Tag Archives: transgender ban

Where has Dick Cheney been hiding?

Paging the former vice president of the United States, Richard Bruce Cheney!

You might recall — as I do — that Dick Cheney was a vocal, frequent and occasionally obnoxious critic of President Barack H. Obama. Yes, throughout Obama’s two terms as president, Cheney was making himself available on TV and radio talk shows to tell us how the president was endangering the nation, that he was the “worst foreign policy president” in U.S. history.

So, Obama leaves office. Donald John Trump Sr. takes over. Trump has made a mess of a lot of things.

The Russia matter? Allegations of collusion with the Russians? North Korea? Declaring that an aircraft battle group was steaming toward Korea when it actually was traveling in precisely the opposite direction, from Australia into the Indian Ocean?

Then we have the domestic stuff: Charlottesville and the president’s seeming cozying up to Nazis and Klansmen; the transgender ban in the U.S. military.

Where is Cheney? Mr. Vice President, have you nothing at all to say about the new president? You were pretty damn quick on the verbal trigger when Barack Obama was the man in charge.

It’s not that I necessarily want to hear what the former vice president has to say. It’s just that the current political debate seems so quiet without his voice.

Unity? This is how Trump defines the term?

It’s been semi-official for some time, but I feel the need to perhaps restate the obvious.

Donald John Trump Sr. views the world from a parallel universe.

He keeps yapping about seeking “unity.” The president keeps telling us he’ll serve all the people. He keeps making promises to bind the wounds that have divided us.

Then he pardons one of U.S. law enforcement’s most controversial, polarizing and divisive figures. Yep, that would be former “Sheriff Joe” Arpaio, the ex-sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz.

Arpaio was convicted of a contempt of court charge. A federal judge ordered Arpaio to cease his roundup of illegal immigrants. The sheriff ignored the lawful order. Trump today issued the pardon while saluting Arpaio’s years as a lawman.

Arpaio’s conduct has been a graphic demonstration of racial profiling. He has sought out Latinos, arrested them and detained them simply because they look as though they’re here illegally.

The presidential pardon is just about as divisive a decision as the president could have made. He’s got his “base” of support on one side and the rest of us on the other. The “base” applauds the pardon; the rest of us are jeering it.

Unity, anyone?

Oh, and then he issued the formal order banning transgender troops from enlisting in — or serving in — the armed forces of this country. The men and women who call themselves “transgender” have served with honor, and some with distinction and heroism. To see the president order them tossed out is repugnant on its face.

How’s that for unity?

Donald Trump’s pledge to bring the nation together is now looking more like the empty gesture many of us have believed it was when first heard it in real time. He doesn’t understand how to do such a thing. Trump is not wired emotionally to carry out that serious promise.

His idiotic rant at that Phoenix rally earlier this week seemed to set the table nicely for what we are witnessing.

To think that he has done all this against the backdrop of what occurred two weekends ago in Charlottesville, Va. Go … figure.

Is any of that surprising in a man with zero public service experience — or interest — prior to his being elected to the nation’s highest office? It might be to some Americans. Not to me — or to millions of other Americans.

Oh, and then the transgender ban takes hold

The president is still looking for a problem to apply in need of a solution.

Donald Trump’s “solution” is to ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military. The problem? Someone will have to explain that one to me, because I don’t believe a problem exists.

On a day when Texas is facing a catastrophic hurricane, the president pardons a highly controversial former Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of disobeying a federal judge’s lawful order.

He also issued a directive to institute a transgender ban for the armed forces.

Holy moly, Mr. President!

The transgender ban — along with the Arpaio pardon — are initiatives aimed at appealing to the 35 percent of Americans who still think Trump is doing a good job as president. The rest of us? Trump doesn’t care what we think. Nor does he care that the transgender ban effectively removes a patriotic cadre of Americans who are dedicated to serving in the nation’s armed forces — something, I feel compelled to note with emphasis, that Trump never did.

When the president first announced his intention to issue the ban on transgender Americans serving in the military, he said something about the supposedly large medical costs associated with transgender Americans. It was noted at the time that the military spends many times more on Viagra prescriptions than it does on the transgender issue.

The president once more has disgraced himself and his high office.

But, Secretary Perry, are transgender warriors less brave?

Rick Perry says he is in total support of Donald John Trump’s decision to bar transgender Americans from serving in the armed forces.

Of course he is. He’s part of the Trump team now. The president forgave Perry for labeling Trump a “cancer on conservativism.” His reward was to appoint him secretary of energy.

Perry, though, weighed in on the president’s tweet that became a major policy reversal. Trump declared: “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,” Trump tweeted. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming … victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption.”

The president, though, didn’t talk to all of the generals. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford declared that all personnel would be treated with “respect,” and that no policy changes would be enacted until the order came from the defense secretary. It’s that thing called “chain of command” that has given Gen. Dunford pause.

As for Perry’s support of Trump’s decision, he said the government shouldn’t have to pay for surgeries in which personnel change their sexual identity. Reporters reminded him that studies showed the cost of such procedures amounts to about 10 percent of the money the government pays to provide medicine that cures erectile dysfunction.

Perry’s response? “I don’t check out the cost of Viagra.” Yuk, yuk …

Neither the president or his energy secretary, though, have yet to produce any evidence that transgender military personnel are less capable than any other of their comrades in arms. Nor have they have provided proof that they are less patriotic, less loyal or that they don’t love their country as much as anyone.

The president has used Twitter to make a policy pronouncement without considering for a moment what it means. I would have expected better from the secretary of energy — himself an Air Force veteran — if not the know-nothing commander in chief.