Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Via Courage Campaign

Courage Campaign

Because of an unprecedented filibuster by Sen. John McCain, we just lost a critical vote in the Senate to end debate on the Defense Authorization bill and repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

But this is NOT OVER. Not by a long shot.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can attempt to end debate -- and bring the Defense Authorization bill to the floor for a vote -- again. The question is when he will do so. Until he does, we need to keep up the pressure on the Senate.

On Monday, we delivered 557,293 Courage Campaign signatures to targeted Senators. While we may have lost this vote, we need to keep fighting to get another -- and finish off DADT for good. Please help us keep up the pressure on Washington to finally repeal DADT by contributing $25, $50, $100 or more right now:


Let's be clear. Without your relentless pressure to repeal DADT -- along with the activism of so many other organizations, individuals and communities --  a vote would not have taken place today.

Your pressure made it possible, from your support for Lt. Dan Choi during our "Don't Fire Dan!" campaign to the 557,293 signatures we delivered to Congress and the President, to the thousands of calls you made to Congress via Courage and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

And we're going to keep up that pressure. But we need your support now to do it.

Today, we came within ONE vote of bringing DADT repeal to the Senate floor. Now we need to get that last vote -- and finish off DADT for good. Please help us keep up the pressure on Washington to finally repeal DADT by contributing $25, $50, $100 or more right now:


Thanks you for your commitment to the cause of equality. We really can't do this without you.

Rick Jacobs
Chair, Courage Campaign

P.S. The Senate is not the only place we're going to apply pressure in Washington. We are also joining the Human Rights Campaign in calling on the Justice Department not to appeal the recent court decision that ruled DADT unconstitutional. The decision in this historic case, launched by the Log Cabin Republicans, affirms what the vast majority of the American people know to be true - that it's time for DADT to be sent to the dustbin of history. Stay tuned.

Courage Campaign Equality is a part of the Courage Campaign's multi-issue online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots supporters to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. To get involved in Courage Campaign Equality, visit "Testimony: Equality on Trial" -- our year-long campaign to bring the Prop 8 trial into the lives of Americans.
To support our work to repeal DADT, please chip in what you can today:

Via HRC:

Human Rights Campaign
Dear Daniel,
Senate Republicans have blocked "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal from receiving a vote!
But we are continuing to fight on all fronts, including the courts.
Just moments ago, Senate Republicans blocked the bill that contains the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" from even receiving an up-or-down vote. Not a single one broke ranks.
It's an outrage. But this doesn't mean the fight is over. Senate majority leader Harry Reid has committed to bringing the bill back up after the November elections – and we'll have a fighting chance to get it passed then – so we'll put everything we have into that effort.
In the meantime, we need to pursue every possible avenue to get rid of this law. And the Justice Department may be our best hope.
Here's why: A federal district court recently ruled that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is unconstitutional. Now, the Justice Department has a choice: they can fight the decision, or they can let it stand and bring "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" one step closer to the dustbin of history.
Today's move by Senate Republicans is an outrage. Not a single Republican senator was willing to even begin debate on this important legislation, which includes a pay raise for our service members.
But we've faced setbacks before, and this is not the end of the road. We'll keep our efforts at full steam as we prepare for another showdown in the Senate after the election.
And if Attorney General Eric Holder agrees not to appeal the recent court decision, discharges under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" could become a relic of the past.
We need to make sure the Attorney General gets the message: he may very well be our best hope to bring about the repeal of this discriminatory law.
Then spread the word by email, Facebook, and Twitter.
Thanks for your help. Together, we can and we will end this law once and for all.
Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese

Via JMG: Senate Blocks "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal and DREAM Act

Mike Ludwig, Truthout: "Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked the Obama administration's effort to end the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy that prevents openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the armed forces. Democrats failed to find the 60 votes needed to begin debate of the 2011 Defense Authorization bill that includes language to repeal the Clinton-era rule on gays and lesbians in the military. The 56-43 vote followed party lines, with Republicans threatening to filibuster, and two Democratic Sens., Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, supporting Republicans in opposing debate on the bill."

Read Article

Via JMG: DADT Cloture Vote Fails In Senate 56-43

The cloture vote on DADT has failed 56-43 with zero Republicans voting "yes." I'll have the complete roll call in this post shortly. Knowing that cloture would fail, Sen. Harry Reid voted "no" too, so he'll have the chance to reintroduce the bill. That bit of maneuvering was lost on GOProud.

UPDATE: All Republicans voted "no." Aside from Reid as noted above, the only two Democrats who voted "no" were Sen. Blache Lincoln and Sen. Mark Pryor, both of Arkansas.
reposted from Joe

via jmg: DADT Cloture Vote Reactions

Stonewall Democrats
"Senate Republicans have tragically blocked the National Defense Authorization Act because it contains language to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," showing themselves to be far outside of the American mainstream. Their actions today are just more obstructionism and willful disregard of what 8 in 10 Americans want. It is a sad the lengths the GOP will go to in order to discriminate against soldiers who want to serve our country openly, honorably and with integrity. It is nothing short of a slap in the face to their service in their fight for our freedoms. Today, one man's bigotry and opinions proved how out of touch the GOP is with the majority of Americans. Today Senator John McCain held back progress and history. Senator McCain along with the rest of the Republican party is consistently out of touch with the values that Americans hold true to in 2010.”
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
“Once again, politicians are playing politics with people's lives. Filibustering the defense authorization bill to block action on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal and the DREAM Act — two measures that do justice to the fundamental principle of fairness — is a disappointment and disservice to our country. Seventy-eight percent of Americans support ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and countless others believe that young people should be provided a path to citizenship in the country they love and have always called home. Today's Senate vote mocks those ideals. The senators who led and supported the filibuster effort should be ashamed.”
Human Rights Campaign
Today our military readiness and national security were set back as Senator John McCain successfully led a Republican filibuster of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to which the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is attached. Not since 1948 has Congress failed to act on the NDAA. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has committed to bringing the bill back up following the election. “This filibuster was election year politics at its worst,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “It’s a shame that during a time of war, Republican Senators wouldn’t even allow debate on the bill that provides a pay raise for our troops.”
Today is a disappointing day for everyone who has engaged in this fight over the years -- for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Servicemembers United, Outserve, Knights OUT, countless servicemembers who have taken action with us, and the active-duty servicemembers across the globe who are being forced to remain closeted while serving our country. We thank them for their service and we stand steadfast in our commitment to serve them as they have served us. We are calling on President Obama to show the courage and leadership required of the Commander in Chief to unequivocally state that military discharges must end immediately. Our elected leaders have demonstrated that they are either unwilling or unable to do the right thing. Now it's time for our "fierce advocate" to step up to the plate for us.
“Just now on the floor of the Senate, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a consent agreement that would have allowed for a vote on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal and provided a fair framework for the debate. Unfortunately, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected this offer – and as a result, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal has died in the Senate. “The defeat of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal lies solely with Harry Reid and the Democrat leadership. Harry Reid is playing political games with the lives of the brave gay men and women serving in our military. It's clear now that Lady GaGa should have held her Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal rally in Nevada instead of Maine.”
Servicemembers United
"Today's vote is a failure of leadership on the part of those who have been duly elected to serve this nation and to put the best interests of the country ahead of partisan politics," said Alexander Nicholson, founder and Executive Director of Servicemembers United. "The Senate could learn a good lesson from those who serve in uniform and who stand to benefit from proceeding to debate on this bill - serving this country means putting politics aside and getting the job done. It is simply inexcusable that this vote failed today." The votes to break the filibuster had previously been lined up, but last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to use an uncommon procedural privilege on the bill that eroded support for breaking the filibuster and guaranteed the vote's failure. Intense lobbying and public pressure over the past week proved not to be enough to force either side to back down. The Senate will not likely take up the defense authorization bill again until after the mid-term elections in November.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
“Today’s Senate vote was a frustrating blow to repeal this horrible law. We lost because of the political maneuvering dictated by the mid-term elections. Let’s be clear: Opponents to repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ did not have the votes to strike those provisions from the bill. Instead, they had the votes for delay. Time is the enemy here. We now have no choice but to look to the lame duck session where we’ll have a slim shot. The Senate absolutely must schedule a vote in December when cooler heads and common sense are more likely to prevail once midterm elections are behind us. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network will continue to take this fight to the American people, the vast majority of whom support repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Republican supported homophobia...

"All Faggots Must Die"

The above comment was left today by "Jimmy" on my post about the DADT cloture vote. The IP address *appears* to resolve to the neighborhood of GOP U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss' Atlanta office. The ISP is "United States Senate." I'm confident that the JMG internet sleuths can get to the source.

Here's the IP: Get busy, geeks!

UPDATE: According to a friend of JMG reader Sean Chapin, the comment appears to have actually come from the Atlanta office of Sen. Johnny Isakson, the OTHER Republican Senator in Georgia, whose offices are not far from Sen. Chambliss'. Dennis writes:
"First I did a WHOIS lookup on the address and found out that it belonged to the US Senate. Then I did a trace on the IP and got the latitude, longitude and city location for the IP. Once I had the city, I did a search on senate offices and started with the one that came out on top which was Isakson’s. Once I had the address of his office, I pulled up the latitude and longitude info for it and found that it matched those of the IP."
Examine Dennis' screenshots below and tell us if you think he's got this nailed.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: The Christine O'Donnell Tea Party Flag

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Rachel Maddow- McCain stands firm for hypocrisy on DADT - Lady Gaga