Groups advocating the repeal of the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy are meeting at the White House Tuesday — but as they’ve come to find out, some topics are off limits.
The Obama administration wants to keep the discussion off-the-record, and says it would end the meeting outright if the discussion turns to recent court decisions that found the policy to be “unconstitutional.”
Gay publication The Advocate obtained a copy of White House Deputy Director Brian Bond’s email with details of the meeting, in which he threatens to end the talks.
“Obviously this meeting has gotten out,” Bond wrote. “We are expecting the content of the conversation today to be off the record and to help us figure out how to move forward with the lame duck session.”
He continued: “Also as previously mentioned, there can be no discussion of current court cases or legal strategy or Counsel’s Office will end the meeting. The focus is repeal and the lame duck session. This is also a non-partisan meeting where we want everyone’s help.”
The “Don’t Ask” policy was halted earlier this month after a judge ordered the military to stop enforcing the ban. Eight days later, an appeals court agreed to the administration’s request to stay of that order.
The lawsuit that succeeded in temporarily halting the policy was brought by a group of gay Republicans. President Obama has promised his administration would bring the policy to an end.
The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is expected to rule within days on whether the military will again have to discontinue the policy.
A copy of Bond’s email follows:
Two House Democrats push a clever plan that calls Republicans’ bluff on their Biden attacks
Democratic Reps. Katie Porter of California and Max Rose of New York introduced a clever plan this week that will expose whether Republicans’ criticisms of former Vice President Joe Biden in the Ukraine scandal reflect good faith — or if, as many assume, they are just a shameful distraction and a bluff.
The lawmakers announced a bill on Wednesday called the Transparency in Executive Branch Officials’ Finances Act. It has two key components:First, it would require all politically appointed executive branch officials, as well as the president and the vice president, to “disclose any positions they or any members of their extended families hold with foreign-owned businesses, any intellectual property they own that is protected or enforced by a foreign country, and whether any members of their families have stakes in companies that engage in significant foreign business dealings.”Second, it will “require the President and Vice President to disclose their tax returns for the previous five taxable years and prohibit political appointees from accepting payments from foreign entities.”
What’s clever about the proposal is that it latches on to two important issues, creating a wedge for Republicans. As part of the GOP’s defense of President Donald Trump in the Ukraine scandal, Republicans have argued that the president’s patently corrupt efforts to get a foreign country to investigate Biden, a political rival, were legitimate because the former vice president’s son created a conflict of interest by taking part in business in Ukraine.
Giuliani’s potential witness tampering in Ukraine is impossible to separate from Trump: Judiciary Democrat
On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) broke down how Rudy Giuliani's misconduct in Ukraine is "inseparable" from President Donald Trump's.
"To everyone who asks whether we are moving too quickly, I say the president's lawyer is moving quickly to continue to ask a foreign government to cheat our elections, and doing nothing is completely off the table," said Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, the two most crucial committees in the impeachment inquiry. "We have to secure our elections. We have powerful, uncontradicted evidence now. And now is the time to hold the president accountable and determine just which impeachment articles we should proceed with."
Financial groups gave $745 billion for 258 new coal power plants: Report
Financial institutions have chaneled $745 billion over the past three years to new coal power projects worldwide despite effort to reduce fossil fuel use to fight climate change, a report released Thursday said.
The amount was calculated using data covering both lending and underwriting between January 2017 and September 2019 for all 258 coal plant developers identified in the Global Coal Exit List, drawn up by the Urgewald and BankTrack groups.
Altogether, the report cites more than 1,000 new coal power stations or units in the pipeline.
"Most of the top banks providing loans or investment banking services to these companies acknowledge the risks of climate change, but their actions are a slap in the face to the Paris Climate Agreement," said Greig Aitken, climate campaigner at BankTrack.