- - Sunday, September 16, 2012

NEW YORK — It’s been a year now since the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” was repealed, enabling gay members of the U.S. military to serve openly.

The Pentagon says the repeal has gone smoothly, with no adverse effect on morale, unit cohesion, recruitment or military readiness.

Some critics persist with complaints that the repeal has infringed on service members whose religious faiths condemn homosexuality. Instances of anti-gay harassment have not ended. And activists are frustrated that gay military families don’t yet enjoy the benefits and services extended to other military families.

Yet the clear consensus is that repeal has succeeded — producing far more joy and relief than dismay and indignation. The Pentagon credits rigorous training before repeal, and tough enforcement of new standards.


AG aims to enforce union law during appeals

MADISON — Wisconsin’s attorney general said Saturday he would seek court permission to keep enforcing a state law that effectively ended collective bargaining for public employees while his office appeals a judge’s ruling striking it down.

A Dane County judge issued a ruling Friday overturning almost all of the law that has been a hallmark of Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s tenure and helped turn him into a national conservative hero.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, also a Republican, said in a statement that he believes the law “is constitutional in all respects” and should remain in effect while he appeals the judge’s decision.

Mr. Walker’s office also has vowed to appeal, while the public worker unions that vigorously opposed law have hailed the decision as a victory.

As has been the case since Mr. Walker proposed the law shortly after taking office in 2011, the latest developments have been highly political.


Romney cancels event because of plane crash

BURLINGTON — Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has canceled an event planned for Sunday in Pueblo, Colo., because of the crash of a small aircraft at the Pueblo airport.

Romney campaign spokesman Rick Gorka says the crash at Pueblo Memorial Airport is under investigation and the campaign did not want to interfere with the investigation or any emergency response efforts. The event was scheduled to be held at an aircraft museum near the airport.

Colorado is among a handful of battleground states being heavily courted by Mr. Romney and President Obama.

Media reports in the state said that an experimental plane crashed at the airport Sunday morning, killing one person and closing two runways.


Lone dissenter doesn’t think move will help

The lone dissenter to the Federal Reserve’s decision to launch a third round of bond buying to boost the economy says he doesn’t think it will provide much help. He also says it runs the risk of making future inflation worse.

Jeffrey M. Lacker, the president of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank, opposed the Fed’s action to begin buying $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities and keep making those purchases until the labor market improves. The Fed’s action Thursday triggered a rally on Wall Street and in financial markets around the world.

Mr. Lacker said in a statement Saturday that he thinks the labor market is being held back by factors beyond the capacity of the Fed to offset. The Fed vote was 11 to 1.

Mr. Lacker has cast the lone dissenting vote at all six Fed meetings this year. In his latest dissent, Mr. Lacker took issue with the decision to launch a third round of bond purchases, a process known as quantitative easing.

He also objected to the Fed’s decision to extend its timetable for keeping short-term interest rates low until mid-2015, six months longer than previously planned.

And he objected to new language in the Fed’s statement in which the central bank said that it plans to keep rates near record lows “for a considerable time” even after the economy begins to show signs of strengthening.


O’Malley on campaign trail, ambitions tested

INDIANOLA — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is walking an early — and tricky path — into presidential proving ground Iowa on Sunday, less than 60 days before the 2012 election.

The chairman of the Democratic Governors Association says he is focused on helping Iowans elect a Democratic governor in 2014, not sowing seeds for his own presidential ambition.

Mr. O’Malley tells reporters before speaking to hundreds of Iowa Democratic activists that he’s attending the fundraiser because his friend, Sen. Tom Harkin, asked him to come to Mr. Harkin’s annual fall fundraiser.

The Steak Fry has been a common stop for early White House aspirants in Iowa, where the presidential caucuses are scheduled to begin the 2016 Democratic nominating process.


Ryan says Fed move not good for economy

OLDSMAR —Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan thinks the Federal Reserve is making a mistake in its new effort to prop up the economy.

Mr. Ryan of Wisconsin spoke to a rally along Tampa Bay’s shore Saturday. He said the Federal Reserve’s plan to spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage bonds in an effort to keep interest rates low won’t work.

He said it will help banks and Wall Street but not people. He called the idea “sugar-high economics.” Mr. Ryan’s comments came during a speech that often criticized President Obama’s economic policies.

The Wisconsin congressman and top budget writer in the House said Obama inherited a bad situation and made it worse.

He stressed how important Florida, with its 29 electoral votes, is in electing GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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