Today's serving of dumbsauce

It looks like the brass are behind getting rid of the military's antiquated Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Via HuffPo:

The military's top uniformed officer on Tuesday made an impassioned plea for allowing gays to serve openly in uniform, telling a Senate panel it was a matter of integrity and that it is wrong to force people to "lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."

The comments by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, set the stage for the military's yearlong study into how the ban can repealed without causing a major upheaval to the fighting forces.

Well, that should do it, right? The Commander in Chief, Secretary of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are on board, so what's the problem?

The problem is that John McCain appears determined to shred the last tattered remains of my respect for him, that's what. (One more reason to be sincerely grateful to Cindy McCain.)
Arizona Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the committee, icily told Gates he was disappointed in his position. In sharp questioning, McCain angrily suggested that the Pentagon was usurping Congress' job in rewriting the law should it choose to do so.

"Has this policy been ideal? No, it has not," McCain said. "But it has been effective."

Pardon me while I beat my head against a wall. Effective??!??! Effective at what? What specific effect has this law had, other than allowing America's homophobes a place where they can tell themselves there are no gays. Has it made America safer? If so, how? "Effective," my eye.

McCain's fellow Republicans covered themselves in glory.
Mullen looked pained when Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., suggested that Mullen had preordained the outcome of any study of the wisdom of repeal by signaling his own opposition to the ban.

"This is about leadership, and I take that very, very seriously," Mullen replied, tightlipped.

Several other Republicans sided with McCain, warning Mullen and Gates not to pursue a change at a time when the United States is fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and facing a continuing threat of terrorism. Democrats said they would back a change in policy.

Because, once you allow gays to serve openly, they'll be too busy doing each other's hair in the midst of battle to shoot the enemy. Lord knows, there are no decorated gay combat veterans.

For a particularly well-written response to this embarrassing claptrap, over to D.B. Grady at Casa de Ambinder:
[A]ssuming President Obama is successful in leading the charge for a policy change, the only real question is what will it look like from a solder's perspective. Contrary to naysayers, the United States military is institutionally prepared today - at this very moment - for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The Department of Defense has long established a robust Military Equal Opportunity program, which quite effectively protects service members from discrimination based on gender, race, religion or national origin.

But... but what about those wars we're fighting? Surely the flood of fey, effete homosexuals (because surely we all agree that gays are nothing if not fey and effete) will cause our wars to descend into a nightmare of tickle fights and drag shows!
A good NCO, in the interests of both unit cohesion and simple human dignity, can make such arrangements with ease. If all else fails, the United States need only look to her allied nations for guidance on policy. Homosexuality is not without western military precedent. Of the Coalition of the Willing that invaded Iraq in 2003, only the United States forbade homosexuals from serving without fear. Of the NATO International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan, the United States joined a small minority of nations banning gays, including Jordan, Turkey, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, staunch allies such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Poland continue to fight with no regard to sexual preference.

Well, there's your trouble. Were it not for those Polish gays lousing up our war in Afghanistan, Kabul would have an NFL expansion team by now. Curse you, homosexuals!!

Switching off my "irony" function (something that comes standard on all current model gays) can't we all just agree that DADT is a disgrace? By "we," of course I mean "people whose social attitudes are in keeping with the correct century," a category that apparently does not include Senate Republicans.

Update: Whoops-a-daisy! It appears that Sen. Straight-Talk Express (no pun intended there, friends) apparently doesn't remember his saner stance from three short years ago.


  1. What is particularly obnoxious is that McCain has been running around for years saying he supports the position because it is what the military brass wants. I am sure he will hunt for any military (or even ex-military) to give him cover, "look, former Private Caleh Smith from Arkansas says he doesn't want to serve with openly gay people so what can I do but agree with him."

    I imagine now, regardless of the law, we will stop seeing enforcement, and gay service members won't be discharged.


  2. By the way, gj, in response to your previous stupidity about DADT, it is Federal Law. US Code 10 Subtitle G section 654. Look it up. Obama can't overturn law with a stroke of the pen, so stop criticising something that is not within the power of the President to do. Your utter ignorance is astounding. Only Congress can repeal it and Obama sign the new bill into law (or the Court can rule DADT Unconstitutional), Obame can't change it on his own. At most, they will stop active enforcement.


  3. charo, I am sure you will be thrilled to learn that a study, released last May by the Palm Center, written by a team of military law experts concluded the President has the legal authority to end discharges under DADT by executive order. There are three legal avenues available; the President's power under 10 USC section 12305 to suspend certain laws relating to military separation, the ability under DADT for the SecDef to define the procedure for separation under DADT, and that DADT does not require separation unless a finding is made. Here's the link

    Palm Center Release

    No need to thank me. Your silence will say it all.

  4. For those non-believers in the power of the pen to end DADT.... President Obama is called, "The Commander In Chief". He (The President),can with a stroke of the pen, order the military to wear red tutu's if he wants. He can also with a stroke of the same pen order DADT to be ignored and declare it null and void. He is not some 3rd world dictator, he is the President and has the ultimate say in our armed forces. How do you thing "W" got us out of Afghanistan and into Iraq? The congress never voted for us to go to war in Iraq. The president did it with a stroke of his pen. Have you ever heard of a signing statement? Under "W" there were some 300 used by him to ignore the laws that Congress passed. A president in a signing statement may declare he does not have to abide by what the congress passes if he feels it has an adverse effect upon his constitutional rights as president. Before anyone goes further in trying to convince veterans of what the military can and cannot do under the Commander In Chief I suggest a lot of reading on the subject. We, (my partner and I) are veteran's unlike many who read and comment on many blogs, so we have some inkling what it is like to serve and protect our country while being Gay in the military. (And in a time of armed conflict.) Would we have preferred otherwise? The answer is yes but we still served, kept our heads low, earned the respect of our peers and superiors and received honorable discharges. Oh yes we were able to take advantage of the GI Bill and receive an education. Was it worth the cost of our dignity? I cannot honestly answer in the affirmative but it did give us opportunity. As veterans, we were at one time allowed to receive treatment at the VA for medical issues but under Ronald Regan they were eliminated. Amazing is it not? Another R president who wrapped himself and his party in the Flag would cut benefits to veterans. When the R's talk about patriotism they are speaking through their A$$. Last evening I watched the news and listened to Saxby Chambliss rail against DADT repeal. Another true American Phony. You can expect the same as all the other R's, most of whom were never veterans of an armed conflict. Hell they were never even a clerk at some base in Montana. One last thing: The R's say now is not the time while we at war. Has anyone but me noticed that we are always at war? It is the one thing we love to do.

  5. The Congress never voted for us to go to war in Iraq

    The 107th Congress passed Joint Resolution 114 authorizing the use of the US military in Iraq, explicitly recognizing that the Resolution was consistent with the War Powers Act.

    When Rs talk of patriotism they are speaking through their A$$

    You impugn the patriotism of those who disagree with you without the slightest sense of irony. Do they teach a course in this at Leftist U?

    Yes, and Pres. Obama uses t

  6. gj, your rebuttal repeats what I said he could do, which is to stop enforcement? The law is on the books, the next President can go right back to enforcing the law if he wants, he can not repeal it by a stroke of the pen. In addition, Obama ran specifically against doing end runs around Congress by, and I quote such actions "should not be used to suggest that the President will disregard statutory requirements on the basis of policy disagreements." How is that for non-silence? If he did it, you would be scream he broke his campaign promise not to do so. There is no winning with the likes of you.
    Now if you want to argue he should push the law to be repealed harder, you have no argument with me, but enough of the bullshit. The President does not have the authority to repeal the bill.


  7. Uncle jim, you have zero argument with me that Obama should stop active enforcement, but to me that is not enough. I want the bill repealed, I want full equality in the Armed forces for gays, I don't want any temporary fixes that the next Republican President will overturn. Once the forces are fully integrated, there will be no going back.

    gj, look up the difference between Nationalism and Patriotism. Uncle Jim is right, these assholes are not Patriots because Patriots believe in Liberty and Freedom something they seek to deny (and for scum like Chambliss) have denied for millions of Americans. How can you call someone a Patriot who seeks to deny freedom for others?


  8. one last thing gj, Uncle Jim served and Chambliss didn't. Who the hell are you to suggest he doesn't have the right to knock Chambliss? Uncle Jim deserves the respect and honor that comes with being a Veteran. It is Chambliss who should be ashamed. Why are you sticking up for the likes of him? Did you learn that at KKK U?

  9. I agree with our fearless lead blogger that repeal of the law by Congress is by far the best solution. Having said that, President Obama promised to put a dog in the fight, and to date, he's sicced a chihuahua on Congress to do something. I expected more from the man who would heal the planet and halt the oceans' rise, but as always, YMMV.

    Speaking of Pres. Obama, I do recall Candidate Obama's harsh words about signing statments, saying he would not use them to end run Congress. Of course, Pres. Obama routinely issues signing statments and has provoked the Finance Committees' senior Democrats to complain about his flouting of laws passed by Congress. Par for his course; all of Obama's promises come with an expiration date.

    As far as questioning the patriotism of those who seek to deny freedom to others, that would make Pres. Obama unpatriotic when he seeks to deny me freedom to control my own body and medical choices, no? Or his hectoring the Supremes to deny me the freedom to join with others to engage in public political speech about political campaigns.

    UJ can call Sen. Chambliss every name in the book, that is his right. Of course, then he (and you) can't complain about others who do the same to his side without being a hypocrite.

  10. when has obama sought to deny you freedom to control your own body or medical decisions, point out the specific legislation where that happens? And I had no idea you were a corporation, which is what the ruling was about, it has noting to do with citizens joining together for political purposes, for heaven's sake, have you never seen a political rally? Pretty mealy mouthed way you expressed the ruling, par for the course from the likes of you. The Tillman act was enacted in 1907 because of the pernicious effects of corporation spending, so spare me that we have been living in tyranny for a century plus.

    As to signing statements, Obama has done 7 (hardly routine) and have been about topics like this: H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
    H.R. 1105, the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009
    H.R. 146, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009
    S. 386, the "Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009"

    2009-05 H.R. 131, an act establishing the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission
    (P.L. 111-25)
    H.R. 2346, the "Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009"
    2009-08 S. 475, the "Military Spouses Residency Relief Act"
    (P.L. 111-97)
    Oh, the horrors. And have you read the signing statements? No end runs around Congress, this is just simply boilerplate politics.

    Here is an example: Statement on Signing the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act
    June 2, 2009
    Today I am pleased today to sign into law, H.R. 131, which will create a Ronald Reagan
    Centennial Commission with the responsibility to plan, develop, and carry out activities to
    honor Ronald Reagan on the 100th anniversary of his birth. It is fitting that the life of our 40th
    President be commemorated on this occasion. The bill provides that the Commission will be
    composed of the Secretary of the Interior, four individuals whom I will appoint after
    considering the recommendations of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Foundation,
    and six members of Congress appointed by the congressional leadership. I wholeheartedly
    welcome the participation of members of Congress in the activities of the Commission. In
    accord with President Reagan's Signing Statement made upon signing similar commemorative
    legislation in 1983, I understand, and my Administration has so advised the Congress, that the
    members of Congress "will be able to participate only in ceremonial or advisory functions of
    [such a] Commission, and not in matters involving the administration of the act" in light of the
    separation of powers and the Appointments and Ineligibility Clauses of the Constitution
    (Public Papers of the President, Ronald Reagan, Vol. II, 1983, page 1390).

    Oh, how dare he write this? I had no idea you hated Reagan so, I thought you worshiped his as a God.

    Bush did 26 in his first year alone. And his were to do an end run around Congress. Obama has done one whose provisions on the law he called questionable, "Numerous provisions of the legislation purport to condition the authority of officers to spend or reallocate funds on the approval of congressional committees. These are impermissible forms of legislative aggrandizement in the execution of the laws other than by enactment of statutes. . . . Yet another provision requires the Secretary of the Treasury to accede to all requests of a Board of Trustees that contains congressional representatives. The Secretary shall treat such requests as nonbinding" which the Supreme Court has ruled previously as impermissible in INS vs. Chada since it gave a Congressional Veto via a route other than Statute. Now we can argue about the text of his signing statement as to whether Congress has the right to do so than by statute, but it is a valid question. He is not disregarding statute like Bush did.

    So much for Obama's broken promises. This is classic gj, all assertion, no evidence.

    Show me where in any signing statements, which are mostly junk politics like the Reagan one, where he has disregarded a single statue.


  11. charo, ObamaCare would turn my healthcare over to DC bureaucrats. They run the TSA, the Post Office, FEMA, and ICE. I'm sure ObamaCare would be run with the same level of competence and sensitivity, and the proposed Deat^H^H^H^H Life Panels would so be willing to let me and my doctor decide what my medical options would be.

    If a few dozen friends and I want to pool our money to buy a newspaper ad for an election, we'd almost certainly be required to form a corporation to do so, in which case, we couldn't run the ad.

    My count is 8, but why quibble? 7 statements in 12 months is hardly the exception. Candidate Obama ridiculed signing statements; Pres. Obama likes them. I did mention that Obey, Franks, Lowrey, and Meeks, all Ds, chastised Pres. Obama for his signing statement regarding funding for the IMF back in July, in which Pres. Obama declared his unwillingness to follow Congressional restrictions on funding the IMF. It is obvious that a signing statement can express approval for cats frolicking in May; please try and pay attention to the controversial ones.

  12. gj, did I not mention the controversial signing statement and how the Supreme Court has ruled previously such spending restrictions as impermissible in INS vs. Chada? I gotta say, that is pretty reprehensible on your part to imply I hadn't. If I had only brought up the Reagan statement, then you would have had a point, but you are a jackass for ignoring my explicit mention and mocking me as though it were not there. The "please try and pay attention to the controversial ones." was completely unfounded and shows just how loathsome you can be.
    Obama did not ridicule signing statements, he ridiculed Bush's using them to disregard statutory law. President George W. Bush abused the signing statement by declaring that he would ignore congressional intent on more than 1,200 sections of bills, easily a record. I won't say that all were without merit, I am sure there were multiple instances that Congress overstepped its authority, but Bush abused it himself.

    Obama has done it but a handful of times, and not a one wherein he is disregarding an express statute (unconstitutional statutes are stuck down by the Supreme Court, and not by signing statements) directives by Congress are not statutes (such as the Congressional management of executive disbursements of funds, Congress can approve or deny the funds, likewise Congress can approve or deny funds to the military, they can't issue battlefield commands)

    Why are you so bipolar, it is always one thing or the other, Obama criticizes Bush's 1,200 signing statements, therefore he can't do 1? Try to focus on reality. You can criticize some of his signing statements, that is fine, but stick to those facts and explain to me why he was wrong in, for example, pointing out that Congressional directives that were already struck down by the Supreme Court should now be considered binding to him? Tell me how INS vs. Chada was wrong.


  13. Whoopsie, you are correct, I did miss your mention of that. I regret implying you did not do so.

  14. ok fair enough. As I said, you would have been justified busting me if I didn't have it, if it is an honest mistake then fine.
    And as I also said, you certainly can criticize the contents of some of his statements, that is fair game too.