Republican Blockade Leaves Marines Without Leader for First Time in Over a Century

Republican Blockade Leaves Marines Without Leader for First Time in Over a Century

The U.S. Marine Corps is officially leaderless, due to Republicans holding up military promotions in objection to the Defense Department’s abortion policy, a move that experts warn hurts national security.

General David Berger stepped down Monday from his position as commandant of the Marine Corps. The current assistant commandant, Eric Smith, will serve as acting commandant until a new one is officially appointed—but there is no confirmed replacement for Berger at this time. The White House has nominated Smith to officially take over, but Senator Tommy Tuberville has blocked hundreds of military promotions since March.

Speaking at Berger’s farewell ceremony, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin noted it has been more than 100 years since the Marines have operated without a confirmed commandant. “Smooth and timely transitions of confirmed leadership are central to the defense of the United States, and to the full strength of the most powerful fighting force in history,” he said.

Berger urged the Senate to get a move on, saying, “We need the Senate to do their job so that we can have a sitting commandant” who is “appointed and confirmed.”

Tuberville has blocked nearly 200 military promotions since March over his objection to the Defense Department’s abortion policy. Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the Pentagon unveiled a new policy that allows service members to take up to three weeks of administrative leave for reproductive health care treatments, including abortion and fertility procedures. The policy also reimburses them for travel expenses.

Tuberville insists the policy is illegal, and that his blocking military promotions in protest has “no effect on readiness” of the military. Austin has debunked both of these claims.

Not only is the policy perfectly legal, but Tuberville is actually putting the nation at risk. Austin warned in a letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren in May that Tuberville’s delay “harms America’s national security” and poses a “clear risk” to the military’s readiness.

The Saudi-backed LIV Golf League—which last month reached an agreement to merge with the North American PGA Tour—has just announced its $50 million championship will be played at none other than Donald Trump’s National Doral Golf Club.

It will be the second straight year in a row that the tentacular Saudi sportswashing venture hosts its massive three-day championship at Trump’s Miami resort. The event was originally slated to be played in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, but LIV officials had reportedly been ambling to bring it back to Trump’s grounds, reports ESPN.

The twice-impeached, twice-indicted, and liable for sexual abuse former president has no qualms with any of this, and is gladly taking money from a human rights abusing nation that has had no problem bullying America. Beyond constantly holding the United States hostage vis-a-vis the bargaining of the same black gold destroying our planet, the nation has gotten away scot-free for killing U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, among its many other human rights violations, like jailing women’s rights activists and a devastating military intervention into Yemen that has displaced millions of people.

This is what the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States is not only signing off on, but profiting from.

The Senate Subcommittee on Investigations is holding a hearing Tuesday on the PGA-LIV merger. Greg Norman, CEO of LIV, and Saudi official Yasir Al Rumayyan both declined to testify; they’re both apparently too busy.

A national convention of college Republicans is excitedly welcoming vicious antisemite and racist Nick Fuentes as a headliner.

📢 Exciting News! We’re thrilled to announce that Nick Fuentes will be joining us at the College Republicans United State/National Convention in Prescott Arizona July 30th! Reserve your tickets today.

— 𝕮ollege 𝕽epublicans 𝖀nited (@National_RU) July 8, 2023 The event is being hosted later this month by College Republicans United, a group that, according to its website, has been committed to “spreading America First across college campuses since January 2018.” Among its “values” are planks like “opposition to immigration and multiculturalism.”

“Republicans United’s sole focus is to support America First Policies and Christian Nationalism across the country,” an organization flier reads.

Fuentes was previously banned from social media outlets for violent rhetoric about people of color, women, Jewish people, immigrants, LGBTQ people, Covid-19, and much more. He has also proudly said he’s “just like Hitler” (whom he has also called “a pedophile … also really fucking cool”), and that “Catholic monarchy, and just war, and crusades, and inquisitions” are much better than democracy.

Not to be outdone, also speaking at the event is January 6 rioter Jake Chansley. Known as the QAnon Shaman, Chansley has long been active in trying to spread the QAnon conspiracy theory, even attending a Black Lives Matter protest to try his luck. After the 2020 election, he focused his efforts on challenging the election results, specifically in Arizona, culminating in his participation in the January 6 attack on the Capitol (and in a photo of him with his fist raised as he stood on the dais on the Senate floor).

Recently expelled Arizona state Representative Liz Harris will also appear alongside former state Representative John Fillmore, who is now the leader of the far-right Patriot Party of Arizona. Harris was expelled from the state House for encouraging conspiracy theories and defamation on the House floor.

These are the people College Republicans United has laid out the red carpet for. Meanwhile, the official Republican Party in three Arizona counties (Pima, Maricopa, and Yavapai) are all backing the event.

Notably, the event has gone through several iterations of speakers and sponsors, as more and more people have come to learn of it. Originally, State Senator Justine Wadsack, neo-Nazi streamer and January 6 rioter “Baked Alaska,” and Congressman Eli Crane were all set to appear at the event.

Meanwhile, former Arizona Representative David Stringer was listed as both a speaker and sponsor. Stringer resigned after refusing to cooperate with an ethics investigation into previous charges against him for sexually molesting two boys. Specifically, Stringer allegedly paid two boys under the age of 15—one who was developmentally disabled—$10 each to have sex with him. One of the boys told police Stringer had requested to have sex with him at least 10 additional times afterward.

Stringer also once complained at a campaign event that “there aren’t enough white kids to go around,” as he discussed integration in schools and was recorded saying he doesn’t “like to demonize” sex trafficking. He said he doesn’t think there is much child sex trafficking but there are “a lot of 15-year-old prostitutes.” He laughed after saying that.

State Senator Wadsack has been removed from the event and is now pretending to play ignorant about the whole thing.

National Republicans were punished in 2018, lost in 2020, fizzled in 2022, and have lost swaths of referendums and special elections throughout that time period. Now, into 2024, their college counterparts seem to be leaning even further into the kind of politics that is both incredibly dangerous for the nation and phenomenally damaging electorally. If the future of your party is in the hands of students who are somehow so alienated that they think this kind of event is good … good luck, Republicans.

California Governor Gavin Newsom ripped into his Republican counterparts on their apparent disregard for human life during a weekend interview.  » …
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