This Week in National Insecurity: Big Gay Edition

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ablight/5144257731/sizes/l/in/photostream/">A. Blight/Flickr</a>

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Need a recharge, America? Take a break from Nancy Grace and Casey Anthony to consider the week that was in military madness. In this installment: Obama makes a big pro-gay military appointment, a soldier makes bad decisions with an inflatable girl, Al Qaeda is in stitches—literally—and Republicans want more money for Sousaphones.

The sitrep:

  • President Obama has appointed an openly gay West Point alumna to the military academy’s board of visitors. Brenda Sue Fulton graduated with the first class to admit women and served honorably as an Army signal officer. She also cofounded Knights Out, an LGBT alumni group, and she’s lent her support to gay and lesbian cadets. “West Point could implement repeal just fine without me,” she told the New York Times. “But if my appointment helps West Point send the message to young men and women that—whether you are male or female, straight or gay—if you are qualified to serve, you are welcome; if it does that, then I’ll be happy.” (Army Times/NYT)
  • An Army officer named Justin Dale Little Jim is facing burglary and destruction of property charges after he was found in the closet of a Manassas, Virginia, adult video store at 2:45 a.m., “attempting to have sexual relations with” a blowup doll. Authorities say they sent a police dog into the store, who led his handlers to Little Jim. Good…dog? (Army Times)
  • The Pentagon is asking Congress if it would mind shifting $5 billion in the defense budget so the military can buy more bombs. To replace all the bombs it’s used. In Libya. (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments)
  • If true, the terrorists’ plans for human bombs probably trump a new $48.2 million Pentagon contract with the maker of the “SET CounterBomber® system,” which “integrates radar and video to yield the first-ever system capable of automatically detecting suicide bombers at safe distances.” It does not, however, X-ray the target. (Battleland)
  • Remember when House Republicans said it was time to really cut government waste, and a Democrat actually cut waste by reducing the military’s half-billion-dollar budget for marching bands? Now, in an about-face, the House has restored funding. Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) says that military bands are a key factor in the patriotism “that keeps our soldiers’ hearts beating fast.” Geez, can’t they get the same effect with blowup dolls? (Military Times)

Front page image: M.V. Jantzen/Flickr

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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