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


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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.

Guest: Physicians are no longer on the front lines of this pandemic — You are

State Health Officer is a difficult role to fill, especially this year. While partisanship and conspiracies continue to divide us, it is the job of the State Health Officer to make decisions for the good of all people throughout Alabama. This is exactly what Dr. Scott Harris has done for Alabamians during (and before) the COVID-19 pandemic.

After reading a recent article about Dr. Harris, I was appalled but not surprised by the fact that he has received death threats over mask mandates and other preventative measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Kay Ivey enacted the first mask mandate on July 16, 2020, at the recommendation of Dr. Harris and others. After the initial mandate, Alabama’s case average and death rates quickly fell. Neighboring states without mask mandates – including Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee – all continued to rise above Alabama’s average.

As President of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, I would like to proudly declare my support of Dr. Harris and Governor Ivey in regard to the mask ordinance, social distancing guidelines, and other measures to protect the citizens of Alabama. Science and data have shown us time and time again that these guidelines work. That being said, why are there still Alabamians who push against these life-saving initiatives?

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While appealing to a sense of personal responsibility should be effective enough, it has proved not to be. What happens when personal responsibility is not enough, and people are endangering others? Mask mandates. Social distancing guidelines. Occupancy limitations.

Physicians and other health care providers have worked tirelessly to serve our patients, even at the cost of our own health and safety. What if I told you that we are no longer on the front lines of this pandemic, but you are? You have the power and capability to stop the spread of the Coronavirus that has taken over 3,450 lives in Alabama and 1.39 million lives worldwide. All you have to do to potentially save a life is to wear a mask in public, socially distance and wash your hands. These simple actions not only save lives, but can also help our physicians and hospital systems not get overwhelmed with patients. You can help keep your family and our families safe at the same time.

As we head into this holiday season, we can’t require people to keep themselves safe, but we are asking them to keep other people safe. Many people could be infected and transmit the disease to others without even knowing they are sick. I just hope that we can recontextualize the mask mandate and see it as a simple act of kindness to protect those around you. It seems like the least we can do for our families, friends, loved-ones, physicians, nurses, and communities as a whole.

John S. Meigs, Jr., MD is the president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama

3 hours ago

Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Lynn Beshear retiring; Kim Boswell appointed as successor

Governor Kay Ivey on Monday announced that Lynn Beshear will retire as commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) effective December 16.

Beshear was appointed by Ivey to this position in July 2017, shortly after the governor took office.

Yellowhammer News earlier this year named Beshear a 2020 Woman of Impact.

“When Lynn was appointed, I knew that she would approach her role always thinking of what is best for the people of Alabama,” Ivey said in a statement.

“She has created a collaborative team approach within the Alabama Department of Mental Health to solve intricate problems regarding delivery of services for mental illness, substance abuse disorder and intellectual disability. I am truly grateful for her service to our state and wish her best in her next chapter,” she continued.

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While leading ADMH, Beshear has spearheaded several initiatives to increase access of services for Alabamians with mental illness, while navigating complexities of delivery by the department and community providers.

“It is been an honor to serve as the Commissioner of the department,” Beshear commented. “I am stepping into the next chapter of my life proud of the accomplishments of the department and am incredibly honored to have worked with such dedicated individuals who are committed to improving the lives of others. I profoundly thank Governor Ivey for her trust in me these last three years and have no doubt the department will continue to change the lives of the people of Alabama for the better.”

Ivey’s office in a release outlined that under Beshear’s leadership, ADMH launched Stepping Up Alabama, which uses the national model to reduce the numbers of jailed individuals with mental illness. Alabama is the only state to expand the goal to include ER’s and substance use disorder. It is anticipated that a case management component of Stepping Up will be in place in all 67 counties by the end of the Fiscal Year 2022.

Additionally, three mental health crisis centers were recently announced as crisis diversion centers, with the goal of individuals receiving “the right care, at the right time, in the right place.”

Expansion of school-based mental health, hiring a housing coordinator for individuals’ stabilization plan, and expansion of early childhood services and autism services are examples of ADMH’s expansion of services during Beshear’s tenure.

The governor on Monday also announced she is appointing Kim Boswell to be the new ADMH commissioner effective December 16.

Boswell reportedly has more than 36 years of experience working with individuals with mental illness, substance abuse disorders and developmental disabilities.

She currently serves as chief of staff for Beshear and has been both associate commissioner for Administration as well as director of Human Resources for the department. During her career, Boswell has worked as a planner to improve human service delivery systems, a Program Evaluator, a School to Work Transition Coordinator, and has also served as the State Office Administrator for the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services.

“I’m pleased to announce Kim Boswell as Commissioner for the Alabama Department of Mental Health,” Ivey stated. “She has spent the entirety of her professional career devoted to helping struggling individuals and I appreciate her willingness to serve in this new capacity. Her background as a mental health provider as well as administrator makes her uniquely qualified.”

The governor’s office noted that Kim Boswell is of no relation to ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 hours ago

Report: Democratic-aligned group tried to register dead Alabama woman to vote in Georgia

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Monday said his office is investigating four different voter registration groups for potential wrongdoing ahead of the state’s crucial January 5 U.S. Senate runoffs.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Raffensperger, a Republican, held a press conference at the State Capitol in Atlanta to outline these investigations.

The theme of the alleged actions by all four groups under investigation pertains to attempting to register people who do not currently reside in Georgia to vote in the Peach State’s runoffs.

One of the groups was founded by Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who lost the Georgia gubernatorial race in 2018; she has still not conceded that election. Her group allegedly solicited individuals residing in New York City to register to vote in Georgia.

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Another group, Vote Forward, is alleged to have attempted to register a dead Alabama woman to vote in the upcoming runoff.

Vote Forward is a 501(c)(4) aligned with Democratic groups and left-leaning causes.

The group’s other prominent Alabama tie?

On Vote Forward’s website, the organization cites its voter registration and turnout efforts in the Yellowhammer State as being effective in helping U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) win his 2017 special election bid.

In fact, the website says, “The project began as an experiment conducted by Scott Forman in Alabama in 2017. Encouraged by the success of that test, Scott and a small group of friends and fellow Opower alumni built this platform…”

On Monday, Raffensperger stressed that Vote Forward and the three other named groups “have a responsibility to not encourage illegal voting.”

“If they do so, they will be held responsible,” he added.

The outcome of Georgia’s runoffs is of paramount importance for Alabama, as U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) will lose the chairmanship of the powerful Committee on Appropriations if Republicans do not win these two races.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has launched a nationwide Georgia Battleground Fund leadership team to aid fundraising in their effort to hold the Senate majority. Led by Karl Rove as national finance chairman, this also includes state chairs and a distinguished team of national and honorary co-chairs.

Katie Boyd Britt — current president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama and former chief of staff to Shelby — is the Alabama state chair for this effort.

“America’s fate rests on the outcome of these Georgia races,” stated Rove. “Democrats have not been shy about what they’ll do if Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi run Congress, so it’s imperative every freedom loving American go all in for Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler so they’re victorious. I’m honored to work with so many great Republican leaders from all 50 states and D.C. to ensure these two Senators have the resources to protect the last line of defense against the Democrats’ left-wing agenda.”

RELATED: Republican organizer leading team of volunteers to aid Senate races in Georgia

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 hours ago

Alabama sets state record for COVID-19 hospitalizations

Alabama recorded its largest yet number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital on Monday as the state’s coronavirus statistics continue to reach alarming levels.

There were 1,717 individuals in the hospital with COVID in Alabama on Monday, eclipsing the previous record of 1,613 set on August 6.

UAB Hospital, the state’s biggest and most prominent medical facility, is currently treating 125 coronavirus patients, a new high for the facility.

“125 patients means 125 patients receiving in-hospital, bed-specific care. These are patients who are either very sick, unable to get better, or potentially unable to survive without medical attention and care,” UAB explained about their hospitalized patients in a press release.

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Clicking image opens interactive chart in new tab (BamaTracker)
(UAB/Contributed)

UAB’s numbers include any patient admitted to the hospital with a diagnosed case of COVID-19.

The hospital’s numbers appear to indicate a worrying spike in the Birmingham metropolitan area. UAB was treating just 79 coronavirus patients on Thursday.

Overall, Alabama’s count of new coronavirus cases remains about as high as it has ever been. On average, 1,733 new cases have been added each day over the last week.

Clicking image opens interactive chart in new tab (BamaTracker)

Yellowhammer News is using statewide coronavirus numbers from BamaTracker in this piece. BamaTracker is a website that collects and displays coronavirus data published by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Additionally, Yellowhammer is counting new cases as those confirmed by a chemical test performed in a laboratory. When adding results from rapid tests and other methods classified by ADPH as “probable” positives, Alabama’s seven-day average rises to 2,206.

Past trends in coronavirus data show that a spike in hospitalizations follows a spike in new cases by 2-3 weeks. A corresponding increase in deaths follows the increase in hospitalizations by around one month.

All but three of Alabama’s 67 counties reported a new COVID-19 case on Monday, indicating continued widespread transmission across the state.

Of all COVID-19 tests administered in Alabama over the last 14 days, 26.1% came back positive, the highest rate the state has suffered during the pandemic.

In recent days, for every eight tests administered, one was positive, per BamaTracker’s calculations.

Approximately 13 coronavirus deaths were reported in Alabama each day over the last week. The state’s death toll now stands at 3,246, with another 332 listed as “probable” but not yet confirmed by ADPH.

Doctors continue to recommend wearing face masks, staying at least six feet apart from others, and washing hands frequently as the best ways to slow the spread of the virus.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

5 hours ago

Alabama’s state Christmas tree to be delivered on Tuesday

Alabama’s official Christmas tree will be delivered to the State Capitol on Tuesday, the governor’s office said.

This year’s tree, donated by Robbins Taylor, Sr., is an Eastern Red Cedar arriving from Letohatchee in Lowndes County.

The tree stands about 35 feet tall and will be displayed on the front steps of the State Capitol building in Montgomery.

Following its delivery, the tree will be decorated throughout the week with lights and other adornments before the traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which is scheduled for Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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