Memorandum on Federal Benefits to Same-Sex Partners

This afternoon President Obama signed a memorandum extending “some federal benefits to same-sex partners of US government workers, in what he said was a historic step towards equality for gays and lesbians.”  I’m not real clear if this is about “couples” as opposed to domestic partners (single, but residing together).

No health insurance benefits.  No repeal of DOMA.

John Aravois – per his usual – went off on President Obama not doing enough, not going far enough, and no longer getting any slack.  The president has been in office for five (5) months and folks  are already “giving up” on him.

Never ever underestimate the ability or willingness of a member of Congress of either party to screw his people for a better offer.  HRC attends the White House ceremony, Barney Frank lauds a brief comparing us to pedophilia and incest.

We are on our own folks.  The Democratic party has abandoned us.

Much of the nuance is apparently lost on me.

This evening then on Rachel Maddow’s show, a guest cited that the president doesn’t repeal law.  It will take a bill, thus Congress.  Thus

But Obama said as he signed the memorandum that he was committing to overturning the act.

“Today marks a historic step towards the changes we seek, but I think we all have to acknowledge it is only one step.

“Among the steps we have not yet taken is to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

“I believe it is discriminatory, it interferes with states’ rights and we will work with Congress to overturn it.”

Obama has said he believes marriage is a sacred union between a man and woman, though supports same-sex civil unions, and describes himself as a “fierce advocate” of gay and lesbian rights.

Some time ago I got a twitter from Blue Gal to read a blog post written by an attorney who had read the brief and was taking issue with some points ‘brought out’ by John Aravois in his writings about DOMA, and the more recent signing of the memorandum from today.

I don’t get the need to rush in judging Obama after five months in office.  We’re just starting. Keep working on the issues while giving the bitchin’ a bit of a rest.  And lighten up on the bullshit as well.


Mining Accidents Continue Unabated

Via Al-Jazeera:

At least 28 miners have been killed and 12 others remain missing, after a coal mine explosion in Indonesia’s Sumatra island, officials say.

Rescuers working overnight and into Wednesday morning pulled bodies from the mine in Sawahlunto regency, after what is suspected to have been an explosion caused by leaking methane gas on Tuesday.

Miners still trapped have been underground for more than 30 hours, officials said.

It has also been reported that those trapped are likely dead due to the gases leaking.  This was a locally owned and smaller mine, so it’s unimaginable that it would be required to meet any kind of standard in relation to worker rights, worker safety.

More here via localized news media.