Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lame-Duck Session - #2437 -Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Repeal Loses Appeal Among Troops - Family Research Council (2) Senate Rejects Earmark Ban in Lame-Duck Session - Hot Air

Don't Ask. That's more than the name of the policy on homosexuals in the military, it's the unofficial motto of the report surrounding it. When the Defense Department trots out its questionable analysis of the 1993 compromise, it will include a lot of statistics. But our soldiers' opinions of repeal will not be one of them. That's because the Pentagon, despite media spin to the contrary, never asked. "How... are you going to assess the effect on morale and battle effectiveness and retention unless you consult and find out what the view of the troops is?" said a frustrated Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).  Good question. One that FRC and Center for Security Policy (CSP) determined to answer. Last week, our organizations decided to ask the question the Pentagon didn't: do our troops support overturning "Don't Ask, Don't Tell?" In a national poll, jointly commissioned by FRC and CSP, a solid majority of 10,028 active and retired military members answered no. When asked point-blank, "Do you believe Congress should overturn the current 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy..." almost 63% of servicemen and their families said no. Their opposition was consistent across every demographic-including age (younger respondents were actually more opposed to repeal than their middle-aged counterparts), gender, and service branch (Marines were the strongest in terms of opposition to overturning the policy at 68%).  Read more.........

Senate Rejects Earmark Ban in Lame-Duck Session - Hot Air - This doesn’t exactly come as a surprise, since the Republicans only have 42 seats in the lame-duck Senate and most of the anti-earmark caucus won’t take their seats until January. Still, the final vote on the proposed earmark ban was the closest reformers have come to victory, and it may be a harbinger of better days ahead:  The Senate Tuesday rejected a GOP bid to ban the practice of larding spending bills with earmarks — those pet projects that lawmakers love to send home to their states.  Most Democrats and a handful of Republicans combined to defeat the effort, which would have effectively forbidden the Senate from considering legislation containing earmarks like road and bridge projects, community development funding, grants to local police departments and special-interest tax breaks.  The 39-[56] tally, however, was a better showing for earmark opponents, who lost a 29-68 vote earlier this year. Any votes next year should be closer because a band of anti-earmark Republicans is joining the Senate.  Seven Democrats crossed over, including the outgoing Evan Bayh, both Colorado Senators Bennet and Udall, Russ Feingold, Mark Warner, Claire McCaskill, and Bill Nelson, the latter two of which will face voters in 2012. Eight Republicans voted against the ban, mainly the usual suspects. Bob Bennett of Utah showed why voters were smart to go with Mike Lee in the primary. Jim Inhofe has publicly defended Congressional privilege, so his Nay was expected, as was that of Lisa Murkowski, Thad Cochran, George Voinovich, Susan Collins, and Richard Shelby. Dick Lugar voted against it too, just after complaining that he didn’t get enough respect from Tea Party conservatives; he can expect that to be a sore point in his re-election bid. Olympia Snowe was smarter — she will face a primary challenge and voted for the earmark ban to bolster her own center-right credentials.  Read more.........

No comments:

Post a Comment