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Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Bachmann’

‘Gay Cure’ Therapists Sued for Fraud

AP Photos/Tara Todras-WhitehillDepending on how closely you follow the news, you may have heard a bit about one of this country’s most unusual cottage industries: A series of independent practitioners offering a service called “reparative” or, more colloquially, “gay cure” therapy. The niche discipline is popular enough to earn an official ban from the State of California (when applied to subjects under the age of 18).

These “medical” professionals claim to be able to relieve individuals suffering from unwanted bouts of homosexuality; they’ve received a bit of attention from the political press over the past few years, and they’re about to face the biggest PR challenge in the history of their (relatively new) practice.

The most interesting part about this case is that it concerns the Orthodox Jewish community, most of whose members believe homosexuality to be forbidden by the Torah. Four young men whose rabbis urged them to seek reparative therapy with a group called JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing) are now suing the organization for fraud with the backing of the Southern Poverty and Law Center, a non-profit known for defending those with contradictory opinions both popular and unpopular.

The defendants’ lawsuit states that the group, whose director believes that “homosexuality is a learned behavior, which can be unlearned”, falsely advertised its services—and some of the practices involved in the JONAH “solution” are unconventional, to say the least.

One thing is clear: the immediate future presents a series of uphill battles for gay cure therapists.

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Top Four Campaign Building/Breaking Moments of Last Night’s GOP Debate

Last night, Godfather Cain and the Gang gathered in Vegas for a little Cirque du Debate and they put on the finest show on the whole strip. They were really acting up. In case you were out protesting something and missed it, we’ve compiled a list of the top four campaign building and breaking moments from last night’s event.

4. Michelle Bachmann made an impassioned plea to mother’s to “hold on” in the face of foreclosure, trying to strike an emotional chord with a key constituency.

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Are Bachmann’s Words Her Undoing?

Photo: Paul Drinkwater, Nbc/nbcu

Without missing a beat, Michele Bachmann attacked President Obama’s latest proposal, which includes $1.5 trillion in tax revenues generated by increases on the wealthy, saying the plan would “ruin the United States economy.” In this case, she’s more or less in line with the statements from other Republicans. And perhaps that’s what she’s striving for after a number of misstatements that have done more harm than good to her presidential campaign.

In trying to take a shot at Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Bachmann suggested that the HPV vaccine, which Gov. Perry mandated in his state, was linked to “mental retardation.”

“People close to the campaign, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Mrs. Bachmann is often influenced by the last person she speaks with on an issue rather than maintaining discipline in communicating a message,” wrote The New York Times.

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‘Newsweek’ Cover Causes Controversy… Again

Newsweek has done it again. It’s getting a lot of attention today for a cover photo that seems to have bypassed the editing process.

This week, Rep. Michele Bachmann is front and center with a wide-eyed, crazed expression and the headline “Queen of Rage.” Of course, her supporters have jumped to her defense with accusations of bias from the left. And the image, naturally, raises questions about sexism.

But Business Insider has it right when it says the cover distracts from important issues more than anything. And we wonder whether Newsweek’s cover image shenanigans aren’t going to do more harm than good to the magazine. Tina Brown is trying to raise the magazine’s profile, but she and the editorial team shouldn’t actively damage its credibility in the process.

The GOP Debate: Many Questions, Some Answers, Lots of Grunting

Photo: David S. Holloway / CNN Saint Anselm College Manchester, New Hampshire

According to Mashable, Mitt Romney came out on top of the GOP debate last night in Facebook terms, adding 19,658 likes by the end of the night. In second place was Michelle Bachmann, who added more than 9,200 likes and made headlines with her announcement that she’s planning to run for office (which would explain why she was there in the first place, no?).

But The Washington Post puts her on top, not only for her big announcement, but also for being “quotable.” “She is a very good communicator,” said one of her pollsters Ed Goeas, with others also giving her the top nod.

The Daily Beast adds Rick Santorum to the winning line up for just looking the part. And everyone agrees Tim Pawlenty was one of the night’s losers, cowering in the face of his “Obamneycare” statement. Even FoxNews.com writes, “That was very bad news for a guy who has conservatives wondering whether he has the brass to go head to head with a sitting president.”

Actually, Salon says Americans were the big loser because it was clear that the candidates have some funny ideas about how the economy and basic math work.

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