Tag Archives: President Trump

A Broken Record

To be brutally honest, I’m fine with what’s been taking place recently along our nation’s southern border. However, many people seem to be up in arms over the latest techniques being used in yet another attempt to secure our border with Mexico. The so-called “cages” for captured illegal immigrants are continuously being aired on television for the purpose of invoking sympathy and promoting a certain political party’s agenda. Those “abhorrent” holding facilities happen to be the exact ones used during the Obama administration, but unsurprisingly, like a broken record, the media has assigned all the blame to President Donald Trump.

I think those to blame for the “ripping of children from their mothers’ arms” lies solely with the lawbreakers themselves. If I was pressed to name a runner-up at fault for this current, unfortunate situation, I’d have to choose the Democrats. In the same way the Republicans are mostly responsible for preventing practical gun control legislation, the Democrats are mostly responsible for preventing practical immigration policy. If I were the Democrats, I’d work tirelessly to get something done now instead of betting on gaining numbers during the next election. I suppose the gamble could pay off similar to how the Republicans were victorious (wrongfully, I might add) after refusing to give then President Obama’s Supreme Court Justice nominee a hearing before an upcoming election. The GOP’s stall tactic was successful, and they were rewarded with securing the open justice seat with a Conservative, after the votes were tallied.

However, if the Democrats decide not to compromise this time, and they lose numbers in November, then a more tilted Congress may very well enact a new immigration policy that does not include protection for their coveted “Dreamers.” Just give President Trump his “big, beautiful wall.” I’ve surely given up hope that Mexico will entirely foot the bill, but it’s quite possible the border wall could be funded via the savings from Trump’s tariffs and better negotiated trade deals. The fact is something has got to be done about illegal immigration, and the sooner the better. We’ve probably all heard the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, that cute slogan does not apply here. Our nation’s immigration policy is unequivocally broken.

Maybe we should take comfort in knowing we aren’t the only country currently experiencing immigration concerns and conflicts. In 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened her country’s borders to asylum seekers from other countries. Three years later, Germany is now home to an additional 1.4 million immigrants. Merkel’s decision has put a strain on the country and has led to an increase in support for anti-immigration politicians. After dealing with the perils of a boost in immigration, for a relatively short time, at least 61% of German voters now desire for immigrants to be turned away at their border. Likewise, just a few days ago, Italy and Malta refused to accept approximately 600 migrants who had been rescued at sea a week prior. Spain has given the migrants a temporary stay while the authorities ponder whether to grant them asylum or not.

I am certainly not anti-immigration. I am, however, anti-illegal immigration. There’s a colossal difference between the two – regardless of how the media tends to purposely confuse us in to thinking they are one in the same. I also realize that refugees fleeing from violence or oppression are not the same as those who are boldly hopping over our southern fence. However, once refugees from other countries do make their way into Mexico it doesn’t necessarily mean they should automatically be allowed into the United States. They have already successfully fled danger and are now amongst friendly people. I certainly haven’t heard that take on the situation from the slew of mainstream political pundits out there. I’m simply tired of the majority of our media sounding like a broken record, on so many subjects, day in and day out.

For example, the media and loyal Trump haters alike are now recklessly using the word immoral when describing President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy at the border. Their newest favorite word has already become all too commonplace. And they’re even quoting Scripture, mind you, in a futile attempt at proving themselves right. A vast number of those arguing about the morality in this particular case just so happens, oddly enough, to be the same folks who frequently celebrate homosexuality – biblically, an undeniably immoral act.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions launched the ill-advised Bible interpretation war when he referred to the Book of Romans in defense of the newly enacted “zero tolerance” policy. Sessions said, “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.” Romans 13:1 does state, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.” And Romans 13:2 says, ” Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” After exploring Romans for myself, I can’t disagree with what the Attorney General said. But Jesse Jackson does. The good reverend, the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and others disagree with Sessions’ shared interpretation, for whatever reason.

This WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) moment is sponsored by yours truly. The popular ’90s crusade was designed for Christians to ask themselves what their Savior would do before taking any of their own actions. I think it was my pastor who conveyed an unconventional, yet probably spot on, opinion concerning the clever campaign. He said something equivalent to this: if you’re actively pursuing Christ then you won’t even need to ask what Jesus would do because the proper response will just come naturally. This sort of deep contemplation reminds me of the dreaded debate that creeps into conversations every so often about whether Jesus would be a Democrat or a Republican. First of all, exploiting the Good Book for political reasons is never a good thing. Second of all, I’m pretty sure Jesus is an Independent – independent of all earthly things and only concerned with His Father’s Heavenly plan.

I, on the other hand, am a stickler when it comes to enforcing our country’s laws. Why don’t some people understand that in this world there are consequences for actions? I’d suggest the more severe a lawbreaker’s punishment, as we’ve been witnessing on the border as of late, the less likely the miscreant, and others considering following suit, would be to repeat the violation. Illegal immigrants should absolutely be made to feel very unwelcomed within the confines of a great nation boasting borders and laws. I would like to reiterate as to what I think is the proper course for a successful immigration policy as I proffered at this site on February 7th, 2018. I still believe in securing our southern border with a great wall, creating a sensible and sustainable pathway to citizenship for the “Dreamers,” and imposing strict, harsh penalties on all persons and businesses harboring, hiring, or catering to illegals. I could probably go on a little longer, on the subject of illegal immigration, but I don’t want to sound like a broken record.

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Immigration

Immigration is not a topic I’m at all passionate about. I certainly have my beliefs and opinions on the matter, and I surely have concerns about our nation’s safety, but I’m not overzealous when it comes to immigration policy, illegal immigration, and immigration reform like a majority of politicians and their constituents appear to be at this time. President Trump, during his first State of the Union address, presented a plan for conquering a problem that has been debated for many, many years. Trump’s immigration proposal calls for what he deems as the four “pillars”: constructing a border wall, granting legal status for the so-called “dreamers,” reducing the family-based immigration system, and replacing the lottery system-based Diversity Immigrant Visa Program with a merit-based system.

The consensus amongst politicians seems to be that any immigration reform must start with securing our nation’s borders. I would venture to say most Americans agree with that sentiment. How to go about it is where people tend to branch off in different directions – turning the issue into a politically partisan situation. Republicans are generally in favor of a wall being built across our southern border while the majority of Democrats are opposed. A short decade ago both parties appeared to be united in favor of constructing a barrier between the United States and Mexico. In 2006, an overwhelming, bipartisan Senate majority, which included Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, and then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama, were in favor of building a fence along the border. Today, it’s about building a wall which apparently is one of the sticking points for Democrats.

What good is either a fence or a wall if it can easily be breached? I recently came across a brief article on that very subject. It was just a snippet and buried deep within the pages of The Washington Times, but it was there (1/19/18) nevertheless. Prototypes of President Trump’s proposed wall has been deemed highly effective. Military special forces and U.S Customs and Border Protection special units spent three weeks trying to get past said prototypes without any success. The tactical teams utilized an array of tools and climbing gadgets including torches, saws, and jackhammers, but they found the walls’ astounding heights and durability too difficult to breach. I’m not too enthused about the cost of “the great wall,” but our government has added to our national debt in the past on more frivolous things (e.g., the Iraq War). Hey, isn’t Mexico suppose to pay for the wall anyway?

The President’s second pillar deals with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. I too have some compassion for the “dreamers.” They had no choice when brought here illegally by their parents. However, I feel much differently about the parents – the ones who blatantly broke the law and are totally responsible for putting their children in the predicament they are currently in. This unfortunate situation is neither President Trump’s nor Congress’ fault. I do not understand why illegals (and those avidly lobbying on their behalf) have so much trouble comprehending that breaking the law is wrong.

I’ve been accused of being legalistic…which I proudly am. I believe we have laws for a reason, and if they’re broken there should be consequences. Not all laws are wonderful, and some may not even make all that much sense, but when they are on the books then they need to be obeyed. Therefore, I think illegal immigrants should not be allowed to vote in our elections or receive in-state tuition at our colleges. How many other nations would go to extreme measures, and willingly risk political division, catering to the illegals in their country? Some would surely argue – but that’s what makes our country so special and America so great. I don’t think turning a blind eye to lawbreakers is what makes America great.

President Trump’s remaining two pillars are mostly about reducing the number of immigrants coming into this country and having a better idea of who exactly the ones are being allowed to enter. I view these scaling back efforts as acceptable tweaks to our current immigration policy. Using the proposed merit-based system should take some of the guesswork out of who we’re actually welcoming in to our country. I’m well aware Lady Liberty possesses an inscribed plaque, attached to the spectacular statue’s pedestal, which indeed reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…,” but don’t we already have enough citizens like that legally living here?

It has been reported that Democrats, and even some Republicans, are repulsed by the possibility of Congress finally resolving the immigration problem with President Trump at the helm. Supposedly, their distaste for Trump supersedes passing any immigration reform, and giving their leader a bipartisan victory, even if they would’ve supported such a plan in the past. I hate to imagine any of our elected officials being that vindictive and petty. When giving his State of the Union speech, the President presented his proposition as “a fair compromise” in which “nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs and must have.” Trump went on to say, “These four pillars represent a down the middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern and lawful immigration system.” I concur, although I’m still not at all passionate about the topic of immigration.


Catching Up

We’ve got some catching up to do. Hopefully, we can effortlessly pick up from where we previously left off. Like catching up with an old high school chum you haven’t seen in ages. You know what I mean. The type of relationship where the conversation flows without missing a beat even when there’s been no contact with one another for up to years at a time. I haven’t written for a while because I’ve been a very busy guy these past several months. There were crossword puzzles to solve, craft beers to sample (so many brews, so little time), Netflix to watch, and then Christmas came along. Admittedly, those aren’t very convincing excuses for neglecting what I typically enjoy doing and am usually quite passionate about.

The truth is I needed a reprieve: some time away from the slew of partisan political talk consuming our nation’s media. I was exhausted from reading, watching, studying, and then painstakingly having to decipher the actual truth in what was being reported by our melodramatic media from the accusations, partial truths, and even a few bold faced lies. I hungered for a life void of daily negativity, disappointment and anger, and I realized I could no longer pen my thoughts on current topics and keep my sanity. I opted for the latter, and in doing so I found more peace, more contentment, and even a new hobby or two. Ignorance truly can be bliss. Not knowing about the daily exaggerated “firestorms” was utterly refreshing. However, I think I’m now ready to get back into the fray and rejoin society, regardless of how errant many of its members appear to be happily existing, but this time without any lofty expectations of the human race.

I have found that having a SENSIBLE political discussion is an anomaly. There are still only two major political parties in this country, but now there are factions within both the Republican and Democratic parties which only further complicates matters. These days hardly any member of Congress completely agrees with the other elected officials in their own coalition – which would probably be fine in some other existence except unfortunately that “independence” as of late has not led to compromise or making America an even greater place. I have also found that many of President Trump’s supporters are impassioned minions willing to follow their leader into the abyss if necessary. Meanwhile, a majority of Trump haters are going to continue to hate even if a few of the President’s policies happen to align with one of their own darlings (Bernie Sanders). By the way, I certainly hope the Democrats can do better than Oprah in 2020. (I suppose she’d be a bit better than Kanye though.)

What I’m trying my best to impart at this moment, and have been attempting to convey since the launch of my blog, is that we all should be open to the possibility that there could be some legitimate ideas and reasonable arguments coming from the other side. One party or person (except for Jesus, of course) does not have a monopoly on the perfect (or even best) solutions to EVERYTHING. For instance, I’ve never subscribed to the notion that the Republicans’ “trickle-down theory” works. That very belief appears to be the basis for the recently passed U.S. corporate tax cuts. However, CNBC reported last week (1/24/18) that Starbucks announced the company will use some of their savings (more than $250 million) from the aforementioned tax cuts for giving their employees raises, company stock, and expanded benefits. The renowned coffee chain joins Wal-Mart, Apple, Comcast, and American Airlines who’ve already made similar announcements regarding their newfound tax savings.

Therefore, I find the newly enacted U.S. corporate tax cuts to be at the very least beneficial to some working-class folks – not just the wealthy. There is one thing we now know for certain: by implementing the radical tax cuts, the Republican Party doesn’t seem too concerned about adding billions of dollars to our country’s national debt. The GOP can no longer claim with a straight face to be the “fiscally conservative” party. The Republicans’ tax reform plan is definitely far from perfect, but it’s surely not a complete disaster either. Nothing would please me more in this political climate than to hear both sides of the aisle admitting as much. Maybe then I won’t need another reprieve in the future. Well, until we meet again. It’s been nice catching up.


I Miss Dave

Once again, I’m guilty of overestimating the common sense of the citizens of this great country. I’m a bit perplexed by the public’s response to President Donald Trump’s firing of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), James Comey. I know by now I shouldn’t be surprised about anything regarding politics, or the American people, but I really want to be an optimist. If I remember correctly (and I do) not so long ago the majority of Democrats were calling for Comey’s head because he supposedly had cost Hillary Clinton the presidency. Trump and the Republicans weren’t too thrilled with Comey either after he eventually cleared Clinton of any criminal wrongdoing just two days prior to the 2016 presidential election. Now, apparently everyone is enamored with James Comey. Oh my, how things quickly change when trying to rewrite history.

This whole sordid mess began in July of 2015, when the FBI opened a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use during her tenure as our nation’s Secretary of State. The matter had seemingly been put to rest, but Director Comey resurrected the mild scandal on October 28th, 2016, by way of a letter to Congress. He informed them that the FBI was reviewing additional emails for possible violations committed by Clinton. Many Hillary supporters blamed Comey’s ill-timed announcement for Clinton’s loss to Trump in last year’s election. However, I’d argue that Comey’s final letter to Congress on November 6th, 2016, actually did more damage to the Trump campaign than his previous letter did to the Clinton camp. Declaring Clinton’s innocence of any criminal wrongdoing (less than 48 hours before ballots were to be cast) surely worked in Hillary’s favor in regards to garnering any of the remaining undecided voters.

Regardless, if there was one thing both sides of the political arena could agree on, a short six months ago, it was their bipartisan dislike of James Comey. His unconventional actions were controversial, confusing, reckless, and quite possibly grounds for dismissal. Yet, after President Trump’s recent firing of the FBI Director, many (from both sides of the aisle) who once despised Comey are now suddenly very supportive of him and irate at Trump for letting him go. What’s there to say? Trump haters are gonna hate.

I presume that’s also the reason for all the hubbub out there concerning President Trump and Russia. Yes, I know there’s those pesky reports about the Trump administration’s possible ties to Russia. Yes, the timing of James Comey’s dismissal could be construed as a tad suspect: he indeed was in the process of ramping up his investigation into Trump’s possible past association with Russia. Comey’s recent firing shouldn’t be too worrisome for Trump haters since Arizona Senator, John McCain, immediately called for another investigation into the Russia situation. (I wonder who’s paying for all of these investigations.)

Look, I couldn’t care less if the President, or those in his administration, had previous business dealings with Russia. Haven’t the majority of those vociferously opposed to Trump been preaching to the public that globalism is a great thing? What probably frustrates me the most about this country is that we are so quick to come to a conclusion before receiving all of the information. In essence, we come to the conclusions WE WANT…based on our emotions rather than the truth. If it is ever proven that President Trump is (or has been) in cahoots with Russia then I will be the first in line demanding his resignation and lobbying for treason charges to be brought against him. Believe me.

There is one thing we know for certain at this time concerning Trump’s possible ties to Russia. Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show, has found President Trump guilty. There’s no mistaking where David Letterman’s predecessor stands on this issue. This is not fake news. In fact, last week Colbert went on an extended tirade about the President, and then he proudly confirmed what he had previously said the very next evening. Some on the right have demanded an apology from the liberal host, but Colbert continues to stand by what he said. After calling Trump a “pricktator,” among other things, Stephen Colbert then told President Trump, “The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c**k holster.” Letterman’s replacement sure has turned The Late Show from what was once a respectable, highly entertaining talk show into a biased, anger filled political program.

Many on the left think Colbert’s joke was hilarious, and they are pointing to the First Amendment in defense of his right to say what he said. I can’t argue with the latter. However, I would like to ask those who’ve sided with Colbert, and think the joke is funny, this one simple question. What if during President Obama’s presidency someone had said Obama was a “c**k holster” for Bashar al-Assad? Funny? Former President Obama did indeed draw that infamous red line in which Assad fearlessly crossed without any repercussions whatsoever. So, would that joke about Obama have been hilarious? Of course not. Just because we are allowed to publicly say something so crude and tasteless certainly does not mean that we should especially when it comes to disrespecting those elected to the Oval Office. The older I get, the less impressed I am with our country’s freedom of speech. Boy, I sure could use a dose of Letterman right about now.


Who Was That Guy?

Who was that guy speaking to Congress and to the American public on Tuesday night? He clearly resembled President Donald Trump, but he appeared to be much different than what we are used to seeing. During his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Trump seemed to be calm, caring, and dare I say…presidential. The normally brash businessman came across as a unifier and even showed glimpses of humility during his hour-long speech. I like that guy.

Early on in his speech President Trump said, “While we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.” And toward the end of his address he said, “We are one people with one destiny. We all bleed the same blood. We all salute the same great American flag. And we all are made by the same God.” Those were some very assuring words from our President (yes, our President). Could this be the so-called “pivot” that at least half of this country has been waiting for since after he won his party’s nomination – after his victory in November – after his inauguration? Probably not.

Trump is who he is, and many of his supporters are fond of his candidness and political incorrectness. The problem is, more often than not, the former reality star does not know when to quit or when to stay silent. For example, just one day prior to his heartfelt speech to Congress, President Trump accused former President Obama of being the mastermind behind the recent protests against the current administration as well as the leaks coming from the White House. During Monday’s interview with Fox News, when asked whether he thought Obama himself was arranging protests, Trump replied, “I think that President Obama is behind it because his people are certainly behind it.”

I believe whenever an allegation is made against someone then the burden of proof is solely on the accuser. (Like our justice system.) Therefore, some evidence must be given to lend credibility to one’s claims or else it’s only senseless chatter. Trump’s accusations against Obama, at this point, fits the bill. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing on the former President’s behalf, and I highly doubt our nation’s first Black President is secretly organizing anything against the current Trump administration. Say what you will about Obama’s policies, but former President Barack Obama is a classy guy.

What wasn’t so classy were the actions of some during President Trump’s first address to Congress. Apparently, some lines had already been drawn before Trump even uttered one word. A handful or so of lady Democrats reportedly dressed in white attire to show their disapproval of Trump’s assumed stance on women’s issues. A couple of the women then repeatedly gave the President a thumbs down, in melodramatic fashion, while he spoke about repealing and replacing Obamacare. It probably didn’t really matter what Trump was talking about because haters are gonna hate.

I always find it a bit humorous, although in a bleak sort of way, observing Congress when the President is speaking. Watching one side of the auditorium stand and applause while the other side sits in disgust is fascinating. Politicians often talk about their concern of a divided nation, especially during this past election, and many of them even offer advice (usually to the other party) as to the best way of unifying the country, yet Congress openly shows their divided state, for the entire world to see, simply by the way they’re seated during the President’s address. This behavior is certainly nothing new, and it goes both ways, but I think our country would best be served if politicians were forced to amalgamate instead of adhering to the status quo. Have any of them ever heard of leading by example?

I agree with many of the things President Trump had to say on Tuesday evening including his take on illegal immigration. I think he asked a legitimate and thought-provoking question of the elected officials seated before him concerning illegal immigration that I too would like to have answered. The President said, “To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this one question: What would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or their loved one because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?” Unfortunately, I think those who need to do the most soul-searching on this issue are the ones who are making a career out of being anti-Trump and have ignorantly lumped illegal immigrants in with legal immigrants.

The two main reasons I consistently hear in defense of not deporting illegals are because it breaks up families, and we need them in our labor force for a healthy economy. The first argument is a valid point because it does break up families. However, it is certainly not the government’s fault. The lawbreaker need only look in the mirror to see who’s to blame for his or her family’s sad situation. I think the solution to the second argument is so simple to solve, but I have not heard one elected official mention anything like it amidst all of the bickering and partisanship in Congress. My common sense approach would be to replace each deported illegal immigrant with a law-abiding person from the waiting list that we’ve heard so much about. If 500 illegals are sent back to where they came from then 500 people that have been doing it the right way, patiently waiting their turn, would be rewarded by being allowed to make the United States their home.

Like it or not, President Trump has softened his stance regarding illegal immigration. He has decided to keep a few aspects of former President Obama’s executive order including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. I would think Democrats should be thrilled with the President for taking a more centrist position on this issue. Trump is first and foremost a businessman, so it should be of no surprise to anyone that our 45th President tends to view his presidency as a four-year stint (at least) of negotiations. A good businessman (heck, even an average one) knows not to start a negotiation without allowing for a bit of wiggle room.

It appears the travel ban President Trump signed into law via executive order will now be negotiated as well although the courts will likely have the final say in the matter. I’ve been a proponent of Trump’s temporary travel ban, for the sake of our national security, since he proposed the idea during his campaign. There were definitely some flaws found with the President’s order soon after the ban was announced, but some kinks should be expected when implementing something new. Anti-Trump people skewed the President’s order as hateful and racist, but I viewed it as just another way of trying to keep America safe.

Immediately after the President enacted the ban, the media began referring to the Trump administration as “turbulent,” “a mess,” and a “train wreck.” Of course, Trump responded with a little nonsense of his own by insisting his presidency is “a fine tuned machine.” I think the actual truth lies somewhere in between. As hectic as those first couple of days were, I appreciate the fact the President held true to his campaign promise concerning timetables. He publicly berated Obama, while on the campaign trail, for giving advanced notice to our enemies around the world. Nobody can accuse President Trump of doing that in this instance.

I agree with many of the policies our new President has either enacted by way of executive order or has implied during his short time in the Oval Office. However, I respectfully disagree with his plan to increase defense spending by $54 billion. We absolutely should take care of our veterans, but I don’t see the need for making our military bigger, better, and stronger than ever before like the President desires. The United States already has the greatest armed forces in the world without having to waste money that could be used in a more constructive manner: like using those funds to jumpstart the proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan or having a financial cushion in place while Congress is attempting to modify Obamacare. I’m well aware that at times President Trump offers a mixed bag policy wise, but we should not take his every word literally because his background is indeed in business, not government, so he truly is a negotiator at heart. Regardless of Trump’s policies, I sure hope to see that guy more often.