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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

A Congressman, a VP, a Hate Group Head, or the Wife of a SCOTUS Justice: Who Was Behind Trump’s Transgender Military Ban the Most?

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It was July 26, 2017. Three and a half years ago, almost to the day, when President Donald Trump shocked the nation with a series of tweets that seemed to have come out of nowhere.

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” Trump’s tweets read. “Thank you.”

The Commander in Chief had just placed a total ban on transgender service members. Just like that, in the blink of an eye.

Literally every word of that statement was a lie.

President Joe Biden just a few short hours ago reversed the ban via an executive order.

Trump had not consulted with his generals or military experts. Transgender service members do not carry tremendous medical costs, nor does employing them create disruption. Even the “thank you” seemed false.

Civil rights and LGBTQ organizations sued in federal courts and won, multiple times.

But the U.S. Supreme Court, as it did so many times during his tenure, bowed to Trump and granted him the “right” to ban all transgender military service members.

Only later would Americans learn Trump made the announcement not only for purely political reasons, but at the urging of some of the far right’s and the religious right’s most powerful partisans.

Among them, anti-LGBTQ hate group head Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. Less than one year later Trump would elevate him directly into the administration, to serve on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Perkins is now the Chair of that group. Trump announced his trans ban just days after Perkins asked him for it.

Related: Longtime BFFs Mike Pence and Tony Perkins Reportedly ‘Played Leading Role’ Drafting Pentagon Ban on Transgender Service Members

Also, Ginni Thomas, the conspiracy theorist and far right lobbyist who happens to be the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She met with Trump in January of 2019, apparently in part to force him to enact the ban he had announced 18 months earlier, that was tied up in the courts.

And then-Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC), who would later become Trump’s White House chief of staff, reportedly  took a “significant role” in pushing for the transgender military ban. (Politico reports today Meadows, now out of the White House, is so unemployable he is now forced to consider taking a job with the Trump Organization post-presidency.)

According to ThinkProgress, Arkansas megachurch pastor Ronnie Floyd, who also sat on Trump’s evangelical advisory board, along with Perkins, both “had the ear of the president and have used it to advocate against allowing transgender people to serve their country.”

Floyd actually joined other evangelical leaders at the White House two weeks beforeTrump announced the ban on Twitter last year, where they openly advocated for the president to reverse the Obama administration’s decision to let trans people serve.

There was more to Trump’s out-of-the-blue ban on transgender service personnel.

Perkins, ThinkProgress adds, “personally took credit for lobbying Trump for the ban, and admitted to knowing it was coming even though the military’s leadership did not. Perkins also contributed to a secret working group impaneled by Vice President Pence to overrule any trans-friendly recommendations made by a military study group. Documents show that the official military panel only heard testimony in favor of letting trans people serve, yet the final recommendations somehow called for the opposite.

And then there’s Vice President Mike Pence.

According to Slate in 2018, “a ‘panel of experts’ has been crafting a report, also released on Friday, designed to provide pretextual justification for Trump’s ban. According to multiple sources, Vice President Mike Pence played a leading role in the creation of this report, along with Ryan Anderson, an anti-trans activist, and Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ lobbying group.”

“House Republicans were planning to pass a spending bill stacked with his campaign promises, including money to build his border wall with Mexico,” Politico reported at the time. “But an internal House Republican fight over transgender troops was threatening to blow up the bill. And House GOP insiders feared they might not have the votes to pass the legislation because defense hawks wanted a ban on Pentagon-funded sex reassignment operations — something GOP leaders wouldn’t give them.”

They turned to Trump, who didn’t hesitate. In the flash of a tweet, he announced that transgender troops would be banned altogether.

In other words, he didn’t bat an eye, just made up a lie to push his agenda forward. Didn’t even think twice about the tens of thousands of lives that would be affected.

Two years later, he was still lying about the ban.

“They take massive amounts of drugs,” Trump told a UK news outlet about transgender people, which is a lie, “they have to — and, also you’re not allowed to take drugs in the military, and they have to after the operation.”

Those “drugs,” as NBC News reported when Trump made the offensive remarks, are prescription medication, and “the military does not prohibit service members from using prescription drugs — including hormones.”

HRC posted this video at the time:

 

Image: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Groveling Before White Supremacists’: GOP Senate Candidate Slammed for ‘Going Fully Anti-Semitic’

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A Republican candidate for the seat currently held by retiring U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) was both criticized for antisemitism and mocked for accidentally yet accurately linking extremism with conservatism on Monday.

Venture capitalist J.D. Vance, whose former boss, billionaire PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel has invested $10 million in a PAC supporting him, posted the strange tweet attacking the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL is a civil rights organization dedicated to “monitoring, tracking and responding to antisemitism in the United States.” Vance is the author of “Hillbilly Elegy.”

He retweeted this post from disclose.tv and called the ADL “a joke of an organization that just goes after conservatives.”

Some slammed Vance’s tweet as antisemitic:

Others just mocked him for accidentally speaking the truth about “extremist and hate movements.”

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Evil in the World’: Anti-Mask Lawmaker Pushes Conspiracy Theory in Claim He and His Wife Have COVID – Again

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U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) announced on Sunday he, his wife, and son all have contracted the coronavirus and tested positive for COVID-19. This is the second time he and his wife, Higgins claims, have had COVID. Like about half of the House GOP caucus, Higgins refuses to reveal his vaccination status.

“I have COVID, Becca has COVID, my son has COVID,” Higgins declared in a Facebook post Sunday. “Becca” is Higgins’ fourth wife.

“I keep my family’s private business very quiet, because of the evil in the world, yet we are uplifted by the love of God’s children, and quiet privacy does not mean secrecy, so, here’s the update,” Higgins wrote.

“Becca and I had COVID before, early on, in January 2020, before the world really knew what it was. So, this is our second experience with the CCP biological attack weaponized virus,” he said, baselessly, promoting a right wing conspiracy theory, “and this episode is far more challenging. It has required all of my devoted energy.”

Higgins may be best known for for shooting a selfie political video inside the Auschwitz gas chamber.

In May Higgins and other Republicans announced they would no longer wear a mask while in the House, because, as one said, “We’re just tired of it.”

In March Higgins – who once appeared to have threatened a retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice – railed against gun control legislation because, he said, murder is in the Bible.

And last year Higgins threatened to shoot Black armed protestors.

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Marjorie Taylor Greene Says Impeach Biden, Fire Fauci and Expel Waters in Red-Meat Alabama Speech

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke Friday night to the Alabama Federation of Republican Women, an event for which the media had been told to leave after a press availability beforehand.

But the conservative Alabama website www.yellowhammer.com managed to be in position to report on Greene’s remarks. It happily described the event as one that “went off with no disruptions and instead, spells of raucous applause from the attendees.”

The reporting did offer a glimpse into what Greene says behind closed doors when tossing out the rarest of the red meat. Here’s how that went:

“Greene kicked off her speech by reiterating three of her ‘favorite things’ she often says while speaking before crowds,” Yellowhammer reports.

“That’s like three of my favorite things: impeach Joe Biden, expel Maxine Waters — we’ve got to take out the trash in Washington, D.C. — and fire Dr. Anthony Fauci,” she said to applause.

“I’m not going to apologize for saying what I’m about to say, but I’m a big fan of President Donald J. Trump,” she continued. “That’s how I always test my crowd. Then I’m going to tell you something else: I believe Trump won the election.”

The website added, “Greene spoke for an hour and hit some highlights of her first seven months in the U.S. House of Representatives, including her interactions with U.S. Reps. Marie Newman (D-IL), Cori Bush (D-MO) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

What she had to say about those three was left to the imagination. But Yellowhammer did report that Greene reiterated her comments from earlier in July distancing herself from fellow wacko Mike Lindell’s claims that Donald Trump would be reinstalled as president in August.

That’s not news: Greene pushed back against Lindell publicly earlier in July. But unbiased observers would have been choking on their fried green tomatoes listening to Greene impersonating a sober voice of reason in Alabama:

“I will tell you this: Sometimes you hear people saying crazy things like, ‘President Trump is going to be back in the White House in August,'” she said. “That is not going to happen. Please don’t believe anyone who is telling you those kinds of things. I get so frustrated with that. There are three members of Congress sitting right here that will tell you that’s not going to happen. The process for putting President Trump back in the White House — it’s not there.”

“We don’t have a constitutional process for that,” Greene continued. “So, I don’t want anyone to get their hopes up over something that is not going to happen. What we’ve got to do is reveal the fraud that took place in the 2020 election — reveal it, then hold people accountable that made it take place, make sure we have good election laws, get rid of this crazy absentee ballot voting, make sure our machines are OK. Then we win in 2022 and 2024.”

Somehow, hearing Greene use the phrase “crazy things” when discussing someone else’s conspiracy theories is a bit much. She gets “so frustrated” with people becoming misinformed by this one? Really?

Greene is just a few short years away from spreading the grossest of QAnon craziness, from 911 denial to Pizzagate to Frazzledrip to Jewish space lasers and more. She was not some QAnon apologist: She was full Q.

Here’s how that was recaptured in a Business Insider analysis laying out the litany of Greene’s wildness:

“Greene said “Q” is “someone that very much loves his country, and he’s on the same page as us, and he is very pro-Trump.” And she said, “There’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles out, and I think we have the president to do it.”

That was four years ago, not four decades. Within a year came Greene’s unspeakably cruel deceits claiming that mass shootings at Parkland, Sandy Hook and Las Vegas were “false flag” events staged to promote gun control.

As Business Insider noted, “A recently resurfaced video from earlier that year shows Greene accosting David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, who was 17 at the time, in Washington, DC. Hogg was in town to advocate for gun control at the Capitol. Greene followed the teen down the street, calling him a “coward,” just weeks after the shooting at his high school killed 17 people.”

Now, instead of stalking some poor young survivor on the streets outside the nation’s Capitol, Greene works in the building. In another time, Greene was the sort of individual who might have been housed in an institution for troubled souls.

In 2021, tragically, that’s the Republican caucus in Congress.

 

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