Trump bans transgender soldiers, and makes Jeff Sessions sympathetic, almost

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Jack Ohman tries to find the gender differences in military service. Take the quiz here.

Our take


Trump wants to reinstate hate in the military: The president’s declaration that transgender Americans will not be allowed to serve in the military is a disgrace. The ban is discriminatory and unpatriotic, and civil rights groups and others were right to blast it.

Sacramento wants you to save water. It’s your choice how: The city of Sacramento is wise to move toward stricter water conservation rules even when we’re not officially in a drought.


Marcos Breton: The verdict is in: There will be no justice for Bill Finkbeiner, the Sacramento running legend who got hit by a cyclist on the American River Parkway last month.

Karin Klein: A study out of Sweden looked at which steps would make the most difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Far and away the biggest way people could combat climate change, the researchers found, would be by having one less child per family.

Dan Walters, CalMatters: The political deal that led to reauthorization of California’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions has many pieces, but one of the strangest is Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1.

Bill McEwen, The Fresno Bee: When it comes to marijuana, Fresno always has taken the War on Drugs approach. Allowing – and strictly regulating – a small number of medical marijuana dispensaries is a smart way for Fresno to test the waters of a new approach. Let’s find out what the impacts are and proceed from there.

California Forum

Erwin Chemerinsky: President Donald Trump has done something I thought impossible. He has made Jeff Sessions into a sympathetic figure. But that’s beside the point.

Take a number: 49 percent

A near majority of likely voters in California say they believe the state’s actions to limit climate change will create more jobs, according to a new survey from the Public Policy Institute of California. That’s the highest percentage since PPIC started asking that question in 2010. At the same time, however, 54 percent of likely voters say they expect gasoline prices to increase. The survey comes after Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature extended cap and trade – a primary policy on climate change – for another 10 years, to 2030. The Bee’s editorial board said while imperfect, it was a good compromise to keep California in the lead in addressing global warming. But we also said the state has plenty of work to do to make sure it succeeds. Foon Rhee, @foonrhee

Their take

Raleigh News & Observer: Richard Burr and Thom Tillis – we understand they’re the U.S. senators from North Carolina – have had little or nothing to offer their constituents in leadership on the pathetic debate over health care reform in the Senate.

Kansas City Star: Here’s a culture clash for you: If you’d never before heard of convicted dog torturer Michael Vick, who just joined the Kansas City Chiefs as a coaching intern, you would not have gotten any hint from the reaction in the sports world to his arrival here that this was anything other than a wildly exciting turn of events. Let’s just say we don’t see it that way.

Los Angeles Times: In the pantheon of Donald Trump tweets, his three-part missive Wednesday morning declaring that transgender people would not be allowed in the military was not his most rude, mindless or irrational. But it is among the most troubling. He essentially called for a step backward in time that goes counter to all the slow but necessary progress the United States has made in recent years in its treatment of transgender people.

Orange County Register: Amid ongoing efforts by California’s teachers unions to undermine charter schools, consideration of a bill to give public charters greater access to public school property has been postponed until next year. If passed, Senate Bill 765, introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would grant charter schools the right of first refusal of surplus property school districts intend on selling or leasing.

The Mercury News: Now the creeping bigotry of the Trump administration blossoms into action. First target: transgender soldiers. Who’s next? President Trump announced Wednesday morning that transgender people would be banned from serving in the military in any capacity, citing – in a tweet, of course – “tremendous” medical costs.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: The man once known for barking “you’re fired” on network TV seems to lack the fortitude to use the words in earnest, at least as it concerns the head of the Department of Justice. Instead, President Donald Trump appears content with denigrating him in tweets and media interviews, possibly in hopes that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the man known for being the first member of the U.S. Senate to support Trump for president, will step down.

Kevin D. Williamson, National Review: Donald Trump is entitled to appoint an attorney general who broadly shares his policy views, and Jeff Sessions is probably the best the Trump administration is going to do: He is smart, competent and principled — and so, naturally, the Trump administration wants him gone. Sessions should not go gently.

Syndicates’ take

Frank Bruni: President Trump doesn’t meet his audiences on their terms. He uses each as a sounding board for his vanities, insecurities, delusions and fixations. Hillary Clinton factors mightily into all of these.

E.J. Dionne Jr.: President Donald Trump’s lawless threats against Attorney General Jeff Sessions have a lot in common with the Senate’s reckless approach to the health coverage of tens of millions of Americans.

Ross Douthat: The president is seemingly trying to humiliate Jeff Sessions into resignation. But it is Sessions who is using his office to strictly enforce immigration laws, pursue an old-school law-and-order agenda and is capable of executing the policy ambitions of “Trumpism.”

Thomas L. Friedman: Airbnb is growing so fast that it’s now adding the equivalent of one entire Hilton hotel chain’s worth of rooms for rent each year. It wouldn’t be a surprise if in five years Airbnb is not only still the world’s biggest home rental service, but also one of the world’s biggest jobs platforms.

Bret Stephens: What I didn’t do is disclose the name of any covert CIA officer – nor would I have, since I disagree with the decision to publish it. So it came as a bad surprise when, the following morning, Dan Scavino, the White House director of social media, tweeted that I had.


“Stealing from our children an opportunity for a president to show them the best of America, Trump showed them the worst.” Amy Hiss, Davis

And finally,

Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers’ Association, told the Sacramento Press Club that California’s pot growers produce eight times more cannabis than the roughly 40 million residents of the Golden State could possibly consume. Others pegged the number at 5 percent or 12 percent. Whatever it is, Allen said, entrepreneurs will do what they rarely do: scale back. “We are on a painful downsizing curve,” Allen said.