Saturday, January 28, 2017

President Trumps First Week

President Donald Trump came to Washington to work and he’s done just that. It’s been said that he doesn’t sleep much or that he doesn’t need much sleep. It’s appearing to be true. He promised to undo President Obama’s executive orders and he seems to be doing so. Trump has seemingly done more work in the first week than any other president has done.

The press looked at each thing he’s done and said and tried to find something wrong with everything. A common phrase is that he’s not learned to govern yet. Following is a list of executive orders he’s signed in the first week.

1.    Multi-pronged orders on border security and immigration enforcement including: the authorization of a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the stripping of federal grant money to sanctuary cities; hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents; ending “catch-and-release” policies for illegal immigrants; and reinstating local and state immigration enforcement partnerships.

2.    Two orders reviving the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipelines. He also signed three other related orders that would: expedite the environmental permitting process for infrastructure projects related to the pipelines; direct the Commerce Department to streamline the manufacturing permitting process; and give the Commerce Department 180 days to maximize the use of U.S. steel in the pipeline.
3.    An order to reinstate the so-called "Mexico City Policy" – a ban on federal funds to international groups that perform abortions or lobby to legalize or promote abortion. The policy was instituted in 1984 by President Reagan, but has gone into and out of effect depending on the party in power in the White House.

4.    He signed a notice that the U.S. will begin withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Trump called the order "a great thing for the American worker."

5.    An order imposing a hiring freeze for some federal government workers as a way to shrink the size of government. This excludes the military, as Trump noted at the signing.

6.    An order that directs federal agencies to ease the “regulatory burdens” of ObamaCare. It orders agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement” of ObamaCare that imposes a “fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.”

The governments primary responsibility is the protection of our shores. The first executive order goes exactly to that. For the past eight years coming to this country especially across the southern border has been easy. Terrorists could have, and likely may have, walked across the border into this country. So it’s good to see the first one being about our national security. In addition stripping money from cities that are sanctuary cities, which protects illegal aliens.

If you come to this country, you are leaving your country. Many do come here for a better life. To enjoy the freedoms this country affords it’s inhabitants. But we have laws. If you’re coming here to try to make America into the country you just left, you’re coming here for the wrong reason. Why would you want to turn this country into the one you just left? 

We were once a country of immigrants. People fled their countries for the freedoms gained here. Those immigrants came here to create a better life and better form of governing than they had where they came from. They created that government and it’s been working for 241 years. We are no longer a country of immigrants. We are now a free people in the greatest country on earth. We’re no longer a country of immigrants. We are now a country that welcomes immigrants that want to enjoy freedom, and opportunity. You’re welcome to worship in the faith of your choice, and believe as you choose but under the laws that we have in this country. If you’re coming here to try to destroy this country, we have the right and responsibility to block you from coming here and to throw you out if you can’t obey our laws.

Drawing away from the TPP was another promise kept. Stripping the regulatory burdens from ObamaCare was another he’d promised and taking away the penalties and taxes on businesses and families.

Our Constitution provides for a way for laws to be passed in this country. They go through the House, the Senate and once the two houses agree on a plan it then goes to the President for signature or veto. If the President veto’s, the Congress can then try to override the veto. That is the proper way to pass laws or not pass laws. But when a President writes up executive orders that are not run through Congress, he’s leading as a dictator, not as a President of the United States. By Trump signing executive orders to eliminate Obama’s executive orders, he’s allowing the Congress to write and pass or deny laws that Obama had done over his eight years in office.

A few comments about the future. There has been some talk that the Democrats are reeling and becoming insignificant.  In the short term that’s very real. However, think back to 2008. The year before the Democrats took over the House and the Senate. In 2008, Obama won the Presidency and the Democrats increased their seats in Congress. It was said that it would take decades if not longer for the Republicans to recover. Democrats were extremely close to having a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. The stimulus was passed in the first weeks and that created the Tea Party. Shortly after, Senator Arlen Specter changed parties giving the Democrats that 60th seat making the Senate filibuster proof. The passage of Obamacare turned things around for the Republicans. So much so that Scott Brown, a Republican, won the seat emptied by the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy eliminating the filibuster proof Senate.

The Republicans took over the House in 2010, added to it in 2012 and took the majority in the Senate in 2014. This was accomplished by the Democrats by going too far and not working with Republicans.

The Republicans are now in much the same boat, although their majority in the Senate is not close to filibuster proof. It can be if the Republicans do things properly. If Trump does things properly and if the Democrats continue to look at their own interests rather than the people’s interests, the Republicans should increase rather than decrease.

The Democrats have a monumental task ahead of them. But not insurmountable. If the Republicans don’t stay true to their word, they’ll begin losing. If the Democrats don’t change their positions and get less liberal, they will continue to lose. But if the Republicans continue to work for the people, and not for themselves, in local, state and federal levels they’ll increase their positions.

This can only be done by the ultimate watchdog, the American voter. If you disagree with a policy or a proposal, let your representative know and let your two Senators know. Google US House and US Senate and you’ll find your representatives and Senators. Their mail, phone, fax and E-mail are all listed there. Send a quick note to them about your thoughts. Keep it clean and civil. Tell them your topic, and tell them what you believe and why.  It doesn’t have to be a ten page letter. It’s better if it’s one page and directly to the point. They won’t care about one letter or E-mail, but they will care when they see dozens.

President Trump has been in office for one week and he has been very busy. Each time the media tells us that he can’t do something, Trump turns around and does it. His first week has been a successful and busy week.

You’re welcome to comment.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ahead of Schedule and Under Budget

At a press conference Thursday morning, Vice President Elect Mike Pence announced that the transition team had finished it’s business “Ahead of schedule and under budget”.

While “Make America Great Again” has been the motto of the Trump campaign, and y, the theme of the new administration, it would be a new experience hearing “ahead of schedule and under budget” even once, let alone consistently.

Pence said they were returning 20% of their funding to the treasury because it was unused! That’s $1.2 million! This is not normal for government. How many agencies have we heard were holding conferences in Las Vegas spending millions of dollars and the conferences are not something needed. Or bonuses paid out to agencies that have cost overruns and didn’t accomplish the jobs they were supposed to do? Or ask yourself how much the Obama’s spend on their vacations. Remember the dog having his own flight to Martha’s Vineyard a couple of years ago?

So far, the Trump/Pence administration is living up to their word. Will this continue? There’s good news in this answer. At noon Friday it begins as the titles are changed to “Former” President Barack Hussein Obama and from “President-Elect” to “President” Donald J. Trump.

Following is a portion of a speech given by a former President that took over with similar problems. Hopefully, the Trump administration will believe and act as that president did. I’m sure you’ll recognize who it is quickly.

“The business of our nation goes forward. These United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions. We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people.

Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, human misery, and personal indignity. Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.
But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children's future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.

You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we're not bound by that same limitation? We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding: We are going to begin to act, beginning today.

The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we as Americans have the capacity now, as we've had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.”

If you don’t recognize it, that was President Reagan from his inaugural address in 1981. Trump will have to do better because while tax cuts were passed spending was not reigned in.

It’s finally time to find out because  at noon on Friday, Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President and Obama finally will be gone.

Trump has his work cut out for him, but he has a habit of “ahead of schedule and under budget”. If he continues that America will be great again.

You’re welcome to comment.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Democrats Think We're Stupid

Democrats think you can’t think for yourself. This came out clearly in Representative John Lewis’ comments about Donald Trumps election not being legitimate. Also in Senator Diane Feinstein’s comments regarding the election when she said that the Russians took sides by unfairly putting out false information about Hillary to get Trump elected.

There is no doubt that hacking went on during the campaign. There is no doubt that the Russians attempted to hack the Democrat National Committee (DNC), the Republican National Committee (RNC) as well as state election boards around the country. This was known before the election took place in November. In fact, President Obama told the Russians to “knock it off” in October before the election.

The RNC chairman, Reince Preibus even admitted that someone tried to hack their computers during the election campaign but they were unsuccessful. A couple of states admitted that someone tried to hack their systems but they were unsuccessful. The DNC was hacked successfully.

The FBI  warned both the DNC and the RNC that they were in danger of being hacked. The RNC cooperated with the FBI to prevent the hacking. The DNC did not cooperate with the FBI. The RNC was not successfully hacked, the DNC was successfully hacked as was John Podesta’s E-mail.

Let’s take a look at these things. During the final debate, Trump was asked if he’d accept the results of the election and Trumps answer was that he’d keep them in suspense. Hillary’s response was that his answer was horrific that anyone would doubt the results of our election. Yet, now the Clinton campaign, as well as the Democrats (most recently John Lewis) and the press have done just that. How could they be so wrong? It must have been illegitimate. Why is that not horrific?

The Democrats, and most recently Feinstein, have said that the Russians have unfairly attacked Hillary for the purpose of her defeat and if she were to win the election, to weaken her Presidency. What would be fair? Would it be fair for them to release information on Trump as well as HIllary? I’m sure they would have had they been able to hack into the RNC as they did the DNC. But then again, the Russians don’t play fair in warfare, including cyber warfare. Do the Democrats really think that the Russians or any other country is worried about being fair? It’s a major coup for them to hack into any part of America, be it a political party, the power grid, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or our election process. Remember the OPM was hacked and 22 million Americans personal information was stolen and put out there. Why weren’t they as upset about that as they are about Hillary’s loss in an election?

The hacking of the DNC is not fully decided as to the culprit. At least not publicly. Wikileaks has said that they did not receive the hacked E-mails from Russia or any other state. The Democrats want everyone to believe it was Russia and maybe it was, but Wikileaks claims they didn’t get it directly from Russia. Gee, which do we trust? Wikileaks who is run by a guy living in an embassy to avoid being tried for crimes, or Russia who do try to hack our systems, as well as attack our friends, while being run by a former KGB agent?

The information the hacks produced has not been denied as being real. In fact, the Chairman of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz lost her job because of what was put out from those-mails. Do the Democrats fire people for false activity? Donna Brazille, the new Chair of the DNC lost her job with CNN (at least for the time being) because she gave debate questions to Hillary’s campaign before the debates, and she is not going to be back as the chair of the DNC. Nobody has denied that the E-mails were real.

Remember when your kids played baseball at 8 or 9 years old and the leagues said they wouldn’t keep score so that kids would not have a bad experience? Kids didn’t get the chance to learn sportsmanship. Not to be boastful when they’ve won and not to get angry when they don’t. They must be today’s Democrats.

The information that was gleaned from the E-mails only confirmed what people have thought about the Clintons. It gave some proof of the truth that was obvious about Benghazi, and that Wasserman-Shultz was in league with Hillary to help her get the nomination rather than allowing the primary process, meaning the voters, select the nominee.

The Democrats claiming that the Russians caused the election to go against Hillary only shows that they think the American people are stupid and can’t think for themselves.

Representative John Lewis, during his interview on Meet the Press said that he’d not attend the inauguration, the first one he’s missed since he’s been in the Congress. This is a lie. He also boycotted the inauguration in 2001 of George W. Bush. You can see it on the link below. He says it at the 45 second mark on the link.

If Democrats want to start gaining ground instead of the constant losing they’ve been doing the past four elections, they might start with actually telling the truth for a change and  understanding that the American people are not stupid.

You’re welcome to comment.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Seamless Transition of Power

In 19 days, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. For the most part in our history, we have a smooth transition from one president to the next. There have been only three times in our history where an outgoing president does not attend the incoming president’s  swearing in and subsequent address.

The first was John Adams. He did not attend the inauguration of his successor, Thomas Jefferson. The second time was his son, John Quincy Adams who did not attend the inauguration of his successor, Andrew Jackson, and the third was Andrew Johnson who did not attend Ulysses S. Grants inauguration.

 Most don’t comment publicly about their successors once they’re out of office. Jimmy Carter is an exception to this. He’s criticized several presidents, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. George W. Bush has refrained from saying anything during Obama’s presidency.

Usually, the president that is leaving is respectful of the incoming president. When George H. W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton in 1992, he not only helped provide a smooth transition to Clinton but left him a note in the desk offering encouragement and offering his counsel if wanted and needed. Clinton had beaten Bush in the election.

In 2000 it was a different story. George W. Bush beat Al Gore in the election but it wasn’t decided until 35 days after the election. If ever a smooth transition was needed this would be it. However, when the Bush Administration took over on January 20, 2001 what they found was graffiti on bathroom walls. Signs defaced calling Bush a thief for stealing the election since the election was so close. The W’s on the keyboards were removed. Glue was smeared over desks and drawers. The presidential seal was stolen from several locations in the White House.

The Clintons themselves took items from the White House that they weren’t entitled to, including furniture. They had to return numerous items they weren’t entitled.

When Bush left office, he was very accommodating for the incoming Obama. Even Obama commented on how well he and his family were treated by the Bush’s. Even the Bush daughters were helpful to the young Obama daughters.

While Bush wouldn’t criticize Obama during Obama’s presidency, Obama still continues to blame Bush even though he’s just days away from the end of his eight years.

Even now, prior to Obama leaving office, he’s adding on more executive orders, speeding up and increasing the number of illegal aliens entering the U. S., blaming the Russians for Hillary losing the election and now refusing to veto a resolution against Israel.

Will Obama follow the previous presidents and not be commenting on Trump’s policies and decisions?  Presidents have left notes for their successors as well, which may have started with President Reagan although there seem to be no record of Clinton leaving a note for George W. Bush.

Since 1993, each President has dealt with a terrorist attack very early on in their presidency. The first World Trade Center bombing happened February 26 just over a month after Clinton’s inauguration. In 2001, the World Trade Center was again attacked along with the Pentagon and a fourth plane went down in Pennsylvania when passengers took the plane back from hijackers, saving either the White House or the Capitol building. This happened just over 7 months after Bush took office.

In 2009, after Obama took  office, on June 1, a recruiting office was shot at by a terrorist killing one and injuring one and on November 5, 13 were shot and killed at Fort Hood Texas.

It’s not unreasonable to think that another terrorist attack will be attempted once Trump becomes president. It would not be  beneficial for a former president to be attacking the current president over other differences when there are current problems to consider and deal with.

Hopefully, it will be a seamless transition from Obama to Trump, for the good of the country. In 19 days, we’ll start finding out.

You’re welcome to comment.