Blog Archives

Debate Audience Does It Again…

It was bad enough that the Republican debate audience did the “let them die” chant at the previous gathering of dolts, last night they booed a gay soldier who asked a reasonable question: would these clowns back up the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell.:

Take a look if you missed it:

If , as is estimated by some analysts, the gay population is about ten percent of the voting block, these damned fools don’t seem to mind that they’ve cut off another vote source.<img title=”Send Us Mail” src=”http://underthelobsterscope.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/ppals1.jpg” alt=”” width=”72″ height=”72″ />

Quote of the Day… a pledge to make DADT work…From John McCain?

The number one opponent to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell“, John McCain, made an interesting pledge in a Fox Business News interview today:


“It is a law and I have to do whatever I can to help the men and women who are serving, particularly in combat, cope with this new situation. I will do everything I can to make it work.”


Is this a flip-flop or just good sense from Senator Cranky?

Is Lisa Murkowski moving away from the Far Right?

This was in TPMDC this morning. Worth thinking about.
clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
 

Murkowski On Voting With Dems: No Biggie!

One of the lame duck‘s biggest surprises was how reliably Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voted with Democrats. Her “yes” votes on DREAM and DADT repeal arguably put her to the left of Democrats Jon Tester and Joe Manchin — during the lame duck, at least. 

As she darted out of the Senate chamber Wednesday afternoon TPM asked her if those votes would’ve been harder to cast if she’d never been primaried and was still a member of GOP leadership.

“Nah,” she said, as the elevator doors closed.

So I guess that answers that.

blog it

OK… DADT is now history… the Senate has voted it out and the bill is on its way to Obama.

So the score so far today is Democrats 1 (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is voted out), Republicans 1 (Dream act voted down… actually, it didn’t get passed the 61 vote filibuster requirement). Tomorrow they will be debating and maybe voting on the START treaty… whoever wins on that one will break the score.

 

I hope Harry Reid can keep everyone there until the work is done.

Saturday Morning and the Senate is In Session…

… and I’m watching to see if Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed.

A procedural vote is expected by noon. If at least 60 senators vote to advance the bill as expected, the legislation could pass as early as late afternoon. Republicans could demand extended debate time, but early indications were that they may not draw the process out further. We’ll see.

This, if it passes, will be the completion of another 2008 election promise by Obama and a successful manipulation by Harry Reid. What Senator McCain tries in holding it off could be interesting.

Quote for the Day – Thre Majority Leader on Senator McCain’s opposition to ending “Don’t ask, don’t tell”…

Harry Reid (D-NV), United States Senator from ...

Harry Reid

“First, Sen. McCain said he would seriously consider repealing it if the military leadership thought we should, and [when] the military leadership said it should be repealed, he pulled away the football. Then Sen. McCain said he would need to see a study from the Pentagon. When the Pentagon produced the study saying repeal would have no negative effect at all, he pulled away the football again.

“And his latest trick, he said yesterday that he opposed repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ a proposal that would be a great stride forward for both equality and military readiness … because of the economy,” Reid added. “I repeat, the senior senator from Arizona said he couldn’t support repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ because of the economy.

“I have no idea what he’s talking about and no one else does either.”


- Senator Harry Reid

Most Americans want it, the Administration wants it, McCain doesn’t want it. Who’s right?

Looks like this will come up this week and we may get a decision on DADT:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
 

The Pentagon study that argues that gay troops could serve openly without hurting the military’s ability to fight is expected to re-ignite debate this month on Capitol Hill over repealing the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Officials familiar with the 10-month study’s results have said a clear majority of respondents don’t care if gays serve openly, with 70 percent predicting that lifting the ban would have positive, mixed or no results. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the findings hadn’t been released.

Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain of Arizona, have mostly opposed repealing the law because they say efforts to do so are politically driven and dangerous at a time of two wars.

“This was a political promise made by an inexperienced president or candidate for presidency of the United States,” McCain told CNN’s “State of the Union” last weekend.

blog it

This from the Daily Beast on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”…

I guess they picked it up from HuffPo last week.
Hope Harry Reid has his act together and this goes through tout suite:
clipped from www.thedailybeast.com
Reid: Senate Will Vote on DADT
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed Wednesday to bring a repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Senat...

Harry Reid with President Obama

Tell” legislation to the Senate floor sometime in December. In a statement, Reid said the pending defense authorization bill – which contains language ending the ban on openly gay servicemembers – has the White House’s support. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also said Wednesday that the repeal is a “priority,” but that President Barack Obama has not lobbied any senators for support. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), who usually caucuses with Democrats but is considered a swing voter on this issue, is expected to hold a press conference Thursday morning with Senate Democrats to “show broad support” for the repeal.

Xtra Insight

blog it

From Andrew Cohen, Legal Analyst at Politics Daily…

clipped from www.politicsdaily.com

Another Federal Judge Holds ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell‘ Unconstitutional
A federal judge in Tacoma, Wash., ruled Friday that the Air Force violated the constitutional rights of a decorated flight nurse when it discharged her in 2007 under the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy after learning of an affair she was having with a married woman.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton ordered the Air Force to reinstate Margaret Witt, an 18-year veteran of the branch, who achieved the rank of major before she was discharged three years ago for what was classified at the time as “homosexual conduct.” Leighton found her termination violated her due process and equal protection rights.
Leighton’s ruling is the second in three weeks to undermine the legal foundation of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, the 17-year-old ban precluding homosexuals from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces.
blog it
Isn’t it time we actually GOT RID of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

Al Franken Speaks On “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

And chokes up as he does… This was picked up at TPM:

Al is turning into one of the most moving Senators… I hope to hell he doesn’t get corrupted. He’s so good right now.

Is McCain working against the rest of the Nation?

It doesn’t look like he’s listening to his Committee testifiers…
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) seemed like he was about to lose his temper during a press briefing Tuesday after Republicans filibustered the defense appropriations bill over a measure that would have repealed the military‘s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) held a briefing in the Senate press gallery immediately following the vote. McCain grew increasingly obstinate when pressed on the military’s history of actively seeking out gay troops to be dismissed under the policy.

Of course, as ThinkProgress notes, the Senate Armed Services Committee — on which McCain serves as the ranking Republican — heard testimony just this past March from servicemembers who said their sexual orientation was actively investigated, including by searches of their private emails.
blog it

The Senate Just Blocked The Defense Bill Including “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal…

This is a small triumph for the Republicans who, led this time by John McCain, filibustered the Defense Bill coming up for debate, and prevented the 60 votes (all Dems and Independents plus 1 Republican) needed by Harry Reid from happening.

Senate Majority Leader Reid needed those 60 votes to overcome Republicans led by McCain, but because he had attached debate on the DREAM Act and a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as amendments  he was stomped. Centrist Republican senators like Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine were considered crucial to this effort — but they were unwilling to cross the aisle during today’s vote.

So this means that, for now, the basic Defense Bill, which funds the military (who needs it to just keep operating) is not on the floor. I’m watching Senator Barbara Boxer on C-Span2 right now who is complaining about the inability to debate either the DADT amendment or the Dream Act Amendment. One point she make is that the only other countries in the world that don’t allow open gays in the military are Iran, Turkey, Cuba, North Korea, Egypt and a few others… Our friends, England, Germany, Austria, Canada, France and many more, allow open gay military service. Get the idea.

The ED Show summed it up pretty well last February:

The DREAM act, which allows children who are not citizens but were brought into their country by parents, can get a leading run to citizenship… and, also, to populate our military with thousands of people currently not allowed in… has been trying to get on the agenda for the last 10 years. This is something that really should be brought back up on the agenda again and again until it is passed.

Meanwhile, we are seeing this Congress’ major problem… the inability to get things done when Senators… and that is Republican Senators… Filibuster EVERYTHING, rather than letting majority rule.

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Unconstitutional

…says Federal Judge in Riverside California.
Now maybe Obama will really get rid of it.
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
A federal judge on Thursday declared the U.S. military‘s ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional and said she will issue an order to stop the government from enforcing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy nationwide.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips said the ban violates the First and Fifth Amendment rights of gays and lesbians. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” prohibits the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members but requires discharge of those who acknowledge being gay or are discovered engaging in homosexual activity, even in the privacy of their own homes off base.

In her ruling, Phillips said the policy doesn’t help military readiness and instead has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services.
blog it

Aren’t we lucky to have Senators like Saxby Chambliss? … Uh, no, not really.

TPM Livewire has a good article called “Chambliss: Repealing DADT Would Open Door To ‘Adultery’ And ‘Body Art’ In The Military” up right now. While the Military is looking to phase out Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Georgia Senator is looking out for our morality.

Isn’t that nice?

Here’s a clip:

clipped from tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com
At the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) expressed his concern that repealing the rule would pave the way for allowing “alcohol use, adultery, fraternization, and body art” in the military — and that the army must “exclude persons whose presence in the armed forces would create unacceptable risk to the armed forces’ high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion.”

“In my opinion,” he said, “the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would very likely create an unacceptable risk to those high standards.”
Why, if gays are allowed into the military, Chambliss said, soon the armed forces will allow all sorts of other things.
Like what?
blog it

Last Quote of the Day

“I WILL END DON’T ASK DON’T TELL, THAT IS MY COMMITMENT TO YOU.”

-President Obama speaking to Gays today at the Human Rights Campaign.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 318 other followers