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READ: Here’s the (Laughable) Memo Trump Just Signed Authorizing His Ban of Transgender Service Members

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Trump Using Debunked Arguments Claiming Military Effectiveness and Lethality and Unit Cohesion Will Suffer

The White House early Friday evening released the memo President Donald Trump signed authorizing the Pentagon and Homeland Security to discharge transgender service members. In briefing reporters the White House highlighted three major points: First, the ban must be implemented by March of 2018, with decisions complete by January. Second, the ban includes an immediate halt to paying for all transgender transition related medical expenses. Third, it allows the Defense Secretary to use various factors to determine which transgender service members should be removed from the armed forces, and which, if any, should be allowed to stay.

RELATED: BREAKING – Trump Signs Memo Giving Pentagon Authority to Discharge Transgender Service Members

Below is the full text of the memo. But allow me to highlight a ludicrous passage first:

“In my judgment,” Trump’s memo states, “the previous Administration failed to identify a sufficient basis to conclude that terminating the Departments’ longstanding policy and practice” of not allowing open service by transgender service members “would not hinder military effectiveness and lethality, disrupt unit cohesion, or tax military resources, and there remain meaningful concerns that further study is needed to ensure that continued implementation of last year’s policy change would not have those negative effects.”

Trump is literally using the debunked talking points of the far right when they fought the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” 

Studies show they are not credible, which will only make the lawsuits that have been and are about to be filed even easier to win.

“Military effectiveness and lethality” and “unit cohesion” are all straw man arguments that the Trump administration cannot support in a court of law.

Below is the full text of the memo, via the White House. (For ease of reading we are not block quoting.):

 

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

                THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY

 

SUBJECT:        Military Service by Transgender Individuals

     Section 1.  Policy.  (a)  Until June 2016, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (collectively, the Departments) generally prohibited openly transgender individuals from accession into the United States military and authorized the discharge of such individuals.  Shortly before President Obama left office, however, his Administration dismantled the Departments’ established framework by permitting transgender individuals to serve openly in the military, authorizing the use of the Departments’ resources to fund sex-reassignment surgical procedures, and permitting accession of such individuals after July 1, 2017.  The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security have since extended the deadline to alter the currently effective accession policy to January 1, 2018, while the Departments continue to study the issue.

 

     In my judgment, the previous Administration failed to identify a sufficient basis to conclude that terminating the Departments’ longstanding policy and practice would not hinder military effectiveness and lethality, disrupt unit cohesion, or tax military resources, and there remain meaningful concerns that further study is needed to ensure that continued implementation of last year’s policy change would not have those negative effects.

 

     (b)  Accordingly, by the authority vested in me as President and as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States under the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including Article II of the Constitution, I am directing the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the U.S. Coast Guard, to return to the longstanding policy and practice on military service by transgender individuals that was in place prior to June 2016 until such time as a sufficient basis exists upon which to conclude that terminating that policy and practice would not have the negative effects discussed above.  The Secretary of Defense, after consulting with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may advise me at any time, in writing, that a change to this policy is warranted.

 

     Sec. 2.  Directives.  The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the U.S. Coast Guard, shall:

 

     (a)  maintain the currently effective policy regarding accession of transgender individuals into military service beyond January 1, 2018, until such time as the Secretary of Defense, after consulting with the Secretary of Homeland Security, provides a recommendation to the contrary that I find convincing; and

 

     (b)  halt all use of DoD or DHS resources to fund sex‑reassignment surgical procedures for military personnel, except to the extent necessary to protect the health of an individual who has already begun a course of treatment to reassign his or her sex.

 

     Sec. 3.  Effective Dates and Implementation.  Section 2(a) of this memorandum shall take effect on January 1, 2018.  Sections 1(b) and 2(b) of this memorandum shall take effect on March 23, 2018.  By February 21, 2018, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall submit to me a plan for implementing both the general policy set forth in section 1(b) of this memorandum and the specific directives set forth in section 2 of this memorandum.  The implementation plan shall adhere to the determinations of the Secretary of Defense, made in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, as to what steps are appropriate and consistent with military effectiveness and lethality, budgetary constraints, and applicable law.  As part of the implementation plan, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall determine how to address transgender individuals currently serving in the United States military.  Until the Secretary has made that determination, no action may be taken against such individuals under the policy set forth in section 1(b) of this memorandum.

 

     Sec. 4.  Severability.  If any provision of this memorandum, or the application of any provision of this memorandum, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this memorandum and other dissimilar applications of the provision shall not be affected.

 

     Sec. 5.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

 

           (i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

 

           (ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

 

     (b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

 

     (c)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

 

     (d)  The Secretary of Defense is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

 

 

 

                                DONALD J. TRUMP

###

 

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Image by Ted Eytan via Flickr and a CC license 

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‘Christian Theocracy’: Ten Commandments Lawmaker Who Can’t ‘Fathom’ Outrage Gets Schooled

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The co-author of the likely unconstitutional Louisiana bill mandating the Ten Commandments be posted in every public classroom from kindergarten through college “can’t fathom” why Americans across the country are so upset.

Republican Governor Jeff Landry signed the bill into law Thursday, after bragging he welcomed civil rights groups that threatened to sue, a promise fulfilled on Thursday by the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

“The first amendment promises that we all get to decide for ourselves what religious beliefs, if any, to hold and practice, without pressure from the government. Politicians have no business imposing their preferred religious doctrine on students and families in public schools,” the group of civil rights organizations said in a statement, The Guardian reported.

Louisiana Republican state Rep. Lauren Ventrella, an attorney who co-authored the bill, told CNN Thursday afternoon she couldn’t even “fathom” why anyone would be upset over the government mandating a religious text be posted on the walls of every classroom.

RELATED: ‘Smug’: Governor Scorched for Signing Ten Commandments Bill as Child Faints

“Look, this nation has gotten out of hand,” Rep. Ventrella said, “with crime, with the bad negative things that are going on.”

Nationwide, crime has plummeted under President Joe Biden, but for decades Louisiana has had the highest murder rate per capita in the country – three times the national average – according to FBI statistics. For overall crime, Louisiana ranks second worst in the country.

“Why is it so preposterous that we would want our students to have the option to have some good principles instilled in them if they don’t hear it at home, let them read it in the classroom,” Ventrella told CNN’s Boris Sanchez. “It’s no different than the Mayflower Compact which is mentioned in the document as well. I don’t understand why this is so preposterous in that litigation is being is being threatened. It doesn’t scare us in the state of Louisiana, we say bring it on.”

Sanchez explained, “if someone has a home in which they choose to believe something different, which is welcome in this country – it’s literally why people fled to come here to found this country to begin with – then they should be allowed to, and it’s not really an option if you’re requiring it to be put up in the wall of the classroom. What do you say to the parents of students or even teachers who don’t share your religious views?”

“Don’t look at it,” Ventrella angrily replied.

“What would you say if your child had to go to a classroom in which the Five Pillars of Islam were required to be on the wall? How would you feel?” Sanchez replied.

“Again, this is not about the Five Pillars of Islam. This bill specifically states, the Ten Commandments, it is a historical document,” she claimed.

READ MORE: How SCOTUS ‘Let Trump Off the Hook’ and ‘Interfered in the 2024 Elections’: Expert

Adding he was trying to help the Louisiana GOP lawmaker “put yourself in the shows of someone you may not understand and their point of view,” Sanchez asked, “How would you feel if you were at the classroom and something you didn’t believe in was required to be on the wall? You can answer that question.”

“I cannot sit here and gather and fathom what – you could give me 1000 hypotheticals, but again, this specific bill applies to this specific text, the Qur’an or Islam that is a very broad statement. We’re specifically talking about a limited text on mind you a piece of paper that’s not much bigger than a legal sheet of paper. Some kids might even need a magnifying glass to read all of this. This is not so preposterous that we’re we’re somehow sanctioning and forcing religion down people’s throat. I’ve heard the comments and it’s just ridiculous.”

Critics are furious.

Former Republican U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh replied, “Yes, what Louisiana just signed into law is unconstitutional & will be struck down by the courts. But this is just the latest evidence that my former political party would abandon the Constitution to make America a Christian theocracy.”

“Interesting State Rep. Ventrella says if students aren’t hearing about the Ten Commandments in the home they should hear it in school — which contradicts numerous bills they passed against schools teaching things parents don’t want taught,” observed Nexstar’s capitol bureau chief Shannon Heckt remarked.

Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison issued a statement in response.

“Watch this… folks this has very little to do with actual religion (because I guarantee you the majority of the MAGA Republicans who voted for this in the legislature don’t live up to these commandments),” he began. “As a Christian, I don’t feel compelled to force my religion and beliefs on others. I believe my path to salvation is paved by my actions and not impacted by the actions & beliefs of others.”

“My friends.. this is about control… these right-wing MAGA extremists want to control every aspect of our lives: control our bodies; who we love; who we pray to; how we express ourselves; what we read; who we vote for; and so much more,” he continued. “They are extreme, dangerous and unhinged. This is no time… this is no election to FAFO, because our freedoms and all we hold dear are on the ballot this November. Don’t be silent… let your voice be heard!”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Fact Checking His Delusions’: Trump’s Falsehoods May Not Be Lies Anymore, Critics Warn

 

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‘Smug’: Governor Scorched for Signing Ten Commandments Bill as Child Faints

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Louisiana Republican Governor Jeff Landry signed into law on Thursday legislation mandating a version of the Bible’s Ten Commandments must be posted in every public school classroom, after bragging he looked forward to civil rights groups suing him. Gov. Landry, the former state attorney general, has been criticized nationally for what experts say is a violation of the First Amendment, but that criticism widened Thursday as a little girl standing behind the governor appeared to faint as the governor continued his remarks (video below), apparently without noticing.

After the governor described the bill to tremendous applause from guests, the child fell to the floor. Governor Landry, seemingly unaware, continued, declaring, “if you want to protect the rule of law you got to start from the original law giver.”

Highlighting what some experts see as the First Amendment violation in the law he was about to sign, Landry continued, claiming Moses was the original lawgiver.

READ MORE: ‘Morally Bankrupt Loser’: Top Trump VP Contender Wants to Deport 20 Million People

Historians and religious experts might disagree with the governor. In some cultures, for example, Hammurabi, King of Babylon, is credited as the original lawgiver. In Ancient Greece, Athenian statesman Solon is considered to have that role. And in ancient India, that role belonged to Manu.

Responding to Landry’s “original lawgiver” remark, researcher Eric Kleefeld commented, “If that’s your rationale, then you ought to be posting the Code of Ur-Nammu, the oldest known set of written laws that archaeologists have ever found, from ancient Sumeria.”

Critics blasted Landry, both for not realizing the child directly behind him had fallen ill, and for the alleged First Amendment violation.

“Gov. Landry with a self-satisfied smug look while a young child passes out behind him,” remarked MSNBC legal correspondent Katie Phang.

“Christian Nationalism is front and center in the South. Scared of Project 2025? It’s happening in our states,” commented U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL).

READ MORE: How SCOTUS ‘Let Trump Off the Hook’ and ‘Interfered in the 2024 Elections’: Expert

“Remember everyone…this is about the kids. Not the one me whom literally passed out behind him. But, definitely kids,” commented former Lincoln Project executive director Fred Wellman.

Louisiana ranks near the bottom in education, at number 47 according to U.S. News and World Report.

Watch the video below or at this link.

RELATED: ‘I Can’t Wait to Be Sued’ Gov. Brags Over Ten Commandments Bill – Rights Groups Vow To Oblige

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Pence’s $10 Million Spending Spree Will Help Trump Campaign on Tax Cuts for the Rich

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Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is not endorsing Donald Trump, is spending $10 million in an effort to preserve the Trump tax cuts that largely benefitted ultra-wealthy millionaires and billionaires, which will help his ex-boss’s re-election efforts.

Advancing American Freedom, Pence’s political advocacy group, “is launching a $10 million campaign to push for an extension of the Trump-era tax cuts, which are set to expire next year and will likely play a key role in the 2024 election,” according to The Hill.

President Joe Biden has said he wants to eliminate Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for those making over $400,000, NBC News reports The tax cuts have added $1 to $2 trillion dollars to the national debt.

“A CBO report in May estimated that extending the provisions of Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would increase deficits by nearly $5 trillion into 2034,” the Associated Press reports, adding that Pence’s group is “press[ing] conservatives not to stray from the fight before the November election.”

READ MORE: How SCOTUS ‘Let Trump Off the Hook’ and ‘Interfered in the 2024 Elections’: Expert

Pence’s group also “released a 13-page blueprint Thursday with arguments being made to Capitol Hill and to voters in swing states, particularly in those that could decide control of the Senate.”

“As of May 2020, the Tax Policy Center estimated the tax cuts would add between $1 and $2 trillion to the federal debt by 2025. The Center for American Progress estimated the bill will have cost roughly $1.7 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2023 on June 30,” according to a 2023 USA Today fact check on the Trump tax cuts.

“The benefits of the 2017 tax changes were overwhelmingly skewed toward the wealthy,” the Center for American Progress reported in April. It provided “the largest tax cuts to the very wealthy,” which “failed to trickle down to ordinary workers.”

“The most significant piece of legislation former President Donald Trump signed during his first term had a dramatic cut in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent as its centerpiece,” Center for American Progress Action reported last week in “Trump’s $50 Billion Tax Giveaway to the 100 Largest Corporations.”

“That corporate tax cut did not trickle down to ordinary workers but cost $1.3 trillion and helped fuel a record $1 trillion in stock buybacks the year after it passed.”

READ MORE: ‘I Can’t Wait to Be Sued’ Gov. Brags Over Ten Commandments Bill – Rights Groups Vow To Oblige
 

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