The new Trump Administration ban on transgender Americans serving in the armed forces, released Friday, is dramatically different from the proposed policies reported to have been prepared by the military itself. According to reports from both Slate and ThinkProgress, it was Vice President Mike Pence who played the key role drafting the anti-LGBT policies in the report. He was assisted in the effort by the leader of an SPLC-designated hate group.
Slate’s Mark Joseph Sternreported Friday night that, according to multiple sources, Pence played “a leading role” in creating the report, along with Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, which has been dubbed “Trump’s favorite think tank,” and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC), an anti-LGBTQ hate group. Both Heritage and FRCpraised the report Friday. According to Stern’s reporting, it was true that Mattis favored allowing transgender military service, but Pence “effectively overruled” him.
A separate source independently confirmed to ThinkProgress Saturday that Pence was involved, characterizing him as forming his own ad hoc “working group,” including Anderson and Perkins, separate from the panel of experts Mattis had assembled. Though it bears Mattis’ signature, the report released Friday appears to reflect the findings of Pence’s working group and not the committee report that Mattis submitted to Trump last month. Mattis’ original document is not currently publicly available, butit was widely reported that Mattis favored an inclusive approach that resembled what had originally been proposedby Defense Secretary Ash Carter under President Obama in 2016.
Pence has generally attempted to stay under the radar, in this administration, praising Trump effusively while making little news of his own. That he would choose not just to spearhead this report, but to invite the participation of an anti-LGBT hate group, is telling.
Donald Trump, the guy who said he would have run into the school to confront the shooter and protect the kids, was too scared to drive by a student-led #MarchForOurLives in Palm Bch. He was in his bullet-proof limo, in his Secret Service-protected motorcade. https://t.co/SzSf5SKBe4
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) March 25, 2018
On this date at Daily Kos in 2005—Blood Sport:
If you have been paying attention to cable coverage of the Schiavo case, you will see two major themes repeated over and over. First, the repeated bookings of and citings of “witnesses” and “experts” that have previously been debunked, claiming that among other things Ms. Schiavo is “alert and oriented”. A neurologist who touts himself as a nominee for “The Nobel Peace Prize in Medicine”, an utterly false claim regarding an award that does not exist, has been given apparent run of the airwaves in order to repeatedly assert that Ms. Schiavo is “not that bad”, and would be able to “communicate verbally” and “use her arms and legs” under his treatment plan — a miraculous treatment plan for which, according to Judge Greer, he has been able to offer “no names, no case studies, no videos and no test results”. We have even, as many have pointed out, been treated to “psychic” John Edward asserting he was in contact with Terri Schiavo.
Against this background of exploitation and misinformation, the usual bevy of archconservative media pundits has in the last several days begun to increasingly endorse a premise that is, to any rational mind, remarkable: the notion that because the courts have ruled in this particular fashion, it is now time for individuals and government figures to disregard the courts, and take matters into their own hands.
We now have a situation in which two dangerous elements are coming together in a manner that is ratings gold for exploitative “news” outlets. Yellow journalism, finally returned in all glory.