Daily Archives: October 30, 2011

American and Canadian Scout Organizations Did Not Report Scout Leader who Molested Boys

History of the Boy Scouts of America

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Scout leader Rick Turley allegedly molested at least fifteen children, most of whom he met through American and Canadian Scouting beginning in the 1970s.

Boy Scouts of America officials did not call police after he admitted molesting three boys. Mr. Turley then returned to his home country, where he signed on with Scouts Canada and continued his abuses.

Now fifty-eight, Mr. Turley says he is surprised at how often he got away with it.

Mr. Turley is one of more than 5,000 suspected child molesters named in confidential files kept by the Boy Scouts of America.

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Tea Party Group Calls for Michele Bachmann to Quit

Official photo of Congresswoman Michele Bachma...

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Since winning the Iowa Straw Poll, Representative Michele Bachmann‘s poll numbers have dwindled to the single digits. Now, a Tea Party group is publicly accusing the Minnesotan of being an unserious candidate and trying to ride her Tea Party credentials to book sales and calling for her to quit the race.

A Tea Party group that calls itself American Majority would prefer for Rep. Bachmann to step back and leave the race to viable contenders.

The group’s president, Ned Ryun, issued a statement calling for her to quit and accusing her of being nary more than a loose cannon concerned with promoting her book that’s coming out next month.

As her poll numbers fall, the group worries she’ll stray from the Tea Party’s economic message and start talking abortion and gays, which draws attention away from the fact that Tea Partiers hate to pay taxes.

Rep. Bachmann’s camp thinks the group wants her out because Ryun supports Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Her campaign manager responded,

The strength of the Tea Party is all individual’s opinions are valued but the no single leader speaks for it. Mr. Ryun, who supports Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is entitled to his own opinion. And that’s exactly what he is expressing. Michele Bachmann enjoys strong support from Americans across party lines and that certainly includes the Tea Party. She will continue to be a strong advocate for the values and principles reflected by the Tea Party as works toward a victory in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses as she seeks to win the Republican nomination.

Other Tea Party groups haven’t called for Bachmann’s resignation. Most major groups have yet to throw their support behind one candidate, even though it’s pretty obvious that Michele Bachmann will not be the Republican party’s 2012 Presidential nominee.

Meanwhile, Rep. Bachmann’s still out there campaigning. On Thursday, she lamented the moral hazard of providing debt relief to student loan holders:

There is a morality in keeping our financial promises, and I don’t think we should push that off onto the taxpayer. The individual needs to repay and be responsible for repaying their student loan debt.

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Republicans vs. Science: Drilling Edition

Cover of "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less...

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After the nation’s largest offshore oil spill and a series of pipeline breaks, Republican Presidential candidates are still pushing an aggressive policy of oil and gas drilling.

This time around, the calls for more drilling sometimes run into another conservative ideal: preserving wild places for future generations. The millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico last year and the crude that flowed into Montana’s Yellowstone River and Michigan’s Kalamazoo River put a spotlight on the risks of energy production.

Nearly every Republican White House contender has a plan to harness the nation’s resources to create employment by opening up vast areas to drilling.

Texas Governor Rick Perry says we are sitting “on a treasure trove of energy in this country.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has said “we’re an energy-rich nation that’s acting like an energy-poor nation.”

Since former House Speaker Newt Gingrich published his book Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less, he has touted more drilling in Alaska and the West.

Some of the ideas sound like they’re inherited directly from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 Vice Presidential nominee who popularized “drill, baby, drill.” At the party’s national convention that year, Palin told the crowd, “We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity and produced by American workers.”

Gov. Perry, announcing his jobs plan in Pittsburgh, said, “The quickest way to give our economy a shot in the arm is to deploy American ingenuity to tap American energy.”

Gov. Romney thinks the country can drill off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann says she would consider drilling in the Florida Everglades. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who wants to open up the Arctic to drilling, has accused President Barack Obama of putting caribou ahead of “something good for our country and our economy.” Businessman Herman Cain believes the idea that high energy consumption and conservation are at odds is a myth.

Voters will face a choice next year on the ballot between the Republican nominee and Pres. Obama, who has taken a cautious approach to expanding oil and gas production, so cautious that critics accuse him of locking up resources. His administration gave BP the go-ahead to drill a new deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico, the company’s first since its spill last year. The administration also has granted other companies deepwater permits.

Gov. Romney said the spill provided Pres. Obama “political cover” for policies to limit drilling. Gov. Perry called the spill “just an act of God” that could not have been prevented.

Investigations by the federal government and the companies involved blame faulty decisions for the blowout that killed eleven and sent more than 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

In an interview, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar defended the administration’s approach:

I don’t think we should be drilling anywhere and everywhere, and I think those who propose it are wrong. Drilling for oil in Everglades is not going to resolve the energy challenges we face as a country. What we need to do is to have a broad energy portfolio … that does include oil and gas, but it has to be done in the right places and it has to be done with the right kind of review and the right kind of regulatory oversight.

Even in the Republican Party, not everyone shares the view of the primary contenders. After Rep. Bachmann’s comment on the Everglades, Rep. Allen West (R-FL), sent her a letter arguing that “the Everglades represents one of the most cherished treasures of the United States, and should be off limits for exploration of any kind of natural energy resource.”

Conservation-minded Republicans have invoked Pres. Ronald Reagan and Sen. Barry Goldwater in arguing for the protection of natural resources.

William K. Reilly, the top environmental official under President George H.W. Bush, has warned about the risks of a spill in waters off Alaska.

Via HuffPo.

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