Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Politico: House Repubs Wanted To Stop Military-Funded Trans Surgeries, Trump Jumped The Shark

According to Politico, today's transgender ban in the military by President Trump came about because House Republicans went to Trump to stop the military from paying for transgender's gender reassignment surgeries. Trump apparently jumped the shark.

A handful of House Republicans threatened funding for Trump's Mexican wall. They went around Defense Secretary Mattis to Trump asking him to do something about the military funded surgeries, and instead got all trans military booted.

“There are several members of the conference who feel this really needs to be addressed,” senior House Appropriations Committee member Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) said Tuesday. “This isn’t about the transgender issue; it’s about the taxpayer dollars going to pay for the surgery out of the defense budget.”

The president’s directive, of course, took the House issue a step beyond paying for gender reassignment surgery and other medical treatment. House Republicans were never debating expelling all transgender troops from the military.

“This is like someone told the White House to light a candle on the table and the WH set the whole table on fire,” a senior House Republican aide said in an email. The source said that although GOP leaders asked the White House for help on the taxpayer matter specifically, they weren’t expecting — and got no heads up on — Trump’s far-reaching directive.

Podcast: Trump Bans Transgenders From U.S. Military; Texas Senate Approves Anti-Trans "Bathroom Bill"

In this mid-week podcast from The Randy Report, two big stories:

• President Trump bans - via tweet - any transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military calling them "a burden."

• The Texas State Senate has approved it's hateful, anti-transgender "bathroom bill."

Music Video: Eli Lieb Is Awash In Intoxicating Kisses In "Shangri La"

Perfect for Hump Day!

Out singer/songwriter Eli Lieb has just dropped his new music video, "Shangri La."

Having recently relocated from Los Angeles to Iowa, the talented Mr. Lieb appears to be awash in the memory of intoxicating kisses, and a cocktail or two.

Romantic longing becomes naked, exposed emotion.

I'm definitely a fan, having previously featured Eli on The Randy Report here and here and here and here.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Covers Rolling Stone Magazine

Rolling Stone opens it's cover story on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ("Why Can't He Be Our President?") thusly:

It's strange to witness: He speaks in a modulated, indoor voice. His dark hair is a color found in nature. At home, there is a glamorous wife and three photogenic children, still not old enough to warm his seat at next week's G-20 summit or be involved in an espionage scandal.

When Trudeau moves on to his feminist bona fides (women and minorities make up more than half of his Cabinet), he pauses for a moment, but does not lose his train of thought. His words are coherent and will not need to be run through Google Translate when he is done (except if you want to translate his French into English).

He talks about steps taken to deal with the opioid crisis and mentions the country's dropping unemployment rate. He uses the original Clintonian recipe on the crowd: "We're focused on getting people into good careers and helping families get ahead and stay ahead," he says. "But we know there's more hard work in front of us than there is behind us."

Then he gives the press corps a high-five. “The back and forth between the press and government is essential to any good democracy,” he says. “When you’re at your best, it reminds us and challenges us to be at ours. So thank you all for your tireless work.”

Where are we? Narnia? Coachella recovery tent? 2009? We are in Ottawa, Ontario, a mere 560 miles from Washington, D.C.

It's another world up north.

Check out the entire article here.

Trump: U.S. Military Will Not Allow Transgender Individuals To Serve In Any Capacity

Donald Trump announced this morning via Twitter that transgender Americans will not be able to "serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military."

In June 2016, the Pentagon lifted a ban on transgender men and women serving in the military. This is a huge U-turn for trans military personnel who have been serving openly for months.

No word on how Trump and his generals expect to proceed. Will those trans personnel be discharged?

Important to note that the Trump administration has also stepped back from protections for transgender students.

Remember - during the 2016 campaign, Trump declared he would be a better ally for the LGBTQ community than Hillary Clinton.

Stay tuned.

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. Thank you

The Rand Corporation estimates the cost of gender transition–related health care coverage for transgender personnel to be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually, representing a tiny 0.04- to 0.13-percent increase in active-component health care expenditures.

Oh, and just a little reminder...


Axios' Jonathan Swan received this response from the White House on the newly announced policy:

"This forces Democrats in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to take complete ownership of this issue. How will the blue collar voters in these states respond when senators up for re-election in 2018 like Debbie Stabenow are forced to make their opposition to this a key plank of their campaigns?"

So, Team Trump is making this a move for anti-trans votes in the Rust Belt.

How does this "make America great again?"

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Trump: "I Can Be More Presidential Than Any President That's Held This Office"

“Sometimes they say, ‘He doesn’t act presidential.’ And I say, with the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s held this office. That I can tell you. It’s real easy.” - Donald Trump speaking in Youngstown, Ohio at an "I need attention" rally

News Roundup: July 25, 2017

Some news items you may have missed:

• Let's hear it for the bears! Furball in focus (above).

• According to a new USA Today poll, Americans are split 42% yes/42% no on whether President Trump should be impeached.

• The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army, or TQILA, is a newly-formed LGBT-centric unit of volunteers who have joined the fight against ISIS in Syria.

• Trump says Attorney General Jeff Sessions only endorsed him for president because of his "massive numbers" at campaign rallies. #brutal

• Always on the lookout for new out music? Check out this list of summer tunes by LGBT artists.

• Mark Ruffalo shared this pic of Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston cuddling with Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi on a recent flight. #Grrrr

A post shared by Mark Ruffalo (@markruffalo) on

Gallup Poll: Trump Approval Rating Drops Again

Gallup's daily tracking poll shows Donald Trump's Approval rating has dropped again to near his lowest point.

Sitting at 36% today, the only time he's shown worse numbers was on March 28 when he hit a dismal 35% approval rating.

His disapproval numbers hit a high of 60% last month on June 12. He currently shows a 59% disapproval rating.

Trump On Jeff Sessions: "I Am Disappointed In The Attorney General"

During a press conference with the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Donald Trump was asked whether he wants his Attorney General to resign.

He never got to a direct answer to that question, but he did say he was disappointed in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, wants him to be tougher, and wants him to be tougher on leaks coming out of the intelligence agencies.

Watch below.

And, of course, there's this:

Senate Poised To Vote On Obamacare Repeal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
As the U.S. Senate votes to proceed to some kind of movement regarding health care reform, it looks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan is to get past the motion to proceed, then offer up the "repeal and replace" bill known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

No one really expects that to pass.

From reading sources I follow online, McConnell would then look to put together a handful of amendments that would repeal just certain parts of the Affordable Care Act, something being referred to as a "skinny repeal."

Not a huge bill, but something that can perhaps pass in the Senate which would then head over to the House for a compromise bill.

If House and Senate Republicans can come to an agreement, it could be at least something Trump and Republicans could call a win.

I don't think Trump cares what the eventual legislation looks like. He just wants a victory lap of any sort.

Stay tuned.

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