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Newly-appointed Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is poised to certify on Friday that gays and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces would not damage unit cohesion or retention or otherwise undermine the ability of the world’s most powerful military to wage war.

This comes in the wake of Congress passing and President Obama signing last December a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), the policy that made it illegal for openly gay people to fight for their country. The new law requires the president, defense secretary, and service chiefs to sign off before a 60-day wait period for equality to breach the ranks.

Of course, even Barry Goldwater, conservative icon, is known to have remarked, “You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.” Too bad it took the GOP decades–and even then, only a few of their senators voted for repeal of DADT–to catch up with their 1964 presidential nominee on this issue.

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US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wants her Democrats to push through trillions of dollars worth of investments in infrastructure and social service programs before a self-imposed deadline of September 30, 2021

Washington (AFP) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence a massive infrastructure bill will pass this week but acknowledged it would not get a Monday vote as planned, with fellow Democrats warning critical work remains to meet the party's deadlines.

Democrats have been scrambling to hammer out a landmark plan to upgrade the nation's roads and bridges, but are also under immense pressure to finalize a $3.5 trillion public investment package and fund the government to avert a looming shutdown -- all by September 30.

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