See a few more AFTER THE JUMP.
The Boston Globe dug into records dating back to Mitt Romney's tenure as Massachusetts governor and found that Romney and his administration had an — shocker — inconsistent policy when it came to altering birth certificates to recognize same-sex couples legally married in the state after a 2003 court win.
Looking over exchanges between Romney's administration lawyers and state Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, it seems male couples were told to obtain court orders to gain "second parent" status, while female couples were at times given more leeway.
Hospitals had to confer with Romney's administration for each and every child born to same-sex couples, even though the Registry recommended a universally inclusive policy, the paper found.
"[Romney] insisted that his top legal staff individually review the circumstances of every birth to same-sex parents," writes Murray Waas. "The practice of requiring high-level legal review continued for the rest of Romney’s term, despite a warning from a Department of Public Health lawyer who said such a system placed the children of same-sex parents at an unfair disadvantage."
Most of the birth-certificate reviews by the governor’s office appeared cursory. For example, health department deputy counsel Wiesenberg e-mailed Brian Leske and Nielsen on Dec. 23, 2004, to ask permission to issue a certificate regarding one birth: “Birth at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Facts (married mother, same sex spouse, anonymous donor) are similar to 23 other cases that Mark has reviewed . . . [and] instruct[ed] the hospital to list mother & same sex spouse as the second parent on the child’s birth certificate.”
Leske e-mailed back: “You are authorized to inform the Medical Center that may list the same sex spouse as a second parent on the birth certificate."
In another case, Leske wouldn't let a same-sex couple be listed as parents because they weren't married, a direct contradiction of previous stances.
Romney's camp at the time said in public that the certificates were not changed because that would require legislative action; the Registry and existing records say otherwise.
Waas also found some old speeches Romney made, including one in which he tried to raise fears about same-sex couples somehow damaging a kid.
"Scientific studies of children raised by same-sex couples are almost nonexistent," Romney told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2004. "It may affect the development of children and thereby future society as a whole."
One year later, in 2005, he made his position clear in a speech before social conservatives: "Some gays are actually having children born to them/ It’s not right on paper. It’s not right in fact. Every child has a right to a mother and father."
Romney presidential campaign had no comment on the report.
In response to Donald Trump's offensive and publicity-seeking offer to donate $5 million to charity if President Obama releases his college records, a moved Stephen Colbert is offering $1 million to the mogul's preferred charity if he can tea-bag Trump. As Colbert notes, "nothing would make America happier than to have something going into [Trump's] mouth instead of coming out of it".
There are conditions, and a time limit, which you can learn more about AFTER THE JUMP. The language is not so office-friendly, so you may want to break out some headphones.
From The Hill:
A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted a Virginia man on new terrorism charges for allegedly shooting a security guard at the Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington, D.C., this summer.
The Justice Department is charging Floyd Lee Corkins, 28, with committing an act of terrorism while armed, attempted murder while armed, aggravated assault while armed and second-degree burglary while armed.
This is the first time the government has used the District of Columbia’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002 in a prosecution. That "qualifies a person’s terrorist intent as an attempt to 'intimidate or coerce a significant portion of the civilian population of the District of Columbia or the United States'."
President Obama touched on a whole slew of topics during his appearance on NBC's Tonight Show last night.
The commander-in-chief talked Halloween, the debates and test-driving a pal's Chevy Volt. He also poked fun at Donald Trump's offer to donate $5 million to a charity of Obama's choice if the president would unveil his college transcripts and passport application, another volley in Trump's publicity campaign to "prove" Obama is foreign.
"This all goes back to when we grew up together in Kenya," the president laughed. "We had constant run-ins on the soccer field. He wasn’t very good and resented it. When we finally moved to America I thought it would be over.”
The biggest headlines out of last night however are Obama's comments about Richard Mourdock, the Romney-backed Indiana Senate candidate who pulled a Todd Akin by saying that rape is "something God intended" and victims should keep potential babies produced by said crime.
Obama of course disagrees:
I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas. Let me make a very simple proposition: rape is rape. It is a crime. These various distinctions about rape don’t make any sense to me. This is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, make decisions about women’s heath issues.
Watch Obama's comments about Mourdock and Trump as well as the NBC-provided footage of Jay Leno's entire interview with President Obama AFTER THE JUMP.
Basing his 2012 endorsement primarily on economic upticks and strong foreign policy, former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell backed President Obama's reelection this morning.
Powell voted for Obama in 2008 but has stayed on the sidelines for the current bout. That changed this morning, when he told CBS News that he plans on going to again cast his ballot for the commander-in-chief. Romney, he says, is offering nothing new or useful in his one area of expertise: the economy.
From the transcript of Powell's remarks to host Charlie Rose:
ROSE: Will you endorse President Obama this race?
POWELL: Well, you know I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012, and I’ll be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month.
ROSE: That's an endorsement for President Obama for re-election?
POWELL: When he took over the country was in very, very difficult straits, we were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression. The fiscal system was collapsing. Wall Street was in chaos. We had 800,000 jobs lost in that first month of the Obama administration and unemployment would peak a few months later at 10%. So we were in real trouble. The auto industry was collapsing. The housing industry was starting to collapse, and we were in very difficult straits. And I saw over the next several years stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years, it's starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising. So I think generally we've come out of the dive and we’re starting to gain altitude. It doesn't mean we are problem solved, there are lots of problems still out there. The unemployment rate is too high. People are still hurting in housing. But I see that we are starting to rise up.
I also saw the President get us out of one war, start to get us out of a second war and did not get us into any new wars. And finally, I think that the actions he's taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid. And so I think we ought to keep on the track that we are on.
With respect to Governor Romney, I have the utmost respect to him but as I listen to what his proposals are especially with respect to dealing with our most significant issue, the economy, it's essentially let's cut taxes and compensate for that with other things. But that compensation does not cover all of the cuts intended or the new expenses associated with defense.
Watch the video, rapidly and excitedly snipped by the DNC, AFTER THE JUMP.