Friday Open Thread

Happy Friday!

As I had feared, it was reported that the Justice Department filed an appeal yesterday afternoon seeking an emergency stay of the federal judge’s ruling stopping the military’s DADT policy.  The stay would remain in effect throughout the appeals process.

According to this story in the Huffington Post, Obama’s Justice Department asked U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips to stay her ruling that overturned the ban while the government prepares a formal appeal. Additionally, asking the judge for a response by Monday – “given the urgency and gravity of the issues” – the government said that suddenly ending the ban would be disruptive and “irreparably harm the public interest in a strong and effective military.”

Um…how? I don’t get it…

Still, no “formal” announcement from the White House. However, President Obama was informally cornered at a town hall meeting by a Howard University faculty member who questioned his “alleged commitment to equality for all Americans, gay and straight.” To which President Obama answered that his stance had not wavered. That he couldn’t end the ban with the stroke of a pen, but “we’re going to end this policy.”

Yeah. We’ll see.

In the meantime, what we have is confusion amongst the ranks. Some people think that DADT is done, when it is not. Not by a long-shot. So anyone that comes out now, until it is formally repealed is at risk of being fired. In fact, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is urging those that are gay/lesbian/bisexual and in the military NOT to come out. If they have any questions or if they need an attorney they can contact the organization here:

If you or anyone you know has any questions about how the latest political developments may impact you or someone you know, or about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in general, call 202-328-3244 x100 or email to schedule an appointment with an SLDN attorney.

I am sorry to have a one track mind about this issue lately, but this is all I have been able to focus on. I am truly sickened by all of this. I am hoping for some pleasant, but MAJOR surprises soon. I hate this feeling of doom and gloom; but mostly I just want to feel inspired again.

What’s up with you?


89 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. Thank you to everyone

    who helped out with some math ideas yesterday. We counted money last night, and when I let her keep it she was thrilled! My mom (a former middle school math teacher) is looking at some of the math curriculum websites. And, yes, easy to work some figuring into our cooking and baking – I always knew it was good for teaching numbers and counting, but hadn’t ever taken it a step farther.

    Working math into other favorites – dancing, singing, dress up, arts and crafts – will take some thinking but I think we’re up to the challenge!!

    Thanks again. I don’t say it enough, but you all are a lifeline for me and I so appreciate the wisdom on this site.

  2. to President scaredy cat I call FOUL!

    Yes we can?


    he’s never been a gay ally and he never will.    He can take his hopeandchange and shove it.

  3. Four things

    (1) I don’t think politics in this country is even about ideology anymore. It’s just about money. Anyone worried about ideology is too poor to have any monetary stake in it (and that’s 95% of us). Nonetheless, I will vote D in November, because I hate them less and for different reasons.

    (2) I voted for Obama because his deliberative, thoughtful approach and he seeming desire to build consensus was refreshing after 8 years of crazy. Now I am tired of it and wish he’d just go apeshit on everyone.

    (3) What if the left starts using gay rights the way the right uses abortion? They don’t ever want it to be illegal because then their base wouldn’t have anything to get fired up about.

    (4) My son is going ice skating for phys ed for the next four Fridays. Love Montessori!

    • Yes.

      I will vote for the democrats because the republicans scare the bejesus out of me.  

      It’s ALL about the money and maintaining the status quo.  

      And yes, they string us along with promises of “gay rights” and “universal healthcare”, and, and, and…but, when they finally “deliver”, it seems to never quite meet even the mildest of expectations.  Hello…we basically got the health care plan that McCain campaigned on.  

    • #2 is irony isn’t it?

      One of the things I most wanted to avoid was a president this time around who believed in and constructed a unitary executive. We surely got a man who lets Congress take the lead in deliberations rather than a man who takes the executive and wields it like a hammer. Ironic.

  4. Who the hell is Obama?

    The president seems to bear no relation to the candidate. Am I the only one who is greatly disappointed? He seems to care what the GOP thinks more than what the Democrats want. Hey, Obama, the Republicans didn’t elect you.

    • I warned you all not to drink the

      obama koolaid…. but would you listen to me? NOOOOOO

      (retreats to corner to mutter about Hilary under her breath)

      • thing is, I don’t think

        Hilary would have done any differently.  Over the years, she’s done her share of caving to the politically expedient, too.  

        I’m just fed up with all the talk from the right about “leftists” and “marxists” and “socialists”.  We have republican-lites and that’s about as far as we get.  

          • yup. me too

            I think she’s tougher than him and has the balls that he doesn’t frankly to make some enemies but not care b/c she’s doing what’s right.

            he’s a poseur.  so. over. him.  Back in 08 I put a sticker on my car as  a show of solidarity but i’m taking it off.

          • She could have,

            but would she have?  I think she might have come out swinging more as the mid-term elections near, but honestly, this is the woman who caved and totally supported Bush’s Iraq mess.  

            Bottom line, I don’t think there’s a lot of difference between her and Obama.  I think we’d get similar policies from both of them, and yup…we’d have the right wing going just as ape-shit over her as they do over Obama.  In fact, they already had the script from the 90’s.  And if she were president now and taking the onslaught, we’d all be saying “oh, this is maybe why we should have went with Obama”.

            • the difference as I’ve said again and again

              is that Hilary has already been raked across the coals- for decades now. She’s gone to the mat and she’s been called the names and she’s come out swinging.  Unlike mr. “hey now I wouldn’t want to upset any republicans now would I?”

              • I don’t know.

                She seemed to fold in the Senate and worked a little too hard to prove her “moderate-ness”.   As to policy, she would have surrounded herself with many of the same people surrounding Obama.  I just don’t see where the outcome would be that different.  We’d still be in a mid-term in which the republicans had all the money (thanks to Supreme Court ruling) and spending it on convincing the lesser informed that “Democrat” really does equal “Communist”.  

                Would she be a little tougher?  Maybe.  It sounds satisfying to think of one of our leaders really going off on this nonsense, but I’ve been waiting for that for too many years, I guess.  We liberals just are too  damn fair and reasonable for our own good.

                • maybe. but for now i can cling to my

                  righteous indignation on her behalf.  

                  maybe i’m just smarting still b/c up here in primary land the obaman people were SOOOO obnoxious and smug.  and us Hilary supporters were scrappy and fighting and pulled off a victory for her – that the rest of the country stomped on in their eagerness to stand around shouting ‘yes we can’  


                • Yeah.

                  Um, didn’t her husband sign DADT? And it’s not like the Clinton years were awesome super liberal years. The economy was good, but really, welfare reform, NAFTA, etc.?

                  And I can’t see the Republicans going any easier on her than Obama. If he gets mad, he’s and angry black man and if she gets mad she’s a hysterical bitch. I don’t believe there’s any hero who’d fight for us. See point #1 above.

                    • did she sign it?

                      are we now blaming her for what her husband did? I thought we’d gone past that.

                    • Well

                      He’s the one who said they were a 2-for-1 package at the time he ran.

                    • so nearly 20 years later

                      we’re going to decide that b/c he signed it she must believe it. too?  

                      the “clinton signed DADT” is a straw man argument.  We’re all really progressive feminists here – if I said to someone here – well your husband voted republican so you msut believe what he believes there would be an uproar.  Why is it ok to say that of one of our most powerful and groundbreaking female politicians?

                    • Because

                      all we’re doing is speculating. If you don’t want to use the 8 Clinton years as a basis for speculating what Hillary would be doing now, fine, feel free not to do so. I don’t think it’s an unreasonable thing to use as a basis, you may differ.

                    • Why not

                      use her own actions as First Lady if we are using the Clinton White House as a means of speculation?  Really unfair to judge her for her husband’s actions.  She fought hard for health care reform before it was a Dem talking point.

                    • She worked on it

                      but had even less success than Obama has. And she hasn’t exactly repudiated her husband’s record, either.

                      Sorry, I just don’t buy the idea that she’d be out there doing completely different things than either her husband or Obama and, furthermore, succeeding at them where everyone else who tried has failed because of the structure of our government.

                      This isn’t the 1930s when conservatives and opposition to government programs were a rarity. It’s the reality of 2010 that half the people in making the laws don’t believe in government at all.

                    • She worked on it

                      and she wasn’t president, of COURSE Obama got farther with it.  It’s several years later and he’s the president.
                      It’s fine to think that she wouldn’t be any different I just don’t think it’s fair to use her husband as proof.

                    • Well

                      Public support for health care reform was actually significantly higher in 1993 than it is now. And she was acting as her husband’s, effectively, deputy on it with his full support.

                      But anyway.

                    • Laughing to myself

                      Democrats, this is what our problem is (and I include myself fully). All the shit going on around us, and what are we doing? Rehashing the 2008 primary fight. This is why we never get anything done–herding cats, I say :)

                    • Case in point

                      Laura Bush.  She’s come out against some of her husband’s policies.

                    • Well, if you don’t count her time as first lady

                      she really didn’t have that much of a political record to consider. But I seem to recall she wanted to count that time as experience. But that may not be material.

                      I just don’t see much from her record as a senator to indicate she’d be mind-blowingly different from Obama. She never really distanced herself (in my mind anyway) from the policies of her husband. It’s nice to think there’s someone out there who would be feisty and principled enough to fight, but I don’t think there is.

                    • not HRC

                      I wasn’t saying anything about HRC. More about the inaction of Obama and how what we had before (Bill) wasn’t much better or was worse.

                  • But at the time, recall

                    it was a huge improvement over the existing policy, which was to hunt down and seek out possible gay and lesbian soldiers, and it was the best he could do given the political climate at the time. He was also promised that it would be implemented more fully than it was – that is, that there would be no investigations unless a servicemember make it impossible for them to ignore.

                    That said, today the atmosphere is different, and I don’t get why the Obama administration would defend this.

        • Correct

          on Republican-lites

          The goal at this point is not to get anything new, not to make any progress. It’s simply to keep things from rolling backwards.

          • in reality, though,

            that’s the way it’s seemed my entire adult life.  And often, we did actually roll back downhill.

            But, you know, I’m evidently not a “real” enough American.  

            • I agree

              I guess I’m thinking longer timelines.

              We’re never going to make big progress again.

              As far as human suffering, all we can hope for is to slow down the inevitable erosion of the safety nets we currently have.

              • long term

                It’s an ugly period of our history. If we can succeed in not going back to 1960, I think we can call that success. I think history goes in long waves and we will make progress again at some point. I really believe that.

                • very ugly

                  I agree, very ugly. Politically of course, but economically too. Millions of people out of work, never going to go back to work some of them. Young people can’t get jobs. States going broke. Debt climbing. It’s overwhelming.

    • I don’t know

      I think “disappointment” is a meme, to the degree that I wonder exactly who is behind it.  

      I got the president I voted for.  I’m neither surprised nor disappointed.  I admit to being baffled by the DADT thing – I certainly expected that one to have been changed in the first two years.  But the rest of it seems to be going about as well as could be expected.  Were other people expecting some kind of liberal revolution?  I expected a change of course and slow progress toward the left, and I think he’s delivered ahead of my expectations.  Maybe that just means I’m a pessimist.  But I didn’t expect any progress on health care at all.  

      • I thought we might be a little

        further ahead on healthcare.  I thought we might have at least got the damn public option.

        But, I agree.  He’s a moderate/centrist.  As is Hilary.  As was every other major contender in the primaries.  

      • Reminds me

        of the fact checker thing that said he had fulfilled or was working on the vast majority of campaign promises.  I’m disappointed in the Health Care bill and deeply disappointed in his approach to DADT but I believe we did get what we voted for.  I think my disappointment with Congress also colors my disappointment in the President.  If they weren’t all being mamby-pamby then maybe I’d be happier with him.

        • Yes.

          I think the disappointment in Congress colors my view largely as well.  Why, oh why, do democrats lack backbone?  We they campaign forcefully on the issues that are considered “democratic issues”, they do well.  These are popular positions and they are representative of the majority.  

          • The problem is the Senate.

            The Senate is a fundamentally undemocratic institution. When Wyoming and Nebraska have equal representation to California, Texas, and New York you don’t have a democracy where one person equals one vote. The Dem senators who have not stood with the rest of their caucus are attempting to represent their constituencies, who are perhaps the median in their states but aren’t the median in the country as a whole.  

            Unfortunately, conservatism is a fundamental structural reality of our governmental system.

            Whether the president has a conciliatory or an aggressive approach isn’t going to change the fact that Ben Nelson et al. are scared their constituents will vote them out if they vote with Dennis Kucinich.

            • and

              Those of us further to the left are also scared that Ben Nelson et al will be voted out if he doesn’t represent his constituents, because then DeMint will be in control and the Kucinich allies won’t even have a voice at the table.  And Nelson does have an obligation to represent people who don’t think much like me.

              • True

                although like Anu, I think they should let them filibuster. They’d have eventually given up the filibuster and been able to vote on the public option if Reid had let them, plus people would have seen what was going on and it would not have reflected well on the Republicans.

        • The Senate. Grr.

          Why is it that the R’s with a simple majority can push through all kinds of garbage but the D’s can have 58 and can’t get anything passed without compromising all the meaning out of it?  It’s ridiculous.  Cowards.

      • Same

        I wished I could get a president I would actually love, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen.  I always knew that no high ranking democrat could do what I would call a good job.  This is what I expected.  

  5. Small rant

    I got the kids haircuts yesterday. I was standing by DD, who was just getting a trim. When it was over, the stylist picked up the sucker mug and said “What’s the magic word?” DD just looked at her. The stylist said it again and DD said nothing. Before I could explain that DD doesn’t know what that means because that isn’t how we say it, the stylist says “I think manners in children are so important. I absolutely insist on it.” I said, “Susanna, how do we ask?” And DD said, “Sucker, please,” and when she got one, she promptly said, “Thank you.” This is a child who thanks me for changing her diaper. I think her manners are just fine, thank YOU.

    Sigh. Why do I not have the guts to comment on other people’s children right in front of them? Or at least have the presence of mind to give them Rachel’s immortal line: How nice for you.

  6. Politics

    I just donated $250 to the DNC because as much as I’d love the Democrats to buck up a bit, I still think they are far more thoughtful and reality based than our other options.

    I’m a fair bit to the left so I’d love to have seen more progress on health care, gay rights and the environment (especially green jobs which seems to kill two birds with one stone).  I’m pleased with his decision to focus on health care since I think our health care ‘system’ (really a non-system) is about as crappy of a delivery system as one can find in developed nations.

    I want all sorts of other things to come down the pike but I realize it might take some time and I’m okay with that.  It sure bets Bush’s approach of no-stem cell research, loosen all regulations everywhere and pander to the religious right.

    My real frustration with President Obama lies with the tepid response to the economy.  It’s always about the economy for voters and I think the administration underestimated how bad things were and what really needed to be done.  Still, I like him and am glad I voted for him.  

    Oh – and the filibuster?  That’s what’s wrong with the Democrats.  Let the Republicans filibuster.  Go for it!  Why on earth do the Dems let the Republicans quietly kill things with procedural votes.  Buck up Congress-critters!  You are on the right side of the issue, your Republican colleagues are not.  Let the stone-walling play out on TV and in the newspapers.  It will only hurt the other side.

    • well

      I tend to look at the administration, not just the top dog even though the buck really does stop there.  He made a few very good calls, notably Hillary and Dashle (who was at least the right choice, though he didn’t get him).  I was much less happy with his economic team.  But when he took the helm the plane was in a spiral trailing smoke from both engines – I’m not quite sure I’m qualified to criticize the pilot’s actions in an emergency.  

      We’ve still got Geithner and that Goolsbee dude.  But Larry Summers is gone – that’s a start.  Elizabeth Warren is in, and I do love her.  (Obama koolaid?  No thank you.  Hillary koolaid?  I’ll pass.  Warren koolaid?  Hold on, I need to find a bigger cup.)  It’s a net move in the right direction.  And did I mention that Rahm took his toys and went home?  I’m pretty sure I mentioned that.  

      • I just wanted a bit more

        I’m not that unhappy with administration.  I do know that there were a number of economists who thought the economic stimulus was on the small side of what was needed.  Then when the economy proved a bit more stubborn than expected the administration was left trying to explain persistent unemployment.  

        I believe Bush’s policies (and some Clinton ones, too) got us into this mess.  I also believe Obama’s policies have helped staunch the bleeding.  I just wish we were a bit better off, especially since the idea of Republican control of Congress makes me shiver.

  7. CA teabagger wants to eliminate public schools

    This has me annoyed today

    David Harmer wants to eliminate public schools.

    This is Jerry McNerney’s opponent in CA-11, and he’s leading.

    The source of this is an editorial from 2000 for the San Francisco Chronicle titled, Abolish the Public Schools by David Harmer

    His contention is that before public schools, during America’s first century,  that all the children got wonderful free market educations that made them literate and able to summon rainbow-emitting unicorns. Uh huh.


    • The free market education system of the

      early 1800s certainly seems to have resulted in an awful lot of people who signed their names with an X.

      But hey, at least people didn’t have to pay taxes to support other people’s children, right?

  8. Got our health insurance renewal

    34.3%. They blame it on Obama, too.

    I would point out that this family plan has a $6,000 deductible for my daughter and I, and we have not had a single claim on it. DH will just overtop his $3000 deductible by the end of the year… by taking only normal, ordinary asthma medicine.

    They have thoughtfully launched some brand new plans that “offer many of the same popular benefits” at lower rates. Interestingly, there is no information about what benefits, popular or unpopular, are excluded from these “exciting new plans.”


    • We get ours through

      my husband’s employer, and this week and next week is “open enrollment”.  We have to go to the website and renew our coverage, but they told us that our share of the premiums would be increasing according to the plan we chose, etc.  They explained it as “high claims filing rate” and then, just for shits and giggles, I guess, through in the “costs that might be associated with health care reform” as another possible reason.  We really can’t personally complain as right now our contribution is only $45 every two weeks.  

      I personally think there are a lot of businesses, health care related and otherwise, who are passing on costs and using the excuse of “health care reform.  Get this:  my son and daughter work for a large health care provider’s medication distribution center.  This center packages the drugs that go to their nursing homes.  Last year and this year, the “cost of health reform” excuse was given to them as the reason they would not be getting any cost of living raises.  

      • terrible

        That is particularly evil because it then plants the idea that HCR is the problem and hits people directly in the pocket book almost as a punishment. I wonder if their CEO got a raise.

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