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Pentagon sees ‘minimal risk’ in repealing ‘don’t ask’: report

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Repealing the military’s gay ban would result in only “minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts,” but a “significant minority” of soldiers remain opposed to the idea, a Pentagon report is expected to say.

The Washington Post cites two sources familiar with a draft of the report, to be delivered to President Obama on December 1, who say it will give fuel to both sides in the debate over repealing the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibits gays from serving openly in the armed forces.

The Post‘s Ed O’Keefe and Greg Jaffe report:

More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report’s authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them….

Among other questions, the survey asked if having an openly gay person in a unit would have an effect in an intense combat situation. Although a majority of respondents signaled no strong objections, a significant minority is opposed to serving alongside openly gay troops. About 40 percent of the Marine Corps is concerned about lifting the ban, according to one of the people familiar with the report.

The Post reports that Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen received copies of the draft last week, which also presents a plan for repealing DADT if lawmakers decide to do so. It also includes general recommendations regarding gay individuals in the military.

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Despite the predictions or fears of groups for and against repealing the ban, the report does not anticipate a large “coming out” by gay men and lesbians serving in uniform, said the person who had read the full draft.

Among several recommendations, the report urges an end to the military ban on sodomy between consenting adults regardless of what Congress or the federal courts might do about “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the source said.

The report also concludes that gay troops should not be put into a special class for equal employment or discrimination purposes, the individual said. The recommendation is based on feedback the study group obtained from gay troops and same-sex partners who said they do not want a special classification, according to the source. Gay troops were encouraged to participate in the survey and to submit comments to the anonymous online dropbox.

Read the full Post story here.

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Morning Joe guest reveals why even Ivanka is afraid to deliver bad news to Trump: ‘He’ll explode’

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President Donald Trump's inner circle is growing smaller and smaller, and the few aides he trusts are afraid to deliver any bad news to him -- and panelists on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" agreed the situation was dangerous.

Co-host Mika Brzezinski asked Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire if the president trusted any of his advisers, and the White House correspondent said he may still seek out counsel from Ivanka Trump.

"He might listen to his daughter, who is in there, but no," Lemire said. "That has been what's happened over the last year and a half, in particular, is the erosion of the guardrails, the erosion of adults in the room who could walk in there and say something. Mind you, it didn't always work, (but) now those people don't even exist."

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2020 Election

New Republican group wants to register more voters to keep Texas red

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The push by the group, a super PAC called Engage Texas, comes as national Democrats zero in on the state in 2020.

With national Democrats looking to make Texas a battleground, a new Republican group is launching to register hundreds of thousands of new voters here and convince them to help keep the state red in 2020.

The group, a super PAC named Engage Texas, is the brainchild of some of the state's biggest GOP donors, and it is led by a former top staffer at the Republican National Committee. It comes as Texas Republicans look to gain ground in an area where their Democratic counterparts have dominated in recent years: signing up new voters.

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2020 Election

Texans approve of Trump’s job performance but have questions about his character, UT/TT Poll says

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More than half of the state's voters think President Donald Trump is doing a good job, but they're not as pleased with some of his character traits, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

If you ask registered voters in Texas about the job performance of the people they’ve elected to high office, the top two names on their list are President Donald Trump and Gov. Greg Abbott, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

But the support is not overwhelming: 52% of voters approve of the job Trump is doing in office, while 44% disapprove. And 51% said Abbott is doing a good job, while 31% disapprove of the governor’s work.

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