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12 months ago

10 campaign promises Donald Trump kept — or attempted to keep — in his first year


Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

MEASURING TRUMP AGAINST HIS PROMISES IN FIRST YEAR

TOM LAMPRECHT: Today, specifically, I’d like to take a look back on the first year of Donald Trump’s administration and his presidency – what he promised and then what he accomplished – again, let’s sort of go through this in a bullet point fashion.

However, before we get into the specifics, Harry, can you remember a president who has managed to accomplish as much as Donald Trump has done in his first year?

DR. REEDER: The idea of us doing this program came about in terms of the extraordinary pushback against President Trump when he moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Presidents have been under an order to do this, although they’ve been given the flexibility not to do it for purposes of negotiations and national security decisions, but, every six months, they’d have to say why they hadn’t moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – and he went ahead and did it.

And he said, “Well, it’s time to do it. We’ve had all these presidents who were supposed to do it so it’s time to do it and I’ve done it.” He had promised this in the campaign and now he delivered.

Well, what else has he done? He has made, as I counted, ten basic campaign promises and, those campaign promises, he has responded to either accomplish them or initiate their accomplishment.

Now, let me be very clear: this particular Today in Perspective is not an evaluation of whether we agree with these particular acts that he has done, but we’re looking at the overall dynamic of a president who made campaign promises and then, within the first year, this is what he has done in relationship to those promises.

1. TAX CODE BILL

TOM LAMPRECHT: You’ve mentioned the first one, moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The No. 1 I’ve got on my list was this most recent accomplishment – that’s the tax code bill.

DR. REEDER: He made a promise to simplify and to bring tax reform. Again, we’re not evaluating the tax bill, but he has delivered in his first year of office.

2. SUPREME COURT NOMINATIONS

TOM LAMPRECHT: No. 2, the Neil Gorsuch confirmation.

DR. REEDER: And he made a promise on the Supreme Court which, by the way, probably was the most influential promise that he made that garnered much of the evangelical support, who had a number of issues with him on a number of things that he both said and did during his campaign, but ended up voting for him probably motivated by this issue more than any other. He also, in the first year, has appointed more appellate court justices than any other president in recent history.

3. ROLLBACK OF OBAMA-ERA REGULATIONS

TOM LAMPRECHT: No. 3 on the list is just the basic rollback of regulations that Obama implemented.

DR. REEDER: “For any regulation that we institute, we’re going to cut out three.” Well, he has gone way beyond that in what they would have determined as unnecessary regulations that are paralyzing upon the economy.

4. IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT

TOM LAMPRECHT: No. 4, Trump ran on a platform of tougher immigration enforcement – the travel ban.

DR. REEDER: He has attempted to initiate a vetting process on who is to be allowed in and also immigration reform. This is one where he has not delivered as most people would have thought he would have delivered because included in that was border security – the promise of the building of the wall – but there have been efforts at his immigration reform in terms of who is allowed in and the vetting process of visas in light of national security.

5. WITHDRAWAL FROM PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT

TOM LAMPRECHT: Next on the list, Harry, is the withdrawal from the Paris Climate deal.

DR. REEDER: Tom, let’s take a look at two of these agreements that the previous administration had entered into that Candidate Trump campaigned against. One was the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal and the other was the Paris Climate Agreement that also affected manufacturing and regulation in the United States and it was declared that that was an unusual duress to what was required of the rest of the world. He said that he would get us out of both of those and he has delivered on both of those promises in his first year.

6. CUBA

TOM LAMPRECHT: The rollback of some of Obama’s Cuban policies.

DR. REEDER: That would fall in under his national security strategy, Sustainable Security Strategy, that he has initiated. When he did the speech, one of the things that he did was reverse the open-door policy with Cuba that had been initiated in the previous administration as well as a commitment to America First. And, by the way, he redefined that for everyone in his security policy, which was, “I am not saying America selfishly but, America First, I was elected to look out for America’s interest. And, by the way, in our negotiations with other nations, I fully expect those elected officials to come to the bargaining table on our various discussions looking out for their nation first.”

7. NET NEUTRALITY REPEAL

TOM LAMPRECHT: In another blow to regulations enacted under Obama, recently, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal its landmark Net Neutrality rules.

DR. REEDER: And I like the way you have explained it on your own program, Tom, of this being a socialism comes to the internet. What happened was, with what President Obama did in basically level the playing field in the internet research and advancement, it makes everything that someone does available to others.

Well, what happened is what always happens in socialism: It’s a loss of initiative and so people quit doing research on internet improvement and expansion and enhancement because they knew they either had to give it away or they knew that they could get what other people did without having to spend money on it.

He has rolled that back and I think what that means is you’re going to see some amazing advancements in the internet capabilities for our nation and for the world.

8. ISIS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, the final accomplishment I want to talk about today is something that has just sort of disappeared from the headlines of the national news and that is the degrading of Isis.

DR. REEDER: He said he was going to do it – amazingly, it’s been done with a great deal of reliance on Iraq. Their military capabilities on the ground have been fundamentally degraded and removed. That’s another accomplishment.

9. DRAIN THE SWAMP EFFORTS

Now, his drain the swamp promise – this deep-state bureaucracy and the opposition has come up in terms of the FBI and the State Department and other places – he has not made the advancement that he has promised, but it seems to have now been unearthed and exposed. And that may be something that will be dealt with in the coming year in terms of removals and putting people in place that would be serving the country and not serving themselves as if they are a State within the State.

Given the hiring and firing policies in the government and the protections that are put there, it is very difficult to unearth and remove bureaucrats, but I think he’s going to do that and he says that he’s going to do that in an effort to reduce the budget in that there’s going to be a lot of positions that are just going to disappear.

10. OBAMACARE

Finally, we would have to say that his promise to remove Obamacare did not meet with success, the repeal and replace promise, but there was an effort to do it.

And there has been some success in that there has been the reestablishment of the religious freedoms protection in that the requirement to participate in funding of abortions and abortifacients is no longer placed upon individuals and privately held companies that have religious convictions against the destruction of unborn life.

And, secondly, now, the tax package, there was the removal of the mandate for Obamacare, which would be the undoing of Obamacare unless the government decides to fully fund it. The cost of Obamacare is going to come full-force to next year’s Congress.

TRUMP’S PROMISE-KEEPING IS ADMIRABLE

Tom, can I, before we leave, just say one final thing from a Christian world and life view about today’s program? Again, with no evaluation upon the policies and programs, themselves, I do want to speak of one thing that’s commendable in this that I would put before all of our listeners: We ought to be people who, when we make promises, we attempt to fulfill our promises and not to make promises to manipulate people but, “When we make a promise, this is what we’re going to do. Our yes is yes and our no is no.” And that is always admirable in someone.

I would like to commend that, “way of life” that, when we say we’re going to do something, let’s make a commitment to do it. And, as I approach this new year, I rejoice in the fact that the God of glory and grace has made certain promises and definite promises and clear promises for the redemption of His people. And then we have just rejoiced in the coming of Christ in the Christmas season and that Christ would come and all of the promises of God are “Yes” and “Amen” in Him.

May our lives reflect that trustworthiness and that consistency and that integrity. We say what we will do, we do what we will say and, by God’s grace, we are never mean when we say or do what we say.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

28 mins ago

Alabama House Speaker McCutcheon hospitalized with heart issue, expects to be released following treatment

Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) announced on Friday that he has been hospitalized with a heart issue but expects to be released following treatment over the weekend.

“Deb and I appreciate the prayers of healing that so many have made on my behalf, and I am well on the road to recovery,” McCutcheon said in a press release.

“Tests indicated that I had a blocked blood vessel in my heart, which resulted in the fatigue and shortness of breath that I felt, and the issue will be treated with simple medication,” he explained.

While returning home from the legislative orientation session at the Alabama State House on Thursday, the speaker suffered mild chest pains and shortness of breath and was driven to an emergency room for examination.

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McCutcheon outlined that he first assumed he was suffering from a case of bronchitis, but an EKG indicated a heart issue, which blood tests later confirmed.

His physician recommended a heart catheterization, and those results showed a blood vessel that had closed but did not require a stent and could be treated with medication.

During his recovery, the speaker said he will continue working on House committee assignments and other legislative issues in preparation for the upcoming organizational and regular sessions of the Alabama Legislature. The organizational session begins on January 8.

During the 2014 legislative session, McCutcheon underwent heart bypass surgery and returned to work before the session ended.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

59 mins ago

Hoover protest leader recruiting help from Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago

Carlos Chaverst, Jr., the self-proclaimed leader of protesting in Hoover, is calling for activists to come to Alabama from Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago and potentially more areas that have been affected by rioting in recent years.

In a Facebook post just after noon on Friday, Chaverst wrote, “Calling ALL activist and organizers from Baltimore, Chicago, Ferguson, Florida, etc. ITS TIME!! We need y’all here in Hoover, NOW!!”

“There will be a organizing [sic]  conference call Sunday night. Details released tomorrow,” he added.

In another post shortly beforehand, Chaverst claimed that protesters would take to Hoover High School after 1:15 p.m. on Friday. 

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Chaverst threatened to go to the school last week but failed to show up. The City of Hoover and the Hoover Police Department have previously said that protesting at city schools will not be tolerated.

Also on Friday, the Nation of Islam’s leader in Birmingham, Tremon Muhammad, wrote, “When the INSANITY comes, you only have yourselves to Blame.”

Muhammad represents Louis Farrakhan in the state. The Nation of Islam is leading the boycott efforts in Hoover, while Chaverst spearheads the protests themselves. Muhammad has explained that he and his members cannot be on the protest frontline because they do “not subscribe to the theory of nonviolence.”

The protest and boycott efforts in Hoover are in response to the officer-involved shooting death of E.J. Bradford on Thanksgiving night at the Riverchase Galleria. 18-year-old Brian Wilson and 12-year-old Molly Davis were also shot during the incident.

Investigations are currently underway by the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI). SBI is a division of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA). Erron Brown has been arrested and charged with attempted murder already for allegedly shooting Wilson.

Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office exercised jurisdiction of all three shooting cases on Thursday.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

A ‘Story Worth Sharing’: Yellowhammer News and Serquest Partner to award monthly grants to Alabama nonprofits

Christmas is the season of giving, helping others and finding magic moments among seemingly ordinary (and occasionally dreary) days. What better way to welcome this season than to share what Alabamians are doing to help others?

Yellowhammer News and Serquest are partnering to bring you, “A Story Worth Sharing,” a monthly award given to an Alabama based nonprofit actively making an impact through their mission. Each month, the winning organization will receive a $1,000 grant from Serquest and promotion across the Yellowhammer Multimedia platforms.

Yellowhammer and Serquest are looking for nonprofits that go above and beyond to change lives and make a difference in their communities.

Already have a nonprofit in mind to nominate? Great!

Get started here with contest guidelines and a link to submit your nomination:

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Nominations open Monday, December 10, and applicants only need to be nominated once. All non-winning nominations will automatically be eligible for selection in subsequent months. Monthly winners will be announced via a feature story that will be shared and promoted on Yellowhammer’s website, email and social media platforms.

Submit your nomination here.

Our organizations look forward to sharing these heartwarming and positive stories with you over the next few months as we highlight the good works of nonprofits throughout our state.

Serquest is an Alabama based software company founded by Hammond Cobb, IV of Montgomery. The organization sees itself as, “Digital road and bridge builders in the nonprofit sector to help people get where they want to go faster, life’s purpose can’t wait.”

Learn more about Serquest here.

2 hours ago

Ivey launches year of Alabama’s bicentennial

Governor Kay Ivey launched the year of Alabama’s bicentennial at the Alabama State Capitol on Friday, emphasizing that it will be a full year to celebrate and educate.

“We have an opportunity in front of us, and just as Alabamians have done for the past 199 years, we will make the most of that opportunity,” Ivey said in a press release.

The governor continued, “Alabama is defined by its people. It’s that simple. As we near our state’s bicentennial, we recognize that our story of success is told by our people. And that is who we are celebrating: the Alabamians who got us here, all the men and women across our state today and the future generations of Alabamians who will help take us to even greater heights.”

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Students from Pell City’s Eden Elementary joined Ivey and State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), chairman of the Alabama Bicentennial Committee, in previewing some of the more than 400 bicentennial events that will take place before the culmination on December 14, 2019, in Montgomery. Two hundred schools across the state have been selected as Alabama Bicentennial Schools and are putting on bicentennial projects.

Although there are hundreds of public events, Orr advised the bicentennial celebration is also having a significant but more subtle impact on the state itself, from its largest cities to its smallest communities.

“It’s not just celebrations and festivals,” Orr outlined. “It’s almost impossible to estimate how many thousands of Alabamians are learning more about the state’s history through touring exhibitions, the journeys they are making using the Alabama PastPort book and app, or through the thousand teachers who will have been instructed on ways to teach Alabama history by the end of the Bicentennial.”

During the next 365 days, 225 cities, towns and communities across the Yellowhammer State will hold more than 400 events.

The events include everything from celebrating the 50th anniversary of Alabama’s role in landing a man on the moon to revealing a replica that will show modern Alabamians for the first time what the state’s first capitol looked like in Old Cahawba.

Coca-Cola was also on hand Friday to introduce its Alabama Bicentennial Commemorative bottle. Before the press conference began, children had their pictures made with Coca-Cola’s famous polar bear icon.

Other highlights of the bicentennial year will be the release of a U.S. Postal Service Alabama Bicentennial forever stamp, special concerts throughout the state, a Native American Bicentennial event in Moundville, the opening of Huntsville’s newly renovated Constitution Village, a tour involving Alabama’s most important documents, events honoring Alabama veterans and the culmination of the year-long celebration in Montgomery with the dedication of the Bicentennial Park in front of the Capitol.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 hours ago

Alabama-based tea, lemonade manufacturer breaks ground on new $24M Baldwin County facility

Alabama-based Southern Visions, makers of Sweet Brew tea and lemonade, have broken ground on a new 125,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Bay Minette.

The company’s new Baldwin County facility will house its tea and sugar production operations and is expected to create 66 jobs and generate more than $24 million in capital investment in the area over the next three years, according to Area Development.

“I am very proud of our employees and our company, as well as what we have been able to achieve to be here today,” Paul Stewart, Owner of Southern Visions, said. “I want to thank the people and leaders of Bay Minette and Baldwin County for the overwhelming welcome we have received. All parties involved have been an absolute pleasure to get to know and do business with, and we look forward to a great future here in Bay Minette.”

Southern Visions is headquartered in Loxley. The company is a leading innovator for fresh-brewed beverage products in the food service industry. Founded in 2003, this family-owned and operated business services some of the nation’s largest food service distributors.

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According to company officials, this new facility will further position Southern Visions for sustained growth in the industry, providing much-needed rail service vital to the growth of their granulated sugar operations. It will be located along the east side of Highway 31 in Bay Minette.

“The City of Bay Minette is very excited to have Southern Visions, LLP, coming to our community,” Bay Minette Mayor Bob Wills outlined.

The mayor continued, “They are on the cutting edge of their industry and have experienced tremendous growth over the past few years. Their future is very bright, and we are glad that they see their new, expanding manufacturing facility here in Bay Minette as an integral part of their future success. These are exciting times for Bay Minette, and we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Southern Visions, LLP.”

The company holds several patents for the Sweet Brew pouch, which has proven to be one of the biggest innovations for sweet tea since the introduction of the commercial tea brewer in 1978. With a growing client base scattered throughout the United States, Southern Visions’ explained its network of distribution partners has seen an average year over year increase of over 300 percent.

Lee Lawson, president and CEO of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, added that this is another great example of an innovative company choosing to keep their future growth and development in Baldwin County. For three consecutive years, SmartAsset has ranked Baldwin County first in the state of Alabama for incoming business investment, plus the county has seen over 14,000 net new jobs created since 2010.

“Baldwin County is proud to be home to innovative and creative companies, like Southern Visions,” Skip Gruber, chairman of the Baldwin County Commission, commented. “As businesses thrive and grow, they are always seeking the best new location for their investment. Baldwin County’s continued local support for our business community, paired with consistent economic and population growth, has resulted in companies like Southern Visions choosing to keep their future, right here at home, in Baldwin County.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn