GAYS IN THE MILITARY
--Well, the Justice Department asked to stay a Federal Judge's ruling to cease military discharges under Don't Ask Don't Tell. Government lawyers also said they will appeal District Judge Virginia A. Phillips's ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
To me it is all political theater, and it's immoral, because it hurts innocent military personnel who serve honorably. And Mr. Obama and his administration can get away with it, because there is no well-funded, well-organized, powerful gay voting bloc. So the President can pay lip service to his belief that the law is wrong, and yet hide behind legal procedures to avoid taking a leadership role to actively repeal the ban.
It is confusing: Many, many commentators declare that Obama has had the authority, since Day 1, to reverse the law through Executive Order. Some point out that because the law was a Congressional decision and not a statute (as military segregation was in the 1940's), it can only be overturned by an act of Congress. But then again, Mr. Obama IS the Commander-in-Chief...can he not give an order? The Military is civilian-run, and it is not a Democracy. What do you think?
--To add more salt to the wound, the Obama administration decided recently to "appeal Boston district judge Joseph Tauro's ruling that the federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. Judge Tauro made the ruling back in July on the grounds that DOMA violated the Tenth Amendment, which protects states' rights and grants equal protection. The lawsuit was filed both by the state of Massachusetts and by gay couples seeking health-care coverage for their spouses."
Democratic leaders (like Mr. Obama) must maintain the appearance of sympathy with the right of gay couples to marry, and yet must also wish this issue (like DADT) would go away until after the midterm elections.
The Dems' urgent appeal to voters (with Mr. Obama leading the charge) is that a loss of Democratic seats in Congress will undo the work that has already been done.... Yet, can anyone tell me if a so-called Democratic majority has made much difference? Rather than appeal for votes based on the ideals for change that were convincigly laid out during the last campaign, the Dems threaten supporters with the likes of "there's nowhere else for you to go, and to sit on the sidelines would be irresponsible."
--Groups like the American Chamber of Commerce, which because of their tax-exempt status are technically forbidden to engage in political activity, are committing huge sums of money to fund candidates that would seem to protect their special interests. After the disastrous Citizen's United Supreme Court Decision, other shady groups with dubious memberships are funding many campaigns, and they are not required to disclose the sources of their funding. And these groups are supporting Republican candidates over Democratic ones 9 to 1.
The problem with the hateful campaign ads is that they work. They appeal to the fears and ignorance of voters who feel helpless. That's why politicians aren't so enthused about having a truly educated electorate.
BUSH TAX CUTS
--It's astonishing and insulting when I hear politicians claim that not re-extending the tax breaks on the wealthiest citizens is a job-killer and will add to the deficit.
WHY doesn't anyone point out that the during the tax breaks, which have been in effect for years, more jobs have been lost than any time since the Great Depression, and the deficit is due in large measure to unreported budget spending on defense? Perhaps the media don't discuss this because it hits many of them in their own pocketbooks. Tax the lot of them.
PUPPY MILLS AND THE TEA PARTY
--I will devote an entire post to this outrage soon....
In short, there is a ballot measure, Proposition B, in Missouri to criminalize the cruel treatment of animals in puppy mills, in effect phasing out this horrible business and leaving the breeding of dogs to responsible professionals. This is the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act. You can read the whole measure on this link.
Puppy mills are kennels in which female dogs are bred repeatedly to produce as many puppies in their lives as possible, before they themselves are destroyed. Conditions are horrendous: dogs are sick with fur and skin diseases, and internal infections of all kinds; food and water are contaminated with vermin and bacteria; mother dogs live their whole lives in uncomfortable and filty cages; and the puppies are taken from the mothers too young, shipped to pet stores, with inherent health problems.
To my screaming shock, it was recently reported that John McCain's old "common man" campaign supporter, Joe the Plumber, has joined with his Tea Party cronies TO OPPOSE THE BILL, along with other animal breeding groups. He claims that by enforcing measures such as adequate shelter, clean food and water, and limiting the number of animals an owner can breed, it violates the basic rights of business, and the cost would make it more difficult for the average American family to own a dog.
Every bone in my animal-shelter-volunteering body shuddered with rage.
It occurred to me then that my disgust for the Tea Party movement was rooted in a basic disregard for the suffering of the innocent, in a blatant infantile preoccupation with self-satisfaction (under the guise of "self-reliance"). And as long as the Republicans (who MUST regard this movement with contempt) keep the anger level of the Tea Partiers high, candidates are sure to reap the benefits of the"voter enthusiasm" gap, get elected, and then brush the Tea Partiers aside until the next election cycle.