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DOUBLE-GAY BREAKING NEWS:
DOMA & DADT

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 5:20 pm - October 12, 2010.
Filed under: Gay Politics

Via Chris Geidner at MetroWeekly.

DADT National Injunction Declared by Federal Judge

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips has suspended enforcement of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy as a result of her earlier opinion in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States that the policy is unconstitutional.

Ordering the government “immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding” begun under DADT, Phillips’s permanent injunction is about as broad an order as she could have issued in the case.

The government has 60 days — until Monday, December 13, because the 60th day falls on a weekend — to appeal the trial court decision. In the interim, the government could seek a stay of Phillips’s decision from Phillips, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit or, ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court.

Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United and a plaintiff in the case, said in a statement, “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.”

Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese called for the administration not to appeal Phillips’s ruling.

“The administration should comply with her order and stop enforcing this unconstitutional, unconscionable law that forces brave lesbian and gay Americans to serve in silence,” he said. “The President has said this law harms our national security and we believe it would be a mistake to appeal the decision. Each additional day that this unjust law remains in force is one more day the federal government is complicit in discrimination.”

Obama Justice Department to Appeal DOMA Ruling

In a move expected by most legal observers, the U.S. Department of Justice this afternoon filed notices of appeal in two cases striking down the federal definition of marriage, contained in the Defense of Marriage Act, as unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro had ruled on July 8 in the cases, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services, that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional on several grounds, finding that the marriage definition violated the equal protection and due process guarantees, as well as the Spending Clause and Tenth Amendment.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, which argued the Gill case on behalf of the plaintiffs, issued a statement moments after the government’s filing.

“We fully expected an appeal and are more than ready to meet it head on,” Mary L. Bonauto, GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director, said in the statement. “DOMA brings harm to families like our plaintiffs every day, denying married couples and their children basic protections like health insurance, pensions, and Social Security benefits. We are confident in the strength of our case.”

The filing of the notice means that the record of the trial court case will be sent to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Once the record is complete, DOJ will have 40 days to file its brief. GLAD or Massachusetts, depending on the case, will then have 30 days to file its brief. The government then has 14 days to file a reply brief.

So Obama must be a bigot for supporting the Constitutionality of DOMA, right?  I mean if you don’t support gay marriage you are labeled a “bigot”.  Consistency, people!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

LA Happy Hour for GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia; Sun. 10/17

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:43 pm - October 12, 2010.
Filed under: GOProud,LA Stories

To welcome GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia to Los Angeles this weekend, join us at a Happy Hour this coming Sunday, October 17 at 5:30 PM. E-mail me for details.

Even Jerry Brown agrees, Republican Ideas Resonate

Perennial Democratic candidate Jerry Brown may have governed like a liberal when he helmed the Golden State, but this year he’s campaigning like a conservative, promising, in a recent ad, not to raise taxes without voter approval.

Taking aim at some of the big-ticket items on his party’s agenda, West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin echoes Republican ideas:

Meanwhile, Glenn Reynolds alerts us to a new poll showing that the “Republican message [is] more popular with voters than Republicans are.

The general Republican message of less spending, lower taxes and repeal of the health-care overhaul is connecting. Pluralities of those polled support overturning the health-care measure — Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment — and back the “Pledge to America” that offers a road map for how Republicans would govern if they win congressional majorities.

Still, the [recent Bloomberg National] poll suggests voters aren’t embracing Republicans as much as they are rejecting Democrats. . . . The poll finds Republicans in an anomalous position — poised to make political gains while the party and its policies are unpopular.

Methinks this unpopularity has to do with recent memories of Republican governance when the party failed to hold the line on federal spending.  When, in 2006, Democrats regained their majorities in Congress, they had been out of power for 12 years.  For the GOP in 2010, it’s just four, with many thinking it’s just been two years, assuming that Republicans controlled Congress during W’s entire White House tenure.

These Democratic campaigns and polling data suggest that if Republicans hold true to their principles, if they regain their majorities next month, they could hold onto them for a long time.  A long time.

But, that all depends on their willingness to cut government spending while reducing federal regulation and promoting a freedom agenda.

Steve Martin’s (Mostly) Disappointing Memoir

Ever since I saw him on Saturday Night Live, I have considered Steve Martin one of the funniest men alive. So, when I saw his memoir Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life on the bargain table at a bookstore in West Chester, Ohio (that I visited with a reader after we lunched together), I quickly snatched it up.  I mean, at six bucks, it seemed a steal.

The book alas wasn’t worth more than its (marked down) cover price.  I had been reading it since I bought it, carrying it with me on at least two trips out of LA, but only finishing it last night.  At times, the prose is stale, with Martin merely jotting down the facts of his life, as if he were just typing up his notes without trying to craft a narrative.

He seems reticent about his feelings, rarely going into much depth about his various relationships with women or describing his friendships with his fellow entertainers.

Yet, we do learn that he had a trying relationship with his father.  When he was a boy and his father suggested they play catch.  ”This offer,” Martin writes, “to spend time together was so rare that I was confused about what I was supposed to do.” Later, the elder Martin wrote a “bad review” of his son’s first appearance on SNL (leading a co-worker to chide the action as “wrong”).

He got his showbiz start selling guidebooks at Disneyland, soon moving on to the magic shop there.  While in the park, he would visit the shows, watching and learning from the performers.  Later, he performed himself at nearby Knott’s Berry Farm and at various theaters around Los Angeles, then at small venues across the country.  He wrote for television, appeared on “The Tonight Show” and finally got the call for “Saturday Night Live.” (more…)

Boxer “less than candid, if not lying” about dealings with Countrywide?

It’s not just newspapers across the Golden State dubbing 3-term Senator Barbara Boxer an ineffective representative of our state, now congressional watchdogs are calling the career politician’s transparency into question:

Boxer, as chairwoman of the Senate Ethics Committee, led a yearlong investigation beginning in 2008 into whether two Democratic senators acted improperly by being part of a VIP Countrywide program that gave influential clients favorable treatment.

At that time, Boxer told reporters that she had not been a part of the company’s VIP program and did not currently have any Countrywide mortgages. She did, however, volunteer to news outlets that, in the past, she had paid off two Countrywide mortgage home loans.

But one watchdog group says she wasn’t disclosing enough. According to extensive research provided to The Daily Caller by the non-partisan Foundation for Ethics in Public Service, Boxer conducted business with Countrywide on another property too — as co-signer of a house with her son. The group argues that if you add up all the transactions, including re-finances, on those three properties, Boxer has actually signed for at least seven Countrywide mortgages.

Leslie Merritt, the executive director of the watchdog group, said Boxer was “less than candid, if not lying” about her dealings with Countrywide by not disclosing more.

What is it with Boxer and he son?  First, she steers hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars his way.  Then, she moves tribal legislation benefiting the young man.  Meanwhile, Boxer’s committee cleared Democratic Sens. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Kent Conrad of North Dakota under investigation for wrongdoing.

Guess the Democrats tapped this Senator to chair the committee because they knew she would look out for her partisan cronies.  Instead of looking out for her fellow partisan, Merritt said the 28-year Washington veteran, “should have also recused herself from participating in the investigation to avoid any appearance of impropriety on her part”. (more…)

Would it that the next Speaker of the House were Jewish

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:48 am - October 12, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

I’m with the next Congressman from the Old Dominon’s Second Congressional District:

Scott Rigell, the Republican businessman challenging Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.) in Nov. 2′s election, said at a meeting with Tea Party-ers over the weekend that Boehner would be an OK Speaker, but that Cantor would be an “outstanding” choice for the next GOP leader.

“I think John Boehner would be a good Speaker,” Rigell told the meeting. “I think Eric Cantor would be an outstanding Speaker, and there may be some others that come along.”

Like Rigell who leads outgoing Congressman “Nye by 6 percent” (“with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report [rating] the contest as a “lean Republican” race”), I agree that the more principled and thoughtful Cantor would be a far better Speaker than Boehner.

He may, however, lack the political acumen of his Buckeye colleague.  All that said, seeing Cantor rise as he has in past Congresses and foreseeing him as Majority Leader in the next Congress is a good sign for the Republican Party.  And the United States of America.

Hullabaloo Over Paladino Misses Real Story:
GOP ignoring gay issues (just as they did in ’94)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:36 am - October 12, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Gay America,Gay Politics

The blogs and the (most left-of-center) pundits are having such a field day with Carl Paladino’s recent comments on gays that they’re missing the real story.  Like their fascination with the escapades of Meg Whitman’s housekeeper, statements Christine O’Donnell made in the 1990s and the latest rantings of lunatic preachers with miniscule congregations in Florida and Kansas, they’ll do anything to smear the non-left, anything to detract attention from the real issues moving voters this fall.

The Republican nominee for Governor of New York State has most recently criticized his Democratic rival

. . . . for having taken his young daughters to a gay pride parade, saying that such events were inappropriate for children.

“Is that normal? Would you do it? Would you take your children to a gay pride parade?” Mr. Paladino asked the host Matt Lauer on the “Today” show, speaking of Mr. Cuomo.

“I don’t think it’s proper for them to go there and watch a couple of grown men grind against each other. I don’t think that’s proper. I think it’s disgusting.”

Now, I’ll grant that there is some, shall we say, inappropriate activity at some gay pride parades, things that are better left behind closed doors.  And it’s pretty clear that Paladino was calling the public “grinding” disgusting.  That said, he was trying to making a campaign issue of his opponent’s attendance a gay pride pride!?!?!  C’mon, I mean, doesn’t the Empire State have some pretty pressing fiscal issues that the next Governor will need to confront?

Not just that, a man who is in hot water for farming out a speech addressing gay issues to “an ardent opponent of gay rights” should probably leave well enough alone and refrain from talking about gay pride parades.  Should Paladino refrain from talking about gay issues, he’d be following the lead of most Republicans this cycle, indeed, the lead of most Republicans in cycles where the GOP emerges victorious.

(more…)

At least they’re not looking for hicks at this casting call

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:36 am - October 12, 2010.
Filed under: Obamania

Glenn alerts us to another controversial casting call:

When President Obama sits down for his MTV town hall this Thursday, the audience of young people who will ask him questions will have been gathered by a casting call.

According to the casting call for the event from talent agency Backstage.com, first reported by National Review Online, the company requests applications for the event, asking what issues the person is “passionate about,” requiring a “short description of your political views,” and also asks for a recent photo.

This leads Charlie Foxtrot to quip, “Any casting call application that requires you to state a “description of your political views” probably equates to what we in the military call “self-initiated elimination” for those conservatives who want to get into the Hollywood scene…

California newspapers keep saying, “No, Ma’am”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:30 am - October 12, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,California politics

It began when the liberal editors of the San Francisco Chronicle refused to make an endorsement in the U.S. Senate race, citing the failure of 3-term incumbent Barbara Boxer

. . . to distinguish herself during her 18 years in office. There is no reason to believe that another six-year term would bring anything but more of the same uninspired representation. . . .

Boxer, first elected in 1992, would not rate on anyone’s list of most influential senators. Her most famous moments on Capitol Hill have not been ones of legislative accomplishment, but of delivering partisan shots. Although she is chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, it is telling that leadership on the most pressing issue before it – climate change – was shifted to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., because the bill had become so polarized under her wing.

For some Californians, Boxer’s reliably liberal voting record may be reason enough to give her another six years in office. But we believe Californians deserve more than a usually correct vote on issues they care about. They deserve a senator who is accessible, effective and willing and able to reach across party lines to achieve progress on the great issues of our times. Boxer falls short on those counts.

The editors of the more centrist LA Daily News reached the same conclusion:

Barbara Boxer, a longtime pol who, in her almost 28 years in the Senate and Congress, has yet to distinguish herself or the state she represents. . . .  While Boxer is little more than a political follower in Washington, [her opponent Carly] Fiorina is a leader of the charismatic sort found in many of the country’s greatest statesmen and women.

As have the editors of the Bakersfield Californian: (more…)

Doing the work Gay, Inc. won’t do

While HRC President Joe Solmonese sits comfortably ensconced in his fancy office in downtown D.C., jetting off occasionally to hobnob with Democratic donors across the country, some gay activists, organized by GetEqual are reminding president of the promises he made on the campaign trail:

A group of LGBT equality activists working to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” launched an elaborate protest early Monday evening as President Barack Obama attended a private Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fund-raiser in Miami at the home of NBA star Alonzo Mourning.

There’s lots more on Pam Spaulding’s page, including numerous links to GetEqual’s Twitter (& Facebook) feed, among them this clever quip, “President Obama got our message loud and clear. He waved as he was passing by — but we need more than a wave!” It seems Joe’ll settle for air kisses — and a few visits to the White House.

Pam’s co-blogger Keori reminds us . . .

. . . discharges continue, as two of our own are experiencing. DNC Vice Chair Ray Buckley flipped off GetEqual’s message of concern this week. Once again, President Obama is hobnobbing with basketball stars rather than live up to his promises to LGB troops. Tonight, he’s getting an earful.

It does seem the activists and leftie bloggers are doing all heavy lifting that Gay, Inc. won’t do.

NB:  Tweaked the post when Pam reminded me that one of her co-bloggers had written the post.

. . . about that enthusiasm factor

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:00 am - October 12, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,We The People

Well, Sharron Angle might not need a rainstorm in Las Vegas to carry the day.  Seems Republicans across the country are fired up and rarin’ to vote:

Fifty-six percent of likely voters said they would back an unnamed Republican candidate for Congress in a test of a low-turnout scenario for the crucial midterm elections. Thirty-nine percent in that same model said they would back a Democratic candidate, an increase by one percent over last week.

In [the] high-turnout model, Republicans maintain a 53-41 percent advantage among likely voters. That also represented a one percent tick upward in support for Democrats.

The poll suggests that the GOP hasn’t lost any steam in its bid to pick up 39-plus seats they need in the House to reclaim the majority.

Rasmussen, you think?  Nope, it’s Gallup, you know that gold standard in polling.  Writing about the poll, Frank Newport notes, “Republicans maintain a substantial advantage over Democrats among likely voters in Gallup’s generic ballot for Congress — in both lower- and higher-turnout scenarios — fueled in part by the GOP’s strong showing among independents.

Vote Preferences in 2010 Congressional Elections, Independents Only, Sept. 30-Oct. 10, 2010

Even among registered voters, including those not likely to vote, Republicans maintain a 10-point edge, an edge which exceeds 20 points among both low- and high-turnout scenarios.