The gravestone of Air Force Sgt. Leonard Matlovich at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC. The Vietnam Veteran received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star and was discharged because he was gay.
The Pentagon today releases its anticipated questionnaire of American military members on their views of gays and lesbians who serve in the military. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen will talk about the results this afternoon. NPR's Tom Bowman tells NPR Newscasts that both men want to repeal the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law, letting gays and lesbians serve, provided sexual orientation isn't made known. But Tom notes the 1993 law has led to the dismissal of some 14,000 service members. NPR's Liz Halloran notes the House has already voted to overturn it.
Repeal is now up to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where leaders have been struggling to secure enough support from moderate Republicans to get to the 60 votes needed to beat back GOP threats of a filibuster. A similar effort failed in September, with (Ariz. Senator John) McCain serving as the point man for opposition.
GOOGLE ACCUSED OF ABUSING ONLINE SEARCH PROCESS
The AP reports the European Commission wants to know if Google used its more powerful market position in Europe to put competitors at a disadvantage. Reuters reports investigators are checking whether Google lowered the ranking of unpaid search results from rivals, such as the British price comparison site, Foundem.co.uk and French legal search engine, ejustice.fr.
THE BAILOUT IS CHEAPER THAN WE THOUGHT?
The Congressional Budget Office estimates at present, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, aka TARP, will cost taxpayers $25 billion dollars - that's down from the initial $700 billion dollar program. Better yet, the CBO report projects that when companies finish their loan repayments:
Other transactions with financial institutions will, taken together, yield a net gain to the federal government.
Taxpayers might EARN MONEY on the bailout? That's a change from just two months ago, when NPR's Planet Money presciently reported TARP might cost $66 billion dollars: TARP: Widely Reviled, Cheaper Than Expected. NPR's Jacob Goldstein explained the companies that got bailed out are now doing well. It's regular taxpayers who are still struggling with economic woes. The Washington Post says $25 billion dollars for TARP is 'the equivalent of less than six months of emergency jobless benefits.' Most such benefits expire today for out of work Americans unless Congress votes to extend them.