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Breaking: Ben Nelson to vote Yes on DADT repeal

A big step forward for the push to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell: Senator Ben Nelson, who has been aggressively lobbied for months by gay rights groups, is announcing that he'll support the repeal compromise. From Nelson's statement:

"I don't believe that most Nebraskans want to continue a policy that not only encourages but requires people to be deceptive and to lie. The 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy does just that. It also encourages suspicion and senior officers to look the other way. In a military which values honesty and integrity, this policy encourages deceit.

"The process being used to repeal this policy is fraught with typical Washington politics, with some suggesting Congress waits until after the November elections and others pushing for a vote before the elections.

"I will support the Lieberman compromise because it removes politics from the process. It bases implementation of the repeal on the Pentagon's review and a determination by our military leaders that repeal is consistent with military readiness and effectiveness, and that the Pentagon has prepared the necessary regulations to make the changes.

"I spoke to Secretary Gates and he advised that while he preferred waiting until the study is completed, he can live with this compromise."

Here's why this is key: It means that the compromise very well may have the support of the 15 Senators necessary to pass it out of the Senate Armed Services Committee (Nelson is a member), which is a big step forward.

"We believe Chairman Levin is pretty much there with his vote count," Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, tells me, in a reference to Senator Carl Levin, who chairs the committee.

This appears to bring the amendment much closer to a full floor vote in the Senate, which was anything but certain as of this morning. More soon.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 26, 2010; 12:12 PM ET
Categories:  Senate Dems  
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Another nail in Senator Nelson's re-election campaign in 2012. Apparently Senator Nelson thinks continuing to run to the left wing of his pary will help him get re-elected in a very conservative Nebraska. You really have to wonder about his sanity anyway after he voted for Obamacare but now he supports gays in the military he's obviously gone completely around the bend.

Posted by: RobT1 | May 26, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Right Wing Republicans are all a bunch of bed wetting cowards. Every thing scares them. Now they are afraid of gay people.

Sue Lowden should take all of her Chicken Hearted Republican colleagues, and barter them for a brain transplant.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Senator Levin! We in Michigan are proud of the work you've done on this issue.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 26, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

May 26, 2010

Stimulus Package Worked Better Than Projected
The $800 billion economic stimulus package signed into law early last year "has had a slightly bigger effect on the U.S. economy than was projected when it was passed more than a year ago," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"Through the first quarter of 2010, the stimulus boosted employment by an estimated 1.3 million to 2.8 million jobs, about a quarter or half million more than projected. Gross domestic product was 1.7 to 4.1 percentage points higher than it would have been without the stimulus."

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I think blame can be shared with Democrats on this one:

"The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday said he opposes a deal struck between the White House and Congress to allow gays to serve openly in the military.

"...Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) said he would prefer that the Pentagon finish its review before moving any legislation.

“My position on this issue has been clear — I support the current policy and I will oppose any amendment to repeal ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,'" Skelton said in a statement. "I hope my colleagues will avoid jumping the gun and wait for DOD [the Department of Defense] to complete its work."

Posted by: sbj3 | May 26, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have scapegoated Gays, for decades, and now SBJ wants Democrats to "share the blame".

What a two faced creep this SBJ is.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

James, Pimp, O'Keefe pleads guilty, as charged.

"James O'Keefe and friends plead guilty in Mary Landrieu office caper
By Ramon Antonio Vargas, The Times-Picayune
May 26, 2010, 10:42AM
o'keefe.jpgThe Associated PressJames O'Keefe, left, leaves the St. Bernard Parish jail in January after his arrest at U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's office.

The four defendants who were arrested in January in Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in the Hale Boggs federal complex in New Orleans pleaded guilty Wednesday morning in federal court to entering real property belonging to the United States under false pretenses.

Magistrate Judge Daniel Knowles III sentenced Stan Dai, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan each to two years probation, a fine of $1,500 and 75 hours of community service during their first year of probation.

James O'Keefe, as leader of the group and famous for posing as a pimp in ACORN office videos, received three years of probation, a fine of $1,500 and 100 hours of community service."

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

One house member in the Dem caucus speaking out vs. 100% of the Republican caucus being opposed = share the blame in sbj's eyes.

Damn those Democrats!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 26, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

You really are living in a fantasy world if you truly believe that only Republicans have supported DADT.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 26, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

O'Keefe, Brietbarts protege.

NYT is also using the O'Keefe/Brietbart tactics of omitting information that could possibly exonerate the individual they are trying to smear. All bad journalists, all the time.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 26, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

sbj3 is so blindly partisan he doesn't realize his own parties ideology has been the hold up for equal rights for gays.

Maybe you should pick a fight with your own party sbj.

Go to a blog like Free Republic and complain to them how Republicans should allow gays in the military to serve and see how well you're treated. Please, do that. Then come back and tell us how well you were received. Tell us how Democratic activists are just like Republicans when it comes to gay rights.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 26, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

All over the country, Right Wing Republicans, in state after state, have pushed laws to ban gay rights.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a Republican, Mike.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 26, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

All, new thread:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 26, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

You're wrong Liam, Democrats share the blame for banning gay marriage in Cali...right sbj.

Explain to us all how Democrats share the blame on this one. Tell everybody how they came together with the Mormans to raise millions of dollars across the U.S. to paint homosexuality as some sort of heinous activity.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 26, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The idea that right wing Republicans have solely been "the hold up for equal rights for gays" is absurd. Both parties have a shameful history that cannot and should not be denied by the hyperpartisan Democrats here. Obama himself opposes gay marriage, just like Bush did.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 26, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

SBJ said that he voted for George W. Bush, and also voted for McCain/Palin.

He can not even tell the truth about which party he supports, with his votes.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

sbj3, I'm sure you know the extension of Obama's opposition. He clearly stated he did not like the idea of imposing laws limiting rights of anyone when the Prop 8 discussions came about. Yes, he's personally against it but he's also against laws enforcing his personal belief.

But hey, keep supporting the party you're ashamed to call yourself being a part of.

Talk about an identity crisis.

But back to what you're saying...

Conservative Republican ideology is most definitely behind what's taking so long. That party is completely beholden to the religious right and must pass a litmus test that does not exist in the Democratic party.

This is the reality of the situation. You can hair split all you want.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 26, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

We will soon see what percentage of elected Democrats vote against the change, and what percentage of elected Republicans vote against it.

SBJ is desperately trying to keep the Democrats from getting their proper credit for making the change. Like I said before: SBJ is one of those self loathing types, who keeps on embracing the Right Wing Republicans who want to treat him like a sub-human.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The nimrods in Congress do not have time to pass a budget and instead forcus on this? We have a ship of fools in office.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | May 28, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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