President Joe Biden signs an Executive Order reversing the Trump era ban on transgender individuals serving in military, in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, in Washington.
President Biden rescinded his predecessor’s ban on transgender people in the U.S. military on Monday, ripping the restrictions as irrational and detrimental to “our core values.”
In addition to immediately scrapping the transgender ban implemented by former President Donald Trump in 2018, Biden used his executive power to require the Department of Defense to reinstate any service members who were discharged or denied enlistment because of it.
“America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive. The military is no exception,” Biden wrote in the executive order reversing Trump’s ban. “Allowing all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform is better for the military and better for the country because an inclusive force is a more effective force. Simply put, it’s the right thing to do and is in our national interest.”
The Trump ban blocked individuals from enlisting in the military if they had been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria. It also held that individuals could only enlist in accordance with their birth sex.
In announcing the service restrictions in July 2017, Trump claimed they were justified because transgender troops rack up “tremendous medical costs.
However, Biden noted Trump’s reasoning was belied by a Pentagon-commissioned study.
“In 2016, a comprehensive study requested by the Department of Defense found that enabling transgender individuals to serve openly in the United States military would have only a minimal impact on military readiness and healthcare costs,” Biden’s order said. “The study also concluded that open transgender service has had no significant impact on operational effectiveness or unit cohesion in foreign militaries.”
New Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who joined Biden for his signing of the order, pledged to “expeditiously” reexamine cases where transgender troops may have been subjected to “adverse administrative proceedings.”
“This is the right thing to do,” Austin said in a statement. “It is also the smart thing to do.”
According to Pentagon data, some 14,700 U.S. troops on active duty and in the reserves identified as transgender in 2019.
Rudy Giuliani sued for $1.3 Billion
Rudy Giuliani’s attempts to subvert the 2020 presidential election for President Donald Trump could cost him big time.
Dominion Voting Systems, which Giuliani placed at the center of a bizarre conspiracy to rig the election, sued the former mayor Monday for $1.3 billion.
“There must be accountability for the disinformation campaign,” said Tom Clare, a lawyer for Dominion, adding that Giuliani “made the company radioactive and destroyed the value of this company.”
The suit is the second filed by the voting machine company over the conspiracy promoted by lawyers for the Trump campaign. Dominion sued Sidney Powell, a former attorney for the campaign, earlier this month for her evidence-free claims of election theft.
Audits, recounts and the Justice Department have determined President Biden won the 2020 election fair and square.
The 107-page suit details at least 50 separate instances of alleged false and defamatory statements by Giuliani.
Giuliani and Powell alleged that Dominion is owned by a company in Venezuela that rigged elections for dictator Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013. Giuliani also asserted the company’s voting machines, which were used in Georgia, are equipped with vote-flipping software, the suit states.
Notably, Giuliani claimed in a court hearing in Pennsylvania over election results that the campaign “doesn’t plead fraud.” He told a different story in media appearances and on his podcast, calling Dominion “a company that specializes in voter fraud,” according to the suit.
Dominion voting machines were used in 14 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.
The suit alleges that Giuliani had a financial motivation for promoting “the big lie” that the election was stolen from Trump. Giuliani, according to reports, demanded $20,000 per day while representing Trump in the fight to overturn the election.
“(Giuliani) also cashed in by hosting a podcast where he exploited election falsehoods to market gold coins, supplements, cigars, and protection from ‘cyberthieves,’ ” the suit states.
Fanatical Trump supporters sent threats to Dominion employees.
One worker received a text message: “We are already watching you. Come clean and you will live,” the suit states.
The Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, Clare argued, was further evidence of the real danger of Giuliani’s disinformation campaign.
“People believed this lie,” he said.
“They internalized it. It created an environment where they were motivated to take action in the real world.”
When reached for comment, Giuliani told the Daily News that the Dominion lawsuit is the latest intimidation tactic generated from Democrats.
“Dominion’s defamation lawsuit for $1.3 billion will allow me to investigate their history, finances and practices fully and completely,” Giuliani said. “The amount being asked for is, quite obviously, intended to frighten people of faint heart.
“It is another act of intimidation by the hate-filled left-wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech, as well as the ability of lawyers to defend their clients vigorously.
“As such, we will investigate a countersuit against them for violating these Constitutional rights.”
The suit came less than a week after dozens of prominent lawyers, judges and other legal bigshots called for Giuliani’s law license to be revoked due to his many alleged lies.
Dominion’s legal team plans to file further lawsuits.
Other possible defendants include Trump himself, as well as right-wing media personalities who repeated Giuliani’s claims.
Former Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton share message of unity for President Biden
Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton wished newly minted President Joe Biden success in his new role with a touching video that aired Wednesday night.
The former presidents gathered in the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, to record the warm message for Biden, which aired during the “Celebrating America’ inauguration special.
“Mr. President, I’m pulling for your success. Your success is our country’s success and God bless you,” Bush says in the video.
“I’m glad you’re there and I wish you well,” Clinton says. “You have spoken to us today, now you will lead for us, and we’re ready to march with you. Good luck. God bless you.”
“Joe, I’m proud of you,” Obama said of his former vice president. “You and Kamala need to know you’ve got all of us here rooting for your success, keeping you in our prayers, and we will be available in any ways that we can as citizens to help you guide our country forward. We wish you Godspeed.”
Notably absent was former President Donald Trump, who refused to attend Biden’s inauguration ceremony.
Instead, he opted to have a farewell event at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland early Wednesday. Trump and his family disembarked Air Force One for the last time when they landed in Palm Beach, Florida, his new permanent residence.
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