Thursday, June 11, 2009

Soldiers And WORMs

As some of you know, my mother suffered a stroke recently. I am currently in my home town spending time with her and getting her house in order. As a result, I rushed a recent post on "DADT" I wrote in order to get to the nursing center in a timely fashion. Alert No Quarter reader, Ed, gently (I am not being snarky here - he really was) pointed out to me that the soldier whose actual case went before the Supreme Court was not at ALL amused at Obama's lack of support, though the rest of my post stands as is, I think. The point is, he is dong nothing, and too many people are allowing him to WORM (What Obama Really Meant) out.

The soldier whose case was thrown out by the SCOTUS, had something to say about it, alright, and it was not a whole bunch of WORMing, as this article makes clear,

Dismay Over Obama's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Turnabout
. Check this out:
When Barack Obama sought the presidency, he pledged to reverse the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy preventing gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military. Yet on Monday, the Supreme Court rejected a gay Ohio soldier's challenge to the law — with the legal backing of none other than the Obama Administration.

James Pietrangelo II, the former Army infantryman and lawyer whose case the high court declined to review, reserved most of his ire for President Obama instead of the court. "He's a coward, a bigot and a pathological liar," Pietrangelo said in an interview with TIME shortly after the high court declined to hear his appeal. "This is a guy who spent more time picking out his dog, Bo, and playing with him on the White House lawn than he has working for equality for gay people," he added. "If there were millions of black people as second-class citizens, or millions of Jews or Irish, he would have acted immediately" (emphasis mine) upon taking office to begin working to lift "Don't ask, don't tell." Pietrangelo fought in Iraq in 1991 as an infantryman, and returned as a JAG officer for the second Iraq War, before being booted out in 2004 for declaring he was gay as he was readying for a third combat tour. He was representing himself before the high court.

I don't want to overreach or anything, but it does sound like Pietrangelo is a tad hot under the collar, as he SHOULD be. About damn time the MSM bothered to report that not everyone is in love with Obama.

As for "DADT" and Obama's lack of action:
The Obama Administration, in its brief in the case last month, said a lower court acted properly in upholding the gay ban. "Applying the strong deference traditionally afforded to the Legislative and Executive Branches in the area of military affairs, the court of appeals properly upheld the statute," argued Elena Kagan, who as Solicitor General represents the Administration before the Supreme Court. The bar on gays serving openly is "rationally related to the government's legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion," her 12-page filing added.

The endorsement of "Don't ask, don't tell" by the Administration marks the latest rightward tack by Obama. The President denounced many of George W. Bush's national-security policies during the campaign, but in office has adopted more conservative positions, including endorsing military commissions to try purported terrorists, and declining to release a second batch of photographs depicting alleged U.S. maltreatment of Iraqi detainees. His stance on "Don't ask, don't tell" may be more surprising, because Obama aides have made clear the President wants the ban lifted eventually.

"EVENTUALLY"??? Just how the hell long is THAT?? I'm not buying what he's selling, and neither is Pietrangelo:
Pietrangelo doesn't buy the line from Obama aides — and the Pentagon — that they're too busy grappling with a faltering economy and two wars to handle the gay ban right away. "It's a complete lie that he has too much stuff on his plate — this is the guy who criticized Bush for not being able to multitask," Pietrangelo says. "We have an old saying in the military — the maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters." (Emphasis mine.)

Pietrangelo and others argue that Obama has leeway under the law that codified "Don't ask, don't tell" after the 1993 outcry when Bill Clinton tried to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly. The President, they say, could instruct the Secretary of Defense, who has the sole power to carry out the law, to make investigations a rarity, so that "Don't ask, don't tell" simply does not function. Indeed, Obama could tell the Pentagon that, as a general matter, it is not in the best interest of the armed forces to expel a service member solely for saying he or she is gay or bisexual.

But the trouble is that the law was passed by Congress and, if Obama decided to go around the legislature, he would face political blowback. The current law allows gays to serve, so long as they keep their sexual orientation secret. The legislation means that a majority of the 535 members of Congress is going to have to vote to undo the ban — and that will have its political fallout. Obama is plainly taking his cue from the 1993 fiasco, which hurt Clinton's relationship with conservative members of Congress, both Democratic and Republican, and with many in uniform.

But Obama also has some ammunition that Clinton never had: a new Gallup poll finds that most conservatives — 58% — now support openly gay people serving in uniform (nationally, 69% support the change; when Clinton assumed office, a Gallup poll found 53% of those polled opposed lifting the ban). Perhaps even more surprising, 58% of self-described Republicans, and 60% of weekly churchgoers, also support gay men and women serving openly in uniform. "While the Administration to date has not taken action on the issue," the polling firm reported last Friday, "the Gallup Poll data indicate that the public-opinion environment favors such a move."

Here's what gripes me about this, and the other service members who have been kicked out of the military for being LGBT, including Arabic linguists, whom we could actually use right now: the military has actually lowered its enlistment standards over the past few years because of the two wars we are fighting. I am not kidding. Click HERE to read more about it. Doesn't that just gripe you, too?

Uh, yeah, so enough with the excuses already about "DADT." Like I said, if Obama has the time to do a videotaped message for Stephen Colbert, giving a "lawful order," he sure can pick up the phone to call Pelosi and Reid, and tell them to push this through. Dadgummit!

And here's another good one, courtesy of faithful reader, SF Indie, who informed me of THIS new pick by Obama,
Head Of Pro-Life* Group Gets Job At HHS
(* I take issue with the term "Pro-Life, and prefer "Anti-Choice."). Well I'll be darned - he's throwing NARAL, NOW, and a whole bunch of other women and women's groups under the bus, too???? Oh, I am so, so, so surprised!!! Not, not, not:
The Obama administration has picked the former head of a pro-life Catholic organization to run faith-based and community outreach programs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Alexia Kelley, co-founder of the liberal group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, was appointed Thursday to run HHS's Center for Faith-based and Community Initiatives. (The administration wouldn't immediately confirm that, but the Catholic Reporter published a press release from Catholics in Alliance trumpeting the announcement.) Catholics in Alliance's main goal since Kelley helped found it in 2005 has been to emphasize the Catholic Church's social justice teachings in the political sphere; like other progressive religious groups, it lines up with Democratic positions on health care, poverty, labor and other issues.

On abortion, the group has mostly worked to find ways to reduce demand, rather than to push laws aimed at curtailing the availability of the procedure. But its Web site makes clear that it isn't pro-choice. "Catholics in Alliance believes in the sanctity of all human life -- from conception until natural death," says a frequently asked questions page.

Pro-choice activists weren't happy: HHS oversees health care, including abortion policy, for much of the federal government. Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, called it "a defeat for reason and logic." "The administration has talked a lot about reducing the need for abortion, and progressive groups like my own are totally with the administration in doing that," he told Salon. But "to have someone working in HHS who oversaw an organization that is anti-abortion... really beggars belief." The timing of the appointment -- just days after abortion provider George Tiller was murdered in his Wichita, Kan., church -- is likely to aggravate pro-choice groups even more. (Anti-choice organizations, though, have criticized Catholics in Alliance for giving cover to pro-choice Democrats, by attempting to shift the debate from banning abortion to simply reducing it.)

Well, golly gee - they aren't happy with the man they chose to support over the WOMAN who has shown her resolve on this issue time and time again?? As Kathy Griffin would say, they can suck it. Again, had they BOTHERED to look at his record (or lack thereof) or his experience (or lack thereof) rather than jumping on the popularity bandwagon, they wouldn't be so unhappy now. They brought it on themselves BY themselves.

Oh, and you'll like this part:
Aides at the White House and HHS didn't immediately return calls and e-mails for comment.

ROTFMLAO - really? They White House and HHS didn't want to talk about this?? Yeah, I bet.

One last piece:
Update: A spokeswoman for Catholics in Alliance, Jennifer Goff, just sent over a statement. The group clearly wasn't happy with the criticism from Catholics for Choice: "Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good is working toward reaching common ground in order to make real progress on the moral and political challenges our country faces instead of resorting to spurious attacks launched by those who are more concerned with inflaming the culture wars than effecting positive change."

Okey dokey. Sure. Whatever they say...

By now, I am certain everyone has heard of the tragedy at the Holocaust Museum. It was a tragedy indeed, and my heart goes out to the security guard's family, as well to those who were present at the time. But. And you knew it was coming. When President Obama comes out with a statement tout suite on the security guard's death, and even Fox News talking about honoring this guard's service, it makes me a bit irritated. And if you have been reading my posts of late, you know why: because Obama waited DAYS to say anything about the soldiers being gunned down in the street outside a recruiting center, men who were not just doing a job, but giving their LIVES in service to this country (and I meant that in the big picture sense - when you are in the military, it ISN'T just a job. It is your LIFE.). Bottom line is this: Private Long deserved at least as much attention as the security guard did, not to in any way, shape, or form diminish the tragic, senseless loss of life at a museum dedicated to memorializing one of the most horrific periods in world history (and it is an amazing, amazing place).

I'm just saying enough WORMing on Obama's lack of support to our military, for those lost through an unequal law, or through a politically, religiously motivated attack on service members on our own soil. And, enough WORMing on the poor choices Obama continues to make. Enough already.

Again, big thanks to Ed and SFIndie...


SFIndie said...

Rev - sending you and your mom lots of love and light. Don't forget to take care of yourself as well!

Wow, Pietrangelo is slightly po'd at our Pretender In Chief! Good for him. I hope he keeps talking and speaking the truth. LOUDLY!

As for The Pretender "eventually" lifting the you think the government would be okay with my eventually paying my taxes? Someday? When I feel the time is right? Nope, didn't think so.

It is enough already. More than enough. Time to wake up from this nightmare!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Thanks, SF - I appreciate that! And yes, it is hard to engage in appropriate self care while trying to care for Mom, and get her house in order...

Well, the only way one can get away with paying taxes "eventually" is to be the Treasury Sec., apparently!! Ahem.

Yes, I am more than ready to wake up from this nightmare - has it really been less than 6 months?!?!