News: Robert Gibbs, Spider-Man, Derek Rawcliffe, Elaine Donnelly

SpideyCostume TLogoSmall Oregon's Beaverton County school district and Seth Stambaugh, the teacher they fired and then reinstated after he revealed to a fourth-grade student that he's gay, have reached a monetary settlement: $ 75,000.

TLogoSmall Today was White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' last day on the job. President Obama thanked him by returning a tie he borrowed 7 years ago, and joking, "Gibbs' departure is not the biggest one today."

TLogoSmall James Franco may star as the lead in a live-action remake of Akira.

TLogoSmall Debate over publicizing Grindr profiles at CPAC.

TLogoSmall Now that Spider-Man has joined the Fantastic Four — which is now called "The Future Foundation" — he has some new threads: a white and black costume, as opposed to his red and blue duds. Concerns, comments, questions?

TLogoSmall John Travolta reportedly tried to pick up a handsome waiter in front of his wife, Kelly Preston, who kept her eyes down the entire time.

TLogoSmall Ingmar Guandique was sentenced today to 60 years in prison for the 2002 murder of DC intern Chandra Levy.

TLogoSmall Auditions are being held in Philadelphia for a gay version of Jersey Shore, which is clearly something the world needs.

TLogoSmall Pet Shop Boy' 'West End Girls.' Nuff said.

PetShopBoys TLogoSmall NYPD sirens get new sound.

TLogoSmall Photographer Todd Cole directs Elle Fanning for Rodarte.

TLogoSmall John Hatzistergos, the Attorney General for Australia's New South Wales, supports a law allowing private schools to expel gay students because it "maintain[s] a sometimes delicate balance between protecting individuals from unlawful discrimination while allowing people to practice their own beliefs." Others, including a senior Anglican bishop, call the policy "appalling."

TLogoSmall Derek Rawcliffe, the first Church of England bishop to come out, has died at the age of 89. "I began to love everybody in a new way and to see that in spite of our sins and failings, God loves us," Rawcliffe saidd of coming out in 1995.

TLogoSmall Presbyterian leaders in Central Wisconsin will debate this weekend whether or not gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve as pastors, deacons and other high-ranking officials.

TLogoSmall Utah may soon have an official "state gun," a first for the nation.

TLogoSmall Anti-gay hate crimes in London up 28%?

TLogoSmall Elaine Donnelly, tiresome opponent of DADT's repeal, explains how the army's decision to allow openly gay soldiers will lead to "social change," which to her is a bad thing. I don't know: take a listen to her logic and see if you can figure it all out. Is segregation a positive or a negative?

OprahChange TLogoSmall Andrew Breitbart and gay conservative group GOProud's big CPAC party last night included a variety of slogans, like this one: "Our gays are more macho than their straights." Way to perpetuate gender norms, guys.

TLogoSmall A Spanish-language radionovela called "Bienvenidos a Casa" ("Welcome Home") hopes to tackle homophobia among Spanish-speaking communities.

TLogoSmall Oprah Winfrey told the crew at MSNBC's Morning Joe that she has "no problems" with the Obama administration and wishes people would show the president some "respect."


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—  David Taffet

Blade’s Chris Johnson asks Gibbs if Obama has actually backtracked on marriage

In 1996, State Senate candidate Barack Obama indicated his support for same-sex marriage, stating “I support legalizing same-sex marriagem and would fight efforts to prohibit those marriages.” See for yourself: The Windy City Times has the actual documents.

As we know, in 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama said he opposed same-sex marriage, but supported civil unions. At a forum with Rick Warren in August of 2008, Obama actually said “God is in the mix.”

Of late, to both Kerry Eleveld and me, President Obama indicated that, now, he’s evolving on marriage. But, did he devolve before he’s evolving?

Today, the Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson asked Robert Gibbs about Obama’s 1996 position on marriage. Needless to say, Gibbs deflected the question. Here’s the video:

The reelection campaign won’t be able to deflect this issue. The President has to get back to his 1996 position, sooner rather than later.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Pelosi hands Boehner the gavel; Robert Gibbs packs his bags

Get a load of this fantasy headline from the LA Times. Even if Boehner means what he says, as outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi hands him the gavel, his Tea Party peeps are going to be on his posterior from day one:

John Boehner elected as House speaker, promises new GOP-controlled chamber will be ‘honest, accountable and more responsive’

Boehner, a 20-year congressman from southern Ohio, will pledge to make the House “honest, accountable, and more responsive” to the needs of the American people.

“Our aim will be to give government back to the people,” Boehner is expected to say, according to excerpts of his address released early Wednesday. “In seeking this goal, we will part with some of the rituals that have come to characterize this institution under majorities Republican and Democratic alike. We will dispense with the conventional wisdom that bigger bills are always better; that fast legislating is good legislating; that allowing additional amendments and open debate makes the legislative process “less efficient” than our forefathers intended. These misconceptions have been the basis for the rituals of modern Washington. The American people have not been well served by them.”

But the challenges of governing and holding a perhaps fractious GOP caucus together may clash with Boehner’s stated goals of a more open and inclusive process. Already Democrats are slamming next week’s expected vote in the House to repeal the healthcare overhaul legislation because Republicans are not going to allow the repeal bill to be debated and amended.

“Republicans have now broken at least three of the pledges they made in the election,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse said Wednesday. Beyond the healthcare repeal, Woodhouse cited the House GOP’s move to exempt the proposed repeal from a requirement that legislation that increases the federal budget deficit be offset by spending cuts elsewhere. (Proponents of the healthcare law say it will reduce the deficit over the next 20 years.)The GOP may also be backing away from a pledge to slice 0 billion from the budget for the current fiscal year because a quarter of the year has almost passed.

***

Changing gears, Robert Gibbs announced today that he was stepping down as White Press Secretary. His departure comes as there are several shifts under way at the White House as the President and his team gear up for the 2012 re-election bid.

Mr. Gibbs said that he intended to leave in early February. His successor has not yet been decided, he said, but will likely be announced within the next two weeks.

President Obama, who is in the middle of making final decisions on the first major reorganization of his administration, said in a brief telephone interview on Wednesday that Mr. Gibbs would remain a close adviser and “will continue to shape the dialogue politically for many years to come.”

The departure of Mr. Gibbs is part of a series of moves inside the West Wing as the president prepares for a new phase of his administration. The internal shuffling also could bring a new White House chief of staff, a decision the president is expected to make by week’s end, with an announcement as early as next week.

Gibbs did his job, conveying basic information with as little detail as possible, particularly on DADT. One could sum up his answers to questions from The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld and ABC’s Jake Tapper, among others as 1) fibbing assclownery or 2) making him appear to be an empty vessel that is never briefed by high level WH officials.

I’m sure his replacement will bring the same level of candor to the podium

Of course here at the Blend we’ve been telling you that unless the President and Congress act on LGBT legislation in the first two years, the focus will turn away from progress to getting Barack Obama re-elected and members of Congress focusing on their seats. Of course this is now exacerbated by the turnover of the House to the GOP, making it a certainty ENDA (or any other items in the queue on the Hill) will not go anywhere. DADT squeaked by, thank goodness, but that’s still not fully repealed.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

More uninspiring answers on DADT repeal from Robert Gibbs

You know the routine by now. Kerry Eleveld asks questions at the White House press briefing. Robert Gibbs gives answers that don’t really inspire any confidence. Gibbs reiterated that START is the next priority for the Obama administration. DADT, well, Gibbs doesn’t have a Plan B, because he is pretty sure it will be repealed (heard that before, haven’t we?):

“Fairly soon after [tax cuts], the Senate will move to the debate on START ratification,” Gibbs said. “This is a treaty that has the votes to pass the Senate and I believe will pass the Senate before we go home for the holidays.”

The Senate was expected to take a vote Monday on the tax deal struck between the president and Republicans.

Asked where the DREAM Act and DADT repeal stood on the president’s priority list of “achievable” measures, Gibbs declined to be specific.

“There’s not a list of 1, 2, 3, 4,” he said. “There’s are a series of things I think the president believes are important and can be done this year.”

He added that in his view, “we’re closer than we’ve ever been to making repeal a reality.”

Asked by The Advocate whether other options would be on the table if the legislative effort fails — a definite possibility — Gibbs remained optimistic instead of discussing alternatives.

“Well, I should say this — I think it’s a distinct possibility ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ will be repealed by the end of this year, and that’s where our efforts will be,” he said.

Okay, I don’t think the White House really has a DADT repeal strategy. There, I said it (again.)

Igor Volsky posted the video:




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Watch: White House Press Sec’y Robert Gibbs Grilled on ‘DADT’

Dadt
(Above, Obama meets the Joint Chiefs to discuss DADT on November 29, 2010 – Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about 'DADT' today. Gibbs told reporters that "certainly our hope is that the Senate will take this up again."

When asked about Obama's pledge to stay in town until the START treaty is done, and whether he might promised the same for DADT, Gibbs said,

"Let me be clear, the President isn’t — if START gets done, the President and Congress is here, the President is not leaving.  I said earlier that the President will be here as long as the Congress is here…I think that we always envisioned it that if the Congress was here, the President would be here.  There’s a whole host of important things beyond the tax agreement and START — 'don’t ask, don’t tell' being one of them — that the President believes can be dealt with before Congress leaves town."

Gibbs was also asked if there are other options on the table should DADT repeal fail legislatively:

"Well, I should say this.  I think it’s a distinct possibility that 'don’t ask, don’t tell' will be repealed by the end of this year and that’s where our effort is focused."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



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—  admin

Watch: Robert Gibbs Expresses Confidence on ‘DADT’ Repeal

Gibbs

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs expressed confidence about repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as part of his 'First Question' online forum today on YouTube, saying the White House would get the job done.

Gibbs told reporters at the press briefing shortly thereafter:

“The president — I’m not going to get into a list of who — but the president has through the course of the past several days made calls to Democrats and Republicans on two very important issues: passage of the DREAM Act and repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ I think we are — on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ — I think we are very, very close to seeing that repeal happen. We’ve had important endorsements over the past few days that I think in many ways is the result of the process and survey that the Pentagon issued last week. The president is hopeful and encouraging Democrats and Republicans to get behind that.”

This all happened prior to the flurry of activity in the Senate. No late word from the White House.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

More grilling of Gibbs on DADT and he was clearly annoyed by the constitutional question

This is really interesting. The White House press corps has really honed in on the DADT issue. Gibbs got many questions on the subject today. And, Mediaite posted the video.

I’m most intrigued by the interaction between Gibbs and Kerry Eleveld on whether or not the President thinks DADT is unconstitutional. That exchange begins around the 4:30 mark and concludes with this. You have to see the video to see how curt and annoyed Gibbs get here:

Kerry Eleveld: Since the Justice Department is, you know, officially appealing the case, is it necessarily true that the President believes that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a constitutional law?

Gibbs: Again, I have enumerated for you the belief, the President’s belief that it’s unjust, it’s discriminatory and that it harms our national security.

Kerry Eleveld: You have never enumerated for us his belief on the constitutionality?

Gibbs: I haven’t.

That response is classic. The transcript doesn’t do it justice. Watch how Gibbs reacts.

And, no, he hasn’t answered whether the President, a Constitutional Law professor, thinks DADT is unconstitutional. And, no one at the White House or DOJ will answer it either.

Yep, Gibbs throwing attitude at Kerry Eleveld for asking a very basic question. Classy.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Robert Gibbs shows little improvement in the ability to give a straight answer to a DADT question

And to think this man’s name was floated as a contender to head up the DNC? Can you even imagine Mr. I Hate the Professional Left in that role? I’d tell him “don’t quit your day job,” but as we’ve seen, Robert Gibbs still can’t answer a straightforward DADT question that The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld tosses him at today’s presser.

From the WH transcript:

KERRY ELEVELD: It looks like the defense authorization bill and, with it, “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal is sort of barreling toward a dead end. Sixty-nine House members and now 16 senators have signed on to a letter urging the President to instruct his Justice Department not to appeal a recent decision that ruled “don’t ask, don’t tell” unconstitutional. Is that something that’s even being discussed within the walls of the White House right now, not appealing that decision?

MR. GIBBS: I would point you over to the — I think the Department of Justice, the last I heard, was reviewing the case. Obviously the President has a deeply held view that this is a law that can and should be changed. We worked to make sure that that happened in the House, and we, regrettably, were unsuccessful in the Senate. That is not going to stop the President from trying. And I know that — without being totally aware of all the discussions in here, I know the Justice Department is weighing a series of arguments as they make those decisions.

KERRY ELEVELD: Right, but ultimately that power resides with the President. I mean, he can instruct his Justice Department not to appeal.

MR. GIBBS: I don’t — I’ll be honest with you, I don’t have an update on whether that’s something that’s happened in here or not.

KERRY ELEVELD: Any contingency plans at all? I mean, I’ve listened to you talk about the priorities for lame duck. You’ve rattled through them on Thursday, Friday and today, and not once has defense authorization been mentioned.

MR. GIBBS: I will say, and I think I’ve said on a couple of occasions, that off the top of my head — I wouldn’t necessarily say which list is completely exhausted. But let me see if I can get better guidance on that — understanding, again, the President’s deeply held belief that we have to get this changed.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Robert Gibbs, DNC Chairman?: From Defending Obama To Raising Cash For His Buddies

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs could become the next DNC chairman, according to "insiders," who say sitting chief Tim Kaine would get bumped to an administrative post, perhaps in the Cabinet. They just have to check with DNC's donors first. Not you.


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—  John Wright

Robert Gibbs Remarks on Senate Filibuster of Defense Bill

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs remarked on the Senate Filibuster of the Defense bill as the vote went down:

Gibbs "Sixty is the new 50 and I don't mean age. To do anything in this town now you have to get 60 votes. And it is certainly not the way that many of the people who work in the Senate, including senators, thought that this is the way it ought to work."

Sam Stein adds: "Gibbs also stressed the 'frustration' he and other White House officials feel over the fact that funding for the "Pentagon and for our troops" had been delayed. He also re-affirmed the president's commitment to DADT repeal and the Dream Act. 'I don't think this is the end,' he offered, before punting on a question as to whether or not the package of legislation will be passed in the lame duck session after the November elections. 'Obviously there will be a whole host of issues including DADT that remain undecided. Our focus right now is trying to get the business of the people done as congress remains in session.' (A Senate aide confirmed to the Huffington Post that Reid will be bringing up the same package after the elections)"

Added Gibbs: "You have in the defense bill, obviously, very important funding for the priorities of our Pentagon and our troops,. The president also supports repeal of don't ask/don't tell and the DREAM Act … And we're disappointed at not being able to proceed to the legislation, but we'll keep trying."


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—  John Wright