The ONLY Fix for Healthcare that will Work

This is Part 1 of a two-part explanation of the Only Fix for Healthcare that will Work. Part 2 will be up at 1:45AM Central tomorrow (if you’re an early riser, later for you if you sleep in!)

The moniker for the BIG noise in D.C. is “Healthcare.” All the noise is not really about “Healthcare” — it’s about Healthcare Finance. NO ONE is talking about it, and it’s the only thing that matters. American Healthcare is the BEST in the World! And what is happening in Washington now threatens that. How? Money drives everything that ever shows up in the Marketplace. And that includes Healthcare, which reportedly gobbles up 16-18% of our entire Gross Domestic Product. Mess around with the dollars in Healthcare and it will absolutely impact the quality we receive. What needs to be addressed is how the dollars are handled in Healthcare, and how they “should” be handled. Let’s do that.

Where do Healthcare dollars go? Hospitals, physicians, clinics, ambulance and other medical transportation providers, surgery centers, imaging centers, other outpatient treatment centers, pharmacies, Drug Companies, medical devices, and last but not least: insurance companies. Let’s look at each.

  1. Hospitals are the biggest dollar consumers: they set prices for procedures of all kinds, infrastructure costs (room charges, supplies and drugs used in hospitals, charges for equipment and miscellaneous expenses, etc.). They pretty much have a monopoly on what they charge consumers. Americans cannot shop for the best hospital prices: there are no window stickers to use to negotiate. Think about it: have you ever called and priced a heart procedure for the purpose of getting the best price? How about foot or brain surgery? No. When we check out, we get a bill that is priced as the hospital wants to price it. Hospitals in America make billions of dollars in profits, even those institutions who are technically not-for-profit entities. Profit is derived simply by computing revenue left after paying actual expenses. So to make billions, these hospitals charge far more than actual costs.) 
  2. Second in the dollar consumer list are Physicians. Once again Americans cannot “doctor shop” easily to get the best deal for doctor care. Most often they are chosen by referrals from OTHER doctors, and usually for special reasons. And their pricing is usually directed by hospitals in which their patients receive care and/or insurance company contracts.
  3. Other providers find themselves typically in different pricing models than Hospitals or Doctors. Their pricing — with few exceptions — are determined by insurance companies through “fee schedules” or “policy exclusion or allowable rates.” Example: you’ve been hit by a car on a busy street. Can you call around to get the best price for that emergency ambulance transport that you need to save your life? Nope. And that ambulance that takes you to the closest trauma center will bill your insurance company some “rack rate” for the transport. But most policies have limits for certain procedures or the insurance companies will simply pay what they think is fair. The same holds true for most other types of providers.
  4. The 900-lb gorillas in the Healthcare Finance room are Insurance Companies. They are all two-part profit centers for their stockholders, members, and/or owners. How? Premiums + Investments. They charge policy holders premiums for coverage for health procedures. Premium pricing basis is a closely held secret and is handled pretty much like medical procedure pricing by Hospitals and Doctors. However, they are loosely based on mathematical probability factors assigned by internal personnel that assess the probability of each policy holder’s potential need for services and insurance company liability for treatment costs. Many factors weigh into that pricing: age and physical history of the insured, past and current medical conditions, geographical location, vocation, etc. But there is a significant gap between estimated costs to the insurers and the amount of premiums. The dollars that constitute that gap are invested by the insurance companies in many places: money market funds, stocks, bonds, loans, and others. Make no mistake, insurance companies are profitable. And we should NOT feel that their profits are evil. Insurance company profits are mostly distributed to stockholders, members, owners, re-invested in community programs, that all typically put most of those profits into the American economy. It’s part of the free market system that rules the U.S. economy.
  5. Pharmacy along with Outpatient Providers that typically include transportation, outpatient surgery centers, imaging, dental, and others are almost all covered by fee schedules for payment.  (See “Fee Schedule” below)
  6. Drug Companies is another class of medical provider that consumes a large portion of healthcare revenue. Their justification for high prices is two-fold: research and development and testing new pharmaceutical products is extremely costly, and liability for unexpected effects of the drugs forces high prices to cover possible litigation.

The single objective of the Healthcare System overhaul in the United States should be this only: to bring down the costs of all medical care — including health insurance premiums — provide medical insurance coverage to the maximum number of Americans as possible, all with absolutely no negative impact on the quality of American Healthcare.

So how do we do that?  Let’s dive in.

Work Backwards

In most business systems in the private sector, profit is the driving force behind business operational structure. Profit in Healthcare is critical and necessary for multiple reasons. Healthcare needs to remain primarily in the private sector. Very few government health systems are effective or successful today. The American Healthcare System driven by the private sector worked well before the American version of Government Healthcare: Obamacare. Achieving the objectives above CAN be accomplished in the U.S. without a total government takeover, which would destroy what we have in today’s private/government partnership. The Government works well with its responsibilities for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Health System. There are issues there, but all can be corrected without total Government takeover. Instead of concentrating strictly on dollars, let’s begin by insuring the continuation of the critical piece of the system:  Medical Treatment and work forward to Dollars.

Medical Treatment

It is impossible to discuss treatment without inclusion of Physicians — known for at least a century as critical technicians who (on the most part) garner amazing respect — primarily for the extensive education they must absorb, but also for the life saving procedures and treatment they provide us. Very few physicians prepare to fight for reimbursement for their services when entering the Healthcare System after their education. There is no competition for pricing so there are no limits for pricing with the same exceptions. (See “Fee Schedule” below) Physician reimbursement needs to be adjusted which will allow their concentration on continuation of the very best treatment of patients while developing new procedures, devices, and drugs through research and development. Follow through this process with me and you will see how we can accomplish this.

Medical Facility Treatment and Care

Hospitals house all that is necessary for physicians to do their jobs. The Hospital role is critical and also very costly. For most of their work, they set pricing. And their doing so is totally arbitrary. And because there is none (or very little) competition in the market, there are no limits for their pricing, with several exceptions. (See “Fee Schedule” below)

Insurance Company Pricing

There IS some pricing competition driven by the markets for policy premiums. Insurance companies are forced to compete for business. In addition, most states have Insurance Regulatory offices that have requirements for insurance companies’ pricing and are able to somewhat stabilize premium costs. However, deciding what to pay healthcare providers and facilities for specific services is almost solely determined by insurance companies with several exceptions. (See “Fee Schedule” below)

Outpatient, Medical Transportation, and Pharmacy Prescription Pricing

Pricing for these services are almost totally regulated by fee schedules. (See “Fee Schedule” below)

Drug Company Sales Pricing

This is another of the big consumers of healthcare dollars that goes largely unregulated. U.S. drug companies have pretty much run rough-shod in the marketplace, pricing their products with no limits or restrictions. There is very little competition in the marketplace because of the high costs of research and development and testing required for FDA approval for new products. Drug companies spare no expense to protect their product territory, often using lobbyists in D.C. to impact what little regulation they face in marketing their pharmaceutical products. (See “Lobbying” below)

Fee Schedule

There are approximately 150,000 different treatment codes for medical treatments today. These codes are devised and implemented by the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) — the government agency charged with administrating U.S. Healthcare law as passed by Congress. Medicare and Medicaid (and some commercial insurance companies) each have a “Fee Schedule” that includes the dollars that are allowed by the government to be paid to providers for any of those approximate 150,000 different treatments “when” the provider prepares and submits an accurate and compliant bill to the specific insurance company CMS contracts with to process those claims. The “Fee Schedule” concept is the critical fix that must be implemented to fully repair our Healthcare finance structure.

Summary

In tomorrow’s offering, we will look closely at exactly how the “Fix” should use and what specific steps we must take to make this thing work. You will be surprised at the few steps that are necessary and how simple it would be to make them happen, IF we did not have the politics to navigate through to get there.

I hope after tomorrow you will be engaged in this “Fix” process so deeply you will share this plan with all you know — including specifically the lawmakers who represent you along with your friends, family members, and acquaintances. If Congress simply lets Obamacare fail or if they band aid a fix together that is nothing but “Obamacare Light,” American healthcare is doomed to fail. Maybe not us but our children and grandchildren will then be forced into a Central American-like healthcare system that will be drastically changed for the worse from American Healthcare of 8 years ago.

Who’s at the end?

We buried my Dad yesterday. 91 years old, one of thirteen children that included five boys who each pastored churches in five different denominations — one of them my father. There was not a big crowd at the funeral home or the cemetery, primarily because he is the second to last of those thirteen to die.

He lived the last 45 or so years of his life in a small town on the Texas gulfcoast. His wife (not my mother) died of cancer three years ago. Dad adopted her son at age five. My older brother (who was gone and in the Navy when the divorce happened) and I were both left out of the family loop when he left in 1969. That pretty much turned into his divorce from me, too. We never had much to say to each other after that. I tried for years to push that door of relationship open. But even though he talked to me, he never unlocked the door.

I made a pact then: I would use what happened in our family — specifically what happened between him and me — as my life road map. I resolved with God that I would learn from the mistakes I lived through and live my life as a husband and father 180 degrees from his path. From the beginning I resolved that no matter what, divorce would never be an option for me. Whatever came after marriage would be resolved without divorce.

There is no absolute regarding staying together in marriage. I understand that. There are horrible situations for which divorce is the only real option. But I firmly believe that in most cases, divorce can be avoided. How? I think almost all couples today enter their marriages keeping divorce as an option, “if” it doesn’t work out. That mindset is responsible for far more divorces than we probably know.

Think about it: a young man and a young woman fall in love, date, get engaged, and then get married. Of course at that point few couples contemplate the “what if” — what if it doesn’t work out? And when it happens, because they have allowed the alternative to “working things out” remain in their hearts and minds, they often take what they think is the easy way out: divorce.

Those reading this that have been through a divorce know that it is just the beginning of problems. In trying to avoid controversy by not considering the “what if” and discussing the “what if” with their partner before entering that marriage, and further keeping divorce as an option all along, they allow the easiest escape from the problems to takeover, and divorce. The problem is, divorce is seldom really the easy way out.

I’m 63, almost 64. I was sixteen when my parents divorced. It hurts me to this day. I fight anger about it every day. I fight the guilt every day that I may have been at least partially at fault for their failed marriage. After all, I had serious medical issues that negatively impacted our family for five or so years before they split. And when they divorced, I felt relief because the horrible fighting stopped immediately when Dad left, and the tension level at home went to zero. I did not know what was ahead.

Through the years I have miraculously found ways to deal with the pain and anger. Several years ago it was revealed to me that I had unfairly held tremendous anger for him that turned partially to disdain and even to hatred. I was convicted for my anger. I called and asked him to forgive me for my un-forgiveness and anger towards him. It blew him away. But it felt like a thousand pound weight was removed from my chest. And then I realized: everything I was dealing with for all those years was about relationship.

Relationship takes at least two to exist and function. And like anything in life that cannot act alone, when one of the parts that are critical to functioning fails, it not only causes the other parts that depend on it for function to fail, it destroys the system in which all those parts exist and function. And one part cannot make the whole entity work. It takes all those parts working together. The same is true for relationships.

In my marriage and as the father of three children and grandfather to six, I determined I would turn what happened in my family around in exactly the opposite direction. I have not been perfect in my function as a husband and father. I have made many mistakes as have my wife, my children, and grandchildren. But in each failure because I have determined no failure would be allowed to destroy the function, (and my wife, children, and grandchildren feel the same) we have not given in to take the easy way out — we fix what is broken together, and move forward together.

Fortunately my Dad learned that after leaving in 1969.  He moved to south Texas, fell in love and married, adopted a son, and lived until last Friday pouring his life (full of previous mistakes and subsequent knowledge) into family #2.  And things turned out much better for him in the second half than the first half.

The moral of this story: “it ain’t over until it’s over.” Losing an argument, a disagreement, or a battle doesn’t make one a loser. Quitting makes one a loser. And in relationships, remember it always takes at least two. So quitting means at least two end up losing.

I’ve adopted this principle and put in practice in not only my family, but in my business. I started my company 25 years ago. When we grew and needed a formal Employee manual, I demanded to write one part and let the lawyers write the rest. That part I wrote? “Dispute Resolution.” It has always been mandatory that if any two employees find themselves in dispute, the responsibility for resolution rests on both. They MUST one-on-one (behind closed doors) discuss the dispute and make an effort to find a solution. If that fails they are to bring an immediate supervisor in to work for resolution with them. If that fails, it comes to Management. In 25 years and probably a total of several thousand employees, only twice can I recall this process did not work. (the divorce in those cases was termination)

Let’s face it: our lives are comprised by people who happen to chiefly be our friends and family members. Aren’t those two environments the perfect place to model dispute resolution? And doesn’t it make good sense to do our best to work through and resolve disputes while preserving all the time, effort, and energy we have invested in those relationships?

“Anything Worth Having is Worth Hurting For.”  That’s the title of a song my brother wrote. And it’s so true. When it comes to relationships of all kinds, I echo Jim Valvano from his famous speech when he said, “Don’t give up.  Don’t you ever give up.” If a relationship is important enough for us to get into, it’s important enough to fight for.

Don’t quit!

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

When bad things happen to us or others we know, human nature almost always makes us look for what we or those others did that was so bad it initiated the bad that popped up in our life or theirs. That principle is called “reap and sow,” “what goes around comes around,” or “karma.”  However it is labeled, the principle originated from a Scripture in the 8th chapter of Genesis. In that passage, God promised Noah that as long as Earth exists, there will always be light and dark, hot and cold, Summer and Winter, and “seed-time and harvest,” or “reap and sow.” To sum it up: everything we do has consequences. Sometimes we fool ourselves and make stupid decisions, knowing there will be consequences. But we fool ourselves saying, “OK, I’ll do that, knowing there’s a price, but I’ll deal with it.” Maybe it’s cheating a little on taxes, thinking “I’ll have a slow quarter, but it’s worth the cost,” or, “I’ll gorge this weekend all weekend and will gain a pound or 2. But I’ll starve myself next weekend to makeup for it.”

Whatever or however we justify those things, there is always a price to pay. We as shown above, do not understand the “seed-time and harvest” principle. We convince ourselves that sometimes when we plant peach seeds apple trees will grow. It doesn’t work that way: what we plant in the ground is what will grow — every time. Lies return as lies; cheating returns as cheating; eating too much returns as weight gain. But, there’s a caveat in this principle: sometimes bad things happen to good people, even when they do not deserve the bad things.

Thirteen years ago our youngest daughter thrilled us with her announcement that Emmerson — our first grand daughter — was on the way. She and Scott had been married for about 4 years and had waited to get settled before starting having kids. It was a great time. But 5 months into the pregnancy, something went drastically wrong: the baby quit moving. The diagnosis was the baby had Turner’s Syndrome — a chromosomal disorder — and had died. Kori had to carry our grand-daughter for another two months knowing that Emmerson was not alive. That process was unbelievably traumatic for us all, but horrific for her and Scott. The most horrible thing I can ever remember was driving up to the cemetery and seeing that little white coffin holding my first grand-daughter.

Why did such horror takeover Kori and Scott’s lives? They were and are some of the finest people I know. What had they done to deserve this? I knew of nothing but good from them.

Two weeks later we took them to Phoenix to get away for a week. We all lounged around the Biltmore pool, ate good food, Scott and I played golf, just being casual. The girls just had to shop, so we went to the Fashion Mall in Scottsdale and ran smack dab into Denny and DeAnza Duron from Shreveport. They were there for a baseball tournament their oldest son was playing in. Denny is my foster brother and our pastor. He had just completed a sermon series titled “The Providence of God.” At that time, Scott and Kori attended a different church, but knew Denny and DeAnza well. Denny took Scott to the side and told him, “If you and Kori will resist the temptation to shake your fist in God’s face in anger, He’ll pay you back.” That was the principle of his sermon series.  He told Scott, “Sometimes there is no understanding of why God allows bad things to happen to good people. Sometimes there are no answers for those bad things. But if we do not get angry at God He’ll pay us for trusting Him.”

So that’s what they did. One year later, (the day Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans) Kori gave birth to our grand daughter Grace, AND our grand daughter Emmaline — twins! Kori and Scott had done nothing wrong, something horrible happened to them, and they refused to get angry for losing their baby. They trusted God, and they received from their seed of trust two wonderful baby girls that are now almost 12.

In that time of wonder and amazement, everything changed — except the trials were not over. A few years later Kori was diagnosed with malignant breast cancer. The fear and horror returned to their lives. She opted for a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and reconstruction. Going through it all was their second nightmarish horror. But both held strong, trusting there was good to come from it.

Kori fought hard through the effects of that difficult process and dealt with it seldom letting anyone know of her struggles.  She has now passed the first big hurdle — 5 years cancer free. She is doing well: owns her own company, (she’s an architectural interior designer: http://www.korishurley.com) great wife, mother, sister, and daughter, and lights up every room she enters.

I never see Kori frown. She never complains and always smiles, regardless of her circumstances. Why do you think that is? She and Scott found out that they are as human as the rest of us, which means they will make mistakes and do some things wrong. Sometimes those mistakes cause unnecessary difficulties they bring on themselves. But sometimes those difficulties are simply because “Bad Things Happen to Good People,” and nothing more. They know that when you plant a rose bush, roses are going to grow. They continually patiently wait, looking for the roses without worry about what bad might happen. They both know “The Best is Yet to Come.”

(I am pretty sure there’s a book in there somewhere. For those of you who know Kori, give her a nudge to write the book. Few people I know have the ability to on a first-person basis tell others exactly how to deal with the hard stuff — every time it shows up.  Shhh…..please don’t tell her Dad said to!)

Here’s How to Quiet ALL the Noise about Russia

Are you like me sick and tired of watching and/or listening to the news? Every national story is either about or tied to the investigations of President Trump et al and the Russian investigation. The Talking Heads are having a field day! The New York Times just published an op-ed titled “Time to Talk Crimes?” penned by David Leonhardt in which he includes multiple links to “authorities” in which various opinions are expressed as facts regarding the Russian collusion with members of the Trump Campaign. Never mind that dozens of legal authorities — several of whom are prominent Democrat Hillary Clinton supporters — make it very clear: If there was actual collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government, unless there was direct action taken by Campaign members to in any way directly alter the voting and/or results of the election, such collusion would NOT be criminal in any way.

All that being said, I am still sick and tired of the “Collusion” talk and am ready for it to stop. Even though I personally do not believe there was any collusion, I agree federal authorities need to take demonstrative and immediate actions to shore up the voting systems in all 50 states to assure Americans every vote cast in any election by a lawfully registered voter actually counts and is not tampered with by anyone — foreign or domestic. That is a separate issue from the “Collusion Noise” that I desperately want out of the news. And there is a way to make it happen.  I think you’ll like it.

Let’s be honest: there are many likely federal crimes that have been exposed in the Fall of 2016 through today that need to have the light of justice shined on them. While Special Investigator Mueller continues his independent investigation of the Russian interference in the election, there are too many other issues and too little time to waste waiting for the squeaky wheels of justice to pull that train into the train station with answers. But there’s a way to “Get ‘r Done.” It’s a Grand Jury. And it may take more than one.

What else (and who else) needs to be investigated and for what?

  1. Former FBI Director James Comey. Comey admitted illegally releasing confidential and classified documents and information on multiple occasions. Doing so is a gross violation of federal law not to mention FBI protocol;
  2. Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Lynch (according to sources) wrote an email to the DNC in which she made it clear that if the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email and document scandal got too nasty, she would intervene. Violation of federal law as well;
  3. Hillary Clinton. This investigation needs no explanation other than to say all that is necessary is to direct the FBI to handover all its investigative materials from that case to the Grand Jury prosecutors. And, by the way, the DNC and the Clinton Campaign DID collude with the Ukranian government who provided the DNC and the Clinton Campaign a lot of assistance and documentation to attack Donald Trump during the campaign. That is indeed collusion with a foreign government to affect a campaign and possibly change election outcomes;
  4. The New York Times and Washington Post. Inclusion of these may surprise you. But both news outlets have printed multiple stories (many already proven false) alleging criminal wrongdoing by multitudes of Trump affiliates, all based on information passed along to the news outlets by “anonymous” or “unnamed” sources.  Those who released classified information for any reason without proper authority to do so committed felonies.  That needs to be cleared up and any applicable actions taken for lawbreakers;
  5. There’s the matter of the illegal unmasking of the names of Americans by those in the Intelligence Community — specifically former National Security Advisor Susan Rice.  Doing so for political purposes (as it seems this action was) is against federal law and those who do so are guilty of felonies.

While #4 may seem a bit extreme, I certainly feel it is warranted. But how would this investigation take place? Joon H. Kim — the acting Federal Attorney for the Southern District of New York — has jurisdiction over all of the alleged and/or confirmed crimes listed above. He should impanel at least one grand jury that would be charged to fully investigate and examine all evidence of potential violation of federal crimes in all 5 of the above cases and any others deemed necessary.Further (and critical to the “noise” stoppage I and many others want) the judge in the case should issue immediate gag orders for every person involved in this (or these) grand jury investigations from the very first day. And if a gag order is violated, offender or offenders should be prosecuted and be liable to the fullest extent of possible fines and/or incarceration for gag order violations.

In my opinion, this is the only way we will ever get the Liberal Left media out of the picture, which is necessary to rein in the raving and ranting about everything “Russian” and the manufacturing of “fake” evidence provided by sources. If the goal of all who care about any of these issues is to get to the truth and protect Americans from those who have broken the law, everyone — including the Mainstream Media — should support this action. However, if my concept here ever sees the light of day on any national stage, it will be attacked immediately and attacked viciously by  MSM (with the exception maybe of FOX News and some of the conservative news web sites and radio talk shows). Why? Readership at the mainstream newspapers has been steadily declining, UNTIL the news panacea of “Trump Collusion” breathed new life into them — at least for a while.

The politics of all this has become comical with all of the noise surrounding the multiple and daily allegations trumpeted by the MSM giving new flavor of the day spins — all to prop up failing newspapers and bolster television and radio ratings. Why do Americans continue to fall for this ploy? The same reason the National Enquirer sells millions of copies every year at the grocery store checkout counter. Human nature dictates people love to engorge themselves on the misfortunes of others, no matter if true or not. And the MSM have capitalized on that human trait and will continue to do so as long as possible. They no longer give a rip about printing or reporting the truth, and they HATE Donald Trump.

Stay tuned: it will get really interesting!

Democrat, Republican, or Southerner: Which are You?

Here is a little test that will help you decide.  The correct answer is the one that best fits what your response would be.  The test:

You’re walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children.  Suddenly, a terrorist with a huge knife walks around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, raises his knife, and charges you.  You are carrying a Kimber 1911 .45 caliber ACP, and you are an expert shot.  You have just seconds before he reaches you and your family.  What do you do?

Democrat’s Answer

  • That’s not enough information to answer the question!
  • What is a Kimber 1911 .45 caliber ACP?
  • Does the man look poor or oppressed?
  • Is he really a terrorist?  Am I guilty of profiling?
  • Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
  • Could we run away?
  • What does my wife think?
  • What about the kids?
  • Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
  • What does the law say about this situation?
  • Does the pistol have appropriate safety built into it?
  • Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does that send to society and to my children?
  • Is it possible he’d be happy with killing just me?
  • Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content to just wound me?
  • If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
  • Should I call 911?
  • Why is this street so deserted?
  • We need to raise taxes, have paint and weed day.
  • Can we make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior?
  • I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus.
  • This is all so confusing!

Republican’s Answer

BANG!!!

Southerner’s Answer

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

CLICK!  (sounds of reloading…)

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

CLICK!

Daughter: “Nice grouping, Dad!  Were those the Winchester silver tips or hollow points?”

Son: “Can I shoot the next one?”

Wife: “You are NOT taking that to the taxidermist!”

(Thanks to Keith Winsell)

Trump Achievements since the 2016 Election, Part 4

Here’s the conclusion of the Achievements of the President from his inauguration through early June.  I know it is much information to digest.  But it’s important information that I am certain you have not seen or heard from Mainstream Media.  That is unfortunate but true.  If you wish to have a single .pdf file with all of the achievements listed (and you don’t subscribe to www.dnewman.org), I’ll gladly email it to you if you send me an email at dan@dnewman.org.  Your email address will remain confidential. 

Thank you for reading!  I encourage any positive or negative response you may have to any of the discussions we have here.  And feel free to share any you see here anywhere you choose.

Dan

Foreign Policy (continued)

  • On July 6, 2017, President Trump gave a major policy address in front of 15,000 supporters in front of the famous Warsaw Uprising Monument. He promoted conservative, Christian, America First, and nationalistic values in his speech. Trump took a strong stance against terrorism in his speech, stating that “our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism of any kind.” He strongly stood up for Western values and asked “Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?” Reaffirming American NATO duties and military support for Poland, he spoke highly of Poland for meeting its NATO spending pledge. While taking a reasonable stance regarding Russia, Trump criticized “destabilizing” Russian activities such as supporting hostile regimes. Trump took a strong stance against government bureaucracy and regulations, warning against “the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people” and stating that “the West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies….we put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives.” Trump defended Christian and Roman Catholic faith, stating that “the people of Poland, the people of America, and the people of Europe still cry out ‘We want God’.” According to numerous conservative commentators, President Trump’s speech marked a “clean break” with Obama’s foreign policy philosophy, replacing them with his America First doctrine, and he placed “matters of identity, culture, faith and sovereignty over democracy”, unlike liberal globalists. He received generally good reviews for the speech, even from some critics.
  • July 7–8, 2017—Going into the G-20 summit, President Trump displayed strong support for his America First philosophy and criticized the Paris climate agreement. At the summit, President Trump met numerous world leaders, most notably Russian President Vladimir Putin. After Trump’s meeting with Putin, both countries announced a ceasefire in Syria’s war. In the final G-20 common statement, the Trump Administration, which was ideologically opposed by the other G-20 nations, successfully received concessions from them in regards to climate policy, with the statement acknowledging the U.S.’s intention to withdraw from the Paris agreement and including language on the nation’s intention to promote clean fossil fuels internationally, and trade.
    Other achievements
  • President Trump strongly urged the other NATO members to increase their defense spending in order to meet their spending pledges. In late-June 2017, it was reported that Europe’s NATO countries would increase their defense spending at the fastest pace in three years.
  • It was reported in early-July 2017 that President Trump had held about 50% more meetings with foreign leaders than President Obama did during the same part of his presidency.

Deregulation and Government Size

Legislation signed

  • President Trump successfully made use of Congressional Review to roll back Obama-era regulations—even more than expected. Prior to Trump’s presidency, the Congressional Review Act had been used only once successfully, sixteen years prior. When the window to use the CRA for the 115th Congress ended, Congress had passed and Trump had signed 14 CRA resolutions repealing Obama regulations – significantly more than expected. These actions were estimated to have saved $3.7 billion in regulatory costs and up to $36.2 billion in compliance costs. Some examples of CRA legislation signed by President Trump follow (other examples can be found elsewhere in the article):
  • February 14, 2017—President Trump signed a bill into law repealing an Obama Era relation requiring energy companies to disclose financial transactions with foreign governments.
  • February 16, 2017—President Trump signed a bill into law blocking the “Stream Protection Rule,” an environmental regulation.
  • March 27, 2017—President Trump signed four bills undoing Obama-era regulations. Two of those bills rolled back federal education regulations.
  • March 31, 2017—President Trump signed another bill undoing an Obama-era regulation, giving the power back to the states to expand drug testing for unemployment benefit applicants.
  • April 3, 2017—President Trump signed a bill reversing an Obama-era FCC privacy regulation applicable to internet service providers. The FCC had adopted the rule to fill a gap created by a court case which ruled that the FTC did not have jurisdiction to extend its privacy rule over internet service providers because they were regulated by the FCC. The new law repealed the FCC rule and prohibits the FCC from enacting a replacement for 10 years without giving the FTC jurisdiction to regulate internet service providers’ privacy practices. Part of yet another series of bills undoing other Obama regulations.
  • May 12, 2017—President Trump signed Public Law 115-33 (S. 496), which repealed a rule by the Department of Transportation that would have taken power away from local governments on infrastructure planning. The bill did not invoke the CRA.

Executive actions

  • January 20, 2017—On its first day in office, the Trump Administration ordered a regulatory freeze on all federal governmental agencies.
  • On Inauguration Day, 2017, the Trump administration instituted a federal hiring freeze. On January 23, 2017, Trump signed an executive order instituting the hiring freeze, from which the military was exempted. On April 12, 2017, the hiring freeze was replaced with a plan to restructure and shrink the executive branch.
  • January 30, 2017—Trump signed an executive order that requires two federal regulations must be eliminated for every regulation created.
  • February 3, 2017—President Trump signed a memorandum directing the United States Department of Labor to review a regulation signed by Obama set to go into effect.
  • February 24, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order requiring every federal agency to create a “regulatory reform task force” to find unnecessary, burdensome regulations to repeal. This order was called “the most far reaching effort to pare back U.S. red tape in recent decades.”
  • February 28, 2017—President Trump announced that he did not plan on filling numerous government positions he considered unnecessary. According to one source, about 2,000 positions were vacant, and most of them were likely included in this list. As of April 4, 2017, President Trump did not make a nomination for nearly 500 positions requiring Senate confirmation.
  • March 13, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order to perform an audit on every executive branch agency in order to reduce spending and waste and improve services.
  • April 25, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order ordering the Department of Agriculture to find and eliminate unnecessary regulations, in an effort to help farmers, particularly in the light of NAFTA and the trade imbalance with Canada.
  • April 26, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order ordering the Interior Department to review designations of national monuments from as far back as 20 years prior, with the intention of reversing federal overreach in land acquisition and returning power to the states.
  • June 19, 2017—The Environmental Protection Agency ended a $1 million program where it gave gym memberships to its employees, ending the program due to an abuse of taxpayer money.
  • The White House 2017 payroll was $5.1 million lower than the Obama Administration’s 2015 payroll. Additionally, the Trump White House employed 110 fewer employees than Obama, and it did not employ any policy “czars.” In addition, President Trump donated his entire first-quarter 2017 salary to restore the Antietam National Battlefield.

Military, national security, and anti-terrorism

Legislation signed

  • H.R. 244, which was signed into law by President Trump on May 5, 2017 and funded the government through September 30, 2017, expanded military spending by about $21 billion without an identical increase in domestic spending and fulfilled several of the military’s requests.
  • January 27, 2017—President Trump signed a memorandum to begin the expansion and rebuilding of the U.S. military.
  • February 3, 2017—The Trump Administration and Lockheed Martin reached a tentative deal that would purchase 90 F-35 jets at the lowest price in the program’s history. The first 90 planes were about $725 million below budget, with billions of more dollars of savings expected, and it saved at least one U.S. ally, Japan, $100 million.

MOAB, the “Mother Of All bombs”

  • April 13, 2017—Under the increased autonomy President Trump gave the Defense Department, the U.S. dropped a GBU-43B (also known as MOAB or the “Mother Of All bombs”), the largest non-nuclear bomb in existence at 21,000 pounds on a complex of Islamic State tunnels in Afghanistan. Although tested in 2003, the bomb had never been used in combat before. It caused much damage, being estimated to have killed at least 94 ISIS fighters, including four commanders – no civilians were killed. It also destroyed several of the tunnels as well as weapon stockpiles. The attack was reported as having dealt a heavy blow to ISIS’s Afghanistan branch.
  • May 11, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order to review U.S. cyber security and hold the various federal departments accountable for ensuring the protection of valuable information.
  • May 11, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order creating a commission, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and vice-chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, to review the extent of voter fraud and suppression in the United States.
  • Unlike former President Obama, the State Department under President Trump described the Afghanistan Taliban as a terrorist organization without hesitation.
  • May 26, 2017—President Trump made clear his stance against terrorism in a statement wishing Muslims a joyful Ramadan. President Trump did not hold a Ramadan dinner, breaking the annual tradition held since Bill Clinton’s presidency, and instead issued a statement greeting Muslims for Eid al-Fitr on June 24, 2017.
  • June 25, 2017—It was reported that the DHS de-funded several Islamic organizations supported by the Obama Administration and that were set to be funded under it.
  • June 28, 2017—The DHS announced new measures to increase security in international airports an to protect flights to the U.S. from terrorist attacks.
  • June 30, 2017—The Department of Defense announced it would delay an Obama Administration plan to have the military recruit transgender people for six months in order to ensure the military’s readiness would not be affected by the change.
  • The Trump Administration gave wider powers to the Department of Defense than it had under Obama. In April 2017, President Trump gave Mattis authority to set troop levels in Iraq and Syria for the fight against ISIS, and it gave military commanders authority to perform military actions without approval from Washington. The U.S. military made large advances against ISIS under their autonomy. In June 2017, the Trump Administration authorized the Defense Department to set troop levels in Afghanistan. The expanded authority given to the military could also be seen in U.S. operations in Somalia.

Miscellaneous Political Achievements

General

  • On January 5, 2017, the U.S. House passed a motion condemning Obama’s allowing a leftist anti-Israel resolution to pass in the UN. Additionally, Trump voiced his strong support for Israel during his transition. On April 27, 2017, all 100 members of the U.S. Senate sent a letter to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres demanding an end to the anti-Israel bias in the UN. After that, the U.S. condemned the UN after the organization ignored the letter from the Senate. On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution observing the 50th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem and called for President Trump to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and Congress commemorated the event.
  • January 20, 2017—On the day he took office, Trump returned the bust of UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill to the Oval Office that Obama removed when he took office. He also accepted the United Kingdom’s offer to re-loan the second identical bust of Churchill, which Obama removed and returned after the first loan expired.
  • January 28, 2017—Trump signed an executive order banning administration officials from lobbying their federal agencies for five years, as well as banning them for life from lobbying foreign nations and political parties.
  • March 21, 2017—President Trump signed a bill into law not only funding NASA, but setting a goal of having humans visit Mars “in the 2030s” and potentially colonizing another planet. The bill also funded the agency, the first time such a bill was signed into law in seven years. On June 30, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order re-establishing the National Space Council.
  • May 5, 2017—President Trump attached a signing statement to a five-month spending bill he signed, ignoring several liberal provisions, such as a statement ordering the administration not to enforce federal marijuana laws in states with medical marijuana.

Political appointments

  • January 30, 2017—Trump showed he would not tolerate incompetent leftist administration officials when he fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates (a left-wing Obama holdover) when she refused to defend his refugee and immigration ban executive order. Trump emulated Ronald Reagan’s firing of the striking PATCO workers in 1981 by doing so, contrary to the mainstream media spin. That same night, Trump replaced the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (another Obama holdover) with a more competent official who had a reputation for enforcing immigration laws.
  • April 21, 2017—President Trump replaced Obama-appointed Vivek Murthy, who was opposed by gun rights groups, as Surgeon General of the United States.[23][24] During the same month, the Trump Administration reassigned two career government officials who had been strongly criticized by conservative organizations.

Productivity

  • Despite opposition to Trump from the Left, it was reported in April 2017 that congressional Republicans were more united during Trump’s presidency than in any other time in recent U.S. political history.
  • It was reported on June 10, 2017, that President Trump had signed 37 bills into law, more than each of the previous four presidents, and the U.S. House had passed 158 bills, “making it the most productive in the modern-era,” according to GOP House leaders.[27]
    Proclamations
  • January 20, 2017—The day he was inaugurated, President Trump instituted a national day of patriotism for the country, and a few days later Trump officially designated his inauguration day the National Day of Patriotic Devotion.
  • May 1, 2017—President Trump proclaimed that day as Loyalty Day, to “recognize and reaffirm our allegiance” to American values, such as “individual liberties, to limited government, and to the inherent dignity of every human being.”

 

This completes the list of President Trump’s achievements since taking office — at least through June.  We will be watching closely and will probably in the Fall release another list from the end of this list through that date.  Be watching here.  If you subscribe to this site you will be receiving via email a .pdf file that contains these 4 installments.  If you are not a subscriber but want this, send me an email at dan@dnewman.org and you will receive it.  (If you have already done so you are on the list)  Thanks again for joining in!  Dan

 

Trump Achievements since the 2016 Election, Part 3

We are looking at President Trump’s accomplishments — already Parts 1 and 2.  At the end of the Accomplishment list posting, if you’d like a copy of the list, I’ll gladly forward it to you in a .pdf document. You’ll have to provide to me your email address if you want the list,  (I promise no sales attempts, no sale of your email address, and no one else will get it)  and of course there’s no charge.

We continue with Part 3:  Energy and Environmental Policy

 Energy and Environmental Policy, Labor, Trade, and Foreign Policy

Legislation signed

  • February 14, 2017—Trump signed H.J.Res.41 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a rule submitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to “Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers.”
    Executive actions
  • January 24, 2017—Trump signed two orders reviving consideration for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects, which Obama halted due to supposed environmental concerns.  On March 24, 2017, the Trump Administration approved the Keystone XL Pipeline.  The Dakota Access Pipeline went into service by June 1, 2017.
  • January 24, 2017—In addition to the above, Trump signed three other orders, one requiring the United States Secretary of Commerce make a plan within six months mandating all new or improved pipelines be made with American steel, another order requiring every federal agency to streamline manufacturing regulations, and the third allowing fast-track approval for important infrastructure projects.
  • March 18, 2017—The Trump Administration forced the G-20 to remove any mention of climate change from its joint statement.
  • March 28, 2017—President Trump signed a major executive order repealing several Obama-era environmental regulations unfavorable to coal. In addition to this, the order started an immediate review of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, help create American energy jobs, bring American energy independence by stimulating domestic energy production, and giving authority back to the states.
  • April 28, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order repealing a ban on offshore drilling signed by President Obama and directing the Interior Secretary to review U.S. drilling policy and regulations. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke began the process of expanding offshore drilling on May 1.
  • May 2017—The Trump Administration signed agreements as a member of the Arctic Council, and it was later revealed that it successfully weakened the language regarding climate change and environmental policy.
  • May 31, 2017—Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order to open up more land in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska to energy production.
  • June 1, 2017—To the dismay of world leaders, the media, and other liberals, and in a major blow to Obama’s legacy, President Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and immediately stop its implementation, including by ending payments to the U.N. Green Climate Fund. In his announcement speech, Trump made clear that “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” and that “our withdrawal from the agreement represents a reassertion of America’s sovereignty.”(even with U.S. withdrawal, it was still well on its way to deeply reducing admissions)
  • June 12, 2017—The Trump Administration formally rejected a G7 pledge to adhere to the Paris climate agreement.
  • June 12, 2017—The Trump Administration rejected, on the grounds of being unnecessary and with costs greater than any benefits, a proposed regulation to put a limit on the number of certain endangered marine animals allowed to be killed on injured in fishing nets.
  • June 15, 2017—The Department of Energy closed its Office of International Climate and Technology in order to improve its organizational structure.
  • June 30, 2017—Despite a court ruling tha the EPA did not need to take the loss of coal jobs into account when implementing regulations, it chose to follow that policy regardless.
  • July 6, 2017—Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order for his department to hold more lease sales and speed up permitting for oil and gas exploration. he signed the order because of delays in the approval process for federal lands.
  • July 8, 2017—In the final G-20 common statement, the Trump Administration, which was ideologically opposed by the other G-20 nations, successfully received concessions from them in regards to climate policy, with the statement acknowledging the U.S.’s intention to withdraw from the Paris agreement and including language on the nation’s intention to promote clean fossil fuels internationally.

Other Achievements

  • The coal industry experienced a rebound at the beginning of Trump’s presidency, after “the historic lows reached during the Obama era.” Although the rebound could also be seen in India and China, it was more dramatic in the United States.
  • It was reported shortly before Independence Day 2017 that gas prices that weekend were at their lowest level since 2005 – 12 years.

Economic Policy and Labor

Executive actions

  • February 3, 2017—President Trump signed an order directing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, upon his confirmation, to plan changes to the Dodd-Frank bank regulatory law in order to cut much of it.
  • April 21, 2017—President Trump signed one executive order and two memorandums. The order directed the Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to look at the U.S. tax code and recommend the removal of unnecessary regulations and the two memorandums directing the Treasury Secretary to conduct a review of portions of the Dodd-Frank law.
  • June 15, 2017—President Trump signed executive orders to loosen federal regulations on job-training programs and to encourage apprenticeships and vocational learning.
  • June 16, 2017—The Justice Department under Jeff Sessions officially changed its position on the Supreme Court case NLRB v. Murphy Oil – it is not common for the Justice Department to change its position in court cases.
  • The national debt decreased after President Trump assumed office, unlike Obama. In Trump’s first 100 days in office, the U.S. national debt decreased by $100 billion, as opposed to Obama, where the debt grew by $560 billion by the same point in his presidency.
  • By June 2017, the economy was clearly improving and growing, and Americans’ confidence in the economy rose. The economy rose faster than expected in July 2017, with 222,000 jobs being added. It was reported in early July that U.S. factory activity rose to its highest level since August 2014.

Trade Policy

Executive actions

  • January 23, 2017—Trump signed an order which withdrew the United States from the globalist Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • March 18, 2017—The Trump Administration forced the G-20 to remove its opposition to protectionism and its support for free trade from its joint statement.
  • March 31, 2017—President Trump signed two orders. The first order instituted a crackdown on violations of anti-dumping laws and help to officials to collect penalties already owed to the U.S. The second order ordered a report by the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative on the causes of the U.S. trade deficit due within 90 days.
  • April 20, 2017—President Trump signed a memorandum directing the Department of Commerce to investigate whether steel imports pose a threat to U.S. national security.
  • April 25, 2017—After Canada changed its milk pricing policy, putting U.S. farmers at a severe disadvantage,[7] the Trump Administration imposed tariffs at rates up to 24% on Canadian lumber imports.
  • April 27, 2017—President Trump signed a memorandum opening a Department of Commerce investigation into whether the high level of aluminum imports constitutes a threat to U.S. national security.
  • April 29, 2017—President Trump signed two executive orders, one ordering the U.S. to review all of its free trade agreements including NAFTA, and the other establishing a White House trade policy office.
  • May 11, 2017—President Trump approved a trade deal with China which would increase American exports.
  • May 18, 2017—President Trump began the process of renegotiating NAFTA.
  • June 12, 2017—The U.S. and China made an agreement that would allow American beef products to be exported to China.
  • July 8, 2017—In the final G-20 common statement, the Trump Administration, which was ideologically opposed by the other G-20 nations, successfully received concessions from them on the statement on trade.

Foreign Policy

Legislation signed

  • March and April, 2017—President Trump and the U.S. Senate approved Montenegro’s accession into NATO, over Russia’s objections. (Montenegro officially joined NATO on June 5, 2017)

Executive Actions

The Trump Administration took actions against Iran:

  • February 3, 2017—After Iran tested a ballistic missile in apparent violation of a UN Security Council resolution, the Trump Administration instituted unilateral economic sanctions against 13 Iranian individuals and 12 companies.
  • May 17, 2017—The Trump Administration imposed additional sanctions on an Iranian national, an Iranian company, a Chinese national, and three Chinese companies (because of Chinese dealings related to Iran’s nuclear program).

The Trump Administration took actions against Russia:

  • February 2017—Two U.S. government-run media outlets began broadcasting in Russian in an attempt to counter Russian propaganda.
  • April 21, 2017—The Trump Administration refused to issue waivers to any companies which wanted to do business with Russia, which was under economic sanctions, including Exxon-Mobil, which had applied for a waiver. The day earlier, the Trump Administration announced, in strong language, it was implementing the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which blacklisted certain Russian citizens.
  • June 20, 2017—The same day President Trump met with Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 38 Russian individuals and entities involved in the conflict with Ukraine.
  • March 2017—After the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia authored a destructive and anti-Semitic report against Israel, the report and agency were strongly criticized by the United States and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and the executive director of the commission resigned in response.
  • On March 18, 2017, the Trump Administration successfully forced the G-20 to remove its opposition to protectionism and temper its support for free trade, and any mention of climate change from its joint statement. Later, in April 2017, the Trump Administration refused to sign the G7 joint statement because the other nations could not agree to include support for nuclear and fossil fuels without support for the Paris climate agreement. The G7, thus, went without a joint statement.
  • April 6, 2017—After the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its people, President Trump ordered a one-time airstrike against a Syrian air base, firing 60 cruise missiles at it. The U.S. destroyed about 20 Syrian jet planes and caused extremely heavy damage on the base. Defense Secretary James Mattis stated the attacks destroyed 20% of Syria’s operational aircraft. As even the New York Times reported, Trump’s action was a show of U.S. strength, and it was in stark contrast to Obama, as Trump used surprise and speed in the attacks. World leaders supported the strong action. This was the first direct military action the U.S. took against the Assad regime. On April 23, 2017, in response to the chemical attacks, the Trump Administration put sanctions on 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, which supported the nation’s chemical weapons program. On June 18, 2017, the United States shot down a Syrian aircraft for the first time, and in response to Russia’s warnings, stated that it would do whatever in its national and military interests.
  • Early in Trump’s presidency, he and his administration took a much tougher tone against North Korea than his predecessors. While the deployment was first announced during the Obama Administration, the Trump Administration confirmed it would continue the plans to – and subsequently did – deploy the THAAD missile defense system to South Korea despite China’s strong objections. THAAD was first used on May 14, 2017. The Trump Administration chose to include a military option among a list of potential strategies in United States policy towards North Korea.
  • May 2017—President Trump embarked on an ambitious foreign trip, where he, among other accomplishments, visited the heartlands of the three Abrahamic religions, challenging the Muslim world to get serious about defeating Islamic terrorism, challenging the European leaders to contribute more to NATO, and isolating Iran. While in the Middle East, Trump, unlike Obama, took a strong stance against Iran and strengthened the United States’s traditional alliances with Israel and the Arab nations, bringing them closer together. His trip was described as one that “flipped traditional U.S. foreign policy upside down.” Here are some highlights and additional achievements of the trip:
  • May 20–21, 2017—President Trump visited Saudi Arabia, the first country he visited abroad as U.S. President. His trip to the country was a major event that clearly broke from foreign policy set by Barack Obama. He received a very warm welcome – much warmer than what Obama (under whom relations became estranged) received – with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud greeting Trump at the tarmac, something Obama did not receive. Unlike Obama, Trump did not bow to the Saudi king, and he did not embark on an “apology tour” like Obama. Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, with another $350 billion of arms for the following 10 years. American and Saudi businesses signed similar agreements on the same day, with billions of dollars to be invested in the U.S. President Trump also gave a major speech to leaders of 50 Islamic world leaders challenging them to fight Islamic terror. Trump gave a blunt speech, stronger than Obama’s, and he did not mention democracy or human rights, rather speaking about “good vs. evil,” something his Islamic audience was more receptive to. (despite this, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates agreed to donate $100 million to a women entrepreneurs fund proposed by Ivanka Trump). The U.S. and Saudi Arabia strengthened counterterrorism ties by enacting joint sanctions on two “global terrorists,” and Saudi Arabia opened a center to combat Islamic terrorism. (according to President Trump, the commitment to combating Islamic terrorism was already being seen when several Arab nations cut ties with Qatar due to its support of Islamic terrorism and Iran; later, Saudi Arabia changed its royal succession plan, possibly in an attempt to please President Trump).
  • May 22–23, 2017—The second country President Trump visited was Israel, and his trip marked the first time a U.S. president visited the country on their first foreign trip. He visited the country on the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War and Israel’s capture of Jerusalem. His flight from Saudi Arabia to Israel was one of the rare flights taken between the two countries and the first of a U.S. president to fly from the former to the latter. A major suicide bombing occurred in the United Kingdom during the visit, and Trump denied recognition to the attacker and other Islamic terrorists by calling them “losers.” Although not moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as hoped, President Trump became the first sitting U.S. President to visit the Western Wall, and the Administration stated that the Trump was in “Jerusalem, Israel.” President Trump did not mention anything about a Palestinian state, a two-state solution, or about Israeli settlements. It was also reported that the U.S. increased defense funding for Israel by $75 million.
  • May 25, 2017—At the 2017 NATO summit, President Trump strongly stated his position that the other NATO member states should meet their expected contributions to the organization.
  • May 26–27, 2017—At the 2017 G7 conference, President Trump focused on terrorism rather than climate change, as the other European leaders wished. Much to the consternation of the G7 world leaders,[76] who lobbied for President Trump to accept the Paris climate agreement, Trump stood firm and refused to pledge commitment to the accords so he could still deliberate over whether to stay in it. (Trump ultimately announced, on June 1, 2017, that the U.S. would leave the agreement and cease implementing it). President Trump was also reported as having refused to sign a declaration that stated the benefits as well as “pitfalls” of immigration.
  • May 27, 2017—President Trump concluded his trip by speaking to U.S. soldiers, as opposed to holding a press conference.
  • June 16, 2017—During a speech attended by opponents of Cuba’s Communist regime, President Trump partially reversed Obama’s pro-Cuba policies by restricting U.S. travel to Cuba and prohibit financial transactions that benefit the Cuban military. Additionally, Trump visibly took a much stronger position on Cuba to repatriate American criminal fugitives than Obama had done.
  • The Trump Administration successfully secured the release of several American prisoners held in foreign countries that the Obama Administration did not or could not release. It played a large role in successfully helping prevent CIA officer Sabrina de Sousa from being extradited to Italy, with the decision coming on March 1, 2017. On April 21, 2017, Egypt released an Egyptian-American who had been detained for three years. Additionally, according to the father of Otto Warmbier, who was held hostage in North Korea and then released in June 2017, the Obama Administration did not do enough to secure his release while the Trump Administration did secure his release.
  • July 5–8, 2017—President Trump made his second foreign trip, this time to Poland and Germany. President Trump promoted his “America First” policies during his trip. He and is actions during the trip were also the target of liberal mainstream media bias. Here are some highlights and achievements of the trip:
  • July 6, 2017—Ahead of the G-20 conference, President Trump traveled to Poland, the first European nation to receive an official visit from the president. Trump’s decision to visit Poland immediately before the G-20 summit was seen as a sign of support for its conservative and Eurosceptic government. Trump met with Polish President Andrzej Duda and stated that “we’ve never been closer to Poland than we are right now.” He attended the Three Seas Initiative, an alliance of 12 nations in Central and Eastern Europe, and promoted the U.S. as an energy exporter.

Part 4 Tomorrow.  Remember:  if you want a .pdf of this entire list, send me your email and when we complete this list I’ll email it to you:  dan@dnewman.org.

Thanks for reading!

 

Trump Achievements since the 2016 Election, Part 2

Yesterday we started a list of President Trump’s accomplishments since taking office. (“Trump Achievements since the 2016 Election, Part 1”)  Below please see the second part of that list.

At the end of the Accomplishment list posting, if you’d like a copy of the list, I’ll gladly forward it to you in a .pdf document. You’ll have to provide to me your email address if you want the list,  (I promise no sales attempts, no sale of your email address, and no one else will get it)  and of course there’s no charge.

We continue with Part 2:  Immigration and Education

Immigration

Legislation Matters

  • H.R. 244, which was signed into law by President Trump on May 5, 2017, and funded the government through September 30, 2017, did not include funding for several of President Trump’s priorities, such as defunding sanctuary cities and building new sections of the border wall. However, it did include an additional $1.5 billion in border security funding, including money to repair 40 miles of existing border barrier sections and to increase funding for ICE and CBP, among other conservative achievements.

Executive Actions

  • Trump signing his Jan. 27, 2017 order regarding refugees and travel from high-risk countries.
  • January 25, 2017—Trump signed two executive orders. The first one included ordering the “immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border,” the hiring of 5,000 additional border control agents, and ending “catch-and-release” policies for illegal immigrants. The second order called for hiring an additional 10,000 federal immigration officers, re-establishing the Secure Communities Program and other local partnerships, making the deportation of criminal illegal immigrants a priority, directing the State Department to use leverage to ensure countries-of-origin take back illegal immigrants, and stripping federal grant money from sanctuary cities and states.
  • January 27, 2017—Trump signed an executive order indefinitely banning the admission of Syrian refugees, suspending the overall refugee program for 120 days, suspending entry and the issuing of visas from seven failed Middle Eastern countries for at least 90 days, and reducing the number of refugees allowed into the nation during the fiscal year from 110,000 to 50,000.  Additionally, Trump made clear that he would help Christian refugees, a reversal from the Obama Administration.  Despite criticism from leftists and non-conservatives, 49 percent of the American public supported the decision compared to 41 percent opposed, according to the “mainstream” Reuters, and 57% percent of likely American voters supported the ban according to Rasmussen.  Additionally, while the leftist establishment European leaders opposed the ban, a strong majority – 55% average – of Europeans supported the ban, according to a poll in 10 European Union nations.
  • January 30, 2017—President Trump appointed Thomas Homan, someone with a reputation for enforcing immigration laws, as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  As the head of ICE, Homan took a strong stance on illegal immigration enforcement, even though some conservatives criticized him for his role in the Obama Administration and its lax illegal immigration policies.  On January 31, President Trump appointed Ronald Vitiello, who was endorsed by the National Border Patrol Council which also endorsed Trump in the 2016 election, to lead U.S. Border Patrol.  On April 25, 2017, Vitiello was appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.
  • March 6, 2017—President Trump signed a second executive order regarding the temporary suspension of refugees and others from certain high-risk countries after the first one was blocked by the courts. The second order made some clarifications and minor improvements over the first, such as exempting green card holders from the ban and excluding Iraq from it as it had developed an acceptable vetting process.  After being blocked in federal courts, the Supreme Court on June 26, 2017, partially reinstated the ban and allowed key portions of it to continue pending a hearing on the ban’s constitutionality in October.
  • On March 31, 2017, after talking tough against “sanctuary cities” and illegal immigration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a plan to speed up the deportation of imprisoned illegals.  On April 11, 2017, Sessions issued a memorandum to U.S. attorneys, instructing them to enforce much stricter guidelines against immigration crimes, and he announced the Justice Department would hire 125 immigration judges in the next two years.  As a result of Session’s decision, the DOJ resumed the criminal prosecution of first-time illegal border crossers, something which the Obama Administration stopped.
  • In late March/early April 2017, the Trump Administration cracked down on H-1B visas in a series of actions, making it much more difficult for entry-level programmers to enter the U.S., combating corruption in the program, and making sure that Americans were not discriminated against.  On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order restricting the H-1B visa to give the hiring preference to American workers and enacting stronger enforcement of laws requiring the use of American-made materials in federal projects.  Experts on the H-1B visa supported his order.
  • April 14, 2017—President Trump appointed two conservatives on immigration issues to senior positions in the Department of Homeland Security.  Like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly (with the full support of President Trump) also adopted a strong position against illegal immigration.
  • April 26, 2017—The Department of Homeland Security established the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE), created to help support victims of illegal immigrant crime, and it established the DHS-Victim Information and Notification Exchange, which was created to help those victims track the custody status of those criminal illegal immigrants.
  • It was reported in May 2017 that the Trump Administration, due to his previous executive orders, had ended Obama’s “home free magnet” policy, where illegal immigrants who did not commit a serious crime (other than crossing the border illegally) did not need to fear deportation because ICE needed to gain permission from the Field Office Director before deporting them; and the Trump Administration expanded the use of expedited removal proceedings, which is the deportation of illegals without a hearing unless they request one.[37] Thus, illegal immigrants “without violent criminal histories” could be arrested and deported.
  • May 5, 2017—ICE established a policy that would give illegal immigrants stays of removal only if the chairs the House and Senate Judiciary Committees or the relevant subcommittees requested them, as opposed to the earlier policy of issuing stays of removal whenever a private bill to legalize illegals was introduced in Congress. This would allow ICE to deport illegals without having members of Congress obstruct deportations.
  • May 9, 2017—The Department of Homeland Security reported that it had implemented tougher vetting policies at U.S. border crossings.
  • Early in Trump’s presidency, it was clear the U.S. government was cracking down on criminal illegal immigrants and gangs.  For example, between March 26 and May 6, 2017, ICE conducted a crackdown on gangs, including MS-13 and other illegal immigrant gangs, that arrested nearly 1,400 people – the largest such operation conducted up to that point.  The Trump Administration also cooperated with Central American countries in order to combat MS-13 recruitment in the region.
  • May 2017—In order to avoid misreporting and distortions by the media, ICE established a Spanish media presence.
  • Despite the large drop in illegal immigrant apprehensions, the amount of illegal drugs seized by Customs and Border Protection saw large increases in the beginning of Trump’s presidency.  In addition, the number of immigration arrests increased, with a 38% increase in Trump’s first 100 days.  The DHS had arrested 66,000 illegal immigrants by late June 2017, and it was reported in early July that arrests had doubled from the Obama Administration.  By May 2017, the Trump Administration also was able to reduce the number of countries “that habitually refuse to take back immigrants whom the U.S. is trying to deport” from 20 to 12.  In one widely-reported incident on June 15, U.S. Border Patrol agents had to obtain a warrant and raided an Arizona desert camp to arrest four illegal immigrants.
  • President Trump worked to eliminate Obama’s legacy of giving privileges to illegal immigrants in detention centers.  At the same time, the Trump Administration expanded immigration enforcement efforts, such as through building additional detention centers.  (The inspector general reported on June 7, 2017, but based on July 2016 inspections, that the facilities used by the DHS to detain illegal families were overall in good shape and met federal standards)
  • Late May 2017—The State Department introduced new and much stricter rules for vetting all people seeking a visa to enter the U.S., with the introduction of social media vetting being among the changes.
  • It was reported in June 2017 that the Trump Administration began repatriating illegal immigrants given “administrative closure” by the Obama Administration, a form of “quasi-amnesty.”
  • June 2017—The Department of Homeland Security ended a program where 21 officials cooperated with anti-deportation and pro-amnesty organizations, and reassigned those officials to the new VOICE office which helps victims of illegal immigrant crimes.
  • June 15, 2017—The DHS canceled the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program created by the Obama Administration in November 2014 that would have given amnesty to about 4 million illegal immigrants but was blocked by federal courts before its full implementation.
  • June 21, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order, rescinding a guideline signed by former President Obama to speed up vetting times for people seeking visas, in order to improve vetting standards.
  • June 23, 2017—The DOJ threw its support behind Texas’s sanctuary city ban that was challenged in court.
  • June 30, 2017—It was reported that the Trump Administration was cracking down on illegal immigrant parents who paid to have their children smuggled into the United States.

Other achievements

  • Drop in illegal immigration, early 2017
  • Illegal immigration declined dramatically after Trump took office.  According to data released early in Trump’s presidency, illegal border crossings decreased by 40% in the first month of Trump’s presidency – a remarkable achievement, considering that illegal immigration usually increases by 10 to 20% in January and February. In March, illegal immigration had fallen by over 60%. By Trump’s 100th day in office, levels were reported to have fallen by 73%. The declining trend of border apprehensions (an indicator of the level of illegal immigration) continued through May. It was reported in April that illegal immigration levels had fallen to the lowest point in 17 years.
  • It was reported in May that the number of child illegal immigrants entering the nation monthly had fallen below 1,000, the first time in several years, and that total illegal immigration levels had fallen by 76%.[76] In six months, the illegal immigration of Haitians, specifically, into the U.S. declined by 97%.  Although not solely due to President Trump, illegal immigration from Cuba dropped dramatically in the beginning of Trump’s presidency.[78] Illegal immigration dropped so much that U.S. Customs and Border Protection was able to close one of their temporary holding facilities.  As another illustration, a non-profit shelter organization for illegal immigrants, Southwest Key Programs, was forced to lay off nearly 1,000 of its employees due to the drop.[80] The drop in illegal immigration was probably due to the Trump effect and tougher illegal immigration and deportation policies by the Homeland Security Department.
  • Illegal immigration levels rose in June 2017, but they were still much lower than the previous year and at a six-year low.
  • Drop in refugee admissions, early 2017
  • Regarding refugees, it was reported in May 2017 that the number of refugees entering the U.S. had sharply fallen from the peak during the Obama Administration. According to DHS numbers released in June 2017, the number of refugees admitted in the first three months of Trump’s presidency was half of that of the last three months of Obama’s presidency (even though refugee admissions increased at the end of Obama’s presidency). Although the number of refugees admitted in May increased, the proportion of Muslim refugees declined from 34 to 28 percent compared to April.
  • Due to President Trump’s travel ban, which the Supreme Court ordered partially reinstated in June 2017, refugee admissions to the U.S. declined dramatically.
  • President Trump gave victims of illegal immigrant crimes a voice in his administration, as could be seen in the DHS’s establishment of the VOICE office.

Education

Executive actions

  • April 7, 2017—A Presidential proclamation celebrated this day as “Education and Sharing Day USA” recognizing the conservative principles of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, to use values-based education to drive our Nation’s children toward the American Dream.
  • April 26, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order ordering Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to review Department of Education regulations, with the intention of returning power to the states and local governments.
  • May 22, 2017—Although Education Secretary Betsy DeVos supported school choice and stated the Administration would create a school choice plan, she stated she would not force the states to expand school choice and would let them decide their own policies – this showed the Trump Administration’s respect for state sovereignty.  It was a wise decision, considering the ability of liberal and Democrats to hijack such a federal program.
  • Adam Kissel, a noted critic of the 2011 Title IX “Dear colleague letter” was hired as deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs, and the staff of the Title IX enforcement office was reduced in the 2018 budget.

Proclamations

  • January 22–28, 2017—National School Choice Week, as proclaimed by President Trump

So that completes the second day of President Trump’s accomplishments through mid June.  The above totals 2450 words.  We only have 4000 more to go!  Tomorrow I’ll give you Part 3 of the list that will probably require 2 more parts.  Again when complete I will gladly forward you a .pdf of the total list if you like.  Feel free to email me at dan@dnewman.org if you want that list.  Your email address will remain private.  And there’s no cost to you.

Thanks for reading!

Dan

Trump Achievements since the 2016 Election, Part 1

During the 2016 Campaign, Candidate Donald Trump gave his supporters a laundry list — a LONG laundry list — of specific things he would do when elected President.  Many scoffed at the impossible task he detailed.  No President in U.S. history has ever taken on such an insurmountable task, yet alone accomplished all or most of it — especially not in just a few months.  But even before the Inauguration, Mr. Trump set about the job of accomplishment.  I think when you see these, (and you’ll probably ONLY see them here in list form since the Media cowers at reporting real accomplishments by a Conservative President and will not report them) you will gasp when realizing what he has done.  After all, based on MSM coverage, all he does is sit around and tweet all day.

A short note here:  this list of his accomplishments is only complete through mid June 2017.  There are many since then but I will have to catch up.  I am listing them not in chronological order, but by category of what and where the accomplishments fit.  They are all in bullet form without summary or interpretation.  And the list is really long — so long there’s no way I can give them to you in one post.  My average post is about 1000 words in length, and some say that’s too long.  The bullet list of his accomplishments is 8500 words!  So I’ll break it up over several days and post by category.

I will, however, when applicable and appropriate during the days of posting of these accomplishments add an additional blog post or two, so be watching for them.  Oh, and at the end of the Accomplishment list posting, if you’d like a copy of the list, I’ll gladly forward it to you in a .pdf document.  You’ll have to provide me your email address if you want it,  (I promise no sales attempts, no sale of your email address, and no one else will get it)  and of course there’s no charge.

 

President Trump Achievements: Five Months In

 We’ll start with President Trump’s Social Policy Achievements along with his Veterans Issues Achievements, Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Matters, Abortion Matters and Gun Rights Matters

Social Policy Achievements

  • March 27, 2017—One of the four Congressional Review bills that Trump signed into law that day repealed Obama’s Blacklisting Rule, which would have required firms contracted by federal agencies to disclose every claim of unfair labor practices concerning them – something which would have given unionized contractors an upper-hand. On the same day, President Trump signed an executive order repealing the contracting rule.
  • January 20, 2017—On his first day in office, Trump signed an executive order that would lessen Obamacare’s burden while Republicans work to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
  • February 22, 2017—President Trump rescinded former President Obama’s pro-transgender guidelines for schools receiving federal aid that are subject to Title IX.  A day earlier, the Trump Administration announced it would discontinue Obama’s pro-transgender policies.
  • March 27, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order repealing Obama-era labor law compliance requirements for federal contractors, along with signing a resolution of disapproval that day on the same topic.
  • April 14, 2017—President Trump appointed Roger Severino, a strong defender of religious liberty, to the HHS Office for Civil Rights.
  • April 14, 2017—The Justice Department dropped its discrimination lawsuit against North Carolina for its “bathroom bill” (filed under the Obama Administration) after North Carolina passed a compromise bill. Homosexual activists still opposed the new bill.
  • May 1, 2017—The Agriculture Department took steps to give schools more flexibility in their school meal plans.
  • May 4, 2017—On the annual National Day of Prayer,[11] President Trump signed an executive order on religious liberty. Among its provisions, it loosened IRS restrictions against political activities by tax-exempt religious organizations, effectively weakening the Johnson Amendment; and it attempted to make it easier for employers not to provide contraceptives if they had religious objections. The order gave conservative Attorney General Jeff Sessions greater authority regarding religious liberty policy.  Although well received by some Christians and conservatives, others criticized it for being ineffective and easy to repeal.  Other members of the Trump Administration have shown strong support for religious liberty.
  • In May 2017, the Trump Administration began to undo Section 1557 of ObamaCare, which would have helped liberals gain transexual “rights” through the courts.
  • June 6, 2017—The Trump Administration appointed Valerie Huber, an abstinence education advocate, to the position of chief of staff to the assistant secretary for health at the HHS.
  • President Trump did not proclaim June 2017 as LGBT Pride Month, unlike former presidents Clinton and Obama.

Veterans Various Achievements

Legislation

  • April 19, 2017—President Trump signed an extension of the Veterans Choice Act of 2014, which allowed veterans to seek medical care outside the VA system due to serious VA problems.
  • June 2, 2017—President Trump signed a bill into law giving preference in federal grants to “federal and state law enforcement agencies that hire and train veterans.”
  • June 23, 2017—President Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act into law (Trump described the law as “one of the largest reforms to the VA in its history,” which expanded protections for VA whistleblowers, gave the VA the authority to end bonuses to convicted employees, made quicker and easier the process for firing, suspending, and demoting employees.

Executive actions

  • April 27, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order creating an office in the Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate obstacles preventing the VA from firing incompetent employees, and to protect those who reveal cases of incompetence in the department.
  • June 5, 2017—The Department of Veterans Affairs announced it would adopt the same medical records system as the Defense Department in order to bring better care for veterans.
  • July 7, 2017—The Department of Veterans Affairs made public its disciplinary actions against its employees,[12] and it reported that day have fired over 500 employees since January 2017.

Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Matters

Legislation

  • June 2, 2017—President Trump signed a bill into law to reduce the backlog of families of fallen police officers waiting to receive benefits due to their status.

Executive actions

  • February 2017—Attorney General Sessions rescinded an Obama Administration memo that directed the Bureau of Prisons to begin phasing out private prisons.
  • February 9, 2017—President Trump signed three executive orders pertaining to law enforcement. The first cracked down and strengthens the law against international crime organizations, the second deals with anti-law enforcement crimes, and third with finding a strategy for reducing crime in general, “including, in particular, illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and violent crime.”
  • March 10, 2017—Attorney General Sessions asked the 46 remaining U.S. attorneys appointed by Obama, arguably the most left-wing president in U.S. history, to resign. One of those U.S. attorneys was the failed Zachary Fardon, who was lax in his prosecution of gun crimes (Sessions directed the Justice Department to increase prosecutions on gun-law violations and to reinforce harsh sentences for such). When one of those attorneys, Preet Bharara, refused to resign (likely for political gain), he was fired.  Later, in May 2017, more Obama holdovers left the Justice Department.
  • April 3, 2017—Attorney General Sessions ordered the Department of Justice to review Obama’s agreements with local police departments. Sessions made this order to give back local control to police departments.
  • April 13, 2017—The Justice Department prosecuted two doctors and one other for practicing female genital mutilation – the first such prosecutions under a federal law passed by Congress in 1996 prohibiting the practice.
  • May 9, 2017—Although he previously stated he was not planning on asking him to resign, President Trump, at the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, fired Obama-appointed FBI director James Comey for being unfit to serve in the position.[16] Democrats and liberals were dismayed at the decision, but it showed that Trump was serious about shaking up D.C. and “draining the swamp.”
  • May 11, 2017—Attorney General Sessions ended Obama and Eric Holder’s policy of pursuing light sentences for criminals when he ordered federal prosecutors to pursue “the most serious and readily provable offense” committed by those under prosecution.
  • June 7, 2017—Attorney General Sessions ended a policy begun by Eric Holder where the Justice Department would reach settlements with companies that required them to pay third-party groups, many of which were left-wing organizations.
    June 20, 2017—Attorney General Sessions launched the National Public Safety Partnership as part of a wider DOJ effort at countering violent crime.
  • June 30, 2017—The Trump Administration sent 20 ATF agents to Chicago to help the city fight gun violence. The local US Attorney said the same day that his office had already prosecuted more Chicago gun cases in 2017 than it had done throughout the entire year 2016.
    President Trump gave a major policy address[99][100] in front of 15,000 supporters[94][101] in front of the famous Warsaw Uprising Monument.[102] He promoted conservative, Christian, America First, and nationalistic values in his speech.[99][100][103] Trump took a strong stance against terrorism in his speech, stating that “our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism of any kind.”[104] He strongly stood up for Western values[105] and asked “Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the courage to preserve our civilisation in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”[106] Reaffirming American NATO duties and military support for Poland, he spoke highly of Poland for meeting its NATO spending pledge.[104][107][108] While taking a reasonable stance regarding Russia,[109] Trump criticized “destabilizing” Russian activities such as supporting hostile regimes.[107][95] Trump took a strong stance against government bureaucracy and regulations, warning against “the steady creep of government bureaucratic actions.”

Abortion Matters

Legislation

  • April 13, 2017—President Trump signed a Congressional Review bill into law annulling a recent Obama Administration regulation that would have prohibited states from discriminating in awarding Title X family planning funds based on whether the local clinic also performs abortions (some states adopted rules which distribute federal family planning funds on the condition that the organizations do not perform abortions).  The Act was “the first major national pro-life bill in more than a decade.”

Executive actions

  • January 23, 2017—President Trump signed an order reinstating the Mexico City Policy, which defunded International Planned Parenthood and other organizations that promote foreign abortions.  However, unlike previous administrations, the Trump Administration expanded the policy to include all global health assistance funding.  Multiple references:
  • April 4, 2017—The Trump Administration halted U.S. funding of the United Nations Population Fund, which has links to inhumane abortion programs such as China’s one-child policy. Instead, the $32.5 million was shifted to the U.S. Agency for International Development.
  • President Trump appointed several pro-life advocates to Department of Health and Human Services positions. On April 28, 2017, in an apparent victory for the pro-life movement,  President Trump appointed Dr. Charmaine Yoest, a strong pro-life advocate and the former president of Americans United for Life, to the position of assistant secretary of public affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services, replacing a strong Planned Parenthood supporter. The position did not require Senate confirmation.  In late May, Trump appointed Shannon Royce, who formerly served in the Family Research Council and the Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, to the HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  Around May 1, 2017, President Trump appointed Teresa Manning, a pro-life advocate who worked for the Family Research Council and the National Right to Life, to be the HHS deputy assistant secretary for population affairs.
  • May 15, 2017—The Trump Administration massively broadened the scope of the Mexico City Policy to restrict funding to any international health organization that performs or gives information about abortions, expanding the amount of money affected from $600,000 to nearly $9 billion.

Gun Rights Matters

Legislation

  • February 28, 2017—President Trump signed a bill into law (Public Law 115-8) repealing a Social Security Administration rule adding mental disability determinations to the background check registry, subject to a person applying to be removed from the list. Congress had passed a law requiring federal agencies to search their records for people who were “mentally defective”, and the Social Security Administration had published their method of gathering names on December 16, 2016. The regulation would have added the names of disability beneficiaries who have a mental illness or are not competent to manage their own finances, potentially leading to the removal of Second Amendment rights to many perfectly competent, mentally healthy citizens. By signing the resolution of disapproval, as with other CRA acts, the Social Security Administration cannot come up with different criteria for supplying names to the background check registry for 10 years.

Executive actions

  • Starting early in his presidency, the Trump Administration has undone Obama-era executive branch gun regulations.

So that completes the first day of President Trump accomplishments through mid June.  The above totals 2000 words.  We only have 6500 more to go!  Tomorrow I’ll give you Part 2 of the list that will probably require 2 more parts.  Again when complete I will gladly forward you a .pdf of the total list if you like.  Feel free to email me at dan@dnewman.org if you want that list.  Your email address will remain private.  And there’s no cost to you.

Thanks for reading!

Dan

 

 

Vlad + “The” Donald = The Perfect Pair

The two most powerful men on Earth got together over the weekend to see which one has the biggest.  I think the book is still out on that.  EVERYTHING is still out on that meeting.  The Talking Heads don’t care what was or wasn’t said or discussed in the meeting — they do not need or care to know.  They make up what they want that conversation to be anyway and report it as factual given to them by “anonymous sources.”  Never let the truth get in the way of a good story, right?  Secretary Tillerson was in the room with the pair and immediately upon completion briefed reporters on the conversation.  But, of course, what he reported that conversation’s substance to be was not sufficient for them.  They waited until his Russian counterpart could be cornered, and they choose to use HIS version of the conversation.  Why?  Because that version could be used to perpetuate the Trump-Putin bro-mance they created months ago.  After all, it certainly will make a good Hallmark Romance Channel movie.

On Fox News Sunday, former Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards explained to Chris Wallace that her takeaway from President Trump’s reception at the G20 was that we have lost the role of leading the World — a role which U.S. Presidents have assumed for a long time.  Commentator Britt Hume immediately countered Ms. Edwards claims by stating the obvious:  President Trump IS taking the lead.  Hume explained that President Trump is leading in a new and different direction — one that some do not accept as the right way, so they automatically dismiss his leadership and his direction.

The bottom line for Americans is that President Trump IS leading us in the direction he promised to in his campaign.  That certainly is a departure from the actions of President Obama who in his campaigns made numerous promises as did all of his predecessors in their campaigns.  Few of his promises to voters played out as they were promised.

I tuned in to watch the initial rally and press conference in Poland before the G20 Summit.   No American could watch and listen to those who spoke and showed up at that square in Warsaw and believe that the American President is not leading our nation and already playing a major role in leading the World.  Sure some of the leaders of the other 19 G20 countries are angry at America and the President.  Why do you think that is?  It could have something to do with our (under his watch) demanding that NATO countries start paying their fair share of the costs previously agreed to but NOT being paid by those countries, forcing the U.S. to pay far more than our share.  It could be that he pulled out of the ridiculous Paris Accords that comprise the most inept international global warming agreement ever produced that allow certain countries in the Accords to continue not to just emit pollution at their present levels, but allow them to grow carbon emissions for 10 years!  (China to be exact)  In the meantime, the U.S. would be forced to pay billions of dollars in fees while we continue to reduce our carbon emissions starting immediately.  How stupid is that deal!  Also don’t forget that since 1990 we have reduced our carbon emissions by a huge percent while European and Asian countries have watched theirs soar.

Donald Trump is a different guy:  he is not political, he is not politically correct, he is matter of fact and to the point.  He is opinionated, and in spite of the MSM characterization, he is a brilliant individual and amazingly successful businessman.  He like no other leader at the Summit knows what it is to have to make a payroll for a company, to negotiate healthcare contracts for his companies employees, and to look across a conference table and negotiate contracts for direct results for the livelihood of tens of thousands of people for which he is personally responsible.  Bureaucrats in America certainly do not understand that.  Foreign political leaders do not have a clue.

Why do you think the new upstart President of France pushed his way through his counterparts at the G20 the opening day to make certain when the historical photographs of the meeting were taken he was standing next to President Trump?  Simple:  he comes from a wealthy, bureaucratic background with little political history if any, but has the ability and desire to interface with whom he sees as a real leader.  Remember:  French President Emmanuel Macron deals daily with the heads of the nations that comprise the European Union…..and they’re not doing a very good job.  In just his few months in office he sees the EU struggles while watching the political and economic turnaround beginning in the U.S. and he likes that.  There is NO other reason he would be so friendly with Trump, especially in light of the fact that in the French election, President Trump supported Macron’s opponent.  (President Macron in fact invited the Trumps to come back to France and be his guests at Bastille Days, and the Trumps accepted)

President Trump has a lot on his plate, even though in just 5.5 months in office he’s accomplished a whole lot.  Healthcare reform, tax reform, immigration reform, are just a few of those left.  We know the challenges he faces in each.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if any people in the media would build a “Trump Success” page on their websites and simply list daily the positive accomplishments made during his very young administration?  Webpage — they don’t even do news articles or reports about any of his successes.  They are dying for him to fail!  Never in American history has the media been so negative and so hateful to any President.

Twitter

What’s neat to me is even though they thought that with their constant attacks and fake news and false anonymous sources and lies they would upset him so much he would simply resign and go back to building hotels and golf courses.  They certainly under estimated the developer from New York.  He not only will not quit, he daily and continuously rubs the truth in their faces.  In March 2006, Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams initiated the vehicle that has allowed Donald Trump to so easily and readily bypass the media and take his messages unfiltered and unedited by the press to the American people — they established Twitter.  Every day using just 140 characters, Donald Trump sends his messages to more than 100 million followers with no interference from the media.  Boy, would Ronald Reagan have had a lot of fun!

So as the week unfolds and you read, listen, and watch the Mainstream Media bash the President, stirring up old fake news and creating new fake news, you can know for certain that a billionaire from New York is in Washington D.C. doing those exact things he promised to do to improve the lives of all Americans when they elected him President.  He’s doing his part every day.  What’s everybody else doing?