Low Flow

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Nick Anderson)

In other news, Trump fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper last night. His temporary, acting replacement is Christopher Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary of Defense Policy James Anderson resigned this morning in protest of Trump's firing of Esper. His temporary replacement is retired General Anthony Tata, an islamophobe whose actual nomination to the position died.

Finally, researchers say Biden could repeal Trump's ban on transgender military service immediately, without going through a lengthy approval process, because all of the original guidance is still valid.

It would take only an executive order to reverse Trump's 2017 ban on most transgender Americans from joining the military.

This is because "there will be no need to redevelop guidance, restudy options, redraft regulatory language, or retrain anybody," concluded the paper published by the Palm Center, a think tank at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "Everything needed already exists in current military guidance and remains a part of current military practice."

This is a reminder that the transgender ban was Trump's idea, not the Pentagon's idea.

The Obama administration ordered the Pentagon to study the issue that they didn't find a valid reason to exclude transgender service members. Trump just made shit up to roll back the policy.

  • Aynwrong

    Trump firing people does actually concern me. It is yet further damage to the governments ability to function properly in a time of enormous crisis and, I may be off with this one, but Biden is going to have to fill these positions eventually. Granted he probably won’t want to keep any Trump appointees but I can easily see McConnell just deciding that all gov’t agencies can go without leadership for some time simply because it keeps the rubes riled.

    God… we need both senate seats in Georgia,

    • Christopher Foxx

      In my dreams Biden just says “Fuck it” and fills everything with recess appointments, positioning people as “acting” or “temporary” department heads, or whatever.

      If Republicans won’t do their jobs, then don’t give them the chance to fail to do them. Just sidestep them.

    • Draxiar

      The fact that any Senate majority leader can monkey wrench the gears of government like this is a major flaw in congressional procedure. The fact that McConnell DOES monkey wrench the gears, while not technically illegal, is violently unethical. It betrays the will of our citizens, undermines the functions of democracy, and entrenches partisan divide.

      Moscow Mitch has over 200 bills that have passed the House of Reps that he won’t even bring up in the Senate. No one should have this much power.

      At some point soon there has to be a law in place that prevents this sort of aggressive obstruction. It’s borderline criminal.

      • Christopher Foxx

        “if I were Biden”…
        I’d see two main goals for my administration: 1) undo everything that’s happened in the past four years that should be undone and 2) ensure those kinds of abuses can’t happen again.

        At the lower end, those would involve thing like getting legislation passed to get “norms” established as laws (candidates for President have to show their tax returns, for example) and changing rules in the House and Senate (for example, if one chamber passes legislation the other chamber cannot just ignore it but has to bring it up for a vote). At the higher end, they’d involve things like re-balancing the Supreme Court.

        Getting them through would be struggles all the way. But if you don’t plan on having a second term and are in it to improve the Democracy, damn the legacy or what opponents say about you, then notable improvements should be possible.

        • Draxiar

          I agree with all of that. It’s why Georgia is so important right now. We *have* to get Moscow Mitch the hell out of there.