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“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Still Alive And Well



Reports of the death of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are greatly exaggerated.

Despite yesterday’s historic passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the Murphy Amendment, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal compromise that will now be attached to the Defense Authorization Bill, and passage of a similar amendment in the U.S. Senate’s Armed Services Committee, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is, in fact, alive and well, and will be responsible for hundreds more discharges before its possible demise, thanks, in part, to the efforts of Senator John McCain and the military’s foot-dragging and unquenchable desire for power and control.

The fact of the matter is, (regardless of what you may have read or heard,) that even if and when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed, and months — or years — later, if and when the military decides how and when, and to what degree, to implement the DADT repeal, repealing the law that is “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” does not remove the policy nor the practice of discrimination or military discharges for homosexuality or homosexual conduct.

There will still be nothing in writing, no non-discrimination clause or policy, that forces the military to not discriminate against a person’s sexual orientation or sexual identity. There is, in essence, no ENDA for the military.

And remember, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was a policy before it was enshrined into law in 1993. Behaviors are hard to change, especially after decades of use.

So, issue one: The military will be able to discriminate against someone’s sexual orientation if and when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed and implemented.

Issue two: With the signing into law of the Defense Authorization Bill, with the attached “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal compromise amendment, the military will have been given total control to decide when to implement the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, how to implement the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, and to what degree to implement the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

The military could, and there have been hints that it will, take its time, and take years to fully implement the policy. Last year, Secretary Gates strongly mentioned the military took five years to implement racial integration.

The military chiefs, such as Gates and Mullen, who spoke intelligently, bravely, and with courage in front of Congress months ago to support ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” may be a plus, but Senator John McCain, in his despicable politicking attempt to defeat Tea Party wing-nut J.D. Hayworth, has managed to get on record the heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Marines, saying they are “opposed [to] legislative action at this time.” So, now that they’ve lost ground on this point, they’ll be none-too supportive going into the process if the Defense Authorization bill is signed into law.

(And speaking of “if the Defense Authorization bill is signed into law,” Towleroad, via Politico, today reports yet another snag: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Threatened By Obama Veto Of Defense Bill Over Engine Funding Item. One more bump on the road.)

Oh yeah, and there is that small item of McCain threatening to filibuster the Defense Authorization bill as well, when it actually comes up for a vote this summer, because of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” amendment.

One has to ask, as Justin Elzie (the first Marine to come out under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”) mentioned to me, why is the Pentagon putting so much weight on this as-yet unfinished study to determine if — oops — when and how, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be repealed? And, since this study is being funded by your tax dollars, will the American people be privy to the full, unedited report? Or, will the Pentagon cherry-pick and make public the parts they like best? Or, none at all…

(Pam Spaulding of “Pam’s House Blend” tweeted today, “Asked Gates’ Sp. Asst Michelle Jones about #DADT Pentagon Study. She said, smiling, “you’ll see some surprising things in it.” The mind reels…)

One also must ask, how on God’s green earth can an LGBTQ group, such as GOProud state, “Congress should not be involved in micro-managing military personnel decisions. Those decisions should be made by our military leaders – not by opportunistic politicians.

Granted, GOProud supports the repeal compromise, but only because it does what we all fear: it grants total control to the military, the very organization that has, for centuries, discriminated against its own gay and lesbian servicemembers.

So, equality in military service is being threatened by John McCain in the Senate, along with the entire lock-step GOP, a potential filibuster on an as-yet un-scheduled Senate Defense Authorization Bill vote, the service chiefs’ “insubordination,” an un-finished “study,” the Pentagon’s lust for power and control, a threatened presidential veto of the entire bill over funding of two fighter engines, a president unwilling to twist arms for LGBTQ rights, a media giving false hope via misleading headlines, and, ultimately, the granting to the Pentagon free-range to determine when, how, and, essentially, if, to implement the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

Yes, make no mistake: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is alive and well. The fight is far from over. In fact, the fight has just begun.

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‘I’m Broke’: One Day Before Shutdown and With No Plan McCarthy Says He Has ‘Nothing’ in His ‘Back Pocket’



Just 30 hours before his own Republican conference likely will have succeeded in shutting down the federal government of the United States, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy candidly admitted to reporters he’s run out of ideas.

Earlier Friday in an “embarrassing failure,” 21 House Republicans killed legislation from their own party, a short-term continuing resolution, that would have kept the federal government open.

Later on Friday afternoon, swarmed by reporters, McCarthy was asked if he was going to tell them what his plans are. He sarcastically replied, “No, I’m going to keep it all a secret.”

When pressed, he said he would “keep working, and make sure we solve this problem.”

“What’s in your back pocket, Speaker?” another reporter asked, pressing him for an answer.

“Nothing right now. I’m broke,” he admitted, apparently referring to options and ideas to avoid a shutdown.

READ MORE: ‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert

But another reporter asked Speaker McCarthy the main question: Would he partner with House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to put the Senate’s bill before the House.

He refused to answer.

Just before 5 PM CNN’s Manu Raju reported on the ongoing House Republicans’ closed-door meeting with the Speaker, a meeting where the 21 Republicans who will likely be effectively responsible for the shutdown reportedly did not attend.

“McCarthy is telling [Republicans] now there aren’t many options to avoid a shutdown, according to sources in room. He says they can approve GOP’s stop-gap plan that failed, accept Senate plan, put a ‘clean’ stop-gap on floor to dare Democrats to block it — or shut down the government.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

He adds, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) largely responsible for the impending likely shutdown and the impending possible ouster of McCarthy said: “We will not pass a continuing resolution on terms that continue America’s decline.”

At midnight Saturday Republicans will likely have succeeded in furloughing 3.5 million million federal workers – two million of them service members in the U.S. Armed Forces – and countless contractors, while financially harming untold thousands of businesses that rely on income from all those workers to keep running – unless Speaker McCarthy puts a bipartisan continuing resolution approved by at least 75 U.S. Senators on the floor, legislation every House Democrat is likely to vote for.

Should he do so, many believe he will have also signed his own pink slip.

But whether or not the government shuts down, and whether or not McCarthy puts the Senate’s CR on the floor, according to The Washington Post the far right extremists in his party are already moving to oust him “as early as next week.”

The Biden campaign is making certain Americans realize the blame for the impending shutdown sits at McCarthy’s feet.

At 6:23 PM Friday evening, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman wrote on social media: “HOUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE NO PLAN TO KEEP GOVERNMENT OPEN.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert



The first of 19 co-defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO and election interference case against Donald Trump has pleaded guilty in what is being described as a “plea deal.”

“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”

CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”

Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”

See the graphic above or at this link.


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Far-Right Republicans Kill GOP Bill to Keep Government Running in ‘Embarrassing Failure’ for McCarthy: Report



With a shutdown less than 36 hours away, far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon voted against their party’s own legislation to kept the federal government running. Democrats opposed the content of the bill and voted against it. Just 21 far-right members of the GOP conference were able to effectively force what appears to be an all but inevitable shutdown at midnight on Saturday.

“HARDLINE HOUSE RS take down stopgap funding bill. 21 GOP no votes. 232-198,” reported Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman just before 2 PM Friday.

NBC News reported that a “band of conservative rebels on Friday revolted and blocked House Republicans’ short-term funding bill to keep the government open, delivering a political blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and likely cementing the chances of a painful government shutdown that is less than 48 hours away.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

“Twenty-one rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a conservative bomb-thrower and a top Donald Trump ally, voted Friday afternoon to scuttle the 30-day funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, leaving Republicans without a game plan to avert a shutdown. The vote failed,” NBC added. “The embarrassing failure of the GOP measure once again highlights the dilemma for McCarthy as his hard-liners strongly oppose a short-term bill even if it includes conservative priorities. It leaves Congress on a path to a shutdown, with no apparent offramp to avoiding it — or to quickly reopen the government.”

A bipartisan group of at least 75 U.S. Senators has passed two bills this week that would keep the government running. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote.




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