Tag: barbara boxer

Senate Somehow Manages NOT to Screw Up DADT Repeal

Saturday, December 18, 2010, The Lame Duck Session:

The Senate took 2 votes today on repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the archaic discriminatory policy against gays from serving openly in the military, leftover from the Clinton administration, which Judge Virginia Phillips found unconstitutional this past September.  

https://docudharma.com/diar…

Both times the Senate voted to repeal DADT.  

First we had the House pass getting rid of DADT as a stand – alone bill last Wednesday the 15th, 250 to 175, on a bill offered by Rep. Patrick Murphy, (D PA who was sadly not re elected) after it was not going anywhere in the Senate as part of a larger bill.

http://content.usatoday.com/co…

The vote to repeal picked up 15 Republicans and lost 15 Democrats, here’s the roll call #638 on Govtrack:

http://www.govtrack.us/congres…

The first “test vote”  in the Senate today was 66 – 33 to get rid of it.

The second vote passed getting rid of DADT by 65 to 31.

That 2nd vote got Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Scott Brown (Mass.)  and George Voinovich of Ohio.

3 Republicans who probably did not like the bill had enough sense to just abstain from voting, as did Vichy Dem Manchin of West Virginia, who helped scuttle it earlier.  Both CA Senators voted for it, the usual Republican Chickenhawk Caucus of NorCal (Lungren, Herger, McClintock) voted against it, of course.

Note that the bill has a weird title, most of them at this point do and are relying on the “and for other purposes” to be able to make it through the House and Senate during the lame duck session.  Roll call here: http://www.senate.gov/legislat…

John McCain of Arizona, the maverickity 2008 GOP Presidential nominee, of course voted against it, proving once again his greatest attribute is acting too old to remember what his stance was on an issue last year.   Some of the Republican Senators are now indicating they would like to scuttle ratifying the START Treaty with Russia on Nuclear safeguarding and disarmament,  because the Senate actually passed something.  It is unknown if they have a secret communications line to the Kremlin or N. Korea,  and are capable of calling in a strike on the remaining Democrats.

The DADT repeal still has to go to the President’s desk for his signature, so we’ll get to see if he adds some sort of signing statement to it, delaying its implementation until several more excuses can be thought up to protect the tender sensibilities of the Marine Corps and the challenges they will face in coming into this century.   Sen. Lindsey Graham (R, SC ), the perpetual and petulant AR reserves JAG who typically spends months crafting bipartisanshipthingee bills in the Senate and then withdraws his support at crunch time, with great glee, accused supporters of caring more about politics than governing the country.

Per Sen. Wyden, nearly 10,000 of the 14,000 soldiers forced out of the military since 1993 were language specialists, and he was alarmed by how many Arabic and Farsi linguists were discharged during this current mid east conflict. Unspoken was the impact this is having on the proceedings at Guantanamo.


http://www.politicsdaily.com/2…

But a change in the law will not automatically change the policy. Rather, the bill stipulates that the policy will only be discarded after the president, the Secretary of Defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that changing it will not hurt the armed services’ readiness, morale or cohesion. After a 60-day review by Congress, the Pentagon is to develop procedures for ending it altogether, a process that could take months or years to complete.

Suppose Your Actions Swung the Election

Imagine if your actions made the difference in electing a Senator, Governor, or Congressional representative? Suppose the phone calls you made, money you donated, doors you knocked on, and conversations you initiated helped swing a critically close race, or two or three. Suppose the friends you dragged to the polls helped America reject the anonymous corporate dollars that threaten to drown our democracy?

You’d feel pretty good, I believe, at least about your own efforts. So why aren’t more of us doing everything we can from now through the election to ensure the best possible outcome?  In 2008, millions of people reached deep and then deeper to stake our time, money, and hearts on the possibility of change. We knew it was a critical election, and helped carry Obama and the Democrats to victory.  Now, too many of us feel burned and disillusioned, with dashed hopes. We’ve lost the habit of being engaged. The election seems someone else’s problem. We doubt what we do will matter–for this round or in general.

DADT: Judge Phillips issues her injunction

Judge Virginia A Phillips, US District Court, Central District of CA,  has issued an injunction which halts enforcement of the Pentagon’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, after ruling it unconstitutional last month on Sept 9, .

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…


http://miamiherald.typepad.com…

“This order from Judge Phillips is another historic and courageous step in the right direction, a step that Congress has been noticeably slow in taking,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans. “While this is certainly news to be celebrated, we would also advise caution in advance of a potential stay from the Ninth Circuit. If the appellate court wishes to put itself on the right side of history, however, it will allow this sound and long-over due decision to remain in effect.”

From the injunction ruling itself: (pdf download  http://www.ServicemembersUnite…  )


(3) Orders Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of Defense immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have commenced under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Act, or pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 654 or its implementing regulations, on or prior to the date of this judgement.

(4) Grants Plaintiff Log Cabin Republican’s request to apply for attorney’s fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. 2412  

(5) GRANTS Plaintiff Log Cabin Republicans’ request to file a motion for costs of suit, to the extent allowed by law.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Virginia A Phillips

United States District Judge

dated October 12, 2010

A writeup yesterday from Law.com thinks that the Obama administration will continue to defend DADT, instead of letting the policy just die,  while waiting for  Congress to further write a new law, Sec of Defense Gates to complete his “study and survey,” and the Supreme Court to eventually issue their opinion on the appeal.

Senators Gillibrand and Udall have sent a public letter urging Attorney General Eric Holder not to appeal, saying such could hold back Congress further.


http://www.law.com/jsp/article…

Still, several signs indicate that the Obama administration plans to continue to defend Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. When asked about the government’s next move, Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said in an e-mailed statement to The National Law Journal: “The Justice Department is defending the statute, as it traditionally does when acts of Congress are challenged.”

The Justice Department already has filed an opposition to a proposed permanent injunction that would bar enforcement of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell worldwide. In it, the government said that an injunction, if granted, should be limited to members of the Log Cabin Republicans.

If Phillips grants the injunction, the government could ask the 9th Circuit for a stay pending any appeal and for a stay to be granted, said Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law. “If she enters a permanent injunction without a stay of appeal, it will seem like a power grab,” he said of Phillips. “The 9th Circuit won’t look kindly upon it.”

As I pointed out previously, the Log Cabin Republicans are Republicans, and to limit the stay of this discriminatory law to their group, says that the US Constitution is not political party neutral,  and the Obama Administration thinks only Republicans are qualified to deserve civil rights and equal protection under the law. Another lawyer in the article pointed out there is a tendency for the judiciary to “defer” to the military.  The last time I looked, there is absolutely nothing in the Constitution which stated that military service can only be performed by members of one specific political party.   The Commander in Chief is still an elected civilian position, no party specified, at least in stated law.  Membership qualifications in a political party to obtain full benefit of the law, even military law, reeks of codified bribery.

The solution is obvious, the Attorney General of the U.S. should not appeal this ruling, to do otherwise implies Justice is for Sale, and our military forces are open to the highest bidder vying for the attention of one of 100 Senators.  This becomes an issue of national sovereignty.  Let DADT die.  Its time has passed.  

previous diaries on this:

Holder’s DOJ Attorneys Behaving Badly, File Objection on Dadt overturn

https://docudharma.com/diar…

DADT Overturned, How Hard Will Obama Admin Defend It ?

https://docudharma.com/diar…

Holder’s DOJ Attorneys Behaving Badly, File Objection on DADT Overturn

Two weeks ago, I asked whether or not the Obama administration’s Department of Justice under Eric Holder would seek to thwart the ruling of Judge Virginia Phillips, when she ruled on 9/9/10 that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the military’s antiqued discharge policy used against gay people, was unconstitutional.  The lawsuit was brought by the Log Cabin Republicans, who won the ruling on the grounds of freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the ability to petition the government for the redress of grievances-  the good, old fashioned stuff.

https://docudharma.com/diar…

Since then, the Democrats in the Senate made another one of their feeble, half hearted attempts at accomplishing something meaningful and legally correct, and of course, failed, after 3 of their alleged Dem caucus bailed on them during a cloture vote to get an amendment to get rid of DADT tucked into the latest DOD spending bill for FY 2011.

Here’s the roll call on that pathetic 56 to 43 vote.   http://www.senate.gov/legislat…

Judge Phillips said in her ruling that she intended to issue an injunction to stop enforcement of DADT,  yesterday, the Obama Administration’s Dept of Justice Filed An Objection to Overturning DADT, and even said that the Judge would be overstepping her bounds if she did it.  

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.c…

“A court should not compel the executive to implement an immediate cessation of the 17-year-old policy without regard for any effect such an abrupt change might have on the military’s operations, particularly at a time when the military is engaged in combat operations and other demanding military activities around the globe,” federal attorneys said in their objection.

Department of Justice officials declined to comment further.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tried to pretend this was not backpedaling on that fierce advocacy for equal rights that was mentioned in the 2008 campaign.  Instead he tried to blame Congress, via an email, sent to the Associated Press.   Odd that he said “this clearly shows why Congress must end this policy.”   Because Congress is thought of as the House, and the House has its act together on this and would vote for it.  It’s the Senate, and more specifically a Democratic Majority Senate that is at fault,  that has decided a man or a woman in some states  gets to have 2 and 2/3 Senators, while the rest of the country only gets 1 and 1/3 Senator, every time they insist on a 60 vote majority to decide any procedure.

One potential solution to this would be for every person in the military who this policy impacts to immediately declare themselves a member of the   Log Cabin Republicans, since Judge Phillips could limit the injunction to them and not upset Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice…..  too much during an election season.   I’m not recruiting for them, but it looks like President Obama is confused about that equal protection under the law Konstitooshunal bipartisanshipthingee again.   I would love to see the Judge smack down more doofus crap from any administration who is telling her that the military members have to belong to the Republican Party to have equal protection, wouldn’t you ?

And of course,

Back in April in CA at the Boxer fundraiser

Back in April at the White House

Last year in DC , Oct 2009

They say that this country is free, and they say that this country is equal, It is not equal if it is “some times”

Aside from the legal and moral issues, since this is the height of campaign season, and the President is running around the country doing million dollar fundraisers for some of these Senatorial candidates, let’s say what they fear the most:

Don’t Equalize, Don’t Pay to Play.

Because there is nothing more obnoxious that watching the current spectacle of the Senate Democrat’s Villain Rotation being used as an extortion tool.  

[UPDATED @ 10:30pm] National Nurses United Rally for Nursing-Ratio Limits

cross-posted from Sum of Change

About 1,000 nurses, with a handful of doctors mixed in, rallied today on Capitol Hill for National Nurses Week to “press the case for moving beyond insurance reform to improving the quality of care in U.S. hospitals and other healthcare settings.”

Lt.Choi & 5 More Chain Selves to WH Fence, Day After Prez Heckled in CA

Remember when Sen. Barbara Boxer of CA said

“Elections Have Consequences”  ?

So do “unfulfilled for no good reason” campaign promises.

Last night, at a Los Angeles fundraiser for her re election, President Obama was heckled by protesters in the crowd.

Dave Dayen at FDL has the story, video link, and a partial transcript:

http://news.firedoglake.com/20…

InhoFAIL insults Boxer: “Get a Life”, then celebrates his own ignorance

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    Call it “Pollution denying”, or “Reality Denying”, it’s all the same to the Professional Liars who are Senate Republicans.

    In a touchdown celebration of “told you so” that is the equivalent of blowing your ACL while dancing after a homerun that went foul, Inhofe proceeds to insult the esteemed Senator from California, Barbara Boxer, by saying “We Won, You Lost, Get a Life.”

    This is what a stupid dick does, he gloats. The fact that he is dead wrong and corrupt just makes it worse.

    Except climate change is FACT, you didn’t win and you’re a stupid towel, James InhoFAIL.

    A transcript and more below the fold.

A Bridge to Somewhere-Supporting the Kerry-Boxer Bill and Reclaiming Our Democracy

Since I live in the DC metro area, I attended the rally last Wednesday at which the Clean Energy, Jobs and American Power Act (CEJAPA) was unveiled. Those of you who haven’t read summaries or analysis of this legislation yet should check out both RLMiller’s diary and Senator Kerry’s diary about CEJAPA.  I’ll say straight out that it’s not a perfect bill, but it’s a bill I’m happy to support. Its emissions reduction targets are better than those in the House bill, it includes more funding for clean transportation, and, very importantly, it states that the EPA has the authority to regulate carbon pollution. But analysis of the bill has already been diaried, and, to quote “Alice’s Restaurant,” it’s not what I’m here to tell you about.  I’m here to talk about the first indications of a political sea-change.

At the rally, I was struck by something remarkable.  Democratic senators were speaking to us, their progressive base, and asking us to help provide the grassroots pressure needed to get a climate bill through the rocky terrain of the Senate.  Now, politicians from the Democratic wing of the Democratic party have asked for our support before, but this was different.  It wasn’t just one or two left-wing senators addressing us, but a coalition which included some folks who usually don’t talk to us much-and they were asking us, essentially, to do the same thing we’ve done for the public option for this climate change legislation.  Imagine how different the debate on health care would have been over the past few months if Democratic politicians had come to us in April and asked us to mount a grassroots campaign in support of clear policy goals.  They didn’t, which is a shame.  But now, on the issue of climate change, they are.

Folks, we have finally gotten their attention.  The remarkable job that slinkerwink, Jane, nyceve, and others have done to keep the public option alive has finally made it occur to more than a few Dems that we’re good in a fight-and, perhaps, that we’re bad to ignore.  Rather than attempting to placate us by throwing us a few bones, then treating us like Typhoid Mary, which has been the MO of most elected Democrats since the late 80s, these Democrats are treating us as useful allies.  There is a door opening here between Washington and the grassroots, and we need to wedge it open with a brick and march right through.  

So, on behalf of The Carrots and Sticks Project, I am announcing the launch of our campaign to support the Kerry-Boxer bill.  We are calling it the Swing States to Green States Campaign, and we are beginning with a petition, which the members of Carrots and Sticks will hand-deliver to senators, calling on them to support CEJAPA.  Please click through and sign this petition, and spread the word to your friends to do the same.

Support CEJAPA!

We need to do this for the sake of CEJAPA’s goal:  to reduce carbon emissions and birth the new green economy.  But we also need to do this for the sake of another goal, one that brings to fruition the vision of our guiding light Howard Dean:  to take back our party and our country.

Our power is growing, the need is great, and we must act now.

Considered Forthwith: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

Welcome to the 16th installment of “Considered Forthwith.”

This weekly series looks at the various committees in the House and the Senate. Committees are the workshops of our democracy. This is where bills are considered, revised, and occasionally advance for consideration by the House and Senate. Most committees also have the authority to exercise oversight of related executive branch agencies.

Well, DK Greenworks week has come and gone, but the group lives on. Click the link and join us. In keeping with the green theme, this week I examine the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Baucus is only the Symptom of a much more Chronic Condition

Did you Vote for Change?

for Accountability; for leveling the playing field; for National Health Care?

Well, your vote apparently doesn’t carry as much weight as it use to.

Here’s one of the main reasons why:

U.S. Democracy Under Siege — Senate Debate Excerpts

Excerpts from the Congressional Record of the October 14, 1999 Senate debate.

The following is a tabulation, for clarity, of the figures cited by Mr. Feingold:

1980 1992 1996
Total soft money contributions to parties ($millions) under 20 86 about 250
# of donors giving over $200,000 52 219
# of donors giving over $300,000 20 120
# of donors giving over $400,000 13 79
# of donors giving over $500,000 9 50
# of companies giving over $150,000 to each of the political parties (“double givers”) 7 43

 (emphasis added)

http://urielw.com/campfin.htm

There has been a tidal wave taking place, that threatens to swamp our fragile system of Democracy.  Indeed it probably already has …

The System Is Working On Torture

So now we have vented, we were appalled at the evil of the Bybee memo and the other memos justifying state sponsored torture of prisoners. Here on the internet our outrage has flared and been shared. This is an important aspect as we must make it clear how seriously the people of the Untied States take this issue, but now it is time to pull back a little. Now it might sound funny for the Dog to be saying this especially after the letter he wrote to the President yesterday, but let the old hound explain a little and you will see where he is going.

Cross posted at Square State

Considered Forthwith: House and Senate Ethics Committees

I’ll be posting this over on Daily Kos and Congress Matters tomorrow night. I wanted to give Docudharma the first preview.

Also crossposted at my own blog (for my ten or so regular readers).

Welcome to the fourth installment of “Considered Forthwith.”

This approximately weekly series looks at the various committees in the House and the Senate. Committees are the workshops of our democracy. This is where bills are considered, revised, and occasionally advance for consideration by the House and Senate. Most committees also have the authority to exercise oversight of related executive branch agencies. If you want to read previous dairies in the series, search using the “forthwith” tag or use the link on my blogroll. I welcome criticisms and corrections in the comments.

This week, Considered Forthwith will examine both the House Committee on Standards and Official Conduct and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. These are two small committees with no standing subcommittees. For the sake of ease, I will refer to the two committees as the “House Ethics Committee” and the “Senate Ethics Committee.”  

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