Full Text of President Obama’s Remarks and Memorandum on Federal Benefits

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

___________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release                         June 17, 2009

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

AT THE SIGNING OF A

PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM

REGARDING FEDERAL BENEFITS AND NON-DISCRIMINATION

Oval Office

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Disgraced Senator John Ensign is a Big Honking Hypocrite!1!!

I know, I’m late to the party on this one, but I have to get my piece in on Sen. John Ensign’s (R-Nevada) resignation amid his admission of an extra-marital affair.  I only have 2 things to say about it.

First, I don’t begrudge my fellow liberals the glee of reveling in Ensign’s pontification-at-length on the importance and superiority of opposite marriage (stipulating that the affair didn’t make his comments any stupider or meritless-er).  The comeuppance certainly yummy, and worth savoring.

But what I will say is that, just once, I’d like for one of these screwing-around-like-drunken-rabbits politicians to get caught, and for HuffPo or Hot Air to dig up something like this:

The Senator, caught with several cocktail waitresses in what witnesses described as a “Fredo-esque display,” has a long record of supporting promiscuity and opposing traditional family values.  He even opposed 1997’s landmark “Eating isn’t Cheating Act of 1997” (HR 0u812) on grounds that it did not go far enough.

The other hilarious part of this is that Ensign apparently harbored some Presidential hopes.  Sure, the GOP field is pretty wide open, but who is going to vote to elect President Ensign?  Isn’t that like reporting to General Sergeant?

One more thing.  Ensign had to resign as the 4th most powerful Republican in the Senate, and for that, I have words of consolation.  That is not a very steep hill to climb.

Fire Letterman’s John Ziegler Disputes Huffington Post Report

Update: Here’s some video of what Ziegler had to say at the event:

HuffPo has a write-up, and some video, from yesterday’s “Fire David Letterman” rally.  They don’t paint a pretty picture, with a crowd estimate of 15 protesters (contrasted with 35 media attendees), and choice quotes from attendees that seem to belie concern for women and children:

“Should we talk about his son?” one protester asked Green. “I believe his son was born out of wedlock. I believe there’s a term for that.”

“Is someone making jokes about his child?” asked another. “Especially, you know, when he had a daughter out of wedlock himself” (he didn’t; 5-year-old Harry is his only child).

“How dare he?” asked yet a third, the most offensive of all. “When he has a bastard son, and a slut for a wife” (Letterman’s wife Lasko has kept a notoriously low profile).

I asked event spokesman and filmmaker John Ziegler if he had anything to add: (via email) Continue reading

President Obama’s ‘Friends with Benefits’ Memo Contains Baby Steps

Update: Just got off of the conference call with Director of the Office of Personnel Management John Berry.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a question in, but I can say that the press, as a whole, are very unimpressed with this move.  I expect there will be a lot of negative press on this.  The tone of the questioning was uniformly skeptical.

On the other hand, Berry did stress, repeatedly, that this memo’s reach is restricted by DOMA.  It almost seemed as though Berry was saying that this very weak tea is designed to whet the public appetite for a DOMA repeal.  If so, the administration’s defense of DOMA is that much more mystifying.

Berry also tried to pretend that a Presidential memo is the same as an executive order, but was called on it.  The memo expires with the President’s term.  He again stressed the need for a more permanent, legislative solution in response.

Another reporter pointed out that most, if not all, of the benefits in this memo are already available to at least some federal employees.  Berry responded that this action removes such decisions from the individual supervisor’s discretion.

The White House has just released a fact sheet regarding the Presidential Memorandum to be signed later today.  While any progress against discrimination is welcome, this seems like a poorly-timed half-measure.

The benefits outlined in the fact sheet aren’t going to impress anyone, and coming, as they do, when President Obama is under fire from the LGBTQ community and its allies, I predict very loud shrugging in response.  If you can’t afford a dozen roses, maybe you ought to skip the dandelions.

A press conference call is scheduled for 3 pm.  I should have more to say about this then.  Here is the full text of the fact sheet:
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President Obama Zings Fox News on CNBC, Fox News Alleges ‘Man Crush’

In an interview on CNBC yesterday, the President made an Earth-shattering observation about Fox News’ coverage of him:

Think Progress ably points out the inherent contradiction in John Harwood’s question, versus his assertion that CNBC has been slapping Obama around for awhile.

As soon as I saw this, I knew there would be some kind of whiny outcry, kind of like the one by CNBC’s own Rick Santelli not long ago, and I didn’t have to go too far to find it:
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What if LGBTQ Issues Are No Longer the Wedge, President Obama Is?

I plan to go into much greater detail on the State of the LGBTQ Union later in the week, but a thought crystallized in me last night when I saw a tweet from one of my favorite tweeps:

GayRainArmy Is Obama so out of touch that he thinks “private assurances” to LGBT “leaders” is going to help anything? RT @heathr http://tr.im/oKGbabout 2 hours ago from Seesmic Desktop

The link is to an announcement about the President’s new “Friends…with benefits” memorandum, to be signed later today.  From NYT: Continue reading

Info About Iran: Twitter, Links, etc.

alex01thumbI had a really long and complex (and surprisingly coherent) post written up about the Iran elections. And then WordPress ate it. (Yes, WordPress ate my homework. No, it’s not funny, I was working on that for hours.) It’s late and I’m pissed off and on a computer that switches to French keyboard configurations without warning, so you get the abbreviated version, which, on the off-chance that WordPress is just dicking around, will be restored to the original later. If not, what you see is what you get.

The gist of it: I’ve been following the Iran election fandango as best I can via international sources such as BBC News and CNN International, since American sources fail to give me the kind of coverage that I need.

The revolution will not be televised. However, it will be, and is being, Tweeted. Those supporting Iranian reform candidate Mir-Hussein Mousavi have increasingly turned to Twitter as a means of communication since text messages and Facebook have been cut off within Iran.

The rest of it was a very long recap of the events so far, and links to more information about the elections and the protests, as well as those tweeting about the events. Putting it all in list format. Continue reading