “The Republican Party is pro-business; I’m a businesswoman.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/fear_and_loathing_in_florida_2012_20120829/

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GOP’s Nightmarish Response to MLK’s “I Have a Dream”

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Poverty: The New Growth Industry in America

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-baker/poverty-the-new-growth-in_b_1833158.html


08/29/2012

Recent trends in poverty rates should have the country furious at its leaders. When we get the data for 2011 next month, we are likely to see yet another uptick in poverty rates, reversing almost 50 years of economic progress. The percentage of people in extreme poverty, with incomes less than half of the poverty level, is likely to again hit an all-time high since the data has been collected.

The situation is made even worse by the fact that so many of those in poverty are children. In 2010, 27 percent of all children in the country were reported as living below the poverty level. For African-American children, the share in poverty is approaching 40 percent.

Many will blame the welfare reform law in 1996 that passed with bipartisan support. That is appropriate. This bill involved a great deal of political grandstanding and removed guarantees that could have protected millions of families in a severe downturn like what we are now seeing.

Advocates of this bill who now profess surprise at the result need to turn to a new line of work. There were plenty of people at the time who warned that the lack of federal guarantees could lead to severe hardship in an economic downturn. No one has a right to be surprised on this one. The surge in the poverty rate in a downturn like the present one was a predictable and predicted outcome of the legislation.

However, there is the other side of the story, the overall state of the economy, which is the more important cause of the increase in the poverty rate. The vast majority of the people in this country rely on work for the bulk of their income and that would also be true for the tens of millions of people in poverty, if work was available. These people cannot find jobs in today’s economy, or at least not full-time jobs that pay anything close to a living wage.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-baker/poverty-the-new-growth-in_b_1833158.html

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‘Fetal personhood’ ballot initiative fails in Colorado

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/29/fetal-personhood-ballot-initiative-fails-in-colorado/

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Anti-abortion activists in Colorado have failed to place a proposed “fetal personhood” amendment on the state’s 2012 ballot.

Personhood Colorado announced earlier this month that it collected 112,121 signatures for the ballot initiative. But the Secretary of State said the group only submitted 106,119 signatures. Based on a random sample, the Secretary of State projected that only roughly 85,800 of those signatures are valid, falling short of the 86,105 valid signatures needed to qualify of the ballot.

“Because the percentage of presumed valid signatures falls between 90 percent and 110 percent of the 86,105 valid signatures needed, the office is required to perform a line-by-line analysis of every signature submitted,” the Secretary of State explained in a press release.

Personhood Colorado told the Independent they planned to file a protest of the decision.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, praised the defeat of the ballot measure.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/29/fetal-personhood-ballot-initiative-fails-in-colorado/

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From the Fringe in 1992, Buchanan’s Words Now Seem Mainstream

From a Nazi Sympathizer’s fringe speech to mainstream Republican Policy in 20 short years.

The late Molly Ivins said this about Buchanan’s speech, “I hear it sounded better in the original German.” Alluding to Buchanan’s spirited defense of a Nazi Death Camp Officer.

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/us/politics/from-the-fringe-in-1992-patrick-j-buchanans-words-now-seem-mainstream.html

By
Published: August 29, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. — Twenty years ago, Patrick J. Buchanan rocked the Republican convention in Houston by declaring there was a “cultural war” taking place for the soul of America, denouncing the Democratic Party as one that supported abortion, radical feminism and the “homosexual rights movement.”

“The agenda Clinton and Clinton would impose on America — abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat — that’s change, all right,” said Mr. Buchanan, a conservative commentator who was a rival to President George Bush in the 1992 campaign. “But it is not the kind of change America wants.”

The speech — along with similarly sharp-edged addresses by the evangelist Pat Robertson and Marilyn Quayle, the wife of Vice President Dan Quayle — pushed issues like abortion, gay rights, religion and the role of women in society to the front of the stage, often loudly. Supporters of Mr. Bush pointed to the tone of the convention as one of the reasons he lost the election that November to Bill Clinton.

Yet Republicans gathered here to nominate Mitt Romney suggest that those speeches would hardly give them pause today. What many viewed as the fringes of the Republican Party 20 years ago have moved closer to the mainstream — evidence, Mr. Buchanan said, of the extent to which a Republican establishment that was once relatively moderate on social issues has been pushed rightward by grass-roots conservatives.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/us/politics/from-the-fringe-in-1992-patrick-j-buchanans-words-now-seem-mainstream.html

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Miners forced to attend Romney’s rally

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Deficit Hawk Hypocrites

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/29-3

by Bernie Sanders
Published on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by Common Dreams

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the Republican Party are now mounting a massive attack against Social Security and other programs. Using “deficit reduction” as their rationale, they are attempting to dismantle every major piece of legislation passed since the 1930s that provides support and security to working families.

They are being aided by at least 23 billionaire families, led by the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, who are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in this campaign as a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision. Despite paying the lowest effective tax rate in decades, the billionaires want more tax breaks for the very rich. Despite the fact that the elimination of strong regulations caused the Wall Street meltdown and a terrible recession, the billionaires want more deregulation. Despite outsourcing of millions of good-paying American jobs to China and other low-wage countries, the billionaires want more unfettered free trade.

At this pivotal moment in American history, it’s important to note how we got into this deficit crisis, who was responsible and what is the fairest way to address it.

Let us never forget that when Bill Clinton left office in 2001, this country enjoyed a healthy $236 billion SURPLUS.

Under George W. Bush and his fellow “deficit hawks,” we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush and Congress “forgot” to pay for those wars that will end up adding some $3 trillion to our national debt. Where were Paul Ryan and the other “deficit hawks” when we spent trillions on wars and added to the deficit? They voted for those policies.

Under George W. Bush and his fellow “deficit hawks,” we gave huge tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country, which cost $1 trillion over a decade. Where were Paul Ryan and the other “deficit hawks” when Bush and Congress spent a trillion dollars on tax breaks for the very rich and added to our national debt? They voted for those policies.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/29-3

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College Students Are Going Homeless and Hungry — And Corporate America Is Trying to Exploit Them

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/college-students-are-going-homeless-and-hungry-and-corporate-america-trying-exploit-them

A look at the growing numbers of homeless and hungry college students trying desperately to make ends meet–and those who are willing to exploit them.

By Adam Turl
August 27, 2012

As the mainstream press frets that the much-touted “economic-recovery” appears to have lost steam, the economic crisis continues to escalate for ordinary people.

With official unemployment holding steady at 9.5 percent (real unemployment is much higher), and with the state budget cuts producing yet more tuition increases, a growing phenomenon is sweeping the nation: homeless and hungry college students.

National Public Radio (NPR) reported in late July: “For many college students and their families, rising tuition costs and a tough economy are presenting new challenges as college bills come in. This has led to a little-known but growing population of financially stressed students, who are facing hunger and sometimes even homelessness.”

While no exact figures are available, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth reports a large increase in homeless students.

“We’re hearing from the college presidents and leadership that more and more students are struggling,” Michelle Asha Cooper of the Institute for Higher Education told reporters. “Some are taking out pretty large amounts of student loans to finance their education as well as their living costs. Some are enrolling part time, some are even dropping out.”

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) even created an “Economic Crisis Response Team” to help homeless and hungry students stay enrolled. NPR reported the story of one such UCLA student, Diego Sepulveda, who ended up homeless after losing his full-time job at Subway. Now Sepulveda alternates between sleeping in the library, student center and friend’s couches, catching occasional showers in a school gym.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/college-students-are-going-homeless-and-hungry-and-corporate-america-trying-exploit-them

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Paul Ryan and the GOP’s New “Dog Whistle Politics”

From Truth Out:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11204-paul-ryan-and-the-gops-new-dog-whistle-politics

By Joan Walsh
Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I have a problem with liberals who dismiss the white working class as hopelessly Republican and racist, because they ignore something interesting: in 2008, our first black president got a higher share of their votes than any recent white Democrat in this generation, including John Kerry, Al Gore, and even Bill Clinton. A New York Times analysis found that Obama won 46 percent of whites without a college degree who earned between $30,000 and $75,000 a year, to Bill Clinton’s 44 percent. He kept John McCain’s edge with that group to 6 points, when George W. Bush won them by 35 points against John Kerry four years earlier. And in some swing states, such as Ohio, the “Obama coalition” ultimately included the white working class.

Yes, many of those voters raced back into the Republican column in 2010, when the GOP ran up a 30-point edge in midterm congressional races, and for much of 2011, Democrats talked about a strategy to keep the White House without winning Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, key swing states he took in 2008. But I’m not sure why we’d conclude that those voters’ problem was mainly racial, or that they had run back to the GOP for good. Had they shaken off their racism in 2008, only to have it return like a stubborn virus in 2010? Did the president become more black? What if their reaction derived from frustration with Democratic leaders who hadn’t pursued an economic turnaround agenda aggressively enough, at a time when unemployment stood at more than 10 percent—and almost 15 percent for whites without a college degree?

The GOP’s new dog-whistle politics, trashing white people in coded language once reserved for blacks, opens new opportunities for Democrats—if they can help those white people translate the new GOP rhetoric. In a 2012 debate, then-front-runner Rick Santorum approvingly quoted from Charles Murray’s Coming Apart, hoping his listeners wouldn’t know that this time Murray was scolding white people. After Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke supported President Obama’s insurance regulations mandating cost-free contraception, conservatives began trashing the young white law student as a “welfare queen” wanting birth control on the taxpayers’ dime.

But “dependent voters” aren’t just a problem to the GOP because they eat up our tax dollars. “Republican supporters will continue to decrease every year as more Americans become dependent on the government,” Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint wrote in his shrill 2012 book Now or Never. “Dependent voters will naturally elect even big-government progressives who will continue to smother economic growth and spend America deeper into debt. The 2012 election may be the last opportunity for Republicans.” Wisconsin conservative representative Paul Ryan, he of the “Ryan Plan” to abolish Medicare, divides the electorate into “makers” and “takers.”

Continue reading at:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11204-paul-ryan-and-the-gops-new-dog-whistle-politics

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