In spite of pleas from actual military personnel, and in spite of the fact that courts have just found that transgender people are protected against employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act -- Donald Trump has issued a memorandum renewing his efforts to kick trans people out of the military.

The memorandum states:

Among other things, the policies set forth by the Secretary of Defense state that transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery -- are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances.

Someone who is a little more jaded than I might see this as an effort to win back the affections of disgruntled Deplorables after signing the Omnibus bill and pledging to ban bump stocks. Give them a little boost to their self-esteem by letting them have a group of people they can see being legally discriminated against.

Since August of last year, when Trump issued his first memorandum on the subject, top military personnel have attempted to talk him out of it. This includes the vast majority of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

After the memorandum was issued, the Trump White House issued a statement in which they tried to fool us all into believing that they are not bigots, just that they are very concerned about "military readiness.

But in a subsequent statement, the White House press office on Friday explained that the policy was “developed through extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, including combat veterans.”

“The experts’ study sets forth a policy to enhance our military’s readiness, lethality, and effectiveness,” it continued, adding that officials “concluded that the accession or retention of individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — those who may require substantial medical treatment, including through medical drugs or surgery — presents considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality.”

Yeah, except the thing with this is -- you are only going to know if someone is transgender if they come out of the closet. So this isn't even a ban on trans people so much as it is a ban on people who have come out as trans. This isn't going to increase military readiness, it's simply going to cause people to have to make a choice between serving their country and holding onto their career and pretending to be a gender they're not.

This is hardly the first time "BUT MILITARY READINESS!" has been used as an excuse to discriminate. In a 1940 statement, President Franklin Roosevelt said:

"At this time and this time only, we dare not confuse the issue of prompt preparedness with a new social experiment however important and desirable it may be."

That "social experiment?" Desegregation.

Yet, as former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who also opposed the measure, explained, the military has managed to figure these "social experiments" out:

“We went through that with ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” he said of the decision in 2011 to allow gays to serve openly. “We worked through it with issues of race. We worked through it with women. We have always found a way. And in the end people have been able to serve their country and that is what counts.”

We've seen this movie before, and it has yet to end well for these Conservative Wile E. Coyotes. Except the thing is -- in this remake, trans people have already been in the damn military all along and rather than just not being admitted, are being kicked out. They've already figured out how to work it through -- by treating transgender people like individuals rather than a monolith, and evaluating their ability to serve the same way they evaluate anyone else's ability to serve. Ta-da!


Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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Can we just say that when Fox idiot Maria Bartiromo sounds like the sane person in a situation, that is a worrisome situation? That is what happened when Donald Trump -- who's just had a fantastic Infrastructure Week, assuming it is Infrastructure Week, and we always do -- sat down for what was supposed to be an easy breezy "You're the best!"/"No YOU are, Mister President!" interview with his beloved Fox pals.

Instead Maria Bartiromo had to ask the question on everybody's mind, which is WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU OH MY GOD, or, more clearly, is there a reason you have spent this entire week of your presidency picking a fight with a dead guy, who somehow seems to be winning that fight, because you are literally so stupid and incompetent you LOSE FIGHTS TO DEAD GUYS?

She said it nicer than that, though.

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Last fall, after Wisconsin voters rejected Gov. Scott Walker's reelection bid and chose Democrat Tony Evers instead, Republicans in the state legislature got very busy doing anything they could to limit the power of the incoming governor and the new Democratic attorney general, Josh Kaul. Hey, voters may have chosen Evers, but that didn't mean Rs had to let Democrats actually govern, now did it? As Republican state House Speaker Robin Vos rather notoriously said at the time, the lege had to act because "We are going to have a very liberal governor who is going to enact policies that are in direct contrast to what many of us believe in." So in a two day "extraordinary session," the Republicans shifted power from the executive branch and gave those powers to the legislature, which conveniently remained in Republican control thanks to gerrymandering. Scott Walker signed the bills and then began his career as an idiot on Twitter.

Yesterday, a Wisconsin judge found the entire lame duck session violated the state constitution, and invalidated the laws it passed. Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess said in his decision the Wisconsin constitution is quite specific about when the legislature can meet, and nope, the "extraordinary session" didn't meet the constitutional requirements, so sorry guys, you didn't follow the rules and your laws ARE MOOT.

The Associated Press lawsplains the constitutional neener-neener:

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