Friday Morning Open Thread

Good morning.

So, the Wall Street reform bill passed in the Senate. It’s on to conference with the House. Expectations are for a final bill before the July 4th recess. We’ll see. Things have a way of not happening as intended here in DC — even on bills that have strong public support. Lots of people blame lobbyists, but lobbyists only have power and influence because lawmakers let them have power and influence.

Can’t wait to see what the stock market does today. Remember how we all used our tax dollars to save the financial sector? Yeah.

The oil is still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. I just don’t think we’ve begun to fully grasp the extent of the massive damage its doing. Senator Bill Nelson and Rep. Ed Markey have forced BP to provide a live feed of the oil spill. It’s here on Markey’s site, but it’s been overloaded since it went live. Senator Bill Nelson has a widget on his website that estimates the amount of oil pouring into the Gulf.

Next week, we should see votes to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on the floor of the House and in the Senate Armed Services Committee. Both votes will occur as amendments to the 2011 Defense Authorization bill. If you haven’t called your members of Congress to urge a vote for repeal yet, do it. Our opponents are going to be burning up the phone lines. The main number for the Capitol is: 202-224-3121. It’s especially critical to make calls if one of these six members of the Senate Armed Services Committee is your Senator:

Robert C. Byrd (D-West Virginia)
Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska)
Bill Nelson (D-Florida)
Evan Bayh (D-Indiana)
Jim Webb (D-Virginia)
Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts)

Call today. And, then call back next week. If you need inspiration to make the calls, check out some of the letters in SLDN’s series, Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama. For the past four weeks, an open letter has been sent every day to Obama from someone impacted by DADT. Over 50 blogs, including AMERICAblog Gay, have posted the letters. Today’s is from an Active Duty Marine who wants to serve his country. These letters have been very powerful.

What else is going on?


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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