U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), the far-right hard-core conservative who since February has been single-handedly holding up the promotions of over 300 U.S. Military officers, has now expanded his fight from a battle against the Pentagon’s policy supporting service members needing to travel out-of-state to obtain abortion services into a war whose targets are individuals: career U.S. Military officers awaiting promotions.
“There is nobody more military than me,” “Coach” Tuberville infamously said last month, when his hit list holding up promotions requiring Senate confirmation had just reached 265 U.S. Military officers. Senator Tuberville’s remarks were not well-received, especially since, as multiple news outlets reported, he had never served in America’s Armed Forces, and had been caught misrepresenting his father’s World War II military record.
“I don’t care if they promote anybody,” Tuberville admitted last week. “To be honest, we got 44 four-star generals right now. We only had seven in World War II. So I think we’re a little overloaded to begin with.” In a wild rant the Alabama GOP Senator also suggested another reason he is blocking the promotions is because – he alleges – the Senate hasn’t followed the U.S. Constitution since Trump left office.
Since he began his lone-wolf attack on the Pentagon’s policy – instituted in response to GOP state legislatures around the country imposing bans on abortion – Tuberville has insisted his only goal was to get the U.S. Military to rescind its policy of reimbursing service members for travel expenses if they have to go out-of-state to get the health care they need.
Up until now.
“The Biden Administration’s liberal and woke policies are the real threat to military readiness. I’m trying to keep politics out of the military,” Senator Tuberville claimed on social media Tuesday evening – as he reposted a thread of tweets from a far-right dark money group created to derail President Joe Biden’s nominees across many parts of the federal government, from the executive branch to the judicial branch, and now, to the Armed Forces.
Sen. Tuberville, who has a history of defending white nationalism, also reportedly emailed out those posts, which attack career military officers’ comments supporting LGBTQ equality, embracing diversity, pledging to address systemic racism, and more.
In May, Tuberville declared white nationalists are simply “Americans.” He also said, “I look at a white nationalist as a, as a Trump Republican. That’s what we’re called all the time.”
The first attack promoted by Tuberville cites a 2017 article at MilitaryTimes.com that reads: “USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Commanding Officer Capt. Craig Clapperton speaks about the importance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender celebration.”
The Biden Administration’s liberal and woke policies are the real threat to military readiness.
I’m trying to keep politics out of the military. https://t.co/qrYGev3sq2
— Coach Tommy Tuberville (@SenTuberville) August 22, 2023
These officers are not political appointees. As some of the attacks reveal, these officers have been serving in America’s Armed Forces for years, well before Joe Biden won the presidency.
“Sen. Tuberville takes a new approach to defending his hold on military nominations by emailing out this thread personally attacking individual military officers up for promotion,” wrote Politico’s national security and military reporter Paul McLeary.
“If you thought Sen. Tuberville might back off his military promotions blockade any time soon…,” added Punchbowl News’ senior congressional reporter Andrew Desiderio. “His office just blasted out this thread highlighting criticisms of the nominees themselves. Remember — these nominations are typically approved by unanimous consent.”
The attacks on America’s military officers come from The American Accountability Foundation, a conservative dark money opposition research operation co-founded by “a longtime Beltway operative specializing in opposition research.”
Last year The New Yorker’s award-winning investigative reporter Jane Mayer called the American Accountability Foundation, “The Slime Machine Targeting Dozens of Biden Nominees.”
So what attacks on U.S. Military officers is Tuberville promoting?
The American Accountability Foundation calls the hundreds of officers awaiting promotions, “one of the WOKEST slates of military nominees ever assembled.”
“Biden’s agenda is clear,” they add.
Of course, any president, although being Commander-in-Chief, rarely would get directly involved in the promotion of a flag officer, certainly not hundreds of them. But as Mayer pointed out, “the A.A.F.’s approach represents a new escalation in partisan warfare, and underscores the growing role that secret spending has played in deepening the polarization in Washington.”
“The A.A.F., which is run by conservative white men, has particularly focussed on blocking women and people of color,” Mayer added. She notes, “Evan Hollander, then the spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee, told The Hill that, ‘for a group that purports to concern itself with ethics, using fake identities, misrepresenting themselves as Congressional staff and surreptitiously recording meetings is hypocritical in the extreme.'”
The American Accountability Foundation in a series of 21 posts (so far) attacked U.S. Military officers (some examples below) for reasons including a promise to “promptly address the full spectrum of systemic racism.”
The AAF attacked a Brigadier General for saying, “we’re gonna continue to strive to make sure that we’re the most diverse force in the Army,” “Our army is built on the foundation of diversity,” and, “we’re the most powerful army in the world, and we get that power from having a force that looks like different people.”
The AAF also attacked a Colonel for promoting “an article on how the military was ‘preparing’ for Trump.”
See more of AAF’s posts that Sen. Tuberville promoted below or at this link.
5/ She quoted Slide 35 of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute’s informational presentation on Women’s Equality Day: “Investing in gender equality and women’s empowerment can unlock human potential on a transformational scale.” pic.twitter.com/0ociRXEnoz
— American Accountability Foundation (@ExposingBiden) August 21, 2023
6/ Brig. Gen. Elizabeth E. Arledge (Air Force), nominated for promotion to Major General, tweeted about woke “intersectionality” theories, “whiteness,” and celebrated Ruth Bader Ginsburg. pic.twitter.com/Zbf1qme7gT
— American Accountability Foundation (@ExposingBiden) August 21, 2023
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Fetterman Vows to GOP ‘Jagoffs’ He Will ‘Save Democracy by Wearing a Suit’ but He Has Two Conditions
Amid several days of right-wing, Republican, and Fox News outrage targeting U.S. Senator John Fetterman after Senators were told they may now wear casual attire on the floor, the Pennsylvania Democrat is promising to “save democracy by wearing a suit,” but he has two conditions.
Senator Fetterman stands at least six feet eight inches tall and weighs in at 270 pounds, according to The Washington Post, which attempted this week to debunk right-wing conspiracy theories that he has a “body double.”
He is known for wearing Carhartt sweatshirts and shorts more often than suits and ties, and after he was elected last year many in the media worried how he would transition to the more formal restrictions expected of sitting U.S. Senators. As it turns out there is no actual “dress code” that applies to Senators, and some, like Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), have taken advantage of that fact on occasion.
Ted Cruz came in t shirt and shorts and nobody said boo. pic.twitter.com/PSRqhKm48x
— Myron Nelson (@Myronnelson) September 19, 2023
Some, like one menswear editor, have taken the opportunity to mock other unique dress aspects of some political figures.
i hope republicans institute a stricter dress code
1. no low-rise pants with short jackets and insane shoes
2. no black dress shirts with light-colored ties; no suits without a jacket
3. no tan shoes with dark suits; no dress sneakers or “fun socks”
4. no scotch tape on ties https://t.co/rAMx7S8uia pic.twitter.com/AkXYfWkoQf
— derek guy (@dieworkwear) September 20, 2023
On Tuesday Sen. Fetterman mocked his detractors, including Fox News, which has aired at least several segments on his casual attire while suggesting the relaxed enforcement of the already non-existent “dress code” in the nation’s top deliberative body is an example of the “decline of standards in everything.”
One of Fetterman’s detractors has been having her own challenges this week: U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), caught vaping, taking photos, and allegedly engaged in sexual groping during a performance of a family-friendly musical.
In response to a Fox News social media post that claimed “People are furious after the Senate dropped its dress code requirement,” Sen. Fetterman said: “I figure if I take up vaping and grabbing the hog during a live musical, they’ll make me a folk hero.”
On Wednesday, Fetterman continued his colorful remarks, while mocking his critics – namely, House Republicans – who, he suggested, feel sweats are the end of the American republic.
The House is currently mired in “chaos,” a word Reuters, Fox News, MSNBC, The Hill, Axios, The Washington Post, and others have used to described the state of Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s conference just eleven days before what appears to be a likely shutdown of the federal government. It appears less and less likely Republicans will be able to pass legislation that will keep the government open after September 30, and continue funding Ukraine’s defense against Russia.
“If those jagoffs in the House stop trying to shut our government down, and fully support Ukraine, then I will save democracy by wearing a suit on the Senate floor next week,” Sen. Fetterman wrote.
See the social media photos above or at this link.
‘Declaring the Office of Speaker to Be Vacant’: Reporter Finds Possible Gaetz Resolution in House Restroom
A reporter says he found a House resolution dated just days ago, with marks identifying it as from U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz’s office that would, if passed remove Congressman Kevin McCarthy from his elected role as Speaker of the House, according to New York Magazine.
Journalist Matt Laslo, who is also a former Johns Hopkins University professor and has bylines at Wired, Vice, Rolling Stone, and Raw Story, posted photos of the document (below) and wrote on social media: “Found on a baby changing table in restroom underneath House floor: ‘Declaring the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant,’ from Rep. @mattgaetz, Sept. 15, 2023, 11:22am.”
There is no confirmation the document is authentic, and it could have been intentionally placed there by anyone, just so a reporter would find it, but even if drawn up or left as a joke it is yet another indication of the acrimony and hostility building among House Republicans over the likely impending government shutdown. On Tuesday, after a continuing resolution to keep the federal government running for another 30 days was scrapped, Fox News described Speaker McCarthy as being “in a bind as GOP factions, and factions within factions, [are] at loggerheads.”
As a condition of being elected Speaker, Kevin McCarthy agreed to allow any one member file a “motion to vacate,” meaning a motion to remove him as Speaker. It would require a vote in the House. In January NBC News reported it would require a simple majority vote to oust McCarthy under the rules he agreed to.
Last week Rep. Gaetz threatened to remove McCarthy.
“Because McCarthy probably has enough votes to survive any coup attempt, Gaetz’s threat is probably empty. But the method of the leak here is worth noting — either a brilliant or extremely dumb way to pass off information in Congress,” New York Magazine reports.
“Oh. My. God. The Republican House is in complete shambles. What a joke,” Sawyer Hackett, a Democratic strategist and Senior Advisor to former Obama Cabinet Secretary Julián Castro, wrote in response to Laslo’s post on social media.
CNN’s Melanie Zanona responded, “omg.”
Punchbow News cofounder Jake Sherman offered the most dramatic yet noncommittal response:
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) September 19, 2023
See the social media post and photos above or at this link.
‘I Dress Like He Campaigns’: Fetterman Smacks Down DeSantis Amid Sweeping Right Wing Attack on His Attire
U.S. Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) is striking back amid attacks on his iconically casual attire led by Republican lawmakers and Fox News.
Senator Fetterman, who often wears sweatshirts instead of suits, found himself once again targeted in the past few days.
“The Senate no longer enforcing a dress code for Senators to appease Fetterman is disgraceful. Dress code is one of society’s standards that set etiquette and respect for our institutions. Stop lowering the bar!” demanded U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
Over at Fox News, co-host Greg Gutfeld, wearing a shirt, no tie, and sneakers, insisted “women know how to dress. They enjoy looking good,” while admitting, “men enjoy looking comfortable,” which is why “the dudes should stick to the suits.”
“This isn’t a poker game or a strip club,” he continued.
“It’s not going for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory,” Gutfeld added, lamenting the “decline of standards in everything.”
Co-host Dana Perino, presumably sarcastically, added: “You know, this happened in the fall of the Roman Empire. They let people wear togas everywhere. Next thing you know — no empire.”
Dana Perino on the Senate dress code change: “You know, this happened in the fall of the Roman Empire. They let people wear togas everywhere. Next thing you know — no empire.” pic.twitter.com/rZ6vUApDSm
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) September 18, 2023
Earlier on Fox News Business, Maria Bartiromo had told U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) there was a “cover up underway.”
“Chuck Schumer certainly didn’t consult with me,” Haggerty replied, discussing the new dress code.
“It’s just another step in the movement by the Democrats to ‘transform America,’ to take us to a different place, and to take us to a place that is much less respectful than we historically have been,” he claimed.
Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) attacks Majority Leader Chuck Schumer loosening the Senate’s informal dress code:
“It’s just another step in the movement by the Democrats to ‘Transform America’ … and to take us to a place that is much less respectful than we historically have been.” pic.twitter.com/XTtjbrhQGO
— The Recount (@therecount) September 18, 2023
And then there was Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, campaigning despite currently being behind Donald Trump by an average of 43.9 points, telling supporters that Senator Fetterman “has a lot of problems.”
“Let’s just be honest,” the governor said, “like, how he got elected, well – I mean, he got elected because they didn’t want the alternative but, um, he wears like sweatshirts and hoodies and shorts, and that’s his thing so he would campaign in that.”
DeSantis, wearing an outfit that is almost exactly a copy of Donald Trump’s regular red tie and blue suit, insisted America needs to be “lifting up our standards, not dumbing-down our standards.”
Senator Fetterman had a simple response: “I dress like he campaigns.”
I dress like he campaigns https://t.co/IXgGmIRNb4
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) September 18, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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