MEDICAL ASSOCIATION SUPPORTS ENDING POLICY
Frank responding to backlash Dems’ inaction on gay rights, critics say
The US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy barring homosexuals from serving openly in the armed forces will “likely” be ended next year, in the 2010 defense spending bill, says US House Rep. Barney Frank.
Frank, who is only the second openly gay member of the House of Representatives, told Advocate.com that repealing DADT as part of a military spending bill was always the plan for approaching the issue.
“Military issues are always done as part of the overall authorization bill,” Frank said. “’Don’t ask, don’t tell’ was always going to be part of the military authorization.”
This marks the first time that a prominent Democrat with access to the Obama administration has set a timeline for ending the controversial military policy. In October, President Barack Obama told a fundraiser of the gay-rights group Human Rights Campaign that he planned to end DADT, but was almost instantly criticized for not stating when.
But Frank’s announcement was met with skepticism by some progressive and gay-rights bloggers, who noted that the Advocate article cites Frank as saying the repeal will “likely” be included in the bill, and noting also that they would be more certain of the new policy’s implementation if the news came from a member of the Obama administration and not a congressman.
“The problem is ‘might’ isn’t good enough,” writes John Avarosis at AmericaBlog. “And Barney Frank as the messenger isn’t good enough. A senior White House official needs to go public, by name, and tell the world that the White House is going to push for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell next spring.”
Avarosis says he believes a boycott of the Democratic Party that he helped launch several days ago helped spur Frank into making his statement. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Give” boycott — which is supported by numerous progressive blogs and organizations and is described as a “pause” in donations to the Democratic Party — came in reaction to the Obama administration’s perceived lack of action on gay-rights issues.
AMA URGES REPEAL OF DADT
The American Medical Association, the US’s largest doctors’ group, voted on Tuesday to oppose the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and adopted a resolution stating that bans on same-sex marriage contribute to health disparities. But, as the Associated Press noted, the organization stopped short of supporting gay marriage.
The AMA “made clear that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell should be repealed because of the ethical dilemma between doctors and LGBT service members who are unable to share all of the information that may be necessary in giving medical guidance and treatment,” Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said in a statement.
Conservative groups expressed disappointment over the decision. Focus on the Family’s Jenny Tyree told the Houston Chronicle that the AMA’s decision was based on a “political agenda.” She said disparities in health care for gay and straight people should be addressed in health care reform, without touching the definition of marriage.
Veteran Republican operative drops a scathing op-ed as he leaves the GOP: ‘Real Americans don’t pledge fealty to a strongman’
Mike Gillis has served in numerous Republican administrations over the decades. In an op-ed published in the New Yorker this Thursday, Mike Gillis announced that he's leaving the Republican Party.
"...I cannot stand idly by and watch as these crooks take over the party I love. I cannot abide this coarsening of discourse, and so on and so forth, etc., etc. Here are the reasons that I am leaving the Republican Party," Gillis writes.
According to Gillis, Trump is "ruthlessly" dividing the country.
"Brother pitted against brother, cat against dog, exterminator against cockroach, sentient robot against mad inventor. Americans must accept that, no matter our particular beliefs, we are all citizens of the United States—whether we be Republican or Democrat, Canadian or Bulgarian, Mesopotamian or Sumerian."
‘Reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty’: House issues scathing report on Trump migrant family separation policy
The Trump administration knew it would not be able to reunite refugee and other migrant families as it ripped children—including infants—from the arms of their parents but did so anyway, according to a congressional report released Thursday on the U.S. government's family separation policy.
"The Trump administration's family separation policy lasted far longer than is commonly known and was marked by reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty."—House Judiciary Committee reportThe House Judiciary Committee spent 21 months investigating the planning and execution of the administration's policy, which resulted in the seizure of more than 2,500 migrant children—including some with physical and mental disabilities—from their parents. Its report (pdf) is the "first complete narrative of the inhumane family separation policy in the administration's own words."
‘Dangerously out of touch’: Ex-White House adviser slams Trump and Larry Kudlow for bragging about the economy
President Donald Trump's top economic and trade adviser Larry Kudlow is "out of touch," according to former White House economist Austan Goolsbee.
Speaking to MSNBC's Katy Tur, Goolsbee explained that Trump's celebration of the GDP is unwarranted because it took such a significant dive. It's a lot like losing $100 and getting back $60, said Tur.
"You score five runs in one inning, that is a good inning, but if you let up ten runs in the inning before that you're still way down," Goolsbee explained. "I think the numbers look very much like what happened in the job market over the summer. Where we started with a 21 million job loss, and we made back a little over half of that. And then we kind of stalled out. We're still adding jobs, but you also saw this morning another epically bad new unemployment claims number. You still have well over 700,000 people filing for unemployment insurance newly this week. Now we're seeing this on the GDP side. Certainly, this is a positive. You would not want a smaller number, but it has to be bigger and more sustained than what we saw today before we can say that we're back to normal."