Trump brain fart on transgender troops

Donald Trump seems to have had a major brain fart (even by his standard of cerebral flatulence) in seeming to announce a total ban on transgender people serving “in any capacity” in the us military.

This seems to have blind sided the military, the Pentagon, Defense Secretary James Mattis who is on holiday, and the White House.

The tweets said:

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.

Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.

The Hill:  Trump triggers storm with transgender ban

President Trump announced Wednesday that he would end service by transgender people in the military, opening up a culture battle that caught much of Washington by surprise.

Trump made the announcement after House conservatives pushed the White House to curb Pentagon funding for transition-related medical care and indicated they may not support the spending bill currently on the floor over the issue.

But Trump went much further, and decisionmakers on Capitol Hill, including the Armed Services committees, were out of the loop.

Trump’s announcement, made in three morning posts on Twitter, also left more questions than answers — including whether the 250 openly transgender troops and thousands more who remain private about their gender identity could face immediate discharge.

The announcement came while Defense Secretary James Mattis is on vacation for the week.

The Pentagon, in a three-sentence statement, referred all questions to the White House and said more guidance would be given in the “near future.”

The White House press briefing on Wednesday did little to clear up confusion.

“I really don’t have anything else to add on that topic,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in evident frustration.

Estimates on the number of transgender troops vary widely. On the high end, LGBT advocates put it at 15,000. On the low end, a 2016 Rand Corporation study estimated there were 2,450 in active duty and 1,510 in the reserves.

About 250 troops have officially come out as transgender since the ban was lifted.

Asked whether currently serving transgender troops, including those now deployed to war zones, would be discharged, Sanders could not answer.

“The implementation policy is going to be something that the White House and the Department of Defense have to work together to lawfully determine, and I would imagine the Department of Defense will be the lead on that and keep you posted as that takes place,” she said.

Asked why such a decision was not made before announcing the new policy, Sanders said Trump did not feel the need to wait after making up his mind. Trump made the decision Tuesday, she said, and informed Mattis that day.

“I think sometimes you have to make decisions, and once he made a decision, he didn’t feel it was necessary to hold that decision and they’re going to work together with the Department of Defense to lawfully implement it,” she said.

There has been widespread surprise and astonishment.

This looks like a spur of the moment brain fart by Trump, with no thought of the implications or implementation.

Once he has purged the military of transgender people who next? Clinton supporters? Fake soldiers?

This is likely to encounter significant opposition.

57 Comments

  1. Kevin

     /  July 28, 2017

    Transgender is a misnomer. There is no such thing as a person trapped in the body of the opposite gender. What these people are are victims of gender dysphoria and as sufferers of a mental illness they have no place in the military.

    • Gezza

       /  July 28, 2017

      I think you have a point Kevin. From the reading I’ve done this seems to have been a major part of the motivation of Chelsea Manning to leak classified US Military information to Wikileaks, & while I’m personally that shehe did, I’m conflicted about whether it was right.

      • Gezza

         /  July 28, 2017

        😡 * … personally glad …

      • Missy

         /  July 28, 2017

        It wasn’t right G.

        I have very little time for anyone that leaks classified information, in this I am very black and white. Manning would have signed a legal document pledging to protect classified information, in doing so a trust was violated, a vow was broken, and a law broken. Manning deserved to be imprisoned for it.

        • Gezza

           /  July 28, 2017

          Yes, Missy. I can accept that. And I agree. Thanks.

          Why I am conflicted is that it, especially the Apache Helicopter attack, showed the world what I already knew – how gung ho Anerican military personnel, especially airmen & drone operators, are so smug, & so protected by distance from care & concern for anything but the fun of saying ‘Splash! Woohoo!’ when they fire off their weapons, that they don’t care whether innocents are killed in their wars, as long as they’re not Americans, and it’s fun to play video games. It’s like it doesn’t matter – other people aren’t real.

          • Gezza

             /  July 28, 2017

            And in that respect, they are no different from the Russians in Syria. Only the Russians don’t talk about it. And they don’t pretend otherwise.

  2. David

     /  July 28, 2017

    41% of people suffering have considered strongly or attempted suicide which is tragic in its own right but when you put these people in what is the most stressful situation imaginable it likely wont end well. The military wont let you serve if you suffer from a myriad of other mental health conditions so perhaps its more biology than bigotry.
    The other risk is someone transitioning may join the military to have them pay for the surgery and then leave. Also a man not fit/strong enough could join the womens corp and then what do you do about a womans rights to privacy etc.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  July 28, 2017

      So you say, but then there’s always another version eh…

      One of the Rand Corporation studies looked at 18 foreign militaries that allowed open trans service and found no negative impact on military readiness.

      The same study estimated that covering gender-affirming surgery and treatment would cost the military “between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually, representing a 0.04% to 0.13% increase in active-component health care expenditures.”

      By way of comparison, the US military spends about US$84 million on erectile dysfunction treatments.

      • Patzcuaro

         /  July 28, 2017

        Is erectile dysfunction more prevalent in the US armed forces than society in general?

        • David

           /  July 28, 2017

          The US military covers the health care for around 12 million people, largely men. Given there are likely to be around 1,000 trans in the US forces, there is a massive order of magnitude difference in that comparison.

          • Joe Bloggs

             /  July 28, 2017

            And yet only two weeks ago Congress voted overwhelmingly to retain gender-affirming medical support budgets for military personnel.

            As for your claim there’s a “massive order of magnitude difference” well yes there is, but that’s what happens when numbers are really small – differences are magnified.

            The absolute numbers are still tiny. So tiny that gender affirming medical support is literally a single drop in an ocean of total annual Pentagon health spend

            In fiscal year 2014 the Pentagon spent US$6.27bn on healthcare costs for all active-duty personnel. That same year, the Pentagon spent US$49.3bn on all healthcare costs – for members of the military, their family members, and retirees and their families.

            That’s nearly 600,000% more than the high end estimated cost of transition-related care in the military

            • David

               /  July 28, 2017

              “The absolute numbers are still tiny. So tiny that gender affirming medical support is literally a single drop in an ocean of total annual Pentagon health spend”

              Yes, there are almost no trans people. There transition medical costs are a non-issue, comparing them to the medical costs of tens millions of people is nonsense.

              The issue is their mental health. Having a group of people who commit suicide at many times the rate of non-trans and allowing them to operate heavy weapons is also a mental health issue.

  3. Gezza

     /  July 28, 2017

    This seems to have blind sided the military, the Pentagon, Defense Secretary James Mattis who is on holiday, and the White House.

    T-Rex Tillerson & Mad Dog Mattis are two of his most inspired appointments – and he’s actually made a few good ones. They actually have a few clues, know their jobs, & are good at them. If Trumpy keeps on catching them off guard & putting them in awkward positions, they’ll be gone. They justly have too much self-respect to put up with this crap.

    • Trumpenreich

       /  July 28, 2017

      Its going to happen Pete, no matter your Progressive feel feels about it.

  4. Trumpenreich

     /  July 28, 2017

    “This is likely to encounter significant opposition.”

    Not from the men on the ground actually risking their lives for their country.

  5. Patzcuaro

     /  July 28, 2017

    Given all that is on the Presidents plate at present it seems rather trivial but would go down well with social conservatives. A win for the POTUS over a small vulnerable group in society.

    I’m sure that the US military could resolve this adequately themselves.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  July 28, 2017

      The US military have already resolved this adequately themselves, as McCain points out:

      “The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military – regardless of their gender identity.”
      -John McCain

      Fortunately the military seem blessed with more understanding and experience of the matter than trump or his supporters – may their sane heads prevail.

  6. duperez

     /  July 28, 2017

    You go to work, get treated like crap, you go home and pick on the most vulnerable. You got to the game, you lose, you go home and kick out at the dog.

    Trump is not getting his way in the Senate so what’s he going to do? Something sensible, sane, rational?

  7. Joe Bloggs

     /  July 28, 2017

    So much for trumps cynical campaign pledge to protect the rights of LGBTQ people.

    This is just a cruel, foolish, dysfunctional way of sucking up to a few far-right Republicans to garner their support of funding the “Great Wall”… and done without any understanding by a person who manipulated the draft system to avoid call-up five times.

    Poisonous, bigoted, and spiteful politics at its worst.

    • David

       /  July 28, 2017

      “So much for trumps cynical campaign pledge to protect the rights of LGBTQ people.”

      No one has a right to serve in the US military.

      “This is just a cruel, foolish, dysfunctional way of sucking up to a few far-right Republicans to garner their support of funding the “Great Wall”… and done without any understanding by a person who manipulated the draft system to avoid call-up five times.”

      Hillary dodged the draft too….

      “Poisonous, bigoted, and spiteful politics at its worst.”

      If this was such a keystone policy, can you please explain why it has only existed for 9 months?

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  July 28, 2017

        your comment about keystone policy is nonsensical – trump vomited out his tweet only a day ago.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  July 28, 2017

        your comment that no one has a right to serve in the US military is deceitful.

        There are 1,429,000 active military personnel in the US armed forces. Every single one of them has met current medical and readiness standards.

        How about you suggest to one of them that they don’t have a right to serve.

        But don’t take my word. Last week Gen Paul Selva, vice-chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said: “I am an advocate of every qualified person who can meet the physical standards to serve in our uniformed services to be able to do so.”

        And lest we forget, everyone joining the US military volunteers to be there.

        • David

           /  July 28, 2017

          “Every single one of them has met current medical and readiness standards.”

          The medical standards are ignoring a major issue.

          “How about you suggest to one of them that they don’t have a right to serve.”

          Sure, that’s exactly what I’m saying. There is not a right to serve.

          “And lest we forget, everyone joining the US military volunteers to be there.”

          I give you Chelsea Manning. Volunteered to be there, then committed treason. Serious mental health issues.

          • Joe Bloggs

             /  July 28, 2017

            More than 20 years ago, the Supreme Court said the government may not openly discriminate against gays and lesbians. And since then, the courts have repeatedly said the Constitution’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws” forbids such discrimination.

            In the past, Pentagon lawyers had argued that the courts should defer to the military when deciding who could serve in the armed forces. But those arguments carry little weight now since the Defense Department has encouraged gays, lesbians and transgender Americans to join its ranks.

            A legal ban on transgender troops can also be challenged as a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which forbids employers from discriminating based on race, sex or religion.

            Seems like anyone who meets the current medical and readiness standards laid down by the US Military is constitutionally afforded the right to serve. And I’ll bet my last dollar that the US Military forces know a shitload more about what constitutes medical and readiness standards than you or I ever will.

            • David

               /  July 28, 2017

              “A legal ban on transgender troops can also be challenged as a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which forbids employers from discriminating based on race, sex or religion.”

              Transgender’s are not a sex, religion, nor a race. It is a mental illness.

              “And I’ll bet my last dollar that the US Military forces know a shitload more about what constitutes medical and readiness standards than you or I ever will.”

              That is perhaps why the Marines have resisted women in combat roles for so long, until the politicians have finally force it on them. The data shows that a 95% percentile women performs at the level of a 24% percentile man and get injured at 5-10x the rate of men. These are political decisions, not ones based on military effectiveness.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  July 28, 2017

        your comment that Hillary dodged the draft is pure alt-right fake news.

        Hillary wasn’t subject to the US draft in the Vietnam War because she’s a woman and women weren’t drafted.

        • David

           /  July 28, 2017

          “Hillary wasn’t subject to the US draft in the Vietnam War because she’s a woman and women weren’t drafted.”

          Gender bias……..

          • Joe Bloggs

             /  July 28, 2017

            FFS you got caught out lying about Hillary – stand up straight and own your alt-right fake news BS

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  July 28, 2017

              People keep banging on about Chelsea Manning-one person is not a large enough sample to prove anything.

              The woman who posed with prisoners being tortured and humiliated, grinning as if it was the funniest thing that she’d ever seen, was breaking military law by even being there (as was her married boyfriend for letting her in) and was sleeping with a married man. All that that proves is that she was a heartless bitch.

              Chelsea Manning’s gender didn’t make her do those things.

            • Gezza

               /  July 28, 2017

              I’ve given you an uptick because I don’t think Chelsea Manning’s gender dysphoria made her do it. But from reading about Bradley Manning’s life & the way he was treated as it was obvious he was unmanly by others, I think it’s highly likely this was one of several factors that drove him to betray his soldier’s oath.

            • duperez

               /  July 28, 2017

              And the surprise is …?

  8. duperez

     /  July 28, 2017

    One good thing. The TV shows in the US won’t have to parody Sarah Sanders. She is that just being herself:


    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2017/jun/29/trump-tweet-mika-brzezinski-video

    • Gezza

       /  July 28, 2017

      I haven’t watched this all yet, but I’m going to, after I get a coffee.

      I think all of the regular Press spokespeople for Trumpy are just going to have to accept, ultimately they’re fukd from the outset.

    • lurcher1948

       /  July 28, 2017

      There must be a man who can play her on SNL

      • Gezza

         /  July 28, 2017

        I quite like her Lurch. I don’t believe her, but I quite like her.
        She looks tired already. Dunno if she’ll last long.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  July 28, 2017

          I had to look away when that one was on the news, it was just too awful seeing someone dropping themselves in it over and over ! 😀 I hope that her pay is large enough to make it worth the humiliation-nobody, surely, is so thick-skinned that they wouldn’t realise what an ass they sound when they have to defend Trump like that.

          • Gezza

             /  July 28, 2017

            I think she’s basically too intelligent to be likely to keep it up for long, Kitty.

            • Gezza

               /  July 28, 2017

              Shit! Running late. Gotta go see dad @ the RH. Cya
              1552 hours.

  9. David

     /  July 28, 2017

    “This looks like a spur of the moment brain fart by Trump, with no thought of the implications or implementation.”

    Trans have been allowed to openly serve in the US military for 9 months. This policy was so important to Obama that he left it to the last hour of an 8 year presidency to enact.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  July 28, 2017

      Oh, so it’s all Obama’s fault again???

      That song’s totally worn out

  10. Zedd

     /  July 28, 2017

    I listened to ‘Democracy Now’ (USA indep. news) this morning, they said that there are currently about 15k ‘transgender’ members of the USA military, who potentially face losing their job now !
    They interviewed a Staff Sgt. (18 years service; inc. 3 tours of Afghanistan) ‘She’ is disgusted that Trump is threatening her career. She also said ‘tell trump to do his duty’ (I dont think he has done military service ?) She also said there are men & women in the military, so why should it matter that there are also transgender people ? (men & women who chose, to change their gender)

    methinks Mr T is listening to other ‘homophobes’ in power : Putin & Gen. (mad-dog) Mattis etc. ?

    So much for the reported statement that he made in his campaign, to support all LGBT folks

    • Corky

       /  July 28, 2017

      She? He? Physical wise.
      He? She? Mentally.
      He ? She? Just in case he/she needs to do a Klinger

      The fact is, Zedd%, Trumpy has to keep his voters happy. That means in these times of lean pickings he is seen to be doing something positive for those voters.

  11. lurcher1948

     /  July 28, 2017

    Trump fought tooth & nail to avoid serving in the military for his country.
    Now he’s fighting tooth & nail to stop people giving an arm & a leg for their country.

  12. Joe Bloggs

     /  July 28, 2017

    trump in 2000:
    ‘If a gay person can be a doctor or lawyer or a teacher, or take another position of responsibility, why can’t they serve this country in the military?’

    trump a year ago:
    “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”

    trump after the 2016 Orlando nightclub attack:
    ‘As your president I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology. Believe me!’

    wrong on every score: it is cruel and obscure, a nasty piece of positioning intended to deflect attention from the president’s mounting difficulties

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2017/jul/27/the-guardian-view-on-trump-transgender-military-ban-sad

    There is NO GOOD EVIDENCE that transgender people are any less capable of fighting for their country than anyone else. The costs are tiny. Any disruptions are minimal… None of the arguments put up in favour of this brainfart make any sense. Nor do they tally with trump’s support for LGBT in the past. Yet in 3 short tweets this ignoramus destroys the entire service of every transperson in the US military. Appalling bigotry!

  13. Kitty Catkin

     /  July 29, 2017

    I find it odd that people still confuse transgender and gay.

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