The above is from Brian Montopoli's "Lt. Dan Choi Arrested at White House During Gay Rights Rally" (CBS News). And Dan Choi is 100% right. The White House has no intention of lifting a finger. There's leadership in the Senate (including Senator Roland Burris who has led on this issue for months), there's support in the House. There's just no desire on the part of the White House. And it's really irritating, for example, to read breathless blog posts at the ACLU's Blog of Rights from people not present at the hearings. They and the media have repeatedly gotten it wrong. Robert Gates never personally spoke of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. (Credit to NBC Nightly News which got it right, it was Adm Mike Mullen who spoke personally to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell.)
This is the problem and it's what Patrick Kennedy was getting at on the House floor last week. The press isn't there. So they keep getting things wrong. Over and over. And they've implied or outright stated to the country that Gates did this and said that and Barack's going to do this or do that.
But you go to the hearings and you're seeing things that aren't reported. Today's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing included more than Gen Sheehan. He is the big story. But for outlets who acted as though Don't Ask, Don't Tell was being repealed after the last hearing, they need to do some remedial work. The bulk of the Republicans on the Committee are not in favor of repealing.
Lucky for them, Barack's not proposed that.
It is amazing that he gets to use one weasel word after another. He is a lawyer. Not a very good one, but trained to be an attorney. And he certainly made people believe during the 2008 campaign that he was promising something he didn't end up delivering. That's what a good lawyer can do. Weasel words.
Barack's plan is a year long study. A year long study that would be completed after the November mid-terms. When, if historical patterns holds, the majority party (right now Dems) would lose some seats. So the Congress is going to have less Democrats and still repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell?
In today's hearing, John McCain made such an ass out of himself that you'd assume he'd be booed everywhere he shows his face. But most people don't even know about that because no one makes time for those stories.
John McCain implied that two members of the military drummed out for being gay deserved to be because they were fraudulent or whatever he thought he was saying when he was just being catty and cruel. This was when he tried to trap two witnesses into backing up his (loose) grip on facts. Major Michael Almy wouldn't agree with him that there needed to be a thorough study and asked what group gets a study before they can advance? He pointed out that there was no study to determine whether or not women could serve on submarines. They just realized the policy was outdated and changed it.
Why do they need a study for Don't Ask, Don't Tell?
You want to repeal something, you repeal it. Right now, there should be enough votes in both houses of Congress to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. (Althought some Dems now won't vote for it because they've been forced to vote for ObamaCare and think that that vote puts them at risk more than enough.) That most likely will not be the case after the election. We're talking about a Congress that lied to us in 2007 that they couldn't end the Iraq War they were put in power to end. They promised to end if they were given one house of Congress. Silly American voters, we gave them two houses and that was too much work for them. That's why they broke their promise, they just wanted one house. (That was sarcasm.)
I never cease to marvel over Dan Choi's bravery. Time and again, he speaks the words that need to be spoken. Words that others only whisper. Everyone's so damn worried about Barry O that they've forgotten that we live in the United States of America. He is not a King, he is not even Princess Diana. He's our employee for four years (another four if we decide he's up to it). Our job is not to help him, he's supposed to work for us. He's not doing a damn thing. The only reason they are going through the Don't Ask, Don't Tell motions is because a lot of big money was refusing to fork over donations to the DNC. Big donors.
If you want to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, you repeal it. If you promised to do it, then you damn well don't need to do a study. If you need to do a study to keep a promise, sounds to me like you promised something before you knew all the facts.
Windy City Times reports:
Lt. Dan Choi and Jim Pietrangelo—who are being discharged and were let go under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ( DADT ) , respectively—were arrested March 18 for handcuffing themselves to the White House gates while protesting the policy, according to Advocate.com.
Choi was speaking at a Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) rally about repealing DADT when he asked HRC President Joe Solmonese if he would march to the White House. Chanting protesters clashed with police officers, who had surrounded the gates of the White House with yellow tape.
Actress/comedian/LGBT ally Kathy Griffin, who was in D.C. to meet with federal legislators about repealing DADT, was also at the rally. Choi also asked her if she would march, to which Griffin replied, "Of course!" However, neither Griffin nor Solmonese went to the White House protest.I don't like Kathy, I've never liked her so I'll just bite my tongue because what I have to say wouldn't be kind (though it would be more than fair).
Don't Ask, Don't Tell has got to go. In the hearing today we heard Saxby Chambliss, John McCain and John Thune kept talking about the US being in two wars. Apparently, it's not the time. Now, excuse me, but all three support both wars. And all three will tell you that the two wars haven't made America weaker. But somehow, apparently, the breaking points for those wars would be allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly. Apparently, the US military's on the verge of defeat (surrender?) and the only thing keeping it standing in Kabul and Baghdad. Changing a policy will cause the entire military to sink.
Who knew the US military was so weak? That's apparently what the three senators think. Senator Kay Hagan rightly called out Don't Ask, Don't Tell noting that it doesn't really work that way in most cases. Senator Roland Burris explained the learning curve. If I had more room in the snapshot (and more time) we would have noted some quotes from both of those senators.
The big moment was, absolutely, Carl Levin's expert demolishing of General Sheehan's homophobic assertions. But there were so many other strong moments (from Hagan and Burris, for example) and so many other moments that America needed to know about. They need to know that the Republicans on the Committee, as a group, are dedicated to ensuring that the study finds the policy can't be repealed.
Patrick Kennedy's words last week should not have been met with hostility from the press (though they were). They should have led to a national discussion about what the media's covering and what it's not covering. They should have led to national discussion about priorities. If you missed them, these were US House Rep Kennedy's words on the floor of the House last week:
If anybody wants to know where cynicism is -- cynicism is that there's one, two press people in this gallery. We're talking about Eric Massa twenty-four-seven on the TV. We're talking about war and peace, $3 billion, 1,000 lives and no press? No press? You want to know why the American public is fit? They're fit because they're not seeing their Congress do the work they are sent to do. It's because the press, the press of the United States is not covering the most significant issue of national importance, and that's the laying of lives down in the nation for the service of our country. It's despicable the national press corps right now.
And after today's hearing and Lt Dan Choi and Capt Jim Pietrangelo's brave actions, the news has plenty to cover. But pay attention tomorrow morning and see how much reporting actually makes it to the consumer -- as opposed to gas bagging.
It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)
Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4382. Tonight? 4385. That number should be 4386. There have been four deaths announced starting on Sunday with Reuters noting a Saturday combat death. Two over the weekend, one during the week and one today. That's four. ICCC's count should be 4386. I have little faith in ICCC these days. Since they're upgrade, you can no longer check their monthly totals the way you once could. We may be switching over to DoD which at least notes when they last updated. Their count is 4388.
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i hate the war