Tag Archives: Patrick Murphy

Wherein I Praise Susan Davis AND Ellen Tauscher

They’re not two of my favorite California Congresswoman.  But their leadership on repealing don’t ask don’t tell comes to a head with a hearing today, chaired by Davis.

Democrats in Congress hope to ignite a drive to reverse the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy Wednesday with the first hearing on the subject since 1993, when President Clinton said gays could serve in uniform if they kept quiet about their sexual orientation.

Without this hearing, said former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman John Shalikashvili, “you will never repeal the law. It’s a great idea.” He is among more than 50 retired generals and admirals who have said it is time to rethink the policy […]

Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee tried to have a hearing on the policy in April 2007, but opposition from conservatives in their party sank the idea.

Since then, “There’s another year in the war,” says Rep. Susan Davis, a California Democrat who chairs the military personnel subcommittee. “We want to start a conversation” that could put the issue on a front burner again.

Democratic Rep. Ellen Tauscher of California, the lead sponsor of a bill to repeal the policy, said she knows what military leaders would say if they testified.

“The military leadership will tell you that this is the law they’ve been given to operate under and that’s what they do,” she says, “which is a very different question of off-line and off-the-record, ‘Personally, admiral, what do you think?’ That’s the only way they could answer … differently.”

The Pentagon may be ducking this hearing, but they can’t hide from public opinion.  Over 75 percent of Americans would like to see DADT repealed.  The arguments about “unit cohesion” have been shown to be ridiculous, and the case of Arabic translators being fired for being gay have highlighted not only the absurdity of this policy, but the national security harm it’s actually doing.

The most fitting part of all of this is that Larry Craig supports Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  Yeah, he would, wouldn’t he?  I’m sure he’d love to change the title to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Just Tap Three Times,” but then…

UPDATE: Rep. Patrick Murphy (from my hometown) had a great hearing.  He kicked a little butt today.  Video on the flip:

Mike Thompson Moves Us Forward With Iraq Withdrawal Plan

(Wonderful stuff by Thompson. – promoted by juls)

Congressman Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), whose first congresssional district represents part of Yolo County, has just cosponsored the Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007 with Senator (and presidential hopeful) Barack Obama (D-IL) and Philadelpia Congressman and Iraq War vet Patrick Murphy (D-PA) to set a timetable for ending our occupation of Iraq. As a Vietnam Vet and tireless champion of veterans’ issues, Thompson knows firsthand the human cost of staying in a pointless war, and was one of the nearly 2/3 of House Democrats who had the sense to vote against going into Iraq in the first place. The details of the bill are as follows:

The binding legislation ends President Bush’s escalation by capping the number of troops at January 10, 2007 levels, puts forward specific benchmarks for success in Iraq and establishes a timeline to redeploy our troops. Redeployment, according to the bill, would begin no later than May 1, 2007, with the goal of all combat brigades redeployed by March 31, 2008 – a date consistent with the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. Troops would be sent either home to their families in the U.S., to Afghanistan where more troops are needed to fight the war on terror or would remain in the region to train Iraqis, protect against more violence and perform counterterrorist activities. The Iraq War De-Escalation Act will refocus the efforts of American armed forces on Afghanistan and the hunt for Osama bin Laden and urges the president to send, within 60 days, a Special Envoy to Iraq to begin the important work of diplomacy with key nations in the region.

In addition, if the Iraqi government meets certain political, diplomatic and reconstruction benchmarks outlined by the Administration, the plan allows for the temporary suspension (for no more than 90 days) of troops redeployments, however only with congressional approval.

Senator Russ Feingold has a similar bill out there, similarly titled The Iraq Redeployment Bill of 2007, that would push the withdrawal timetable to 6 rather than 14 months. Feingold has been on fire recently, and had some choice words for his fellow senators in this recent diary at daily kos, this audio interview with Dave Sirota, and last night’s appearance on Countdown. Hopefully between the Thompson-Obama-Murphy bill and Feingold’s bill, they can put something together.

If you’re in his district, you can email here to let Mike Thompson know that he’s got support on the ground for this bill, if you’re so inclined.

originally posted at surf putah