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Jeb Bush in ’95: Single mothers should be publicly shamed for giving birth outside of marriage

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Jeb Bush has a history of supporting public policy that shames and humiliates women who have children but are not married, the Huffington Post reports.

The online news outlet combed through Bush’s 1995 book, Profiles in Character and published the Republican presidential candidate’s insights on how to most effectively punish women whose sexual behavior deviates from biblical norms. The passage below is from a chapter entitled, “The Restoration of Shame.”

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“One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.”

In his book, Bush celebrates a puritanical interpretation of The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s iconic 1850 novel skewering the hypocrisy of New England’s political and religious leaders. The presidential aspirant evidently likes the part in the book whereby town elders force Hester Prynne, the heroine, to don a red letter “A,” for “adulterer,” because she gave birth to a child while her long-absent husband was away. Bush makes no mention that the other adulterer in the novel was the local minister, who powerful actors continue to protect and admire for the duration of the book.

“Infamous shotgun weddings and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter are reminders that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots,” Bush writes in his 1990’s tome on morality.

In 2003, then Florida Governor Jeb Bush relented on the the state’s now defunct Scarlet Letter law” after courts had ruled it illegal. The legislation, which Bush had championed, required women and girls planning to put their infants up for adoption to first publicize their names and sexual histories in local newspapers, ostensibly to give fathers more power in controlling pregnancy outcomes.

After the law took effect in 2001, courts ruled that requiring rape victims to publicly disclose their sexual histories in the press was unconstitutional. Courts also found that forcing women and girls to declare their consensual sexual experiences in print was unconstitutional, too.

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The Scarlet Letter law, according to the New York Times, “required women to run advertisements disclosing their names, ages, height, hair and eye color, race, and weight as well as the child’s name and birthplace and a description of the possible father. It also required the women to provide details of the dates and places of sexual encounters that might have produced the child. Women were required to run the advertisements once a week for a month in the community where the child may have been conceived.”


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Chief Justice Roberts admonishes lawyers at Senate impeachment trial

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Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Roberts made his first major intervention in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.

After House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) finished his closing arguments on why former National Security Advisor John Bolton should testify, the White House team went on the attack. Yelling and demanding apologies, the president's team was more animated than they'd been all night. Roberts then admonished the House and White House on their language.

Claiming the Senate is the "world's greatest deliberative body" -- despite what he had witnessed during 12 hours of the impeachment trial -- Roberts complained about language that was "not conducive to civil discourse."

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White House lawyers begin yelling at Democrats during late-night impeachment trial — after Trump starts tweeting

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President Donald Trump woke up and began tweeting around midnight EST during the Senate impeachment trial over the amendments over the rules. That's when a noticeable thing changed on the Senate floor: Trump's team started yelling.

Nearing 1 a.m. EST Tuesday morning while the president was tweeting about impeachment, his team began attacking Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) personally. They called him a liar and accused him of attacking the president and demanded an apology. After nearly 12 hours this was the first time the White House got even remotely animated after a dull defense of the president.

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2020 Election

Mick Mulvaney released treasure trove of OMB documents — 2 minutes before midnight

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Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney released a huge cache of documents on Tuesday evening -- minutes before the midnight deadline.

The documents were released to the ethics group American oversight, which had pursued a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the department.

"Two minutes before midnight, OMB released 192 pages of Ukraine-related records to American Oversight, including emails that have not been previously released," American Oversight announced.

"The files released tonight include emails sent by OMB Acting Director Russell Vought and Assoc Director for National Security Michael Duffey — two key players in the withholding of Ukraine aid — in on the morning of President Trump’s July 25 call with President Zelensky," the ethics group noted.

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