Eat This and Shut Up

As quietly inserted into today’s White House schedule, set for a time after Journalist Working Hours:

President Obama will sign a presidential memorandum on Wednesday to extend benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, administration officials said Tuesday evening, but he will stop short of pledging full health insurance coverage.

Mr. Obama, in an Oval Office announcement, is expected to offer details about which benefits will be provided. It is the most significant statement he has made on gay issues, and it comes as he faces intense criticism from several gay rights leaders over what they suggest has been a failure to live up to campaign promises in the first months of his presidency.

Now stop saying he never cared about you.

U.S. to Extend Its Job Benefits to Gay Partners [NYT]
58 Comments

Oh, sorry, did you want some of this cake? I’ve got some pumpernickel left on the table, I think…

It doesn’t include health insurance or retirement benefits, both forbidden apparently by DOMA which his DOJ is working overtime to have upheld.

Also, these “benefits” are ones that we already have.

New Odubya playbook: Actively work against our constitutional rights, make a show about giving us something we already have, then bitch about how ungrateful we are to the state-run, sycophantic media. BRILLIANT!

@Original Andrew: On the upside, he hasn’t called teh gheyz “brushwood and thorns”. Among the downsides, he’s adopting the lingua franca of the Man.

It’ll also give plenty of ammo to the legions of Obamessiah apologists.

In no particular order, they’re going to say: “he’s too busy;” “he didn’t know;” “he does know but he doesn’t care;” and “He has a plan for your life if you believe in Him!” or the classic “repent and shuddup, faggot.”

Then there’s the “he’s just upholding the law” defense. Jeebus, ‘murrikins like to think of themselves romantically as revolutionaries and rebels, but we really are a sad, jello-brained, authoritarian culture.

Please, people. He’s busy undermining his healthcare promises right now. He can’t sell out everyone at once.

Oh, and in answer to an earlier question: Honeymoon’s over! Who won the pool?

There is a job benefit besides health insurance?

I’m taking the bumper sticker off. That’ll show him.

@FlyingChainSaw: Even in the state of Georgfucktardia, the public universities — quasi governmental entities — have similar bennies as the ones which Barry’s extending. And similarly, no health insurance extension. So, basically, he’s bringing the guv’mint in line with Georgia, which is a sad state of affairs to think about.

And as Chuck Todd was trying to sort out last night, this is a memorandum, not an executive order. All the boldness of a Hallmark card.

@Original Andrew:
what could be a better example of sad and jellobrained than a television station flooded with angry calls after they interrupted a “jon and kate plus 8 “marathon for breaking news. that’s what riles ‘murricans besides gay marriage as you wondered recently. and taxes too.
interrupt the stupidest drivel on the air and action is taken!

@baked: That CNN bit was a piece of satire, in case you missed that detail amidst the infoflood.

Meanwhile, looks like we had a posting traffic jam just now. I’ll sit back until the wreckage is cleared.

I don’t understand. Do not hate on me ppls. But this is Federal employees. A federal law. So he can’t give them them health or retirement benefits because to do so would run foul of DOMA. No? So congress must fix DOMA. No? All he can do is express his support for changes which must come from our elected representatives not as fiats from an imperial preznint. No?

*ducks under table to hide from barrage of shoes*

@Benedick: Well, he’s the boss of the Attorney General, and can tell Holder to take that awful DOMA brief that was reported here recently and put it where the moon don’t shine.

@Dodgerblue: Forgive me. I am not a lawyer. And I do not understand all your fancy talk and such as. But isn’t that what we hated Bunnypants for doing? If the law is bad shouldn’t we be making our elected reps do something about it?

@Benedick: All he can do is express his support for changes which must come from our elected representatives not as fiats from an imperial preznint. No?

Two points:

1. Today’s event was quietly inserted into the White House schedule last night, with no prior announcement. Watching MSNBC, you could enjoy Chuck Todd scrambling to nail down details.

2. The event itself was scheduled for 5:45 ET — equivalent to a Friday news dump. Certainly the news was out for cable to chatter about today, but no live Oval Office remotes during business hours, and somewhat late (though certainly not impossible) to insert into network newscasts.

In short: He played it down. Make of that what you will, but it doesn’t strike me as a ringing expression of support.

@nojo: I’m sorry. I honestly don’t understand. I’m just a poor immigrant unschooled in your ways. Plus it looks like the stupid pills my doctor prescribed are really kicking in.

@Benedick: Who are these “elected reps” of which you speak?

On a happier note, DC will soon recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere (the DC Board of Elections & Ethics, which apparently consists of — yikes — two people, recently ruled that a referendum to overturn the recognition bill would violate DC’s wonderfully inclusive Human Rights Act), with a SSM bill to follow later this year. All this assumes, of course, that some asshat Republican Congresscritter doesn’t threaten to put a hold on approval of DC’s budget unless and until our democratically-elected city council is overturned.

@Benedick: The (poorly written) AP report on the announcement states: “Obama said he wants to see the Defense of Marriage Act repealed and in its place a law that would give the partners of gay and lesbian federal employees health insurance and survivor benefits, among other things.” If that is indeed what he said at this memo release or whatever it was, then pray tell why, why, WHY file that asshat brief last week? You are correct (I think) that we need to pressure the courageous (*cough*cough*) Democrats in Congress to repeal that POS legislation, and that it can’t and shouldn’t be undone by an imperial Executive order. I’m just sick of Barry talking out of both sides of his mouth, and found this a weak effort at pandering.
BTW, my expectation of ever having health insurance? Absolute zero.

@Mistress Cynica: You could dig up the (Eastern) Cherokee princess in your past and go apply for the Indian Health Service once you get past the rigorous enrollment and blood quantum test the Cherokees have (1/64, descendants of Freedmen need not apply). As bad as it is, the IHS has been keeping my dad going by paying for a triple bypass 10 years ago and continuing care for his diabetes.

Maybe you’re all right about pandering (not to be confused with panda-ing) but I’m not convinced.

@mellbell: The whole DC will-they won’t-they means nothing in practical terms. States mean very little. It’s the federal law that must be changed. But then, I live off on the fringes. Perhaps for those more plugged into offices and corp jobs it’s different.

@Mistress Cynica: It’s so terrible that a woman like yourself in a country as rich as this should have no insurance. I bitch and moan about how much I have to pay but I must admit that my coverage, provided by my union, is not bad. Because I am, as they say, vested in the union, I get their COBRA and cannot be thrown off no matter how little I work as an actor (never, these days: huge sighs of relief heard from all over the nation). I am still terrified by the thought of being a widower who can no longer wipe his ass without help having to pay for nurses. That’s when they take whatever you have left. By me, this is the single biggest issue that our president faces and the one that will define his presidency. (sidebar: I still have no instinct about when to use ‘which’ compared to ‘that’. I read the book you recommended. Also, I love Garner’s Modern American Usage. A masterpiece and a lot of fun, IMHO.)

Anyhoo, I had a grand day at work. My head is spinning.

@Benedick:

It’s really quite simple: The Obamessiah sez that action on gay rights must come through Congress, then Harry and Nancy squeal that they need to see a legislative proposal from the Preznit, then he says “oh no, it needs to come through Congress first,” then they say “oh no, you go first,” and he replies “no, really, you go first.”

Meanwhile, they feed constant disinformation to gay rights groups and the media like “we’ll vote on the Hate Crimes bill this week” and “we need 60 votes for the legislation” and then “no, it’ll be August,” and then “sorry, the bill’s dead this session.”

See how that works:

Obama + Congress + In action = gay rights DOA, QED, which is the actual goal.

We’ve got to show them that we’re not some hick dumbasses like the xtian-fascist nutcases that Bush II played for fools all those years.

They either get moving on equality or we’ll send our money elsewhere. And really, that sweet sweet campaign caaa$$$$h is the only thing they give a shit about.

@Benedick: My take on “which” vs “that”: “which” introduces a phrase that describes something whereas “that” introduces a phrase that selects one thing out of many. Yes, this can be the same in some instances. But here are some examples: The book which my brother gave me was boring. I want the book that is on top of the pile of books on the shelf.

@Dodgerblue: Thanks for that. Interesting.

@Original Andrew: We are a very small, if vocal, minority. We cannot hope to compete with the Christers in numbers. And where else do we send the money? I was just watching Olberman ranting about what’s going on and I really don’t get it. Obama was very clear about what his intention is: to repeal DOMA and DADT but that he thinks it must be done via congress. He has also always said that he does not support same-sex marriage but that he does support fully equal civil unions. That’s good enough for me. As before stated, anyone who thinks that their marriage should count let them go get married. When enough of us have done it our marriages will have to count.

Haven’t seem Prommie around – business must be good.

@blogenfreude: Retail. When it’s good it’s hell. When it’s bad, it’s hell.

@Benedick:

Personally, I donate to Lambda Legal and a handful of mostly Washington State politicos, though I have given to Tammy Baldwin in the past. There’s also NGLTF and the ACLU. We have the Seattle Men’s Chorus, Equal Rights Washington and the Chicken Soup Brigade (CSB provides meals and assistance to people struggling with HIV/AIDS). And the Humane Society. Oh, and Gay City Health Project. And your local PBS (not all PBS stations are the same of course, as I much prefer KBTC over KCTS, for example).

You probs have similar organizations in NY, and I’m sure that there are many worthy of your contribution dollars.

I don’t donate to HRC because they also support Republicans, and the Repubs are nothing more than an organized criminal conspiracy/suicide pact these days.

@blogenfreude: Prom(ise Keeper) just surfaced over at FB, according to its all-seeing eye.

@Original Andrew: We’ve got to show them that we’re not some hick dumbasses like the xtian-fascist nutcases that Bush II played for fools all those years.

Hear hear! (Except, I’m afeared that almost all US Americans, be them ghey or strait, are in fact hick dumbassses…)

@Benedick: Obama was very clear about what his intention is: to repeal DOMA and DADT

Yes, just like he was clear on the campaign trail about closing Guantanamo, torture is a crime, ending the war in Iraq (if not Afghanistan), etc. Actions speak louder than words. He does make a pretty speech, and he’s quite the hotness for a President, but even his vaunted healthcare “reform” project, for which, supposedly, we are being thrown under the bus, looks like it’s gonna be business as usual.

@Pedonator:

This probs deserves a blog post all on its own–and it may be a bit premature–but it really does appear that the Demoncratic “leadership” has effectively jettisoned the progressive-liberal wing of the party.

Wars? We got ’em. And they’re goin’ on and on and on.

Gay rights? Nope.

Environment? Baby steps maybe, and nothing that will actually reduce carbon emissions below the catastrophic level.

Human rights/Civil liberties? Too sad to think about since Congress and the Prez support “preventive” and indefinite imprisonment without charges or trial, retroactive immunity for domestic spying, refuse to hold torturers accountable and on and on and on.

Healthcare? Single payer successfully drop-kicked OFF. THE. TABLE at the command of insurance cos./big pharma. Are they really gonna tell their shareholders that they lobbied for lower profits? It would be stock market suicide.

Economy/Bailouts? The banks & Goldmine Sachs “own the place.” Makes people from across the ideological spectrum want to vomit with rage. Dems don’t care.

Did I miss anything?

@Original Andrew: Did I miss anything?

Probably, but I stopped keeping a list around April.

We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

@Original Andrew: As a former member of the Demrat party structure here in NM, I can tell you they see us as a huge pain in the ass that wants to drag them away from their comfort zone in the middle of the road.

@redmanlaw: The comfort zone is the hot-rod driving us off the cliff. But…it iscomfortable.

@Original Andrew: Also, the Democratic leadership jettisoned the progressive, liberal, and middle-left-wing of their party long ago, probably in the Clinton years, making way for the ever-rightward spectrum shift of acceptable mainstream debate.

Witness the fact that “liberal“:

favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties

…has been pretty much a dirty word in politics since the ’90’s. Even as the Republicans would have us believe they are the party of “less government”. It’s really a tragicomedy that would make great theater if it weren’t for the fact that it literally kills people.

@Pedonator: Libs are part of the coalition the take for granted, like minorities, public employees, teachers, etc.

@redmanlaw: And like moths to the flame, we keep voting for these fucktards. Must be something like Stockholm Syndrome.

@Pedonator: Driving off a cliff is fun! Until you land.

@Original Andrew: I think at this point, it would be easier to cite Barry’s moves we endorse. I never got around to reading the Cairo speech, but his discretion this week has been admirable — especially compared to McCain.

And the fly-swatting was awesome.

So, there’s two things. Must be a third somewhere.

@nojo: Honey catches flies. Even if it’s to poison them smash them between big, manly hands.

(But yes, his Iran utterments have been spot-on.)

@nojo:

Here’s the thing that just slays me about my list above: All of our current “centrist” policies in those areas are unqualified, horrendous, humiliating fiascos, and yet our “leaders” are incapable of changing them in any meaningful way!

There’s a tiny, tiny number of people getting obscenely rich, and they won’t allow their puppets in the government to change course even in the face of certain disaster. Those long-term budget numbers alone should be giving people panic attacks.

Reminds me of that Onion op-ed, which doesn’t appear to be online, “Why Can’t They Fix All the Problems?”

@Original Andrew: But I voted for a continuation of unqualified, horrendous, humiliating fiascos! That’s what “change” means, right?

@redmanlaw: “…they see us as a huge pain in the ass that wants to drag them away from their comfort zone in the middle of the road.”

In the immortal words of Texas Ag Commish and rabble-rouser Jim Hightower, “Ain’t nuthin in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.”

@SanFranLefty: We used to run into each other back in the political and journalism days. He wrote me a nice letter upon winning some award and I was able to get him to endorse our local band of insurgents called the Democratic Action Group that took over the county Dem party in the ancestral home from the thieves, knife fighters and speed dealers. Even a little revolution requires some maintenance, however, so the bad guys are beginning to sleaze back in after our activists began to drift away.

@redmanlaw:

Howz about the Democratic Liberation Army?

I like something that sounds a bit more militant.

Meanwhile, INjustice is on the march in the US of A:
SCOTUS has ruled that inmates have no Constitutional right to a DNA test to prove their innocence. 5-4 of course.

@Mistress Cynica & @SanFranLefty:

I just telephoned and e-mailed Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell and Jim McDermott’s offices and asked them to sponsor legislation repealing DOMA. No time like the present.

I can’t believe it’s freakin’ 2009, and we’re still debating women’s rights, gay rights and workers’ rights.

@Original Andrew: I can’t believe it’s 2009 and so many things are still broken (choose your interpretation of broken; choose your category of things).

@IanJ:

And we don’t have the excuse of being a third-world theokrazee.

My adult life has coincided with the Neocon Interregnum. And yes, “interregnum” is wishful thinking.

@SanFranLefty: By Clarence Asshat Thomas.

@redmanlaw: He needs the kiddie porn because the Jews won’t let him have any adult sex.

@Original Andrew: Are you active with this WA group? I worked with one of their staff in a past life ten years ago. Great organization, I encourage you to get active with them, if you’re not already.

@SanFranLefty:

I’ve donated to them in the past, and I go to the rallies that they hold in Olympia in conjunction with the Religious Coalition for Equality. I’ve got to get around to mailing out some checks ; )

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