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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Bigots Win a Battle, Lose the War

In April of 2009, when it was clear that the repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don’t Tell policy was officially on the Obama administration's radar screen, a gaggle of retired brass scraped together their best arguments for why the 16 year-old policy should stay in place. I'll summarize 'em for you:

  • Fewer people will enlist!
  • There will be a mass exodus of active-duty servicemembers---over 228,000 of them will quit in disgust!
  • "Team cohesion and concentration on missions will suffer if our troops have to live in close quarters with others who could be sexually attracted to them."
  • Other countries that allow gays to serve in the military have turned flabby and weak! (Yes, Britain and Israel, that means you.)
  • It will "impact leadership at all echelons" and "have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service!"
  • It will undermine national security, destroy morale and blow a hole in "the readiness and culture of the U.S. armed forces!"
Their final conclusion: repealing DADT would "break the military." Snap it like a twig, it would.

After much debate and fact-fiinding, the United States Congress and President Obama called the naysayers' bluff. One year ago today, the U.S. Army was the first to announce...

President Obama signs the repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy
Obama signs the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Today marks the end of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” The law is repealed. From this day forward, gay and lesbian Soldiers may serve in our Army with the dignity and respect they deserve. Our rules, regulations and politics reflect the repeal guidance issued by the Department of Defense and will apply uniformly without regard to sexual orientation, which is a personal and private matter.
One year later, the fallout speaks for itself:
  • Repealing DADT has had no overall negative impact on military
    Headstone of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich
    Epitaph of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich:
    "When I was in the military
    They gave me a medal for killing two men
    and a discharge for loving one."
    readiness, including cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment, or morale.
  • Greater openness and honesty post-repeal may have actually increased understanding, respect, and acceptance.
  • Recruitment has remained robust.
  • Retention was unaffected by repeal.
  • There has been no increase in violence within units.
John McCain was wrong. Lindsay Graham was wrong. All the military muckety mucks who predicted disaster and dysfunction were wrong. Tony Perkins and his fellow bigots at the Family Research Council were wrong. Not just wrong, but completely wrong and knowingly wrong. They ignored the real data staring them in the face and instead chose to do what conservatives so typically do: make shit up and repeat it ad nauseum in the hopes that it'll stick. They reek of dishonor.

To the openly-gay men and women in uniform, and to their straight counterparts who have accepted them without fear or fuss: through your maturity and sense of decency, you've helped make this country a bit more of a perfect union than it was a year ago. These days that ain't easy. Thank you.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, September 20, 2012

Note: Our food service vendor has informed us that the yogurt served in the C&J cafeteria on Tuesday contained live active cultures that, instead of aiding digestive health, actually cause painful facial disfigurement.  We regret the inconvenience.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til (romney)-RYAN meet their Waterloo: 47
Days 'til the North American Sandsculpting Championship in Virginia Beach: 8
Percent of Americans who think the economy is getting better: 42%
Percent who think it's getting worse: 18%
(Source: NBC-Wall Street Journal poll)
Jump in existing-home sales last month, the best number since May of 2010: 7.8%
(Source: NBC News)
Number of students who returned to class in Chicago yesterday: 350,000
Percent of Great Britain that thinks Mitt Romney's a wanker: 100%
(Source: Prime Minister David Cameron)

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

As for the economic conservatives, who are driving this entire insane detour away from liberty and justice for all.  Well, as Wright Patman once observed, "The rich and powerful in our country are very greedy.  This has many times been demonstrated.  It is natural that they should seek ever more power and wealth, but where there's greed there is no vision.  And as the Good Book says, where there is no vision, the people perish."
---From Who Let the Dogs In?
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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Feelin' jumpy this morning?

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CHEERS to the highest bidders.  The Netroots Nation fall fundraiser auction is officially underway! It's a great one this year.  I'm giving away an authentic Keith Olbermann talking bobblehead, the official Democratic Beanie Baby from the 2004 election, and the 1963 JFK memorial issue of LIFE magazine.  Some other goodies up for grabs:

Paul Krugman poster, autographed
Autographed by Krugman!
> Suites at the Netroots Nation convention hotels
> An iPad signed by Howard Dean
> Obama logo earrings
> Autographed photos from Van Jones, Paul Krugman and Elizabeth Warren
> Gooey butter bars!!!!
> Democratic convention decanters
> "Kittens for Obama" and "Barks for Barack" buttons
> Autographed copy of Lizz Free or Die
Proceeds go to help fund the Netroots Nation convention (San Jose next year) and its regional events.  Go over now and bid 'em up, bid 'em up, waaaaay up!  I mean, for god's sake, it's a TALKING Keith bobblehead!

JEERS to amateur hour.  After months of blunders, gaffes and, worst of all, saying what he really thinks, Mitt Romney will relaunch the relaunch of his campaign relaunch, now that the fallout from the "secret tape" scandal has dropped from "hair on fire" to "oh, these fucking gallstones."  The NEW and IMPROVED Romney campaign will be announced by the candidate and his running mate from the back of an Edsel while drinking New Coke and passing out AYDS candy to small children and Ben-Gay aspirin to the grownups, which will all be recorded on Betamax.  What could go wrong???

JEERS to the American war of terror.  On September 20, 2002, during an address to a joint session of Congress, George W. Bush tapped Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge to be the first director of the new monstrosity called the Department of Homeland Security.  So how'd that work out?  Well, if the department's mission was to exploit the old color-coded terror alert system for political purposes around election time, Mr. Ridge will telll you it worked like a charm.  Oh, color me surprised.

CHEERS to driving the nuttysphere even nuttier with a single sentence.  Hey Hannity/Malkin/Beck and your stooges!  Read it and fuckin' weep…

An internal report by the Justice Department found no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder knew about a botched gun-trafficking operation to Mexico, but does recommend that 14 federal law enforcement officials, including the head of the criminal division, be disciplined.
They wanted Holder's head on a platter.  They wanted to see him busted and booted so bad they could taste it.  Instead they got "tut tuts" for a handful of underlings and four more years of Attorney General Eric Holder.  Good day to be a Republican smelling salts salesman.

CHEERS to getting the old band back together.  Gaahhh!!!  Germany and Japan are going to war as allies again!!!  Yeah, a war against…nuclear power!  Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!  Oh, I love early morning historical reference humor.  But seriously

Chemist with beaker and test tube
Harnessing the power of
concentrated Godzilla pee
Japan's government said it intends to stop using nuclear power by the 2030s, marking a major shift from policy goals set before last year's Fukushima disaster that sought to increase the share of atomic energy to more than half of electricity supply.  Japan joins countries such as Germany and Switzerland in turning away from nuclear power after last year's earthquake unleashed a tsunami that swamped the Fukushima Daiichi plant, causing the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.
We've since learned that the Japanese politicians have backed away from that specific timeline a bit, but ultimately they know nuclear's days are numbered so they're going to figure out how to move to something else.  And since what they're doing is smart, sensible and safe, America will surely follow suit.  Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!  I enjoy early-morning absurdist humor, too!

President Chester Alan Arthur
I always thought this was
President Captain Kangaroo
CHEERS to #21.  On this date in 1881, Chester Alan Arthur of the gilded and foppish Republican party was sworn in as president of the United States, following the unexpected meeting of an assassin's bullet and James Garfield's spine.  The Chicago Tribune wrote of Arthur: "It requires a great deal for him to get to his desk and begin the dispatch of business. Great questions of public policy bore him. No President was ever so much given to procrastination as he is."  What they failed to appreciate is that Arthur had an energy-robbing condition called Bright's disease.  So, y'know…oops.  Oh, hey, get a load of this from his official White House bio:
Acting independently of party dogma, Arthur also tried to lower tariff rates so the Government would not be embarrassed by annual surpluses of revenue.
Yeah.  That's the Democrats' job.

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Five years ago in C&J: September 20, 2007

JEERS to moving back in with Mom and Dad.  Anyone who reads Bonddad won't be surprised in the least, but this is still pretty shocking: home foreclosures reached an all-time high in August.  How bad is it?  It's so bad that Kellogg's is advertising a free mortgage certificate in every box of Fruit Loops.

CHEERS to John Aravosis.  For going easy on Mitt Romney, who was just a freckle-faced kid when he advocated equal rights for the sodomites:

In all fairness to Mitt Romney, he was only 55 years old in 2002 when he was a flaming pro-gay politician hell-bent on sucking up to gay activists on pretty much every issue, and thus was distributing these fliers all over Boston.  But hey, that was five years ago and Mitt was a younger man.  We really shouldn't hold people's youthful indiscretions against them.
Well, at least not for the next five seconds.  Four...  Three...   Two...

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And just one more…

CHEERS to fun with wurdz.  Today's definition is "class."  Let's look it up in Billy's Fabulous Dictionary and see what we find.  Let's see.  Clap…Clasp…ah, here it is, C-L-A-S-S:

Sophia Lauren
Happy birthday, Sophia.  Don’t forget your 78 percent discount today at Denny's.

Have a classy Thursday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Why do I do it to myself?  The other night, foolish but fortified by several shots of whisky, I set out to read Cheers and Jeers.  For those of you who may not have heard of it, o lucky souls ye, Cheers and Jeers is the piss-filled kiddie pool of the internet.
---Sarah, Proud and Tall
9/18/12

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