Archive for December, 2010

After DADT Podcast

This week’s repeal of the Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell (DADT) provision for the military may not be the parting of the waters we might hope. Most certainly, it was not the doom anti-gay sorts have been claiming for the 17 years they have fought the repeal.

Kara Suffredini, MassEquality‘s executive director, joined us to think about the short-, mid- and long-term affects of the repeal. Click below to hear her views.

She does not see a flood or even solid stream of LGBT-positive results. Instead, she is simultaneously looking over the next five to 10 years, with some victories in Congress, others at state levels and still others in courts, and fending off challenges from those who would overturn same-sex marriage and other rights.

Suffredini noted that MassEquality was a bit freer for other efforts, including some beyond the state like helping Rhode Island finish passing SSM there. While DADT was fought on Capitol Hill, the local effort was hard fought as well. She cited the many thousands of post cards, phone calls and visits to legislators, particularly U.S. Sen. Scott Brown.

She discussed the loose interplay between DADT, SSM and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). She noted that marriage rights and who can serve in the military have been closely linked even before gays and lesbians entered into the equation. Yet, she does not see the DADT victory as showing a major shift in Congress on DOMA. Instead, this week’s repeal indicates an important change in public opinion, which in turn eventually affects lawmakers.

Suffredini acknowledged that this repeal was a shot in the arm to her efforts. However, she also sees losses like the anti-SSM vote in Maine last year as having similar negative effects. In her terms, once lawmakers make a tough decision, they don’t want to revisit it.

Listen in as she describes the work ahead and where she sees possibilities.

icon for podpress  After DADT [41:18m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


DADT – a Domino?

MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini joins us to talk about the immediate and broader effects of the Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell (DADT) repeal. Understandably, the focus has been almost entirely on the military. Now what?

We’ll talk it over tomorrow, Tuesday, December 21st at 2:30 PM EST. Listen in live if you can. You can come back to that URL or here anytime later to hear it on demand.

As will quickly be obvious to the few who didn’t get it (a certain Senator from Arizona and the head of the Marines come to mind) that the repeal will be relatively seamless, highly positive and otherwise a non-issue. Despite similar fears, pushback and panic on African Americans, women, Japanese Americans and others serving in the Armed Forces, this was yet another real struggle.

Meanwhile rights and political groups are cogitating. Could this showing of two-thirds of the conservative U.S. Senate lead to other obvious, sensible decisions and actions? Could the DADT repeal affect the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) efforts?


Filibuster Podcast

clay.jpgWe got political, academic and riled up over filibusters, Rule XXII, secret holds on nominations and more in talking about the U.S. Senate today. Of course, we veered into judgments on the heart and efficacy of President Obama in proposing and driving legislation…or not.

Mike promised a few links.Those who want to see or support the effort to reform the Senate rules should head to the Fix the Senate Now website or its Facebook page. These specify the issues and propose solutions to the related problems.

Today, Ryan and Mike gave some background on filibusters and described the current and recent problems. Most lie in the Senate, but they also resolve to the President. Ryan speculates that he may simply be a middle-of-the-road guy not suited to lead us actively in these tough times. Mike longs for him to find his inner Lyndon Johnson.

Listen in as we describe what happens with the dull of wit and faint of heart in the face of obstructionist Senators.

icon for podpress  Rule XXII [56:51m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Real and Imagined Filibusters

Join us Tuesday, 12/14 at 2:30 EST for talk on talk — we start with U.S. Senate filibusters. Until Bernie Sanders stood for over eight hours Friday, this delaying tactic was the Congressional unicorn.

We talk about Rule XXII allowing them and what effects they are having on our legislation and legislators. We get to what would happen if the majority party made the opposition deliver on filibusters and show their stripes.

If you want to join in, call at show time to 718-664-6966. If you can’t make the show, check back here or the show’s URL to hear it on demand.


WikiLeaks Podcast

As always, Ryan was more sanguine about the public’s collective wisdom. As opposed to Mike, he concluded that further WikiLeak revelations would likely convince many of us that revealing hidden (but in redacted form) classified documents would be a good thing.

We discussed the impacts and implication of the leaks, of the pursuit of the editor-in-chief, and what it means for small-d democracy and the larger U.S. system of diplomacy. During the show, Mike checked and found that numerous live listeners were on, but none chose to speak.  He hoped that this did not indicate a trepidation that mirrored recent fears of being accused of terrorism or anti-American behavior.

Regardless, we discussed the unfortunate long-term trend of overclassifying documents and trying to hide information from the public — lying in more common parlance. We agreed it’s past time for the the executive and legislative branches to order evaluation and declassification.

Listen in as we hit this and that. Granted, we had the advantage of considerable current coverage in news and blogs. You have even more now. Feel free to comment.

Related Post: Mike comments at Marry in Massachusetts.

icon for podpress  Wicked? WikiLeaks [57:40m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Sticky WikiLeaks

weekey.jpgTomorrow, Tuesday, 12/7/10, we’ll kick around WikiLeaks at 2:30 p.m. EST. We have the benefit of much written and said. The issues of freedom of information, pluses and minuses of diplomatic secrecy, and indeed, what the U.S. government classifies as hidden are well exposed.)

Julian Assange and his group of furtive revealers (attention Dave Barry – good rock band name earn the mixed blessing and curse, the hero/traitor epithets. Hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic-related messages and related files now public give us a reality check. Have we gone crazy over what we try to hid or is it all necessary for national and world security?

We’ll give our take. Note that one of us is tainted by journalism school. If you aren’t talked out about WikiLeaks, call in when the show is live at (718) 664-6966. Keep it sweet, Beet.

Listen in live or check back for the show on demand.