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‘Authoritarianism Will Be on the Ballot’: Experts Sound Alarm Over NYT Bombshell Detailing Trump’s Plans if He Wins in 2024



Political and legal experts are sounding the alarm after a New York Times deep dive details how Donald Trump and his top allies are planning to massively reorganize the entire executive branch to hand him unprecedented power and decimate the constitutional basis of checks and balances should he win re-election next year.

“Donald J. Trump and his allies are planning a sweeping expansion of presidential power over the machinery of government if voters return him to the White House in 2025, reshaping the structure of the executive branch to concentrate far greater authority directly in his hands,” The New York Times’ Jonathan Swan, Charlie Savage and Maggie Haberman report.

With the assistance of entities like the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank that was transformed during the Trump years, The Times reports several of Trump’s well-known associates have been working on plans for his second term.

Among them, John McEntee. Swan last year at Axios described McEntee a “young take-no-prisoners loyalist with chutzpah” who Trump had enlisted after his first impeachment acquittal in early 2020 to “activate the plan for revenge.”

READ MORE: ‘Chilling’: Former Prosecutor Stunned Over J6 Defendant Who Allegedly Got Obama’s Address From Trump Social Media Post

“Baby-faced assassin,” is how The Guardian in February of 2020 described McEntee, “the 29-year old at the heart of Trump’s ‘deep state’ purge.”

McEntee rose through the ranks of the Trump White House, starting as the president’s body man and personal aide. He was terminated after failing to pass a security clearance background check and was “under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes,” CNN reported in 2018. Despite his past, Trump later rehired him as his Director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office, where he initiated loyalty test interviews in the hope of ensuring executive branch employees across all agencies were entirely loyal to Trump.

“What part of candidate Trump’s campaign message most appealed to you and why?” was one question potential political appointees were reportedly asked under McEntee’s leadership, CBS News had reported in 2020.

In November of 2021, ABC News’ Jonathan Karl penned a piece for The Atlantic calling McEntee, “The Man Who Made January 6 Possible.”

“McEntee and his enforcers made the disastrous last weeks of the Trump presidency possible,” Karl wrote. “They backed the president’s manic drive to overturn the election, and helped set the stage for the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Thanks to them, in the end, the elusive “adults in the room”—those who might have been willing to confront the president or try to control his most destructive tendencies—were silenced or gone. But McEntee was there—bossing around Cabinet secretaries, decapitating the civilian leadership at the Pentagon, and forcing officials high and low to state their allegiance to Trump.”

The New York Times’ report on Monday reveals Trump and his allies’ “plans to centralize more power in the Oval Office stretch far beyond the former president’s recent remarks that he would order a criminal investigation into his political rival, President Biden, signaling his intent to end the post-Watergate norm of Justice Department independence from White House political control.”

READ MORE: GOP Senators and Right-Wingers Freak Out Over Biden Ordering 3000 Reservists to Ready for Possible Deployment to Europe

Trump, for example, would bring what Congress created to be independent agencies, like the “Federal Communications Commission, which makes and enforces rules for television and internet companies, and the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces various antitrust and other consumer protection rules against businesses — under direct presidential control.”

He would “impound” taxpayer funds Congress appropriated and refuse to spend them, a practice outlawed under disgraced President Richard Nixon.

As he wanted to do before the end of his first term, Trump would eliminate civil service protections from “tens of thousands of career civil servants, making it easier to replace them if they are deemed obstacles to his agenda. And he plans to scour the intelligence agencies, the State Department and the defense bureaucracies to remove officials he has vilified as ‘the sick political class that hates our country.'”

And who would Trump enlist into this fascistic effort?

“The president’s plan should be to fundamentally reorient the federal government in a way that hasn’t been done since F.D.R.’s New Deal,” said McEntee, “who is now involved in mapping out the new approach,” The Times reports.

“Our current executive branch,” McEntee added, “was conceived of by liberals for the purpose of promulgating liberal policies. There is no way to make the existing structure function in a conservative manner. It’s not enough to get the personnel right. What’s necessary is a complete system overhaul.”

Russell T. Vought, who lead Trump’s Office of Management and Budget, told The Times: “What we’re trying to do is identify the pockets of independence and seize them.”

Others The Times mentions are “two of Mr. Trump’s advisers, Vincent Haley and Ross Worthington.”

And Stephen Miller, a white nationalist who The Times notes was “the architect of the former president’s hard-line immigration agenda.” That agenda included the intentional separation of children from their parents, and some siblings from each other – to send a message to other families not to travel to the U.S. southern border in hopes of applying for asylum or entering and staying unlawfully. Miller’s efforts separated approximately 3000 children from their parents, but he had a plan, never implemented, NBC News reported, to separate an additional 25,000 more.

Experts across the spectrum are responding to The Times’ report with grave concern.

“In 2024, authoritarianism—unchecked, unembarrassed and undisguised—will be on the ballot,” wrote Bill Kristol, the longtime neoconservative commentator.

“Anyone who opposes a Presidential autocracy in America should read this closely,” urged NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

READ MORE: A Texas Judge Is Trying to Use the SCOTUS Anti-LGBTQ Ruling to Refuse to Marry Same-Sex Couples

“Read this piece,” also urged MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan. “Be afraid. This is on the verge of happening 18 months from now.”

“Now ask yourself this question,” he continued, “are cautious, in-denial, business-as-usual establishment Dems equipped, or even willing, to address this anti-democratic, autocratic threat?”

Award-winning retired White House correspondent Peter Maer tweeted, “ELECTIONS MATTER. If #Trump wins the #Republican nomination, autocracy will be on the ballot.”

Attorney Charles Kuck, an immigration law expert and adjunct professor of law warned, “Trump and his minions want America to be a dictatorship. Be aware.”

Former Republican and former Tea Party U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh noted, “Deciding how to vote in the 2024 election will be super easy & super straightforward: If you want a dictator in the White House, vote for Trump. If you don’t, vote for Biden.”

Veteran journalist Brian Kareem wrote: “Read. This is the elimination of democracy and the plans of a despotic regime.”

International relations professor and senior editor of Arc Digital, Nicholas Grossman writes: “If Trump conspiring [to] stay in power after losing reelection didn’t convince you. And his team’s plan to purge the civil service of non-loyalists didn’t. Nor did his call to terminate the Constitution. Here’s more evidence of explicitly anti-democracy intent.”

“Democracy can die by suicide, and re-electing Donald Trump would be precisely that,” observed Larry Sabato, professor, and founder and director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

Retired U.S. Naval War College professor Tom Nichols, the expert on Russia, nuclear weapons, and national security who is now at The Atlantic, balked at The Times title: “Trump and Allies Forge Plans to Increase Presidential Power in 2025.”

“Well, that’s one way to put it,” Nichols wrote. “Another would be ‘to establish an autocracy.'”


Image via Shutterstock

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Lone Dissenter Calls Texas Supreme Court Transgender Ruling ‘Cruel, Unconstitutional’



texas supreme court

The lone justice to dissent called the Texas Supreme Court ruling to uphold the ban on gender-affirming care for minors “cruel” and “unconstitutional” Friday.

The Texas Supreme Court, currently made up of all Republican justices, decided 8-1 to uphold a ban on providing gender-affirming care, including puberty blockers, to transgender people under the age of 18. The Court said that it did “not attempt to identify the most appropriate treatment for a child suffering from gender dysphoria,” claiming it to be a “complicated question” for doctors and legislators.

The Court ruled that even though “fit parents have a fundamental interest in directing the care, custody, and control of their children free from government interference,” that interest is bound by “the Legislature’s authority to regulate the practice of medicine.”

READ MORE: Republican Gov. Mike DeWine Vetoes Anti-Trans Bill After Talking to Families With Trans Kids

“[W]e conclude the Legislature made a permissible, rational policy choice to limit the types of available medical procedures for children, particularly in light of the relative nascency of both gender dysphoria and its various modes of treatment and the Legislature’s express constitutional authority to regulate the practice of medicine,” Justice Rebeca Aizpuru Huddle wrote.

Justice Debra Lehrmann, the only justice to dissent, was clear in her disagreement. She wrote that the decision means “the State can usurp parental authority to follow a physician’s advice regarding their own children’s medical needs.” Lehrmann identified that gender-affirming care can be “lifesaving.”

She also mocked the idea that the Court’s ruling didn’t “deprive children diagnosed with gender dysphoria of appropriate treatment.” Lehrmann pointed out that by upholding the law, it “effectively forecloses all medical treatment options that are currently available to these children … under the guise that depriving parents of access to these treatments is no different than prohibiting parents from allowing their children to get tattoos.”

“The law is not only cruel—it is unconstitutional,” she wrote, calling the ban a “hatchet, not a scalpel.”

Lehrmann also put the lie to the claims by anti-LGBTQ activists that surgery is common for transgender minors.

“Indeed, the leading medical associations in this field do not recommend surgical intervention before adulthood. Without a doubt, the removal of a young child’s genitalia is something that neither the conventional medical community nor conscientious parents would condone,” she wrote. “Moreover, medical experts do not recommend that any medical intervention … be undertaken before the onset of puberty.”

Lehrmann is correct. Prior to puberty, transgender care is basically limited to social changes. For example, wearing gender-affirming clothing and using appropriate pronouns, according to Advocates for Trans Equality.

Puberty blockers can be prescribed for those who are starting puberty. Puberty blockers are safe, according to Cedars-Sinai, and are not only used for transgender youth. A common purpose is to stop precocious puberty, which affects 1 in 5,000 children, including children as young as 6. For both transgender youth and kids going through precocious puberty, puberty blockers are known to improve patients’ mental health, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Puberty blockers are also fully reversible. However, in terms of trans youth, a study published in The Lancet found that 98% of those on puberty blockers went on hormone replacement therapy upon turning 18. But even for those few teens who realize after being on puberty blockers that they aren’t trans, all they have to do is stop taking them, and their puberty will progress as normal.





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Rep. Tim Walberg Tells Uganda to ‘Stand Firm’ on ‘Kill The Gays’ Law Ted Cruz Called ‘Horrific’



Tim Walberg Uganda Kill The Gays Law

Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI) delivered a speech in Uganda to defend the country’s President Yoweri Museveni and the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, better known as the “Kill the Gays” law.

Walberg traveled to Uganda in October to attend a national prayer breakfast organized by the Fellowship Foundation, also known as The Family, which also covered the cost of his trip, according to TYT. In the speech, transcribed by the blog Take Care Tim, he told the attendees to “stand firm” in the face of criticism.

“Whose side do we want to be on? God’s side. Not the World Bank, not the United States of America necessarily, not the UN. God’s side,” Walberg said. “I think as we go on here, it says, ‘So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.’ – Who’s gonna do that? God is gonna do that. Your esteemed President, his excellency, President Museveni needs a nation that stands with him and says, though the rest of the world is pushing back on you, though there are other major countries that are trying to get into you and ultimately change you, stand firm. Stand firm.”

READ MORE: Mike Johnson Once Agreed to Speak at ‘Kill the Gays’ Pastor’s Conference – Until an NCRM Report

Walberg made it clear he knew his view would be unpopular in the United States.

“Now, this will probably get back to the national media in the United States, and I expect some pushback, but I’m not gonna give in to them. … I know that your President is a warrior. I like that about him. We’re in a battle, folks. We are in a battle,” he said.

Though Uganda has had homophobia enshrined in its legal code since it was a British protectorate, the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 is a drastic escalation. Previously, homosexuality was punished with life in prison, according to the Advocate. The new law allows the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.” It also bans “promotion of homosexuality,” much like Russia bans queer “propaganda”.

The law is so draconian that Republican Senator Ted Cruz—no ally to the queer communitycondemned it. In May, shortly after Museveni signed the law, Cruz called the law “horrific” on X, formerly Twitter.

This Uganda law is horrific & wrong. Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is grotesque & an abomination. ALL civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse. #LGBTQ,” Cruz tweeted.

Attempts to pass a similar bill to the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 started in 2014, with a bill also called the “Kill the Gays” law. That form of the bill was built by anti-LGBTQ activist Scott Lively, who previously claimed then-President Barack Obama was secretly gay.

While it didn’t go into effect then, the bill and ones like it kept popping up on Uganda’s parliamentary agenda. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden threatened to cut nearly $1 billion in annual aid to Uganda if the bill passed.

A previous version of this story credited Salon with the initial reporting; Salon had republished the article from TYT. The sourcing has been corrected; NCRM regrets the error.

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Federal Judge Issues Injunction on Idaho Anti-Trans Law Days Before It Takes Effect



A federal judge issued an injunction Tuesday against an Idaho anti-trans law that would bar prescribing puberty blockers to transgender youth.

The Idaho anti-trans law, House Bill 71, was signed into law by Republican Governor Brad Little last April, according to the Idaho Statesman. It was scheduled take effect on January 1, 2024. Providing gender-affirming care to minors, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries would become a felony under the law. This is even though it is exceedingly rare for a person under 18 to be offered these type of surgeries, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday, stopping the Idaho anti-trans law from taking effect in less than a week. Winmill said that the pending lawsuit filed by two trans minors and their parents will most likely succeed, citing the 14th Amendment, according to the Statesman.

READ MORE: ‘I’m Suing’: Montana Democrat Silenced by Republicans in Battle Over Transgender Health Care Files Lawsuit

“Time and again, these cases illustrate that the 14th Amendment’s primary role is to protect disfavored minorities and preserve our fundamental rights from legislative overreach,” he wrote. “That was true for newly freed slaves following the Civil War. It was true in the 20th century for women, people of color, interracial couples and individuals seeking access to contraception. And it is no less true for transgender children and their parents in the 21st century.”

Idaho Attorney General Raul Labrador told the paper he will appeal the injunction. Labrador claims “Winmill’s ruling places children at risk of irreversible harm.” The use of the phrase “irreversible harm” echoes the anti-trans book Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier. Shrier’s book endorses the since-debunked theory of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.” The theory claims girls will declare themselves to be transgender as part of a “social contagion”—basically comparing transitioning to a fad.

Winmill, appointed to the Idaho district court in 1995 by President Bill Clinton, has recently ruled in other pivotal culture-war cases. This August, Winmill blocked Labrador from prosecuting doctors who send patients out-of-state for an abortion, KMVT-TV reported.

In August 2022, he also issued an injunction stopping Labrador from prosecuting ER doctors who provide an abortion in attempts to stabilize a patient, according to the Idaho Capital Sun, while a suit against the its way through the court system. The injunction was overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in September of this year, according to the Capital Sun, though the lawsuit itself is still pending.



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