Good morning, gentlemen. Here’s what’s on your good feed this Friday morning.
A California federal judge ruled today that the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy is unconstitutional. The policy says, essentially, that the military can’t ask its soldiers about their sexual orientation… but they can kick them out if they find out in some other way. (13,500 service members have been discharged since the law reared its ugly head in 1993.)
U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips said the ban not only violates the First Amendment rights of gays and lesbians, but also has no bearing on the defensive readiness of the military. In fact, it has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services by hurting recruitment efforts during wartime and requiring the discharge of service members who have critical skills and training.
Terry Jones, the red-faced preacher we’ve all gotten a little tired of reading about, made moves this morning to cancel his threatened Koran burning session (scheduled for tomorrow) after a weeklong string of international figures urged him to get a grip. After securing a promise that the controversial ground zero mosque would be moved further from the former World Trade Center site, he publicly declared the cancelation.
Shortly afterward, though, Jones reneged on that, claiming to have been “lied to” by a Florida Imam. He evasively told CNN that “we are rethinking our position. We are reconsidering… We’re a little back to square one. We hope this thing works out.”
It’s interesting to note that while every other news source hangs on this guy’s every word, the NYTimes ran a cover story about how the summer news lull may have fueled Jones’ sudden celebrity..
A recent incident in which a Japanese woman was caught receiving pension payments for her long deceased father has caused a nationwide flurry to account for all of Japan’s centenarians. As a result of the movement, Japan’s oldest man, for instance, was found to have been dead for more than three decades—his remains desiccated in his apartment and his family living on his pension fund.
Japan has one of the world’s fastest aging societies—one in five over the age of 65—but the recent developments have cast doubt on these statistics. Last year alone, more than 11,000 Japanese people over the age of 70 were reported “missing.” The Japanese government, is in turn, trying make sure they don’t continue to fall through the cracks.
President Obama announced today that his longtime economic adviser, Austan D. Goolsbee, is being promoted to chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers. No major economic policy changes are expected to take place in accordance with Obama’s statement on Wednesday that the U.S. “keep moving forward with policies that are slowly pulling us out [of the recession].
Goolsbee is the youngest to take this seat since Arthur M. Okun, who served under President Johnson.