December 7, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Congress has voted to strike any reference to the word "lunatic" in federal law. The measure, which is headed to President Obama for his expected signature, is intended to reduce the stigma of mental illness. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) said during consideration of the bill this week that the term holds "a place in antiquity and should no longer have a prominent place in our U.S. Code. " The 21st Century Language Act, he added, "follows the precedence of Congress to study semantics and continuously improves the status and appropriateness of our nation's laws by addressing pejorative terms.
September 20, 2012 |
A former Dallas-area car wash employee who was convicted of killing two co-workers a week after he was fired in 2000 appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to stay his execution. Robert Wayne Harris, 40, was due to be executed as of 6 p.m. Central time. Harris had originally confessed to fatally shooting five people at the Mi-T-Fine car wash in Irving, Texas, was charged in connection with all five but tried in two of the deaths. His attorneys argue Harris should not be executed because he is mentally retarded and did not receive a fair trial.
October 25, 2011 |
Despite Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's recent charge that the HPV vaccine can cause "mental retardation," ongoing safety studies on the vaccine reveal no surprises, health officials said Tuesday. "We have no evidence" that HPV vaccination causes mental retardation, said Dr. Eileen Dunne, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at a hearing of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a panel that advises the CDC. The committee voted 13-0 to recommend routine human papillomavirus vaccination for boys ages 11 and 12. The vote included a review of the safety of the vaccine, which has been in use among girls in the United States since 2006.
September 17, 2011 |
Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann, whose gaffes have made her a favorite punching bag for Jay Leno and other late-night comedians, paid Leno a visit Friday. In her first appearance on "The Tonight Show," Bachmann tried to show her lighter side -- even making a joke about Christian anti-gay therapy, but Leno challenged her on gay rights, the HPV vaccine, her opposition to raising the federal debt ceiling and other conservative positions. The comedian's gentle persistence could not budge Bachmann from her talking points.
September 15, 2011 |
Add Michele Bachmann's former campaign manager to those who believe the presidential candidate went too far in linking a cervical cancer vaccine to mental retardation. Ed Rollins, in an interview Wednesday evening on MSNBC, said Bachmann's attacks on Texas Gov. Rick Perry's mandatory vaccination program for young girls in Texas had been effective -- until she brought up the possibility of “dangerous side effects” in television interviews. “She'd had been better if she stayed on issue,” Rollins told Chris Matthews on “Hardball,” the issue was the governor's executive orders, and whether he made a mistake.
September 13, 2011 |
A 2007 executive order by Texas Gov. Rick Perry has become the latest post-debate headache for the Republican presidential front-runner, who was accused of "crony capitalism" Tuesday by Rep. Michele Bachmann. The fight over requiring vaccinations for young girls — which surfaced in Monday's Florida debate — involved government prerogatives and cancer. But it also had a strong moral subtext: Bachmann and other social conservatives objected to forcible inoculations against a disease spread by sexual activity, while Perry defended himself with the language of the antiabortion movement.