Patt Morrison

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Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Supremes ... and Dame Edna Tells All!

Hello, possums! You're all being perfectly marvelous and gorgeous, with your delicious and stylish support of KPCC. Whatever you do, don't stop!

I'm channeling Dame Edna Everage, of course. You heard her for a delightful 20-plus minutes here today, before she embarks on her run at the Ahmanson Theatre on ''My First Last Tour.'' Such a yummy preview from the lilac-haired internationally renowned star whose fondest wish is to paint the White House mauve.

In the heftier part of the program, we tried to read the nine minds behind the Supreme Court's refusal to hear an appeal to ''don't ask, don't tell.'' They never explain their refusals, but this does punt the decision back to the Obama White House -- as a candidate, President Obama said he wanted to end the policy, without putting a timeline on it. It also gives Congress the option to pass a law ending the ban on non-closeted gays in the military, and it even hands the matter back to the federal courts. One appeal to ''don't ask, don't tell'' has already been filed here in California with the Ninth Circuit Court, which means it could wind up back with the Supremes in the future. The question is now, who gets to the finish line first: Congress, the White House, or the federal courts?

We also heard a lot about the September parole hearing for Susan Atkins, the convicted killer of actress Sharon Tate and others in the notorious Manson murders of nearly four decades ago. She has cancer, had one leg amputated and is partly paralyzed. Atkins was turned down for compassionate release from state prison about a year ago. But now, even Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor who put her and her fellow killers behind bars, is saying she should be paroled, in part because her medical treatment is so costly to a prison system that pays way upwards of a billion dollars a year for the medical care of its inmates.

John Nicks, who, along with his friends, found the body of one of Manson's victims, says it's time to parole Susan Atkins, and he wrote a letter to the parole board saying so. The LA County deputy district attorney who shows up at the parole hearings for Manson family members says his office will be there on September 2 and weigh the evidence from both sides.

Tomorrow, fixing health care in the U.S.: the battle begins. Again.

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