As I write this, the New Year -2017 - is 13 days away. When you read this article, the New Year will be here. I write with mixed feelings about the future of our country - especially since President-elect Trump has already signaled changing diplomatic relationships with a number of adversarial nations.
While courting favor with the Russians, Mr. Trump is routinely taking antagonistic stances toward the Chinese. As to Iraq, Syria and North Korea, three of our most dangerous adversaries, Trump’s policies appear to shift with the sands.
Truthfully, most of us have absolutely no idea what will happen following President-elect Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. We do know that the Trumps will not be immediately moving to Washington, D.C. We do know the new president has indicated he plans to serve without pay, that he plans to intermingle his private security force with the secret service, and that he does not plan to continue investigative activities toward his opponent.
All being said, if he doesn’t change his mind between now and then.
I have been asked if I am keeping a list of Trump’s campaign promises, and whether or not I plan to call him on them. I have; and, I will. I deeply opposed the election of Mr. Trump, so it would be nothing less than disingenuous to ignore his governance.
DONALD TRUMP - PRESIDENT-ELECT
I’m trying very hard to “look on the bright side of life.” I really do, down deep, want President Trump to succeed, because, if he succeeds the country succeeds. At least, at this point, I’m trying to believe so. Let me put it another way. If President Trump does not succeed, we have four miserable, nonproductive years ahead of us, where nothing we might see as progressive, and changing or growing takes place.
If President Trump goes all out, for example, with a gigantic, full-throttle infrastructure rebuilding and improvement plan, I see an avenue for considerable success for a Trump administration.
If building and repairing our highways, bridges, tunnels, railway tracks, airports - well, you get the picture - then we will see an unbelievable upturn in employment. Blue-collar and nonprofessional jobs should be abundantly available!
Paying for such a progressive program seems to require the administration, along with Congress, to support a tax program that simplifies tax preparation as well as making it truly progressive - with the highest rates at the top and the lowest rates at the bottom would be a success for everyone.
I am full of hope that a highly successful “builder” in the presidency would surely have an eye toward rebuilding our country’s infrastructure. I’m truly hopeful that the man who promised to “Make America Great Again” - even though a hefty majority of us already felt pretty good about America’s greatness - will bring about the kinds of improvements that will convince us the election of Donald J. Trump for the presidency was not such a bad thing, after all.
The bottom line is simply: We’ll just have to wait and see!
[Milt Hankins is a theologian, former pastor, author, publisher and editor. His website is www.columnistwithaview.com. He writes a weekly column for the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch where this article first appeared on January 2, 2017. He lives in Ashland, Kentucky with his wife Deborah and their playful Chihuahua “Jose.”]
I’m always amused by the TV advertisement where the character tells people in distress that he doesn’t fix a problem, he’s only a monitor. The announcer says, “Why monitor a problem if you don’t fix it?” As to our president-elect, we’re in that kind of a situation right now.
Over two and a half million people do not find it amusing!
A sufficient number of people, apparently, have elected a man to the presidency who is, at his best, frightening. If you’re not scared of a Donald Trump administration, you’ve not been paying attention.
PRESIDENT WARREN G. HARDING
He reminds me of Warren G. Harding, but there is a singular, conspicuous difference—Harding did not have access to nuclear weapons! As far as I know, Trump isn’t a drinker or gambler as Harding was, but Harding had a warm, endearing personality; whereas, Trump is thin-skinned, vindictive and unpredictable.
Trump even talks nuclear weapons! Remember, he said “If we have them, why can’t we use them?” Apparently, he hasn’t the foggiest notion the power unleashed by a nuclear weapon. I saw it firsthand during a test in 1962 while I was in the USAF.
Those people who think our military is deficient or lacks the strength and power have no idea how strong the U.S. military is. When I think about what it was like in 1962, fifty years later, now, with our new series of bombers and rockets, I’m very reassured that we can handle ourselves with anyone in the world.
NUCLEAR WEAPONS TEST (1962)
Our enemies–Iran, North Korea, Syria–know this! When we make them think we are weak, as Trump did during his campaign, it does us no good. As a matter of fact, it’s dumb!
NUCLEAR MUSHROOM CLOUD
We have the strongest, most capable military in the world…and we’ve never been afraid to use it. We’ve never had to be afraid. But we’ve always needed to be alarmed by talk about the use of nuclear weapons.
I have difficulty thinking of someone who attended Fordham and graduated from the Wharton School of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania as functionally illiterate. But, what we have on our hands is a sociopathic, narcissistic, habitual liar…a “con, a fraud,” Mitt Romney called him. Apparently, we have elected a womanizing, immoral, self-indulgent individual who obviously plans to use the high office of the presidency to enrich himself and his family. He is certainly already taking advantage of the opportunities to use his “position” as president-elect to negotiate or manipulate those foreign governments where he has holdings.
What we have is more than a sad day for America. We’re in the midst of a national crisis! Every person in a state where it is permissible should contact their electors and make a plea for voting for Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College. I’ve had lots of history courses and a course in constitutional law, and that’s the only way he can be stopped now…if the electors care enough about this country to do the right thing!
“Why monitor a problem if [we] don’t fix it?”
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The BUFFETT Rule
Let’s see if these idiots understand what people pressure is all about.
FORMER PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES
Salary of retired US Presidents ………$180,000 FOR LIFE.
HAPPY SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN
Salary of House/Senate members…..$174,000 FOR LIFE.
This is stupid!
Salary of Speaker of the House…..$223,500 FOR LIFE.
This is really stupid!
Salary of Majority / Minority Leaders….. $193,400 FOR LIFE.
Average Salary of a teacher……….$40,065
Average Salary of a deployed Soldier…..$38,000
Here’s where the cuts should be made!
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
“I could end the deficit in five minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election”.
The 26th Amendment (granting right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only three months and eight days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 - before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land - all because of public pressure.
Warren Buffett is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
OUR CAPITOL AND SEAT OF GOVERNMENT
Congressional Reform Act of 2017
No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman / woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.
Congress (past, present, & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 3/1/17. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.
Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS SIMPLE GREED!
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only take three days for most people in the U.S. to receive the message. It’s time!
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!
If you agree, pass it on.
What we learned this week about Donald Trump is that he is easily impressed. His position is that if another country’s leader is nice to him, then he will be nice to them. If that person pays him a compliment, then he will pay them compliments.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
And so it goes with Mr. Putin. Really, Mr. Trump? Are you so short-sighted? Have you really looked into President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Russia? I will tell you.
For the last several years, President Putin has set back in time the personal freedoms of the Russian people.
Due to his policies, the inflation rate in Russia is out of control and making the lives of the people extremely difficult to maintain a decent living and lifestyle. Unemployment is on the rise as businesses can no longer afford to pay the salaries of all their staff. Moscow is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live. His policies and changes in laws have stripped the people of personal rights. It appears that he is trying to consolidate his power and become the next Czar of Russia, and not the president of a democratic state.
There has been a growing dissidence among the people of Russia, especially among the better educated and progressives. Their dissidence is being met with a very strong, iron hand. It has been recently reported by citizens that approximately 3000 Russian citizens have been “going missing” per month.
My friend is one of those. We met and became friends on-line prior to my planned vacation to Moscow in 2011.
I was looking for a Moscow native to agree to be my personal guide during my visit. I hoped to experience a more personal side of Moscow than most Americans would ever be offered. He was fluent in English and at that time, worked for an American architectural firm in Moscow. He did not disappoint. I met him in a suburb and we walked around the neighborhoods, an open air market, went into a Russian Orthodox Church
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
and a shopping center. I witnessed the lives of a sampling of Muscovites that I doubt many other Americans have experienced.
He is a talented architect and an aspiring play/screenwriter, winning a first place award several years ago in a competition in London. He had become increasingly vocal about his contempt for President Putin and his policies enacted over the last several years. He signed a petition on the unsecured internet site of the White House in May of this year which was asking President Obama to address the atrocities that were occurring and being committed in Russia by President Putin and his notorious band of hit men. We just learned last week that these servers and previously learned that the servers for the Democratic National Committee had been hacked by the Russian government.
My friend “went missing” less than a month after signing that petition and hasn’t been heard from or seen since.
So apparently, Mr. Trump supports thugs who kidnap people and does God only knows what to them. He also supports a wannabe dictator who is attempting to consolidate his power and expand it by illegally annexing other countries. He supports a man who is assisting a dictator to commit genocide of his own people in Syria.
With this example, what can we anticipate if Mr. Trump were to become the POTUS? If this does not cause you concern—it should.
[Richard Moberly is a contributor to columnistwithaview.com. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida.]